The gun industry capitalizes on fear and xenophobia

Walmart, probably

Americans spend about 64 Billion USD on guns every year, and the annual cost of gun violence is estimated to be 280 Billion USD. More than 130,000 Americans are injured or killed annually using guns. There are more guns in America than people, and the country consumes 46% of guns worldwide. An irrational fear of the other, and deep sociocultural conditioning are the emotional impediments to rational decision-making and policies.

It is interesting how guns capitalize on fear and tribalism. This exaggerated, irrational fear of the other group has roots in the American Revolution, powered by guns. Further enforced by capitalization on media propaganda, such as exaggerated dangers of Islamist terrorism and shootings, gun ownership has become a deeply tied ideology.

This is reflected in its absolutist, fundamentalist presence as the Second Amendment, right to bear firearms, in the US constitution. Bipartisan democracy creates friction towards any reform. When mass shootings go up, fear-triggered gun advocates buy guns and progressives suggest reform. The former mobilizes through shared fear of not having a gun. The risk of not having the means to revolt trumps the benefit of less homicide.

Gun advocates overplay the benefit and downplay the risk of having guns, whereas liberals overplay the risk and downplay the benefit of having guns. The cultural meaning and economic prospects of guns render reform inert.

Variety writer