Written by: Carlos Teran
Gun rights are a hot topic in the United States today. It is such a hot topic because gun rights are deeply rooted in American culture. When you bring up the idea of banning guns, some people can get very defensive. “Rock, Flag & Eagle” says Charlie Kelly when talking about his right to own guns, even while living in one of the most gun violent cities in the U.S.
It will be a very long time until anything happens with gun legislation. On October 1st 2017 the largest mass shooting in recent American history happened. In Las Vegas, 60 people were killed by a gunman and over 500 people were injured. One would think that after a catastrophic event like this the longing or (demand) for guns would go down. However the demand has only increased since the shooting. In addition the price for the stock of guns has gone up as well. This seems odd and like the opposite of what should happen but in a market economy anything can happen. Perhaps people are worried that with each mass shooting we will get closer to banning guns completely, and guns will become a scarce source. This is an example of change in expectations which is why the demand and price are changing.
Graph from CNBC
This is not a surprising trend, according to CNBC “Gun stocks have tended to rise after similar shootings”. It seems as though Americans are worried about what will happen to their guns and they are looking at the opportunity cost of what will happen if congress decides to ban guns. On one hand, it seems as though it needs to be done to keep people safe. Mass shootings have increased over the years and the damage they have caused has also increased. The opportunity cost would be people losing their First Amendment rights. We will see how congress responds and how the market will respond to congress.
The facts I have laid out before you are precisely why it will be a long time until gun laws are put in place. Mac McDonald said it best, Even in the face of a catastrophe caused by guns, people argue that we need more guns. People go out and buy more guns. Americans want guns. And this is the land where the market takes priority.
Cheng, Evelyn. “Gun stocks jump, following historical pattern after a mass shooting.” CNBC, CNBC, 2 Oct. 2017, www.cnbc.com/2017/10/02/gun-stocks-rise-after-deadly-las-vegas-shooting.html.