Today I start a new feature – a daily comment on whatever happens to hit me about guns and the gun world. Short and to the point. Feedback always appreciated.
Today our friends at The Trace have sent out a link to a website called WalletHub, which claims to publish serious stuff that can help you figure out how to keep your finances under control, or something like that.
Today they have a report, so called, on the gun industry, specifically, the dependency of each state on the gun industry. They claim that gun sales have declined by 6% under Trump (the real number is somewhere around 10%) which might be a good thing for people who don’t like guns, but may be a bad thing for ” state economies relying heavily on the firearms industry.”
Which state is most reliant on the gun industry? New Hampshire. Which state is least reliant? New Jersey. How do they figure this all out? The look at the number of jobs and the amount of revenue generated by the industry on a per-capita basis, add it up and away we go.
There’s only one little problem. This report is junk. And what isn’t junk is crap. Why do I say that? Because it is overwhelmingly based on the annual report about the gun industry’s contribution to the economy issued by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a.k.a, the NSSF, which happens to be the folks who bring us the annual gun trade show, a.k.a., the SHOT show, and has a vested interest in promoting the gun industry every chance it can get.
The WalletHub story cites ‘fact’ after ‘fact’ after ‘fact’ from this industry promotional hype without doing the slightest due diligence at all. Every year they come up with an overall industry ‘contribution’ to the national economy of somewhere around $50 billion, a little more, a little less.
This year together, Smith & Wesson and Glock will probably have net sales of about $1.2 billion. These companies account for roughly 40% of all new handgun sales and handguns account for roughly 60% of all new gun sales. Which means that the entire annual revenue from gun sales is somewhere around $5 billion. And the rest of the industry creates $45 billion in revenue? Is that some kind of joke?
To put these numbers into perspective, I just bought a 1 1/2 oz. bag of potato chips for a buck. Which means that if I bought a pound of potato chips the tab would be around 10 bucks. It is estimated that every, single American consumes 6.5 pounds of potato chips in a year. Which means we each spend $65 on potato chips, which means the total revenue for the potato chip industry is $20 billion bucks. I guarantee you that potato chips contribute more to the economy than we get from all the gun companies.
The point is that what the NSSF is trying to do is respond to our concerns about gun violence by saying look at the positive side of things – the value of the gun industry to the pocketbooks of people who might be your neighbors or your friends.
Let me put it a different and more honest way: we suffer from an extraordinary level of gun violence from an industry whose total financial contribution to the national economy doesn’t count for squat.