A new study from researchers at New Mexico State University and the University of Toledo reveals that gun sales rose during the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, mainly from healthcare workers purchasing these for self-defense. In particular, being a healthcare worker was among the strongest predictors for buying a firearm during the onset of the pandemic, accounting for 67 percent of all self-reported purchases.
The web-based, cross-sectional study included all sorts of health care professionals, ranging from doctors and healthcare workers to home healthcare assistants and physicians’ assistants. The team looked at responses from nearly 1,500 adults for the study, which appeared in the Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
The study also noted a shift in gun ownership demographics during the pandemic: Those who bought guns during the pandemic tend to be younger, more urban, more female and less white.
“One of the things we should see, in my limited view, is these are people who are civilians, who are not criminals, and they have seen a lot of unrest in the past six months,” explained co-author Jagdish Khubchandani, talking to the Washington Free Beacon. “They want to be on the front foot with their own safety.”
He added that the gun-owning demographic was becoming similar to that of health care with its diversity: “America now has more job opportunities in health care, [with] almost 15 percent … [having] a job [in the sector.] And as that demographic has changed, so has the gun-owning demographic, and they’ve intersected.”
Some of the reasons noted by the researchers for purchasing guns include the need to protect themselves and family members against criminals and the need to protect themselves against potential unrest brought about by the ongoing pandemic. A small percentage of the respondents also reported buying a gun for fear of anti-Black or anti-Asian sentiment. (Related: Teen filmed shooting rioters in self-defense charged with first-degree murder.)
“Our final analysis finds that race, gender, political ideas [or] ideology does not matter [when it comes to gun ownership,]” Khubchandani added. “What matters is: Have you been threatened? Have you been exposed to violence? Do you know someone who was threatened? And therefore by default, does that make you a little more protective about your own self and your own family?”
The recent uptick in firearms sales may also mean that more healthcare workers are exercising their Second Amendment rights, given the rise in crime in some cities. As local law enforcement face budget slashes, most of these due to Black Lives Matter protests and Democrat politicians bowing to anti-police sentiment, many Americans have chosen to fight back with their guns rather than end up victims.
In Los Angeles, FOX 11 showed an example of the diversifying gun demographic. Ade’s Gun Shop in Orange County saw more health workers and women purchasing firearms there. Owner Emily Atkinson told the media outlet many were rushing to buy guns – and her shop couldn’t keep up with the demand.
“We would put 20 guns out and they would be sold in three hours. Every single person coming in [is a] first-time buyer; we were having doctors, nurses — you name it coming in, and they wanted guns,” Atkinson said. “First timers of every age. You have teachers, you have real estate [professionals], you have every day housewives and you have kids that are in college.
“It’s for everybody now.”