Known as the ‘Great Experiment,’ the United States of America is unique among developed nations in its wealth as well as its social and political policies. Shaped by centuries of conflict as well as a search for identity, the country has come into its own, especially in the last century. Dragging with it through changes in society, laws, and philosophies, the constitution, as well as the amendments serve to better articulate the rights of everyday Americans.
While the amendments are frequently challenged in court and upheld in terms of the rights of the individual, few have garnered as much fervor or zeal as the second Amendment. Laying out a general right for individuals to own guns, the ‘right to bare arms’ is taken by some to be an incredibly important part of what it means to be American. Backing this philosophy is a growing culture of gun rights, as well as an industry that continues to expand every day. With this in mind lets take a moment to review the importance of the arm industry in USA, as well as the basic facts and figures that define the industry as a whole. Finally, we will see what would happen if the 2nd amendment to the constitution allowing for gun ownership was suddenly revoked.
Some Basic Facts Regarding The Arms Industry
In 2014, it was estimated that economic impact of the arms industry in the US was 31.8 billion dollars. This was up from an estimated $27.8 billion only two years earlier. According to the NSSF, this meant that nearly 26,325 new gun related jobs were created in the industry in the US. With nearly 1 gun for every person in the US, there was 6 billion dollars in earnings from bullets and guns alone recorded in 2012. With 5.5 million firearms manufactured in the country every year, this equates to roughly 2.25 mill pistols, 1.8 million rifles, 750,000 shotguns, and over 500,000 revolvers. As the average salary of someone in the gun industry is $140,000, it is significantly higher then most other industries in the United States. That means roughly 200,000 people in the US are earning excellent salaries thanks to the arms industry in this country. Finally, with 47% of homes having a gun, 50,812 retail gun dealers in the US provide the majority of sales.
Making Sense Out Of The Statistics
What research exists regarding gun ownership in the home is mixed, with many reports stating that individuals would not be able to reach the gun in time, would stand a good chance of missing, and would dramatically increase the risk of shooting a loved one by mistake. That being said, individuals are still inclined to get guns for home protection because of the fear of home intruders. So, research aside, lets take a look at what is really pushing the arms industry in the US.
The arms industry represents a facet of American culture. Crucial to a rugged sense of individuality and idealism that has set the country apart, guns play a crucial role in self-identification. As Americans, we tend to grow up around guns as well as have guns be a part of growing up. From parent children bonding to competitions and training, guns bridge the gap between military and civilian life, as well as constitute a part of what service to a country means. Because it is a part of cultural identity, the arms industry will continue to go strong.
What Would Happen If Guns Were Banned, If The 2nd Amendment Ceased To Be?
While the arm industry in the US is big, it’s sudden disappearance would not tank the economy. With revenue similar to the tech company Apple, the entire industry represents only a marginal amount of all business going on in the US. The bigger impact would be the loss of nearly 200,000 skilled jobs. With an estimated 13,400,000 people unemployed, it would raise the total unemployment rate by a few percentage points.
While the statistics might not look like much, the economic impact to many small and medium sized towns across the US would be devastated as the primary arms industry closes. There would also be incredible backlash to the loss of the amendment, no doubt prompting an incredible spike in gun, ammo and sighting devices sales prior to its ratification. In addition, there stands a far greater chance that the second amendment would be altered instead of completely removed, meaning that the provisions in place would safeguard the majority of the industry.
Either way, it is hard to speculate on what would happen if the 2nd amendment was changed or removed. What we do know is that it would effect the jobs of hundreds of thousands of dollars, remove a thriving economic contributor to the US, and fly in the face of the deeply held cultural beliefs of between a third to half of the country’s population.