The Second Amendment protects the rights of all citizens to keep and bear arms.
By Brian Wheeler
BBC News, Washington DC
20 December 2016
Gun ownership has traditionally been associated with the right wing in America but the election of Donald Trump has prompted some left-wingers to join gun clubs – and even start preparing for the collapse of society.
“I really didn’t expect to be thinking about purchasing a gun. It was something that my father did and I rolled my eyes at him.”
Clara, a 28-year-old nursing student, grew up in the Mid-West, where “the folks that had guns were seen as hicks” or were just “culturally different”, she says.
But since the election of Donald Trump in November she has started going to a gun range for the first time and is shopping around for a semi-automatic pistol.
“It’s been seeing the way that Trump’s election has mobilised a lot of the far right and given them hope,” she says, citing a rise in reports of hate crimes and neo-Nazi activity.
As a transgender woman, she does not fear for her personal safety in the Californian city where she now lives but she says she knows people in rural areas “who woke up and found a bunch of swastikas and words like ‘faggot’ and ‘trannie’ scrawled all over their building”.
She foresees a wide-ranging struggle between the Trump administration and the left over issues such as immigration and racial politics.
But won’t buying a gun just increase tensions?
“Things are already escalating and they will continue to do so and me not engaging or being prepared to defend my friends by force… isn’t going to stop people from being attacked or harassed,” Clara says.
Gun sales in America hit record levels in October amid fears a Hillary Clinton election victory would lead to increased controls.
Many expected the election of Donald Trump, whose candidacy was backed by the National Rifle Association, to bring an end to the panic buying. Shares in gun manufacturers dropped by as much as 18% following his victory.
But instead FBI background checks for gun transactions soared to a new record for a single day – 185,713 – during the Black Friday sales on 25 November, according to gun control news site The Trace.
Some of this has been put down to gun retailers selling off stock at reduced prices, but there have also been reports of more “non-traditional” buyers, such as African Americans and other minorities, turning up at gun shops and shooting ranges.
Lara Smith, national spokesperson for the Liberal Gun Club, says her organisation has seen a “huge” rise in enquiries since November’s election and a 10% increase in paid members.
Continue reading at: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-38297345