I hate to spoil the thrill of opening presents for all of you, but you are probably getting a gun for Christmas this year.
There’s already something deeply unsavory about the unofficial start of the Christmas season being a fiercely competitive, pre-dawn consumer orgy. This year, though, Black Friday saw a historic rush for a particularly un-Jesus-y holiday goodie: guns.
The Associated Press reports the FBI “processed a record 185,345 background checks” on Black Friday. That doesn’t necessarily mean there were that many firearms purchases, but, according to the report, “manufacturers rely on the background check statistics as a measurement of the industry’s health.” At a rate of roughly two per second that day, it’s fair to say the industry’s fit as a fiddle.
The previous record for the most background checks in a single day was Dec. 21, 2012, about a week after 20 children and six adults were shot to death in a Connecticut elementary school. The week following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary saw the processing of 953,613 gun background checks.
This surge, of course, came on the same day as the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado. Maybe some folks are hoping to thwart the next mass shooting incident with their own guns, or maybe a lot of folks process any mass shooting as an eventual and inevitable threat to their right to buy lots of awesome guns. Maybe both!
I prefer to think the surge came in the spirit of giving. Giving is the reason for the season. Lots of great holiday deals out there on Black Friday.