The Associated Press is reporting that the firearms industry is in sharp decline. Gun manufacturers are laying off factory employees as demand for guns at the retail level plummets.
While an advocate of gun control was in the White House, gun sales increased 362 percent. Now that a strong supporter of gun rights has replaced him, the bubble has burst.
As I read this article in the Sunday paper, I thought to myself, “This really says it all about America.” We have become an “oppositional” culture. While pockets of people are active in supporting various causes, most of the political energy in our country is in opposition to something or someone. Support for elected officials and legislation is never as intense as opposition against them. To put it differently, when we lose our basis for being angry, we almost instantly grow complacent, until whatever it is we take for granted is threatened or taken away.
The healthcare debate is a good example. After Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, congressional town hall meetings were jammed with protesters angry about the “government takeover” of healthcare, even though many of those protesting were already Medicare recipients. Yet when a new Congress began moving swiftly to repeal ACA, representatives and Senators found their town hall meetings filled with constituents protesting the new bill that threatened to take away the healthcare they’ve only been able to afford since ACA became law seven years ago.
The once deliberative and judicious Senate has now devolved into an oppositional body, abandoning even the search for bi-partisan consensus on any consequential decision. Last year, the Republican majority decided in advance to oppose Obama’s Supreme Court nominee without even giving him a hearing. This year, the Democratic minority is returning the favor, poised to filibuster Trump’s nominee and likely trigger a rules change that will sweep away one of the few remaining vestiges of bi-partisan cooperation.