But there's always been a problem with this attempt at showing causality between guns and homicides: causality can just as plausibly go the other way. That is, in times and places where the local population feels they are in danger of being crime victims, people are more likely to purchase guns for protection. So, rather than saying "guns cause crime," we should be saying "crime causes guns."
New Gun Purchases Soar as Uncertainty and Violence Increase
We're likely seeing this phenomenon at work now.In recent months, according to the firearm industry's trade group National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Americans have purchased millions of guns:
The early part of 2020 has been unlike any other year for firearm purchases—particularly by first-time buyers—as new NSSF® research reveals millions of people chose to purchase their first gun during the COVID-19 pandemic.