Reddit, for the uninitiated, is a hugely popular internet forum for pretty much everything. Memes. Interviews. Porn. You name it.
And, according to a breathless expose from left-wing magazine Mother Jones, it turns out there are gun sales happening there.
“According to the magazine’s research, the site has hosted at least 159 transactions since last June, nearly 100 of which included the sale of AR-15 assault rifles,” reports Gizmodo. “The exact number of guns sold on Reddit is unclear since even more transactions take place in private messages, but it’s likely in the several hundreds in the past six months. Even if just one gun was sold in each of those 159 documented transactions, that’s nearly a gun a day being sold on Reddit.”
Color me underwhelmed. One gun a day on one of internet’s most popular websites? In 2012 the federal government conducted 19.6 million background checks for gun sales. That’s about 53,700 gun transactions per day. There’s a hockey club here in North Dakota that is raffling off 300 guns in April alone. The AR-15 model is probably the most popular platform in America. Since the 1990’s some 8.5 million AR-15 style weapons have been manufactured in the US.
The idea of just one transaction happening on Reddit every day makes me wonder why we’re even talking about gun sales on Reddit.
Aside from the fact that the left likes to sensationalize what they think of as scary, unnerving stories about guns. Or maybe they’re just really this clueless about the reality of the gun marketplace.
Worrying about gun sales on Reddit is absurd. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that worrying about gun sales in general is pretty absurd. There is far too much faith put in the government’s ability to control the sale of weapons. The people who want them can get them, regardless of what the government does. The only question is whether those transactions take place in the open, or if they’re forced into black markets by gun regulations.
What we should be worrying about is what motivates people to do bad things with guns.