Anyone assuming that the recent spate of gun-related incidents in the US might result in a decline in the number of people buying and owning firearms could be left shocked and saddened by figures emerging in the wake of Black Friday.
The first day of busy Christmas shopping season is traditionally associated with throngs of people fighting to buy discounted widescreen televisions or the latest piece of cutting edge consumer technology.
But new figures show that the must-have item of Black Friday in the US was firearms.
Figures compiled by USA Today revealed that the FBI received 203,086 requests for the mandatory instant gun background checks.
That represents a steep 10 per cent increase from the figures for 2016 and also set a new record for the highest number of background checks in a single day.
Apparently that’s not a massive surprise to the FBI though – the two previous records for background checks came on the days immediately after national holidays.
One potential cause for the increase could be long mooted plans to increase restrictions around the purchase of firearms.
The calls come just a month after Devin P. Kelley purchased a Ruger AR-556 rifer with a 30-round magazine and opened fire on a church full of parishioners in Sutherland Springs, Texas. It marked the largest mass shooting in the history of Texas.
A month prior to that, Stephen Paddock fired more than 1,100 rounds into crowds in Las Vegas, killing 58 people in the process.
Despite these incidents, there are plenty of advocates who claim Americans have the right to bare arms and that the only true defence against guns is more guns.
It was a defence launched by one advocate during a recent meeting held to discuss the Texas shootings – a defence that fell a little flat when the man in question ended up accidentally shooting both himself and his wife.