Gun sales have boomed over the past few years due to right-wing paranoia and the failure of fearful people to recognize that guns produce less practical, daily return on investment and produce more risk than groceries, clothing, appliances, power tools, or just about any other household item.
But there is an upside to all this gun nuttery: America's Gooney McBuckshots are helping to fund conservation. The Pittman Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act levies a 10% tax on handguns and an 11% tax on rifles, shotguns, muzzleloaders, ammunition, and archery equipment. The Pittman Robertson tax generated $760.9 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to distribute to states this fiscal year for conservation projects. That's up 42%, not counting another $20 million carried over and restored from the sequester.
South Dakota will get $12.4 million for wildlife funds and $1.4 million for hunter education. States like Minnesota and Washington use some of that money to buy land for conservation areas, the kind of sensible conservation action that drives gun-loving Republicans like Sen. Dan Lederman to conniptive falsehoods.
Guns helping the government acquire land for public use and conservation—that makes me feel much better.