Among the greatest national shames is the United States' mass shooting epidemic. As of November 8th - the 312th day of the year - there had been 307 mass shootings in the country. A majority of Americans support stricter gun laws, but the National Rifle Association, in donating tens of millions of dollars a year to Republican candidates, has kept enough lawmakers at its disposal to halt any meaningful legislation to remedy the problem.
Now, it looks like Americans may finally be wising up.
The NRA reported losing nearly $55 million in donations over the course of 2017, and now Yahoo News is reporting that gun manufacturers are subsequently taking a hit as well, with even the most formidable companies seeing a drop in the value of their shares.
Sturm, Ruger & Company, the largest gun manufacturer in the US, fell 1.3% Tuesday. American Outdoor Brand Corporation, which owns the Smith & Wesson brand, saw a decline of 2.9%, and Vista Outdoor, which makes ammunition and rifle-scopes was down 3.9%. Olin, an ammunition manufacturer, however, saw a 0.6% increase.
Though many Republican politicians - including the president-are still in the pocket of the NRA - its influence in the political sphere hinges on the organizations overwhelming amount of donations to buy influence over the majority party. With less donations and falling stocks, their financial foothold may be beginning to weaken.
It's a promising start, but the efforts to mobilize and save lives aren't weakening.
Though the share values in the gun market may be dropping, it just might be possible that American values - like prioritizing self defense without fetishizing tools designed to kill - are on the rise.
After years of seeming insurmountable, this new momentum has many calling out the insidious relationship between the NRA and gun manufacturers.
But possibly even more than an economic shift against the gun market, a more gradual ideological one seems to be collectively occurring as well.
As young people born post-Columbine begin to emerge as adults, the majority are calling for stricter gun control laws after growing up in a culture fraught with active shooter drills and news of mass murders at the hands of gunmen.
After the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, students of the school quickly mobilized, using their platforms as survivors to bolster their platform and eventually catapulting them into the national spotlight as the newer, fresher faces of the gun control movement. Their activism led to a resurgence of faith in the voices of young people across the world.
Though the National Rifle Association has long used fear, misinformation, and death to turn a profit, the tide may finally be turning.