Counting the Cost

Americans under the gun: NRA and the gun business

As gun ownership rises in the US, we look at how attempts to rein in gun violence are benefiting gun makers.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is holding its annual convention in the United States. It’s both a trade show for conventional shooting and hunting, but also a massive political and social event. In an election year and with more and more shootings happening in the US, it takes on extra significance.

Guns kill 33,000 Americans every year, and yet the number of guns being bought in the US continues to rise. A climate of fear has led to there now being more guns – approximately 300 million – than people in the entire country.

President Barack Obama’s efforts to introduce stricter gun control has had little impact, partly because the NRA uses the billions it receives from gun manufacturers to block legislation.

On this episode of Counting the Cost we explore the gun industry, the huge money being made from sales by gun manufacturers, and the money which goes from groups such as the NRA towards political lobbying.

We talk to Jerry Henry, the executive director of and Peter Squires, professor of Criminology and Public Policy at Brighton University, about gun ownership, the multimillion-dollar gun industry and the politics behind it.

Oil: From oversupply to deficit?

For months we have talked about oil oversupply. There was too much oil on the market, which took oil prices down to around $25 a barrel back in January.

But now, because of violence in the Niger Delta and wildfires in the oil sands of Canada, global production has taken a hit and the price has gone up to near $50 a barrel.

Is it a temporary blip, or is the world now in oil deficit? 

We talk to Robin Mills, the CEO of Qamar Energy, about the current situation, OPEC and the future of the oil market.

Also on Counting the Cost:

  • Ivory Coast and the chocolate factory: For the first time, Ivorian chocolate is being made for local consumption and exported elsewhere in Africa.
  • Mapping the Amazon in the name of conservation: After Ecuador sold more than a third of its rainforest to China for $18m, an indigenous group is fighting back to save their ecosystem with the use of technology.