I remember enjoying so many wonderful books as a child. One that stood out as a “top 10” for a very long time was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. In this story, young Alexander was just not having a very good day. He had to endure gum in his hair, sitting in the middle of the backseat, third-best-friend status, no dessert at lunch, lima beans, railroad pajamas and kissing on TV — all in one day!

Well, for me, it’s kind of difficult not to compare Alexander’s day with just about all 365 days of 2020. We were just not having a very good year. We had to endure masks on our faces, missing a bunch of planned events, social-distancing status, no groups in public, quarantines, a global pandemic and politics on TV — all in one year!

But was last year ALL doom and gloom? Thankfully, no. There were still some positive things that occurred. After all, there is always something good, somewhere … if you search for it! Don’t believe me? Take a look at some of the positives that came out of 2020 for both the USCCA, specifically, and for the firearms community as a whole.

USCCA in 2020

During the ups and downs (and lockdowns) of 2020, the U.S. Concealed Carry Association:

  • Reached millions of people through live-streamed videos featuring the USCCA team and numerous industry influencers
  • Increased digital training offerings for everyone, especially those staying at home
  • Enhanced our online store to provide more quality gear, gifts and accessories
  • Launched Protector Academy, a program designed to help gun owners become more confident and prepared
  • Added hundreds of thousands of new members looking to be responsibly armed, trained and informed

Firearms Community: 2020 Review

While the unpredictability of last year unfolded all around us, these surprising statistics also developed as Americans:

  • Purchased more than 17 million guns
  • Applied for more than 800,000 concealed carry permits
  • Added more than 7 million new gun owners to the firearms community
  • Recognized women making up 40 percent of first-time gun purchases
  • Documented 58 percent of firearms purchases among African Americans — the largest increase of any demographic group
  • Made gains with pro-gun representatives outperforming the election polls and winning seats in office
  • Witnessed sold-out training classes, both online and in person
  • Validated the importance and the significance of the Second Amendment as millions concluded that life is worth protecting

All in all, what 2020 may have meant for bad, we were still able to use for some good. And, I don’t know about you, but I plan to continue to eke out — and seek out — the positives as we all look forward to the year 2021 and everything it may entail.