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This new stat about guns in the US is severely depressing

If the 31,860 incidents of gun violence in the US this year have taught us anything, it's: Guns? No thanks. 

Unfortunately our pals across the pond aren't getting this message, as their response to guns killing 8,177 of their citizens in 2016 is more like, "Guns? Yes. Totally. Give us some more."

Which is why the gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson’s share price reached an all-time high yesterday, with their gun sales boosting profits by 50 per cent last year.

The shares surged to $30.36 after it was reported that background checks for new guns had set a new record for July. 

Last month a total of 2,197,169 background checks were processed, according to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The figure is used to gauge the demand for firearms - hence the market response. Important note: the figure doesn't actually show that the US is getting better at doing thorough background checks, just that they're happening.

Earlier this year, Smith & Wesson also announced that its annual profits reached $293.8m, which, yes, again, is a lot of guns. America - can't you just get a stern British bulldog to protect you like the rest of us?