U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- Various news agencies are reporting that panic-buying of firearms and ammunition initially spurred by fears of social unrest related to the coronavirus pandemic have continued strong into the summer, thanks to riots following the death of George Floyd under Minneapolis police restraint, and the rise of a movement to defund police.
According to CNN Business, “Firearms dealers across the country have reported a recent spike in sales, citing the unrest following police brutality protests in support of George Floyd and calls to defund the police as catalysts, according to gun industry analyst Rob Southwick, founder of the market research firm Southwick Associates Inc.”
Just in Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reported, “With a wave of crises crashing across the country, more than 40,000 Illinoisans applied for a gun permit in a little more than two weeks this month, more than 500% over this time last year, according to Illinois State Police.”
The irony is overwhelming because many of the same people advocating to cut police funding have also traditionally supported gun control efforts. Apparently they never expected so many people would care enough about their own safety that, faced with a reduction in law enforcement, they would have to fend for themselves and to do that they would consider arming themselves.
“You’re seeing a reaction to people’s concerns about being able to provide safety for themselves and the ones that they love,” said Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, during the CNN Business report.
Even more ironic, if not downright hypocritical, the gun prohibition lobbying group Everytown for Gun Safety said in an email fundraising blast June 18, “We must close the loophole allowing open carry of loaded assault rifles and fight gun extremism across America.”
This was days after a video appeared on YouTube showing one of the apparent organizers of Seattle’s “Capitol Hill Organized Protest” (CHOP) zone handing a loaded semiautomatic rifle to a young man who claimed to be over age 18, with no documented proof or background check as required by state statute. Since passage of Initiative 1639 in Washington in November 2018—a measure financially supported by Everytown—it has been illegal to “deliver” a so-called “semiautomatic assault rifle” to anyone under age 21 without a background check, 10-day waiting period and proof of completion of a firearms safety course within the previous five years. So far, Everytown has been mute.
Provisions of the law are being challenged in federal court by the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association.
The young recipient of the rifle is later shown walking down the street at night openly carrying the firearm.
This was clearly a violation of state law, but so far, nobody in Seattle’s liberal government structure has said a thing about this incident.
A far-left radical group calling itself Seattle Indivisible declared in an email alert, “Police violence is a systemic problem — solving it will require us to transform how we approach public safety. That’s why Seattle Indivisible supports Black Lives Matter in their call to Defund the Police, and why yesterday we sent a letter to Mayor (Jenny) Durkan and the City Council in response to the Mayor’s proposed 5% cut to SPD (Seattle police). This business-as-usual proposal is thoroughly tone deaf in the midst of a national movement against racially motivated police violence, and is hardly a good-faith offer when Black Lives Matter and other Seattle-area activists are calling for 25-50% cuts to SPD’s budget.”
Seattle Indivisible is the same organization that, back in February, urged followers to support a trio of gun control measures including one to limit so-called “high capacity magazines” to 15 rounds. This group also has not even acknowledged that guns were being carried by the CHOP protesters.
The leftist Utopians behind Seattle’s CHOP zone movement, who support defunding police, also seem to recognize the necessity of firearms. Socialist Seattle Councilwoman Kshama Sawant issued a statement in which she declared, “It is crucial that the CHOP occupation has developed a self-defense committee, which has played an important role at the encampment, and that general assemblies to ensure ongoing political discussions have been taking place…Elected committees of self-defense have historically played vital roles during general strikes, occupations, and in mass movements, in order for the working class and marginalized people to defend themselves and carry out necessary functions in place of the forces of the state.”
As reported earlier at AmmoLand, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, released a statement about all the new gun owners who have suddenly started exercising their Second Amendment right.
“We’ve witnessed something that is nothing short of a sea change, and in some cases might approach the level of epiphany, about gun ownership,” he observed. “We’ve heard anecdotal reports from all over the country about people flocking to gun shops who had never before owned a firearm. Now that they are gun owners, we expect them to be very protective of their rights.”
Back in March, CCRKBA welcomed the new gun owners to the firearms community. At the time, Gottlieb commented, “They’re learning firsthand about waiting periods, possible registration requirements and problems sometimes involved with background checks and how their rights might be delayed or even denied because some criminal has the same or similar name. In most states, they are discovering they need a license or permit to carry outside of their home, and there may be a whole additional set of requirements involved…It’s absurd, and new gun owners realize it.”
The importance of this cannot be overstated. With elections only a few months away, these new gun owners could provide an important voting bloc in critical swing states. If gun rights are important to these new shooters in the long run, they will have to help elect people who value the Second Amendment beyond the usual lip service.
That’s the challenge for Gottlieb and other grassroots gun rights advocates, and they’ve got just over four months to get the job done.
About Dave Workman