We’re seeing it in big cities across America. We’re seeing it in urban areas in various states. And we’re feeling it in the form of anxiety no matter where you live.
We’re talking about the storm that’s coming this week – the election.
Look no further than one of the biggest chains in the world.
Walmart announced that they would be removing all firearms and ammunition from their stores. The decision was based on the civil unrest that had followed the Philadelphia Police Department shooting of Walter Wallace, Jr.
Others believe that the decision was made really because of rumors of civil unrest following the general election.
Now, they have changed their minds and reversed their decision.
CNBC: Walmart reverses decision to remove guns and ammo from store shelves
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) October 30, 2020
Walmart, in reversing their decision, said:
“After civil unrest earlier this week resulted in damage to several of our stores, consistent with actions we took over the summer, we asked stores to move firearms and ammunition from the sales floor to a secure location in the back of the store in an abundance of caution.
As the current incidents have remained geographically isolated, we have made the decision to begin returning these products to the sales floor today.”
Although Walmart did say that they are reversing course on their original decision to keep the firearms and ammunition locked away, they stopped short from saying that they will return them in areas that have seen civil unrest.
Places like Philadelphia where one of their stores was looted and ripped open boxes of ammunition were found all over the floor afterwards.
NEW: Walmart reverses, will return guns and ammunition to sales floors one day after saying it would remove them to prevent theft amid social unrest. https://t.co/qLoooudnzN
— Axios (@axios) October 30, 2020
Business owners are fearful that there will be more looting and violence as a result of the results of the Presidential election. Businesses are starting to board up in a way in which would normally only be seen in instances of impending hurricanes. Store owners are also hiring additional security personnel in attempts to deter looters.
Tom Buiocchi, the CEO of ServiceChannel, a software company, said:
“Many have (and will be) boarding up locations or relying on other safety precautions — normally methods that are reserved for severe weather incidents. But now also for the social unrest throughout the summer of 2020 and in preparation for the upcoming national election.”
Businesses in New York City are also boarding up in anticipation of further civil unrest. The New York Police Department warned business owners throughout the city to take the precautions as the general election looms. An unnamed police official told the New York Post:
“The NYPD talked to many segments of the business community this week and advised that businesses in or in the area of location that have historically been protest targets, Washington Square and Union Square for example, and gave them advice to take extra precaution.”
Businesses in Chicago are preparing in a similar manner as they are expecting civil unrest in the area when the results of the election are announced. Democratic Chicago Mayor, Lori Lightfoot said:
“Given what we experienced over the course of the spring and the summer, we can’t presume that what’s going to happen … is going to be peaceful. We are preparing for the worst. So what we’ve been doing is a lot of drilling, a lot of making sure that we break down barriers, that no one part of election security is operating in a silo.”
Businesses in Washington, DC are also taking precautions after receiving a letter from the Department of Homeland Security warning of potential civil unrest. Activists like Hope Neyer, from a group called Shutdown DC, talked about the businesses shuttering up, saying:
“It’s definitely a choice that the business owners can make…We would rather they come down and join us.”
Neyer spoke about her groups preparations for the upcoming general elections:
“We have conducted health and safety trainings…We’re going to be practicing assertive intervention and de-escalation. We’re making sure that even though we can’t prepare for everything, if the worst does happen, we’ve spent our time getting ready for it.”
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Gun sales up 121% in New York in June: ‘Our gun shop sold out of everything we owned’
August 10, 2020
New York – Background checks for the likes of firearms purchases made quite the leap in June for New York, as there was a reported spike of 121% for backgrounds checks getting filed for the month.
There was a reported 52,252 background checks for purchasing firearms in New York during the entire month of June this year. That number represents over double the amount of background checks filed last year in the state.
Thinktanks like the Brookings Institute pointed to two major contributing factors for increases in gun sales nationwide, namely the pandemic and then the subsequent riots from late-May up until now.
Cliff Pfleger, the owner of a Long Island gun shop, spoke about the surge in background checks when matters were just related to COVID:
“When the original COVID scare started in the beginning of March and people thought they might get laid off, at that point we saw a huge surge. We sold out of almost everything we had in the store.”
Pfleger described the lines of people that waited outside of the store, most of whom hadn’t even purchased a gun before and didn’t know where to start:
“We had lines continuously, even though we didn’t have things to sell. The people who are coming to the store — a lot of them were first-time firearm purchasers, and they obviously did not apply or have a handgun license.”
At around the same time people were applying for background checks to get their hands on a legal firearm – New York accrued 205 shootings, equating to the worst June the state had seen since 1996 with regard to shootings.
Researchers from the University of California Davis tried to connect the recent uptick in legal firearm purchases since the onset of the pandemic with 776 gun-related injuries across the country. Mind you, these aren’t specific shootings that are alleged, just a formula used that claims increased gun purchases correlate to increased gun violence.
But one could argue that the gun purchase were in the anticipation of violence that played out in the coming months. While no one could have predicted the Floyd-inspired riots, many people had concerns of what people might down in times of economic turmoil with relation to the pandemic.
While the increased purchase of guns has historically transpired whenever there’s legislation afoot aiming to limit gun owners’ rights – this year has been one that prospective gun owners have heightened purchases in response to perceived and tangible threats.
Nationally, there’s been roughly 150,000 gun sales in the United States since June 2nd up until the end of June. It’s almost as if there are people all across the country that don’t seem to find the protests “peaceful.”
Back when gun sales were peaking during the pandemic and prior to the riots, certain Democrats were trying to put a halt to gun purchases.
In April, Democratic Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, from California’s 53rd District, reached out to Governor Gavin Newsom to ask that he suspend all firearm and ammunition sales during the pandemic. In his mind, lawfully purchased guns and ammo somehow make California less safe.
In a letter dated April 13th, Santiago sent a plea to Governor Newsom alleging that the “panic-buying” of firearms is a recipe for disaster:
“I am writing today to urge you to enact a statewide suspension of firearm and ammunition sales, with an exception for law enforcement and authorized peace officers.”
The assemblyman compared people purchasing copious amounts of toilet paper and medical supplies to that of those buying guns and ammo:
“We see this in the panic-buying of household items, cleaning supplies, personal protective gear, and now, firearms and ammunition.
Firearm and ammunition sales have surged exponentially in the last 30 days with some retailers claiming an increase of 70 percent in the 11 days following Italy’s reported outbreak of COVID-19 cases.”
While Santiago isn’t lying about California (and other portions of the country) seeing increased firearm sales, it really shouldn’t matter so long as they’re being acquired lawfully. Perhaps people might be getting concerned over instances like inmates being released from jails and prison.
You won’t believe where Santiago went next in his letter to the governor:
“While personal safety is extremely important during these challenging times, so is public safety.”
Roughly translated, Santiago thinks that people attaining a means to protect themselves is important, but since it’s scary to him then it shouldn’t happen.
Santiago’s letter also noted that there are currently 22,424 firearms in the hands of prohibited possessors.
However, the NRA responded to that notion:
“Santiago references the more than 22,000 open cases in California’s Armed and Prohibited Person System. What he fails to mention is that this backlog has been going on for years. In fact, in 2013 the legislature appropriated 24 million dollars under the guise that the backlog could be cleared in a year. That hasn’t happened.”
The NRA was also quick to point out how Santiago is more concerned about lawful gun owners exercising their rights instead of inmates getting released en masse:
“Criminals are being released from prison in record numbers to mitigate spread while law enforcement resources remain diminished. At least Santiago is right about one thing – public safety should be a top priority.”
The assemblyman claimed that more legally purchased firearms are going to put children at risk, as well as possible hate crimes going up. From what Santiago claims, lawfully acquired firearms are an “undue risk”:
“By suspending firearm and ammunition sales and arming Californians with strong safeguards on public health and safety reinforced by state peace officers, we can mitigate undue risks to our public.”
Only in California would people say release inmates early due to safety and not sell guns to lawful buyers for safety.
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