Tags: guns | policing

Reimagining of Policing Policies Reflected in Explosive Gun Sales

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By Friday, 18 September 2020 09:43 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Gun sales typically become elevated with every presidential election cycle, but for this one, they're off the charts. Although the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton may have ranked high in the annals of greatest-ever firearms markets, the upcoming Biden-Trump contest beats them all with a record 5 million sold so far.

Sales had previously surged by a whopping 3 million purchases amid Obama administration threats of new restrictions on firearms ownership in the wake of the Sandy Hook School shootings. The Brookings Institute reported that this year's buying rush, however, was driven even more by desires for personal safety than by limitations on access.

No doubt about it, lots of people are afraid of rampant "reimagined" police defunding policy-endorsed lawlessness in major Democrat-controlled cities. Unsurprisingly, many are increasingly distrustful that they can count on those same politically-beleaguered and betrayed law enforcement professionals to protect them. Yes, and there are sound reasons for concern that a Democrat win will also cost them access to means for self-defense — just as they have repeatedly promised.

We watch "mostly peaceful" protests (as described on mainstream media) devolve into violent and destructive arson and looting binges. We witness anarchist hoodlums destroy buildings, vandalize properties, and hurl objects and expletives at police in full confidence that, if arrested, they will either be quickly released without bail or not even charged.

Many suburban residents and businesses are concerned about protections from lawlessness as well. We can all be reminded of the helpless plight of Mike and Pat McCloskey in St. Louis, who after defending their home from threatening mobs, were treated by legal officials as if they were the offending criminals.

There's little wonder then why, according to a Washington Free Beacon analysis of FBI data, July alone saw a sales record of nearly 1.8 million guns — a 133% increase over July 2019.

Especially notable are the numbers of new gun owners, along with others who aren't the sorts of demographics we might ordinarily expect.

A late August big data nationwide poll of 2,169 likely voters conducted by The Epoch Times showed that one in nine Democrats (nearly 12% of those surveyed) bought a gun within the past three months, along with about 19% of Republicans who did so.

The buying trend was particularly strong in the 18-19 age group (more than 22%), African Americans (22%), union members (nearly 32%), urbanites (more than 19%), and those earning more than $200,000 (19%).

The Epoch Times poll also showed that Americans oppose defunding police by a wide margin (61% against 24% for, and the rest undecided.) Republicans opposed the move more sharply, with 77% against, while a plurality of liberals supported it, with about 43% pro versus less than 35% against.

Given that gun rights are a hot-button issue for many voters, the record 2020 firearm sales may have implications regarding some November electoral college outcomes. In Pennsylvania, a key swing state, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) tabulated that there are 276,648 first-time gun owners this year. Donald Trump won the state in 2016 by only 44,292 votes.

Respondents to a Monmouth University poll out this week revealed that 65% regarded "maintaining law and order" as a big problem that spans party and racial-ethnic lines.

The poll reported: "Republicans and Independents who lean toward the Republican Party (77%) are the most likely to say this is a major problem. Only 46% of white non-Republicans agree. However, non-Republicans who are Black (60%) or of another race or ethnicity (66%) are more likely than White non-Republicans to feel this way."

A September poll of 1,150 voters conducted by the Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler showed that just over a third of Texans polled say they own at least one gun. Of the 17% of new purchasers of a gun within the past 90 days, more than half were first-time buyers. About half of those surveyed expected civil unrest to occur.

Thousands of first-time purchasers who were concerned about social unrest lined up at North Carolina gun stores as well.

Clay Ausley, owner of Fuquay Gun and Gold in Charlotte reported a 300% increase in sales with lines frequently trailing out the door. He told the North State Journal, "Some people are trying to protect their businesses in these areas that are getting damaged and torn up."

Ausley added that while election years typically increase business by about 50%, this year they fear the election outcome either way. If Trump is reelected, social unrest may intensify, but if Biden wins, he may push for gun control.

Among countless other examples, numbers of new gun buyers have been unusually high in southeast Michigan as well.

Chad Shimunek, owner of the Black Arsenal in Stevensville observed, "(Customers) are concerned because of riots, upheaval, protests and talk of defunding the police. They live in areas where police responses are a concern based on location and make them think about their own safety."

Mike Sharkey, owner of the Gun House in St. Joseph, Michigan said that firearms and ammunition are "flying off the shelf" with about 70% of the purchasers being first-time buyers. "They're worried about the future and what's happening in the world."

The New York Post reported that the state's gun sales spiked 121% in June.

For any of you that may be considering buying a handgun for the first time, I will close this with some personal advice I posted in a Forbes column seven years ago that applies equally today. At last count, the article has received close to 300,000 reader views.

I also posted an article about personal handgun responsibility almost exactly a year ago in this column.

First and foremost, take a reputable firearms training course such as one offering handgun carry permit classes. Although they won't make you a marksmanship expert, they will instill basic safety protocols and important knowledge regarding legal restrictions and liabilities.

Then go ahead at becoming proficient at an enjoyable new sport shared among lots of really nice responsible people.

Meanwhile, we may soon forget the old adage, "When seconds really count, police are only minutes away."

Your new response to a midnight call to a Department of Safety and Social Relations emergency line may soon become, "Thank you for your call which is very important to us. Please either leave a message at the sound of the tone or contact us between the hours of 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday."

And, "Have a pleasant evening or weekend."

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. Larry has written more than 700 articles for Newsmax and Forbes and is the author of several books. Included are: "How Everything Happened, Including Us" (2020), "Cyberwarfare: Targeting America, Our Infrastructure and Our Future" (2020), "The Weaponization of AI and the Internet: How Global Networks of Infotech Overlords are Expanding Their Control Over Our Lives" (2019), "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful" (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015) and "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax" (2011). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.

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Gun sales typically become elevated with every presidential election cycle, but for this one, they're off the charts.
guns, policing
Friday, 18 September 2020 09:43 AM
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