Gun Buys vs. Gun Votes

It’s election season and everyone is trying to predict how people will vote. Now mix in COVID-19, a near complete national shutdown of the economy, millions of people thrown out of work, business and lives destroyed and lost, violent criminals being released from prison ‘for their safety’, police departments being defunded and services cut, and the ongoing “peaceful protests” a.k.a. riots around the country. It’s no wonder we’ve seen absolutely unprecedented firearms and ammunition sales around the country, many of them by first time buyers. But does this mean more votes for or against gun control politicians as some are predicting? Sadly no, but you know what, that’s not what is important. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 spread, and the politically motivated shutdown that has lasted MONTHS beyond the initial “two weeks to flatten the curve”, there has been a run on firearms and ammunition unseen in this nation’s history. NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) inquiries, the federal background checks used to estimate firearms sales, have broken records for months with no signs of letting up. 

But there’s something different about this spike vs. previous ones. Most of the time firearm purchases increase after a horrific event and there is fear of political knee-jerk reaction laws to limit access to firearms and ammo. The fears are of course well-founded as gun control extremists and their political allies realize they can cram through otherwise unobtainable laws under the mantra of “never let a crisis go to waste”, even if it means politicizing the victims while they are still bleeding and acting before the cause is actually known. 

This spike has been different. With COVID-19 national shutdown of the economy, convicts being released en masse into the community, law enforcement services being curtailed, daily riots and destruction around the country and random, unchecked violence everywhere, people are genuinely and rightfully concerned for their safety and the safety of their families. In many places, the fear of not being able to get a law enforcement response for hours, if at all, to a plea for help in a crisis has many who have never before owned firearms flocking to gun stores. 

I’ve seen estimates around the country of anywhere between 40% to 70% of purchasers are new to firearms. They come from all walks of life, races, ages, religions and political affiliation. Far more than the normal amount are women. Many of these new purchasers also have no idea what it really takes to purchase a firearm leading to a host of amusing, yet very sad, stories from around the country. 

So, what does this mean politically? Do all of these new firearm owners mean a sweep for Republican or anti-gun control Democrat candidates? No. It means absolutely nothing. And, that’s okay. 

Purchasing or owning a firearm has very little to do with political party affiliation. During my time in the firearms industry, managing a firearm retailer, gunsmithing and operating a small private shooting club and range, I’ve met firearms owners from every point on the political spectrum from off the scale left to the hardest of hard-core right. Just because you own firearms, doesn’t mean you don’t support gun control. I’ve met people you would think to be anti-gun control such as law enforcement, ex-military, a gun range operator and even the owner of a firearm manufacturer who are very pro-gun control. At the same time, one of the biggest anti-gun control advocate I know is a Democrat. 

Modern political party affiliation, especially in urban areas, generally means you have bought onto the full party platform. For Democrats, that means you support gun control. For a politician, if you don’t support the party platform, you’ll very quickly find your Party support and money gone and a new Party supported Democrat running against you.  In rural areas, where there is less focus on the national party platform, politicians from both the major parties are more reflective of their constituents. 

The other thing to remember is very rarely does the citizenry directly vote on gun control measures. There are exceptions, but for the most part we vote for representatives, who then vote for or against gun control. As we’ve seen, many politicians run on a very strong anti-gun platform, at least during the normal campaign season. Then, in the final run up to the elections, gun control is purposefully faded to the background so as not to discourage those who may hold strong firearm rights views.  Sadly, as the State of Virginia found out, once elected, gun control becomes the primary focus with politicians claiming their victory is a mandate for gun control. 

What this all boils down to is firearm purchases are going to mean very little, if anything at all, to the elections. People are going to vote for the party or person they feel best represents their values. Gun rights and gun control is a part of that, but it is very unlikely to switch someone from a blue to red vote. 

My take on this is that’s okay. While I wish more people would place the Second Amendment and firearm rights higher up on their priorities, it is not a requirement for firearm ownership. Second Amendment protected rights apply to EVERYONE equally, no matter their political party affiliation, just as it should be. People owning and using firearms makes them and their families safer, just as it should be. 

So what do we do? We welcome new firearm owners into the community. We help them with training, places to shoot, competition, hunting, sports and self-defense information. We invite them into our clubs and associations so they can be the best and safest firearm owners they can be. If we can also help them to see how important their Second Amendment protected rights are at the same time, then maybe sometime, someday, somewhere, they’ll bump that a little higher up on their priorities. In the meantime, we simply welcome them. 

Bob

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Re-fund The Police

For two months we’ve heard the call to “Defund The Police” and “Reimagine Public Safety” from extremist city councils, mayors and governors who have labeled all law enforcement agencies and every officer a racist. Police budgets are being ‘defunded’ while some cities are actively working to completely abolish their police departments. In the meantime, the remaining officers are being prevented from doing their jobs. While many of the budget cuts have yet to go into effect, we are already seeing the result in these American cities. Every category of crime has skyrocketed. Brutal, random violence has become commonplace. 

Maybe it’s time to stop living in this fantasy dreamland and recognize that evil will always exist and if you don’t have the police, that progressive model of a community love is going to be a war zone. Maybe it’s time to stop experimenting with people’s lives and re-fund the police.

The numbers speak for themselves. Chicago homicides have increased 50%, 139% in July alone. Atlanta 240%. New York City 277%. Houston, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Portland and Seattle have all seen significant spikes in homicides and shootings. And this is ONLY homicides and shootings! 

Yet contrast these numbers with areas of the country that have NOT given in to the ludicrous accusations of systemic racism within their law enforcement agencies and you find no increases. Amazing. It’s almost as if giving the mob what it wants makes life for every citizen in that city worse. 

But it’s not just the act of crime, it’s the fact that some people now feel it’s perfectly acceptable to simply beat the crap out of anyone, or just outright kill them, if they disagree with the current mob position. 

What kind of violence have these “defund the police” politicians enabled?  Shooting and killing a man walking across the street with his daughter holding his hand. Beating a pregnant woman and head stomping her toddler daughter. Shooting and killing a woman who had the nerve to say “All Lives Matter”. Killing an eight-year-old passenger in a car driving through a BLM controlled intersection. Beating airline employees because a flight was delayed. This is to say nothing of the extortion demanded out of stores and restaurants who don’t give into the social and economic demands of the mob movement.  

Why is this happening? Because there is nobody there to stop them. Criminals, anarchists and thugs are able to do whatever they want because there are no consequences.  Even if the police are allowed to apprehend them, they know there is little chance of being charged or held as extremist prosecutors have been dropping charges against rioters as quickly as they are arrested. Should they ever find their way into a courtroom, as long as they say “systemic racism in the justice system” they will never have to pay for their crimes.  

But now there’s an interesting trend happening. Citizens in these ultra-liberal cities are fed up with the violence, the extortion, the discrimination and the disruption caused by these social justice warriors and the governments that support and sponsor them.  They are starting to demand their police departments be re-funded and re-enabled to actually fight crime in the streets. 

New York City residents are demanding the NYPD anti-crime unit be reinstated. Seattle residents are demanding their police department not be abolished. Minneapolis residents are demanding police protection in their neighborhoods. These people, along with others around the country, have already seen what happens when the police are pulled back just a little bit and they don’t want anything to do with it. 

For whatever problems any law enforcement agency has, sacrificing the safety of the general public for some false utopian vision of an ideal society is not the way to solve it. Law enforcement has made incredible progress from where it began in this country, and it will continue to do so. Allowing the very same city councils, mayors and governors who have always been responsible for these departments to suddenly declare them as being too systemically racist to continue to exist is not the answer. 

And for anyone who missed it the last time, I’ll say it again:

Just in case you’re thinking that because I was a law enforcement officer, I’m going to support officers no matter what, you need a reality check. Nobody hates bad cops worse than other police officers. Each and every professional officer out there wants nothing more than to see bad cops stripped of their badges and held accountable for their unlawful actions. Period.

It’s time to support the good men and women of law enforcement and enable them to do their job. It is NOT acceptable to kill, rape, assault, burn, steal or extort others in your community. If you make the conscious choice to break the law, you should be apprehended and face the full consequences of the law. It doesn’t matter your race, gender, nationality, religion, vocation, status, wealth or appearance. If you break the law, you should pay the price. 

It’s time to let justice be revered in our country once again. It’s time to re-fund the police. 

Bob

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Where’s The Police When You Need Them?!

What better irony could there be than the words of the District of Columbia Delegate after she and a reporter were nearly attacked in the so-called ‘Black House Autonomous Zone’. This while standing on words “Black Lives Matter” painted on the street, looking for the police to protect them while advocating to defund the police. Politicians kowtowing to the mobs are doing all they can to defund, disband and abolish local law enforcement agencies across the country. They are more than willing to sacrifice your safety, but still demand the police protect them. It’s the future of law enforcement and it’s all about who controls it.  

It’s an injustice every Second Amendment supporter can relate to, all law enforcement officers are being blamed and punished for the actions of a single, bad officer. Without proof to support the accusations, and abundant evidence showing the opposite, the entire law enforcement community is being accused of systematic racism so severe that the agencies themselves cannot be salvaged and must be completely dismantled.  The pre-history of police in the Southern states going back to the days of slave patrols is being used as indisputable proof of their continued racial bias and support of white supremacy nationwide today. It doesn’t matter how many years have passed or how much progress has been made since then, the old ties to slavery is considered a fatal flaw that cannot be corrected. 

Again, I’ll state there is nothing more patriotic than exercising your First Amendment protected right to petition the government for redress of grievances along with the right to peaceably assemble. But what was a legitimate protest for justice has become a full-scale effort to erase history and reshape society to conform to some utopian dream. Eliminating local police departments, which has long been the goal of centralized government advocates, was ever so easy to slip into the current mob agenda.  

What we are seeing today are not peaceful protests, they are riots. The MOMENT these so-called peaceful protesters start shooting at police, throwing rocks, bricks, bottles filled with urine and other substances, breaking into stores and looting, vandalizing private property, tearing down statues, vandalizing public property, beating, raping and killing, you no longer get to call it a “peaceful protest.” 

We’ve already seen some of this new vision for our country. Those who can afford it will be protected by well-armed private companies. Example: The Minneapolis City Council’s hiring of a private security company for $4,500/day of taxpayer money to protect themselves, a job formerly handled by Minneapolis Police Department they are defunding. Elsewhere, gangs control their own neighborhoods as they have since the riots. Sharia patrols enforcing Sharia law in their communities. At the same time, private citizens who take up arms to defend themselves are ostracized and severely punished.  

Municipalities defunding their police departments will invest that money in the new “public safety services prioritizing a holistic, public health-oriented approach”, “restorative justice” and social services. These massive new government agencies will in very short order, fail miserably.

Why they will fail is easy to understand. Criminals, thugs, gang members and terrorists who already don’t fear the police, the courts or prison systems, aren’t going to give a damn about what the community thinks about them or taking responsibility for their actions. These are the same people who attack, rob, rape or kill innocent people on a whim, steal whatever they want  and will fight an armed police officer to death if they get in their way. These are the same people who loot stores and burn down businesses in their own neighborhoods.  A “holistic, public health-oriented approach” isn’t going to turn them into better citizens, ever. 

At some point, the people and any remaining businesses in these communities are going to get tired of being victimized by the criminals, thugs, gang members and terrorists as well as the local government agencies. Local governments won’t ever be able to defund social services, even the ones that aren’t effective, and they won’t have the money to establish police departments again. Everyone then turns to the state for help. 

State law enforcement agencies who have been spared the accusations leveled at the local departments, will be tasked with limited law enforcement in these communities. All policy, direction, oversight, control and accountability will be taken out of the hands of local elected officials by a state level appointee. It will never be as timely or effective as the former local department, but it will be just enough to say the state is doing something. Welcome to the state-controlled local police. 

Of course, this is just my take on what will happen and it’s only one of many possible scenarios. Opening the government wallet to people who have no concept of public safety, criminal justice or history beyond their own vision of an ideal world is going to produce many costly and ineffective plans. When they fail, the lives and property lost can be blamed on the next scapegoat and another plan devised. 

Keeping your community from becoming a government funded sociology experiment where the conclusion has already been written means you have to speak up now. It is your safety and the safety of your family that is on the line, not the politicians or special interest groups who will always be protected. It means taking control back from a vocal minority of moral elitist politicians who are willing to sell their votes to the loudest mob and the biggest contributor, all at your expense. 

What do you want for your community?  

Bob

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