Wed. Aug 12th, 2020

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

For safety during a pandemic, consider the Second Amendment

3 min read

People wait in a line to enter a gun store in Culver City, Calif., Sunday, March 15, 2020. Coronavirus concerns have led to consumer panic buying of grocery staples, and now gun stores are seeing a similar run on weapons and ammunition as panic intensifies. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

By LOGAN PALMER

Staff Writer

It would not be an exaggeration to say that the current Coronavirus pandemic has us all concerned to some degree. Health, financial concerns or maybe social limitations might have you worried. But, have you thought about whether or not you have the means to protect yourself during a pandemic? If you haven’t, then you might consider practicing your right to bear arms.

In any threat of civil turmoil and potential unrest, people naturally seek out ways to ensure their well-being. While a good mask, social distancing and adequate sanitary practices protect people from the virus, firearms protect the individual from those who seek to take advantage of chaos.
In the United States, citizens of all backgrounds and creeds are purchasing firearms at a rate that has rarely been observed before. ABC News reports that in many areas, gun stores are seeing as much as a 60 percent increase from normal sales. A few have reported as high as 80 percent in some blue state cities such as Los Angeles. Websites such as ammo.com reported a staggering 300 percent increase in sales at the end of March. Both first time owners and seasoned veterans of the market are stocking up on arms and munitions to protect both their life and liberty.

What we ought to ask is whether or not these actions are unfounded. Are people acting out of unnecessary fear or is there a logical premise behind their thinking that perhaps even you should consider? There is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to answering these questions, and it is advised that you research the crime statistics of your local community when considering your options.

Nationally, there is on average less crime being reported by people as they are sequestered in their homes. Local law enforcement agencies all over the country are receiving fewer calls and are making fewer arrests, as cited by popular news outlets such as ABC, USA Today and the Washington Post.

However, due to the outbreak, violent crime such as burglaries, grand theft, assault and even murder have been reported at higher rates than what is considered normal. Cities such as Houston Texas saw as much as a 20 percent increase of such crime, according to Chief Acevedo of the Houston PD. Break-ins, home invasion and even hostage taking have also occurred in states around the nation.

Chances are, violent crime has not gone up where you reside off campus. This has only been true for certain cities or areas that are normally plagued with violent crimes in the first place. What is most concerning are not these statistics, but rather the availability of law enforcement.

During a time of pandemic, first responders are not nearly as available as under normal circumstances. As PBS news reports, resources and manpower are being focused towards other matters and officers of the law have been further stretched to maintain order and functionality. Law enforcement agencies are shifting their attention from enforcement to clearing out the justice system, removing inmates from jails and putting those with plea bargains back out on the streets. Many of the convicted are wearing ankle monitors to keep them in check. Rest assured, law enforcement will come in the event of an emergency but likely later than usual.

At this time it is best to seek out the necessary means required to protect yourself. Many of us have, or live with someone who has, access to these tools. If firearms are a foreign matter to you, seek out the help of your family or peers and allow them to teach you about the proper use and safety required for whatever style of firearm available.

Additionally, the internet has a wealth of knowledge when learning about firearm discipline and safety. Youtube is an especially important resource as you are guaranteed to find numerous videos about any firearm you could possibly purchase and want to know more about.
There is a great deal of civic responsibility incurred as a firearm owner. There is no amount of explaining that can drive that reality home. With many more new owners and first time users than there were three months ago, it is important that 2A enthusiasts, such as myself, carefully explain the why and how behind ours and your right to bear arms. We want beginners to stay safe and succeed in these related endeavors. Please consider the previous advice and protect yourself sooner rather than later. 

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