Gee, whodathunkit? Let’s allow the streets to burn, demand the dismantling of the police department, and then call concern over property crimes and assaults a symptom of “privilege.” Minnesotans have responded by rediscovering one of the core purposes of the Second Amendment — mainly first-time firearms buyers, local CBS affiliate WCCO reports.
“People are really scared,” one gun-store owner says, and they should be:
The spike started with the COVID-19 shutdown, which shows that Minnesotans had an inkling of what might be coming. Demand is rebounding with a fury after the riots, however:
Background checks in Minnesota spiked in March as COVID-19 hit the United States, with more than 96,000 filed — the most for any month in 20 years.
Kory Krause, the owner of Frontiersman Sports in St. Louis Park, says demand again grew following George Floyd’s death last month, and it is still climbing.
“People are really scared coming in here,” Krause said. “We had a three, four hour wait just to get up to the counter during the height of … the rioting.”
Chris Hardin was in the store Wednesday picking up a shotgun he bought. He already owns a handgun, but the recent unrest near his home in Minneapolis got him thinking about his family.
“A little scary,” Hardin said. “You just have to protect yourself, you know. Be prepared.”
What happens when civic authority retreats? Those with the most credible threat of violence fill the vacuum. That’s what happened in the riots themselves, and that’s what happened in Seattle, too. Police “protection” on a personal basis has always been a myth anyway, but without them, order and public peace are impossible in cities of any significant size. Under those circumstances, people will find ways to defend themselves and their property, and they won’t have the training or experience that trained police officers bring to the job.
Minneapolis residents have started to question whether defunding the police will work out well for them, especially in poorer areas. “Is it going to turn into World War III over here?” one North Side resident asked the Star Tribune as a spate of violence has convulsed the city after the council announced it would find a way to dismantle the Minneapolis PD:
Now those forces had converged in the latest of a spate of shootings on the North Side, as city leaders scrambled to call in outside law enforcement to help stop the violence.
“I know on one side of the city, it looks beautiful for defunding to happen,” Franklin said from the parking lot of Merwin Liquors as investigators marked shell casings that fell inches from where his car had driven. “But here on this side of the city, I’m scared if you defund the police … Is it going to turn into World War III over here?”
Surveying the block, Steven Belton, president and CEO of the Urban League Twin Cities, noted a “significant, dramatic uptick” in violent crime since June 7, when nine Minneapolis City Council members publicly pledged support for defunding police.
Belton called the move irresponsible, even as he supports transforming the department. He said those council members had not consulted with people who have a stake in the black community, particularly those on the North Side.
Violent people “have used that sound bite — ‘defund the police’ — as an indication that there is no consequence, that there is no policing, and [concluded] that they are free to do whatever they want to do,” Belton said.
They did “consult” with the wealthier white progressives in Minneapolis, who initially were all aboard with the “defund” effort. They even checked their privilege and pledged not to call police. And that has worked out … pretty much exactly as you’d expect:
After the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police, Ms. Albers, who is white, and many of her progressive neighbors have vowed to avoid calling law enforcement into their community. Doing so, they believed, would add to the pain that black residents of Minneapolis were feeling and could put them in danger.
Already, that commitment is being challenged. Two weeks ago, dozens of multicolored tents appeared in the neighborhood park. They were brought by homeless people who were displaced during the unrest that gripped the city. The multiracial group of roughly 300 new residents seems to grow larger and more entrenched every day. They do laundry, listen to music and strategize about how to find permanent housing. Some are hampered by mental illness, addiction or both.
Their presence has drawn heavy car traffic into the neighborhood, some from drug dealers. At least two residents have overdosed in the encampment and had to be taken away in ambulances.
The influx of outsiders has kept Ms. Albers awake at night. Though it is unlikely to happen, she has had visions of people from the tent camp forcing their way into her home. She imagines using a baseball bat to defend herself.
Not being able to call the police, as she has done for decades, has shaken her.
“I am afraid,” she said. “I know my neighbors are around, but I’m not feeling grounded in my city at all. Anything could happen.”
It’s probably belaboring the point to note that this is why cities have police departments. That point apparently requires belaboring these days in the Twin Cities, at least among the utopian progressives. The people who get impacted the hardest by a vacuum of leadership already know this — which is why gun stores in Minnesota are doing a booming business this month. And I’d bet that the wealthy white progressives cheering on “defunding” might make up a significant part of that first-timer demand, too.