JOHNSTOWN (Dagbladet): – Yesterday I was so busy that I did not have time for a lunch break or to go to the bathroom, Meyers says to Dagbladet.
He is the general manager of Sporting Goods Discounters in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. In recent months, he and other arms salesmen have noticed a dramatic increase in sales.
– It has been exceptionally busy. We have many new first-time buyers who buy small arms. We also have all those who like to use weapons for recreation, who use the extra time in the pandemic to go out and shoot the weapons they already have.
– Why do you think there are so many first-time buyers?
– There has been a panic. This is the first time in our lives, even we middle-aged people, where we have had to be quarantined at home for months. Unknown waters always create uncertainty. Many people think that if they are going to be home for months, they are preparing to protect themselves in addition to having enough food and clothes, says Meyers.
Recent figures from the FBI show that the number of background checks carried out when someone buys a weapon has increased by 41 percent in the first nine months of 2020 compared to 2019. According to Reuters, eight of the ten busiest weeks for background checks occurred this year. The statistics go all the way back to 1998, and the busiest week was in March when the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the coronavirus was a pandemic.
At the end of September, 28.82 million background checks had been completed in nine months in 2020, compared with 28.36 background checks throughout 2019, writes Forbes.
Meyers shows how the shelves inside the store have been picked out. Many of the new gun buyers will either have a shotgun in the closet at home, or a small gun they can carry around legally around Pennsylvania.
– All semi-automatic pistols, which cost less than 500 dollars, shotguns and AR-15 seem to do very well, he explains.
At the same time, experts warn that the aggressive language used by the US President, Donald Trump, can give blood on the teeth for extremists who want to resort to political violence, writes the New York Times. Among other things, Trump has asked his supporters to go to the polls and “watch out” because he claims that there will be election fraud on a massive scale. Earlier this year, he also tweeted among “Free Michigan!” and “Free Virginia!” in response to severe coronary restrictions imposed by Democratic Governors Gretchen Whitmer and Ralph Northam. The FBI now claims to have revealed plans by extreme militias to kidnap the two.
There have also been several examples of how the massive demonstrations against racism and police violence ended in violent clashes in several places in the United States where right-wing extremist militias have emerged.
The former officer and police chief Donald, who does not want his last name in print, comes in to buy a new Glock. It’s far from his first weapon.
– I think there are two reasons why more people buy weapons. First, people are unsure of how the election will go. If Democrat Joe Biden is elected, historically, he will be more anti-gun than anti-gun. Secondly, there is a lot of social unrest. On a national basis, you see riots and looting, and I think it makes people want weapons to better be able to protect themselves and their properties, Donald tells Dagbladet.
He will not say how many weapons he has.
– I have weapons for several reasons, one of them is for protection.
Donald admits that he is worried about how tense the situation is in the US at the moment.
– I think everyone who has a little common sense is worried. So the question is how do you react to things. I’m a retired military officer and retired police chief, and I believe that guns in the hands of good people are a good thing. Weapons in the hands of bad people are a bad thing.
He himself has voted in all presidential elections since 1972. This year is no exception.
– Who I will vote for, I keep to myself. But I am conservative, for the police and against abortion. Does it give you any idea?