The National Rifle Association uses the pandemic to promote the sale of guns

I’m just going to drop this here and leave, because it makes me sick. This NYT article shows the National Rifle Association, facing budgetary constraints and increasing calls for more gun controls, fighting to get gun stores classified as “essential services” that must stay open during the pandemic. Why? Because the NRA sees “the government’s coronavirus response as a threat to Second Amendment rights.” But why the threat, then? Because the NRA is fear-mongering: touting apocalyptic scenarios in which people need guns to defend their stuff against their neighbors—or against the government.

And so the organization is suing New York State, which has ordered gun stores closed as “nonessential services.”

Click to read:

An excerpt:

. . . demand for firearms has been surging as lines form at some gun stores during the pandemic, with background checks rising more than 40 percent in March from a year earlier, developments seen as an opportunity by the N.R.A.

“This has brought new people into the gun rights movement,” Mr. Arulanandam said. The surge in sales, he said, would “end up strengthening us.”

The group has been retooling its strategy. Many on the right played down the virus, including at the N.R.A. — Willes Lee, the board’s second vice president, called it an “election ploy.” But the organization itself has focused on the ramifications of the sweeping response in many states, sending out messages to its supporters with headlines like “COVID-19: Threat to Second Amendment” and “Pandemic Exposes Dangers of So-Called ‘Universal’ Background Checks.”

On Wednesday, the N.R.A. tweeted about the sharp rise in gun sales: “what do they expect when they are releasing inmates while closing gun shops during a pandemic.” The group has also circulated a video in which a disabled woman holding an assault weapon issues a warning to people buying extra food: “If you aren’t preparing to defend your property when everything goes wrong, you’re really just stockpiling for somebody else.”

Yes, this is just what we need: people shooting each other over their stocks of toilet paper.  I would think that the NRA’s self-aggrandizing behavior would turn people off, but look at the growing demand for guns mentioned above.

What a country!

100 Comments

  1. Alan Jardine
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Indeed, what a country you poor guys live in. Here in the U.K. we have no gun stores to shut down, nor any (legal) guns.
    Alan.

    • Jim Danielson
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      The UK has 1.3 million shotguns and slightly over 500,000 other registered guns which includes rifles, long barreled revolvers, pistols, airguns that exceed certain muzzle energy limits.

      There are also a few gun stores, probably fewer in total in the entire UK than a typical American mid sized town.

  2. Mark
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    “These are men who are anxious about their ability to protect their families, insecure about their place in the job market, and beset by racial fears. They tend to be less educated.”

    They rely on guns to compensate for their weakness and insecurity.

  3. Hempenstein
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I remember a story from yrs ago about a guy in Texas who was sitting on the throne. A fly landed on his toe. He pulled out his gun and shot the fly, taking his toe with it.

    I can imagine the NRA parading him around like some sort of hero.

    • Jim Danielson
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      The account @wellregulatedmilitia on Twitter points out stories of Americans shooting themselves and others.

      Most posts start with “A member of our well regulated militia…” then something horrific, negligent or monumentally stupid they did.

      I never realized how many Americans accidentally (negligently) shoot themselves in the leg, or how many shoot someone while screwing around with a gun then say “I thought it was unloaded.”

      • Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        I’m taking the online gun safety course from Dick Cheney!

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        Bill Bryson has a chapter from a book of his where he goes through the statistics for injuries/fatalities in America; obviously guns are high up there but he focuses on the less expected threats, like clothing(?), toothbrushes(??), ceilings(???), etc. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.

        • EdwardM
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          Toothbrushes?!?! Good lord. I don’t even want to know.

          • Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

            I’m thinking toothbrushes sharpened into shivs in prison. But I watch a lot of tv so perhaps I have this wrong.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Wayne LaPierre, the cloddish and corrupt longtime CEO of the NRA, also once shot himself in the foot. Whether he, too, was trying to fend off an attack by a fly that had alighted on this toe, I don’t know.

  4. JohnE
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    While the pandemic has created certain shortages, there isn’t — and never will be — any shortage of crazy.

  5. Randall Schenck
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    The NRA will go as low as necessary to sell guns. As more members die from the virus there will be more gun shows to resale guns of the dead. Let’s call them memorial gun shows. It will be like the depression era farm auctions in the 80s when many farmers went under. Gun owners also go under literally. Eventually we will hit the hard times when there are not enough fingers to pull the triggers.

    • mike cracraft
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      I consider the NRA to be a proto-fascist organization. If Trump decides not to vacate the White House after his November defeat, the NRA thugs will be out in full force to support the rebellion.

  6. JezGrove
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s difficult for anyone outside the US to understand the obsession with guns over there.

    • GBJames
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      It is difficult for me, too, and I am inside the US.

    • Mark
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      It’s cultural.

      I don’t understand the UK obsession with “royalty.”

      • JezGrove
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        Yes, the obsession with royalty is a mystery to some of us Brits, too.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        I don’t understand the US’s obsession with our royalty. Every American news site I read has regular news on them, often with their own dedicated section. The Daily Beast even has some kind of thing where you subscribe and they feed you all the ‘hot goss’ on which inbred layabouts are refusing to talk to each other this week. Other countries are obsessed too. I do not understand it.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          Reckon it’s a case of the grass being greener on the other side of the pond. Or maybe they secretly long for a listing of their own in Burke’s Peerage.

          Royals are simply a subspecies of the genus Eurotrash, you ask me.

      • JP415
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        A lot of Americans are obsessed with royalty. I can’t read an American newspaper or go to an American website without seeing a story about Megan Markle and Prince Harry. I hope I never have to hear about that couple ever again!

        • Mark
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          “A lot of Americans are obsessed with royalty.”

          I think it’s mainly a female thing in America.

          Define “a lot.” I doubt that it’s comparable to the number of gun nuts.

          But yes, I’m sick and tired of the whole bunch.

          • JP415
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

            I agree that it is mostly a female thing. But news outlets keep running stories about the royals because somebody out is there is reading them.

      • Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Well, at least the Royal Family gave up killing people a number of centuries ago.

        • Mark
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

          “Well, at least the Royal Family gave up killing people a number of centuries ago.”

          WUT?

          • Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

            Back in the 16th century our Royal Family was a pretty homicidal bunch.

            • Mark
              Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

              Yes, but I don’t see how that’s relevant to the current obsession with them.

              • Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

                Obsessions with guns get people killed. Obsessions with the Royals don’t.

  7. Jon Gallant
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    You poor chaps in the UK have my deepest sympathy for the sad lack of gun shops, for suffering under a national health system, and for the absence of scammers with fake IDs calling you by telephone twenty times a day. Why, I’ll bet you poor benighted limeys even subject your government to the indignity of regular questions in Parliament.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your commiserations!

      But we share with you the unspeakable benefits of scammers ringing us up many times each day. I use my mobile for almost all my phone calls, but I still keep a landline just in case. Literally every call I receive on that device is a con of one sort or another.

      What gets me is that they are so transparently ridiculous. I cannot think who might be taken in by them. Yet there must be plenty of dupes out there, or the scammers would surely give up.

      • Mark
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        Simple – don’t answer unknown numbers.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted April 4, 2020 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Same in NZ. I keep a landline because that’s the only thing my mother will call me on. Almost every call I receive is a scammer, or at least someone wanting to sell me something (like a time share).

  8. Christine Marie Janis
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    So glad I moved back to the UK!

  9. tomh
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    A federal lawsuit was also filed 3 days ago in the San Francisco Bay Area by the NRA along with gun store owners and others because gun shops were ordered closed as non-essential. Of course, the Trump Administration also issued over the weekend a non-binding advisory calling gun dealers an essential business that should be allowed to stay open during the national emergency.

  10. eric
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I would think that the NRA’s self-aggrandizing behavior would turn people off, but look at the growing demand for guns mentioned above.

    I would not take the NRA’s word on whether the increase in gun sales is over new owners vs. current owners buying more guns. AIUI (see here for example), gun ownership follows something almost like a power law, with 2/3 of Americans not owning a gun at all, the majority of gun owners owning ~2-3 guns, and the top 3% of gun owners owning half the entire civilian stockpile of guns. A conservative guess would be that the the people responsible for gun purchases now are the same people responsible for gun purchases at any other time – i.e., that top 3%.

    But, then again, if ‘the madness of crowds’ causes regular people to overvalue toilet paper, I guess it could easily cause us to overvalue guns, too.

    “If you aren’t preparing to defend your property when everything goes wrong, you’re really just stockpiling for somebody else.”

    This is about as valid as saying gun collectors are really just stockpiling guns for the ATF or the FBI.

    • Roger Lambert
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      I also would not trust The NRA figures. But I also have doubts about the stats from other surveys.

      There are a lot more reasons for people to deny having guns in the household than to falsely avow that they do.

      And its a curious thing that the total number of guns supposedly in America hasn’t gone up much in decades, yet gun sales have been booming since the 1980’s. And that is just domestic manufacturers. There is also a huge market in America for military surplus guns from all around the world.

      For what it is worth, many people think there may be 600 million guns in the US.

    • Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Anyone know if the Mormon stockpilers also are well armed?

      • max blancke
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        I would assume they are. All the Mormons I know are pretty well armed.

        I also think that the people waiting in lines to buy guns these days are not current gun owners. I don’t have any data on that, but it seems logical. If you already have a safe full of guns, it makes no sense to be waiting for hours in a line, during a pandemic, to pay elevated prices.
        Not that civil unrest is particularly likely. However, it does seem a bit more likely than it did a few months ago.

        My persona concern along those lines would be that the current situation is causing general stress and anxiety, and people sometimes behave unpredictably under stress.

        • GBJames
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

          Real gun owners don’t need any damn safes.

          I expect the number of deaths due to gunshot to increase substantially in about a month’s time. There are a lot of very stable genius types cooped up with their weaponry and paranoia. Most of the victims, of course, will be spouses and children.

          • max blancke
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

            I suppose by “real” you mean a fictionalized stereotype of careless, ignorant and hateful gun owners.
            Everyone I know who owns guns has a safe or vault to keep them in, and is careful about securing them.

            But back to the original subject- reading some interviews with some of the subject gun store owners, it seems like a lot of the buyers are suburban first-time purchasers, of no particular political background.

            Is it misplaced fear? I think probably. Law enforcement is certainly being scaled back. As larger percentages of police officers find themselves sick or quarantined, there will probably be even less enforcement.
            People try to think a couple of steps ahead, and prepare for the worst side of the likelihood curve.
            With the toilet paper thing, I really think that the idea of running out sort of stuck in people’s heads. It is easy enough to buy some extra rolls (if you can find them), and just cross that off the list of things that you need to worry about.
            Most people are wondering how bad it can or will get. A lot of people come from families where some of the older folks have experienced some pretty messed up stuff. Maybe they are going from “That can’t happen here” to “it is very unlikely that it will happen here”. Some of them are likely at “It probably won’t happen here”.
            They are trying to think ahead, and one of the things that is on their mind is the possibility of self defense. If that possibility does not materialize, they can always sell it or chuck it in the bay.

            I do not think my house is going to catch on fire, yet I have two kinds of commercial fire extinguishers (dry chem and C02) near both entrances to my home, and in my shop. I probably won’t ever use them. But to me, that is not a thousand dollars wasted. nor is it about my being obsessed with fire. However, I have experienced fires. I have those extinguishers so that I don’t have to worry whether I will have the tools on hand in the unlikely even that a fire should happen.

            • GBJames
              Posted April 3, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

              Very few people are killed by accidental discharges from fire extinguishers. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of them being used to kill someone in a fit of rage or fear.

              Talk about your false equivalence.

        • eric
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

          If you already have a safe full of guns, it makes no sense to be waiting for hours in a line, during a pandemic, to pay elevated prices.

          Agreed it makes no sense. But people are scared, and scared people make nonsensible decisions.

          The picture of the long line is actually from the L.A. Times. Here’s a quote from the article from which it comes: “Stone’s packed store shares a small strip of road with a church, a cemetery and another gun shop, and in recent days he has sold several firearms to truckers traveling along Interstate 44 here in Oklahoma. One trucker, who was headed to Arizona, bought $2,500 worth of firearms and ammunition, and another trucker, who was headed to Illinois, dropped $200 on ammunition alone.

          “You got to be protected for all sorts of stuff,” Stone said. “Seems like the world has gone mad.”

          Does that sound like current gun owners are thinking “I’ve got a handgun and a couple of clips; I’m good”? Nope. It sounds like people who are thinking “this is my last chance to stockpile before civilization ends”.

          • max blancke
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

            I got paywalled trying to read the article.
            It is hard to tell much from those dollar values. $2,500 could be one gun and a couple of boxes of ammo.

  11. Historian
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    The NRA is playing its usual ground game: stoking an apocalyptic fear that the good law abiding, God fearing, Trump loving folks are under threat by the “other.” Up to now the “other” were immigrants (particularly men with rapist tendencies) or thuggish black people. Now the “other” can be your next door neighbor out to steal your food. Thus, the NRA is once again sowing division and hate with its law of the jungle hate mongering.

    I would love to know how many of these people already possess a mini-arsenal. But, what the hell, one more gun can’t hurt.

    • JezGrove
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      One more gun can probably hurt (somebody else) a lot, I expect.

    • eric
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      See my post above. Most gun owners own 2-3 guns; 3% of gun owners own half the guns in the US. It’s IMO far more likely that the majority of the people shown in that line already have one than that they don’t.

    • Brujo Feo
      Posted April 5, 2020 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      Fascinating, this obsession with the number of guns someone owns.

      Before the Thomas Fire, I had five motorcycles and five bicycles in the garage. And two mini-vans, although of course I can only drive one at a time. No one ever seemed to find that remarkable.

      Right now, let’s see…I’ve got 4 violins, 2 violas, five guitars, a couple of amps, and who knows how many effects pedals. No one ever told me that they thought that strange.

      How many guns do I own? I’d have to go down to the safe and count them (although I keep a list with serial numbers for insurance purposes), but I think it’s a shotgun, three rifles, and probably a dozen handguns or so. There are five listed on my CCW permit at any given time (yes, I have to qualify with each of them, timed fire out to 25 yards, which is a hell of a lot farther than you think it is), but that’s just so that I can sell any of them if I wanted (although I never have), and still have one.

      Have there been any recent instances of people going berserk with more than two or three? (I mean actually using them–not just having them lying around the hotel room.) And if not, who cares how many were left at home, or in the trunk of the car?

      • tomh
        Posted April 5, 2020 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

        So in your view, the test for whether a person should be allowed to amass an arsenal, is whether they have gone berserk or not? That seems like a pretty low bar.

        • Brujo Feo
          Posted April 6, 2020 at 12:07 am | Permalink

          tomh: “That seems like a pretty low bar.”

          First kudos on your linguistic flair. I might have said “buy a bunch of guns,” but let’s face it, that’s not NEARLY as scary as “amass an arsenal.”

          My point was that it’s focusing on the wrong thing. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be tests for whether someone should be able to buy ONE gun, and we can discuss the efficacy of such tests, and how they might be improved. But that someone has a few or many, I’m unconvinced of the relevance.

          In articles about the Charlottesville murder by car, or the various Islamist vehicle attacks against pedestrians, I don’t recall ANY mention of how many cars they had in the driveway back home.

      • Mark
        Posted April 6, 2020 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        “Fascinating, this obsession with the number of guns someone owns.”

        There’s some irony in your opening sentence.

        It seems that you might have hoarding disorder.

        Hoarding ranges from mild to severe. In some cases, hoarding may not have much effect on one’s life, but in worse cases it can have a serious effect on one’s daily life.

        But more specifically, hoarding guns can be indicative of a much more serious and potentially dangerous issue.

        “Gun hoarding” can be the result of a paranoia that someone is “out to get you,” and so forth.

        Musical instrument hoarding? Not so much.

  12. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    When it comes to working a grift, the NRA is on par with televangelists.

    • W.T. Effingham
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Yup. Grift while the griftn’s good. If the grift’n ain’t so good, do whatcha can to make it goodlier.

  13. Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    “Yes, this is just what we need: people shooting each other over their stocks of toilet paper.”

    Sounds like something out of Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know, maybe I was too young for Brazil at the time, but I always preferred Twelve Monkeys.

      …Thinking about it, the plot of the latter is a bit eerie given current events. I’m finding that the case with a lot of pop culture these days…all those films/games/books, the plots of which revolve around viruses and infections and hordes of crazed civilians scrambling for bread rolls and toilet paper.

      It’s unnerving how we humans seem to spend our spare time vicariously placing ourselves in various horrific apocalyptic scenarios. An alien coming down to earth and surveying our popular culture might think we actively want shit like this to happen.

      • JezGrove
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        Twelve Monkeys was based on the short (28 mins) film La Jetee, comprising black and white still photographs: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Jetée
        I watched it online a couple of months ago, but it seems to have disappeared now (copyright infringement, I guess though doubtless it keeps resurfacing).

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:15 am | Permalink

          Thanks for that. I didn’t know about the connection and I’ve never seen La Jetee, but just reading the plot synopsis in the link sent a chill up my spine. I love those kind of time-travel, causal-loop stories.

  14. Andy Lowry
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    “If you aren’t preparing to defend your property when everything goes wrong, you’re really just stockpiling for somebody else.”

    The only state I know of that allows deadly weapons to be used to defend property is Texas. Even my wide-open-gun-law state of Arizona doesn’t allow that.

    As a long-time target shooter and firearms owner, I remember a time when the NRA was a safety and marksmanship organization. I even had a membership back then. Seems like another universe now. Now it’s the fascist wing of the Republican party. Their recent structural, financial, and legal troubles had given me some hope that they were on their way out, but it seems they’re still around somehow.

    • Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      I know exactly what you mean about the degradation of the NRA. I was a competitive (target) pistol shooter back in the day, and before that, when I was a kid, my dad and the NRA were absolute tyrants about gun safety…and rightly so. Now it seems the most rabid gun proponents are the least responsible individuals, including and especially the NRA itself. It’s like having a collection of known drunk drivers lobbying for the loosening of traffic laws. They all seem to have learned everything they “know” about guns from watching cheesy action movies.

      • eric
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        It’s more like if there was a National Car Association dedicated to making sure people drove safe cars, and it was run by Ford and Toyota. Do I need a new car? Of course I do!

        • Posted April 6, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          I would say FUNDED by Ford and Toyota, but with a membership that disproportionately includes people fond of texting and driving, and who think alcohol makes them drive better.

    • Brujo Feo
      Posted April 5, 2020 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      “The only state I know of that allows deadly weapons to be used to defend property is Texas.”

      I’m not going to propose a law-school exam question over this, but I would note that yes, if the cops come and find you with an unarmed dead guy holding your toilet paper, you’re likely to have problems.

      On the other hand, especially should that person be armed, and if your spouse and kids are in the house, it’s an open question how much the D.A. is going to want to dispute your claim that you reasonably believed that he wasn’t there just for the paper goods. It’s always a question of fact.

    • tomh
      Posted April 5, 2020 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      @ Andy Lowry
      I’m not sure what you mean that Texas is the only state that allows deadly force to “defend property.” At least 28 states have adopted ‘stand your ground’ laws, which allow a person to use deadly force if they believe they are being threatened with personal injury. If someone is holding a gun on you and demanding your property it’s hard to imagine they don’t feel threatened with personal injury.

  15. Mark R.
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Seems this pandemic is bringing out the ugly and the beautiful. Unfortunately, ugliness always seems to triumph in desperate times.

    What a country! A very ignorant one.

  16. MacSlernz
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    This madness is not just a U.S. occurrence Jerry.

    Here in NZ, people queued outside gun shops to buy guns and ammunition before the lockdown was due to start.

    Gun sales are controlled here so people cannot buy a gun without a permit. Apparently, most were buying air rifles, which do not require a licence. I cannot understand why people bought these types of guns. Nor could the gun shop owners, they said that the air rifles are weak and basically harmless.

    Others stocked up on ammunition hoping to go hunting during the four-week lockdown period. But hunting has been banned because people are not allowed to venture into the wilderness. I am glad about that because duck shooting season is about to start. Fewer ducks will be shot this year.

    • Jon Gallant
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      But mustn’t there be some way for people to combat the menace of ducks attacking their toilet paper stash? Why, btw, is venturing into the wilderness banned? Is there a fear that humans will transmit the plague to New Zealand wood pidgeons, or vice versa?

      • JP415
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        National and state parks have been closed here in California, which seems unnecessarily harsh to me. Now millions of people are cooped up at home with nowhere to go and nothing to do. In order to protect us from the virus, public officials must make everyone as miserable as possible.

      • MacSlernz
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Venturing into the wilderness is banned by the government because of safety risk. While traipsing around the back blocks you could stumble and break a leg. Emergency services would need to come and rescue you. The government’s thinking is that presently health professionals have enough to deal with the virus. Injured people would take up valuable hospital beds and resources that are needed for virus victims.

        Kereru (native wood pigeon) are not affected by the virus as far as I am aware.

  17. littleboybrew
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    With such deep faith in God you must have a gun to provide protection.

    • JezGrove
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      And a flaming cross on the lawn so everyone knows your religious affiliation.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      The Lord helps those who help themselves with maximum firepower.

      • JP415
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        “God favors the side with the biggest battalions.”
        — Napoleon Bonaparte

        • JezGrove
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          “Trust in God, but keep your (gun)powder dry.”
          – Oliver Cromwell

          Even the faithful can see the limitations of their belief.

  18. KD
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Come now, its only a short period of time before COVID-19 mutates and turns people into cannibalistic zombies.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      The virus won’t have to do anything at all if my local place doesn’t get more deli pastrami sandwiches in stock. I’m quite prepared to start gnawing on a few passers-by if my sandwich needs are not met.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        For a price, I could argue that one as justifiable homicide.

        Or at least temporary insanity.

        Never get between a man and his pastrami.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted April 4, 2020 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          Amen to that. Everybody has something that’s getting them through this: religion, family, creativity; my thing is pastrami.

  19. Roger Lambert
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Let me be the Devil’s advocate.

    There is a reason people are buying guns like crazy and it ain’t because they are nuts.

    When you see bare shelves in supermarkets for all sorts of products; supermarkets restricting their normal hours; hospitals overloaded and losing their nurses and doctors; a shutdown of normal services and businesses; personnel in every supply chain not able to work; a massive spike in unemployment, and talk about activating the National Guard to patrol the streets I would propose it is not unreasonable to ponder the breakdown of society.

    Much of our economy utilizes a just-in-time system. And that system is in jeopardy from this pandemic.

    I myself would have purchased my first pistol a week ago if the members of my household would not have freaked out about it.

    Covid-19 has changed our entire lives in a profound way in a little over two weeks. It is not unreasonable to be prepared if, God forbid, those supermarket shelves stop being refilled and families start going hungry. Three days of starvation will make almost anyone do unspeakable things.

    • Mark
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      “supermarket shelves stop being refilled and families start going hungry. Three days of starvation will make almost anyone do unspeakable things.”

      Having a gun is unnecessary. I’ll show that I don’t have any food either – unless you want to shoot and eat me.

    • Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know…anyone who’ll do unspeakable things to others after only 3 days of going hungry is pretty far gone to start with, I would think. Most people–especially in this country–can survive without food for quite a little while. Not that there seems too much danger of that being a big issue. There’s a lot of money still to be made producing and selling food–and toilet paper–and grocery stores are pretty universally exempt from closure. Even restaurants are still doing takeout and delivery around here.

      As for getting one’s first pistol in response to a perceived or threatening crisis…I think that’s about as good an idea as deciding to learn to drive for the very first time in your life because you think you might want to take part in some Death Race 2000 type competition next week.

      • tomh
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        It’s true that the underlying food supply is sufficient, but the supply chain is at risk. Starting with (illegal) immigrants in the fields, packing houses, truck drivers, all these links in the chain are at risk as long as the virus disrupts life.

        • GBJames
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          If only we could find a way to get rid of all those immigrants! Maybe we should build a wall! That’ll help!

          • tomh
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

            There’s probably no worse breeding grounds (maybe prisons) for the virus than the conditions these people work in. We can see who the actual essential workers are now.

        • Jim Danielson
          Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

          The supply chain is not at risk.

          The “3 days” often mentioned is food in the supermarkets and local warehouses and does not take into account food in peoples pantries, cupboards, fridge and freezer. Most people have at least a week, even if they are reduced to eating ketchup and rice or jam and PB on a spoon.
          I have two freezers and a large walk in pantry.

          A truck driving course can be finished in 3 weeks. In an emergency they could reduce that to a week or less for people who aren’t complete idiots. I’m not saying it’s an easy job, but they could do it. Lots of people used to with minimal training.

          If transportation people started getting sick all at once (one more reason they issue stay at home and distancing orders) they can focus on food and medical supplies.

          A forklift course takes a day and I would guess in many places a course isn’t required.
          People will be available to work in warehouses.

          They would also use the military, reserve and national guard, all of which have trained drivers, but that is extremely unlikely to be required.

          Right about now a lot of people would jump on the opportunity for those essential service jobs. More so the longer this goes on.

          If all the produce pickers disappeared there would still be enough staple foods. Many large commercial farms don’t even need humans to run the combines/harvesters, they use autonomous equipment.

          Meat processing plants require humans but fewer than ever and we could live without as much meat, or any. It would suck but we could.

          • tomh
            Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

            Well, that’s an optimistic view, I’ll give you that. Are we prepared to take any of the steps you propose? This New York Times piece, by an economist who focuses on food, Will the Coronavirus Threaten Our Food?
            goes into detail about what may lie ahead. The food supply chain is a complex, worldwide network, and the outcome will depend on more than just giving up meat, or training truck drivers.

            California produces a third of the nation’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts, almost all dependent on guest workers to produce, 90% of them from Mexico. The United States relies on foreign suppliers for almost 20 percent of its food, including 80 percent of its seafood. All imports are at risk, particularly since other countries will do what they can to protect their own. Steps should be taken now to plan for these scenarios, but with this administration…

            • Jim Danielson
              Posted April 3, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

              I think you read a very different article than I did. He’s talking about increased food prices, not apocalyptic food shortages in America. If you can afford a gun your better off saving that money for food. Food prices will probably climb, and yes, some imports may be effected.

              He mentioned the very same thing I did just worded differently, using people who are out of work to take over jobs, except you dismissed the suggestion.

              He did not suggest we should go out and buy guns because your neighbor is going to eat you.

              What the article implies is processing plants may be affected short term, global trade might be effected, but the article did not say there was going to be pandemonium in shipping internally to the US. Or even world wide.

              Yes, the world wide food market is complex, yes, some countries will stop shipments. In 2008 they did for rice (Google 2008 rice crisis). America hardly noticed. Most Americans probably weren’t even aware it happened. It caused a short term run on rice but supply quickly resumed because the US grows rice. Lots of rice.

              The Arab Spring is thought to have been caused by an increase in wheat prices after poor harvests in Canada and Australia.
              America didn’t notice the increase, it amounted to pennies on a loaf of bread, most of which was swallowed by the industry.

              America produces enough food to feed itself twice over. Twenty percent imports is very little, supermarkets throw that much out. Some of that is what would have been luxury items fifty years ago. Some is a case of America exporting beef to one country while importing it from another. If it becomes cheaper to use American beef, they will.

              You understand that those countries workers are reliant on those exports to the US? Many countries will not want to stop them. They depend on them, and food processors are working in other countries, just like the USA. And vegetable/fruit pickers have to eat too.

              Yes, Trump and Republicans have really screwed the pooch and are unlikely to do better, they don’t have to order people who are unemployed to get work, people who aren’t making enough to get by will do that themselves.

        • Posted April 6, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          You make a good point. It’s certainly something to be cautious of.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        The only possible reason it could ever be considered rational to go out and tool up is if you lived in a country where every nutjob already owns a gun.

        That’s the catch 22 situation in America – people argue that they need guns to protect themselves from all those other people who have guns.

    • eric
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      I would propose it is not unreasonable to ponder the breakdown of society.

      I’m pondering. If someone comes to my house looking for toilet paper, I’m going to share it with them or give a polite “no,” not shoot them.

      And if I run out first and got to a neighbor’s house looking for toilet paper, I’m to politely ask, not invade their home and threaten their family. And in response to my polite ask, I’m going to expect them to share or give me a polite “no,” not shoot me.

      Pondering some more, I notice that the police are still on duty.

      So, after pondering these things, I see no rational reason to go out and buy a gun.

    • GBJames
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Most of the people panic buying guns already have a stockpile of them from previous panic purchases. Don’t you remember when they had to build their armories up when Obama came to take their guns?

      Short version: Yes, they’re nuts.

    • littleboybrew
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. Jesus may be fictional, but some of the words attributed to him have merit.

    • Jim Danielson
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Supply lines are still running for food, gas and many other essential and non essential products. My store is loaded with rice, flour, meat, canned food, bread and produce shipped from all over the country. The only thing they didn’t have was egg noodles and my favorite brand of oyster sauce.
      Oh, the humanity.

      The manufacturers and processors of food are still running and stocking warehouses. The empty shelves are/will be temporary until people have stocked up, if they already haven’t.

      It’s not as if there have been major crop losses or Covid-19 is killing so massive a percentage of the population that things are falling apart. Even if it did kill 75% of humans food would still be sitting in warehouses. Consumption would drop by 75%.

      Even if the health care system collapsed completely there would still be enough truck drivers and warehouse workers. They aren’t highly educated careers that require years of schooling.

      Farmers are still farming, ranchers are still ranching, dairies are still doing what they do. Dairying? Truckers and trains are still distributing products.

      The USA (and Canada, Australia, Russia) grow far more food than they use, they are food export countries. We are not going to run out of food. Canada grows enough wheat to feed itself ten times over.

      If people are hungry it’s likely because they were living paycheck to paycheck and are now unemployed. Supporting local food banks and getting government assistance to them will do far more than hunkering down with guns.

      Even if some hungry people turn to crime they are going to do what most criminals do, low level crimes that give the most return for the least risk. Theft. Black market.

      All we have to do is look at the Great Depression when there actually were farms and crops failing (the dust bowl). Even so the US, Canada, UK didn’t fall to unspeakable acts.
      Besides eating rancid horse and donkey.

      Start worrying when there are major crop losses in more than two of the major food suppliers. Even then those who will suffer the most will be the poorest countries.

      Worst case is a solar flare that wipes out the worlds electrical grid and electronic equipment. That will kill billions. Then you’ll need a gun and least one bullet.

  20. Joe Hahn
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I am not surprised by this. This organization encourages gun violence in my opinion so why is this any different?

  21. loren russell
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    “people shooting each other over their stocks of toilet paper”

    Not sure the TP crisis has gone from cold to hot lead yet, but last week in Eugene OR, someone smashed a car window to steal a 12-pack of 2-ply!

    • JezGrove
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Gives “let’s roll” a whole new meaning.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted April 3, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Since the COVID breakout in Louisiana may be traceable to Mardi Gras, it gives the old New Orleans saying “laissez les bon temps rouler!” a potential new connotation, too.

  22. Ken Kukec
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Gov. Mike Parsons of Missouri, though he’s yet to order a statewide stay-at-home order, has been johnny-on-the-spot in making sure that Missourian’s concealed-carry permit expires during the corona pandemic.

    Don’t tell me the governors in those big, square, empty red states dunno what’s crucial.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      “that NO Missourian’s”

    • tomh
      Posted April 3, 2020 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      The 12 states that haven’t issued stay-at-home directives are all run by Republican governors. And some residents are celebrating– “Let’s be honest, what country do we live in?” Brian Joens of Iowa City, Iowa, told USA Today. “It’s the USA, which is freedom, freedom to choose. When we get notes from the government saying do this or do that, it feels like that’s not what this country is built on.”

  23. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    I bet that the National Rifle Association gets direct financial support from gun manufacturers for all their “good work” on their behalf.

  24. JezGrove
    Posted April 3, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Even Dirty Harry doesn’t need a .44 Magnum now: “I know what you’re thinking. Did he wash his hands six times, or was it only five. You’ve got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel fluey? Well, do I punk?” (All credit to tonight’s BBC Radio 4 The Now Show for that one!)


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