Record arms sales: why a pandemic forces Americans to arm themselves en masse
Many gun stores in the United States are now unable to cope with the increased demand. Because of the coronavirus, Americans are massively arming themselves. Edition DW tried to find out what is the reason for this reaction to the pandemic.
Mason Fan has been shooting since childhood. Amid a pandemic, the son of Vietnamese immigrants decided to tackle improved accuracy. According to him, many Americans now feel insecure.
“A lot can happen due to a pandemic and general insecurity - riots or people just go crazy. Racism also plays a role. With weapons, I can protect myself and my family, ”he says.
Shooting ranges and weapons stores in Virginia, despite the lockdown, are open, because they were included in the list of critical infrastructure.
At the Clark brothers ’shooting range, there are twice as many people as usual. Their family has been in this business for decades. But Sean Clark says he has never sold as many weapons as he does now.
“Some people say they don’t know what to do in this situation. If I have a weapon, then another thing. If someone wants to take something from me, then I can stand up for myself, ”he says.
In gun shops, people rarely wear protective masks. Here too few people pay attention to the need to observe social distance. But many visitors to the shooting range have their own idea of why Americans began to show increased interest in weapons.
“I attribute this to the fact that we Americans in the countryside are just crazy. We believe that coronavirus leads to a new apocalypse. And we, for inexplicable reasons, are afraid, ”says one of Clark’s clients.
Some experience fear, others make money from it.
Anyone who wants to buy something at a popular weapons store in Arlengton, in a suburb of Washington, must wait an hour in line. Until recently, there was nothing to trade here - people bought everything.
The owner of the store, Sean Poulin, says that now it is difficult for him to cope with the increased demand.
“We cannot satisfy all the desires of our customers. We simply don’t have the choice of pistols, shotguns and rifles that we could offer before. Cartridges buy like toilet paper. People take them too much, they will never need so much, ”he said.
For Mason Fan, a pandemic is no reason to buy new weapons. For him, training at the shooting range is also an opportunity to go somewhere, because now he has to work from home. According to him, weapons are necessary for survival. In America, they always thought so.
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