US election anecdotes: From gun control to securing homes and businesses against vandalism

3 weeks ago 9

# Three days to go to the election. Big blue-sky day in Texas. Sunny, but breezy and cool. A hint of fall colours here and there, golfers on the fairway, the sound of traffic on the highway muffled by the woods in between. All good, like the suburbs are supposed to be. Almost perfect.

Almost.

# Was on the phone in the morning with a working mom from the burbs who has a flat in downtown Dallas. Her son is using it now. She said the building had hired special security for November 3, Election Day. Ah, I said.

She'll also be removing her Biden-Harris yard signs by Tuesday afternoon-when early trends start coming in. Just in case Biden is leading. Best not to take a chance. Too many guns around. And much militia, committed to thwart a "rigged" Biden win.

# How many guns? What militia? Still coming to grips with the big picture. America has more guns in the hands of civilians than it has civilians. About 120 guns per 100 people. Yemen, a country which America is purportedly trying to end a civil war in, has about 50 guns for every 100 Yemenis.

# In swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, gun sales are up by 80 per cent. Ammunition sales nationwide are up 139 per cent this year. Republicans own more guns than democrats by wide margin. Whites own more guns than people of colour per capita by a factor of about 1.5.

# In the past week, Walmart, first removed, then restored guns and ammo on its display shelves. The removal had resulted from fears of civil unrest and looting, which has affected some of its stores. The reversal came after a threat. Gun owners said they would take their custom elsewhere. Walmart makes the top five in nationwide gun sales. Last year, consultants advised that guns were near 'retail irrelevance', taking up space better utilised stocking dog treats and diapers. They didn't have any idea what was about to happen in 2020, did they?

# Is it just me, or is there really a sizeable intersection between the Venn diagrams of gun groups and hate groups? The Black Lives Matter protests reached a crescendo in the middle of 2020, following George Blake's killing and a few other video-recorded homicides.

Gun sales reached their peak in June, Militias took to America's streets to "help" the police, protect businesses and prevent their country from descending into lawlessness. Trump defended the actions of these groups. Fox news called them patriots.

No, it isn't just me.

# Who are these guys who take (poorly) coded orders from the President? Trump talked about the 'Proud Boys' in the first debate with Biden. Asking them to 'Stand back and stand by'. I looked up another group, the 'Oath Takers'.

Like most such groups, these guys meet online, and materialise with their guns at hot spots. They have been told-and believe-that there's going to be widespread voter fraud this election. They are on the lookout, ready to prevent it.

A piece in the Atlantic paints a picture of their leader, Stewart Rhodes, made the whole thing real. Rhodes is an ex-serviceman and a Yale alumnus. He sees a not too distant future of socialist tyranny. A dystopia which Trump promises will happen if he is removed from office by the deep state via a cunning electoral coup.

When a Trump supporter was killed in Portland, Oregon, Rhodes exclaimed: "Civil War is here, right now'. He paid very dearly for this. Twitter banned him.

Rhodes is an ex-serviceman, and, like Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, a Yale Law grad. About two thirds of the members of his group are ex cops or former military men. They have guns, they have training.

Rhodes himself is a gun injury survivor. He once dropped a loaded gun. It went off, taking out his left eye.

# There's another side. This thing called 'Antifa'. It is the rise of these business burning, sneaker looting, cop hating antifascists, who are responsible for this frenetic gun buying. They have to be suppressed, hence the hardware requirement. That's the argument made by the Tiki torch bearing marchers of Charlottesville.

Also, antifa's secret leader, Joe Biden, will ban both mass shootings and guns, if he becomes President. Better load up now.

# There's yet another side. The Atlantic said that Rhodes was deeply affected by the events in Waco, Texas. That was in 1993, the same year he lost his eye to his handgun.

Government forces laid siege to an armed Christian sect, outside Waco. More than 70 members of the sect fell in that battle. To Rhodes, the incident illustrated exactly why the American Constitution gives its citizens gun rights: to battle a tyrannical state. That state is coming, according to his President. It's either Trump or tyranny. Any patriot would choose Trump.

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