Protesters are converging on Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on April 20, 2020.
They are rallying against the state government’s recent measures that has shut down most of the state.
Some of the protesters will not be wearing masks, which runs against most health guidelines states are taking these days.
“I’m definitely not going to be out there shouting at people for not wearing masks,” commented Chris Dorr, the organizer of the rally taking place at the statehouse. “This is a free country, right?”
Dorr, is an Ohio Second Amendment activist, who recently created the Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine Facebook group as a way to give people a voice against the shutdown measures. On April 16, 2020 the page was able to attract 20,000 members. The next day it had over 46,000.
“It’s going insane, quite frankly,” he said.
Pennsylvania officials learned about the gathering and have cautioned Pennsylvanians to not attend.
“If you come to Harrisburg and you’re not practicing social distancing, then you are putting all of yourselves at risk,” Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s health secretary, said on April 15. “So if a gathering like that happens and they’re not practicing social distancing … then they will be more at risk for contracting the dangerous virus.”
Troy Thompson, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Department of General Services, said that Capitol building is closed and public gatherings are not allowed. The department is still on guard about the “unauthorized” plans for a rally and is preparing as we speak.
“We strongly discourage anyone from attending any public gathering at this time,” Thompson stated in an email on April 17, 2020. “Protesters who gather on Monday will be placing themselves and others at significant risk of COVID-19 infection.”
Dorr’s Facebook group is one of various organizations spearheading the rally which also features ReOpen PA and End The Lockdown PA. Joel Underwood, a spokesperson for the groups, said participants are encouraged to practice social distancing and “make their own choice as to whether to remain in their vehicle or not.”
According to Underwood, 1,400 people have indicated that they’ll attend, and two elected officials, State Representatives Aaron Bernstine and Russ Diamond will be speaking.
Dorr, 37, said he created the Facebook page from a “constitutional approach” to rally against the shutdown, believing the government “overplayed their hand here” based on misleading data and overblown models.
“They are not adapting quickly to those new numbers,” he stated. “Economic destruction is mounting like a tidal wave.”
If Democrats Win, Will Guns Sales Go Through the Roof?
No matter who wins in 2020, the biggest story of this election cycle has been the record levels of gun sales. In a piece titled “Guns Sales Break Records With Gun Control Legislation Likely If Democrats Win”, Newsweek highlights the meteoric rise of gun sales in 2020 and how these sales will only go up under a Biden administration.
It’s likely that a Biden win on November 3, 2020 will give life to gun control measure such as universal background checks, assault weapons bans, and national gun buybacks. Scott Reeves of Newsweek noted that “coronavirus pandemic, urban riots and the likelihood of increased regulation if the Democrats win the White House, regain control of the Senate and hold the House” have led to the unprecedented firearms sales. A Biden win would only accelerate this trend, as people become frightened by the prospect of gun control.
Through September, background checks recorded by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) reached 28.826 million. This total surpassed 2019’s record of 28.369 million, representing a 28 percent increase, according to the FBI report. As of September 30, Illinois was leading the nation in background checks with 5.6 million. Reeves noted that other states such as Kentucky (2.364 million) checks, Texas (1.730 million), Florida (1.386 million), Indiana (1.203 million), California (1.187 million) and Pennsylvania (1.030 million), were also experiencing significant upticks in gun sales.
Since NICS came into effect on November 1998, a total of 361.830 million background checks for all purposes have been completed since the program began in November 1998.
Zogby Analytics provided some more data showing how enthusiastic Americans are about buying guns:
Zogby Analytics in Utica, New York found that the number of gun owners increased 3.9% between October 2019 and October 2020 to 31.3% of the population. The number of individuals in a household keeping a gun at home, work, vacation cottage or club for personal protection, hunting or target shooting increased 7% to 42.2% in the last year. Membership in the National Rifle Association, a gun rights advocacy group, increased 6% to 17.7% in the last year, Zogby’s polling found.
“While there is fierce debate in Washington D.C. and among voters about what certain types of guns and accessories constitute ‘assault weapons,’ adults in the U.S. are buying and keeping more guns,” Jonathan Zogby declared.
Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, an anti-Second Amendment organization, is of the opinion that uncertainty brought about by the Wuhan virus pandemic, riots, and the election are contributing factors to the rise in gun sales.
“Typically, gun sales rise in times of fear,” he said to Newsweek. “We live in a time when there’s a lot of fear, including fear that there might be more gun regulation with a Democratic President and Democratic majorities in Congress. And, there’s been a lot of unrest.”
Americans actions speak louder than their words. Even if Joe Biden does the unthinkable (and the very unlikely) by winning on November 3, his administration will encounter stiff resistance from gun-owning Americans across the political spectrum.
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