American gun retailers, hard hit in recent years by the absence of a Democratic president threatening to curtail Second Amendment rights, were hoping presidential hopefuls Biden and Sanders would spur sales. But then the coronavirus threw a wrench in the works.
Joseph X, owner of a gun store in Memphis, Tennessee, confided his “dirty secret” in an anonymous CNN interview: “Publicly, we support Republicans, but many of us secretly vote for Democrats. We were all praying for Beto O’Rourke in the primaries, or as VP now. We estimated a 40% boost in sales if he’s anywhere near the Oval Office. But then this damn Chinese virus comes along, hitting us like a blast of 00 buck.”
Joe related the story of a new customer who had special ordered a Colt Commander .45 pistol: the customer called to cancel the order after successfully deterring a mugging without a firearm. “He just coughed real loud, saying ‘I got it!” and the muggers took off like Tyreek Hill of the Chiefs going long. End of story. End of sale.”
Gun retailers and citizens across are telling similar stories. In Seattle, a woman returning to her car in a Wal-Mart parking lot was grabbed by an abductor, but she simply coughed out “Corona! Corona!” and he dropped her like a hot potato. But criminals are also getting wise to the tactic. In Modesto, a serial bank robber approaches tellers with a N95 mask, pulls it down over his chin, then threatens: “Gimme all the cash or I blow Corona all over your shit!”
It’s unclear if such a crime constitutes armed robbery. But Joe X is disconsolate; “Even the damn criminals are going unarmed now, to get a lesser charge if they get caught. This really is a sick country!”