All of us can agree that emergency situations, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, blizzards, and the like, can be difficult situations. And it’s not just surviving the weather emergency itself that is the problem. After the cause of the problem (weather, earthquake, etc.) is over, the people living through it still have to survive, find safe drinking water, food, electricity, deal with sanitation issues, and fend off looters.
It can be a real nightmare, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
Sadly, though, there are some politicians who try to make the situation worse for those who are trying to survive the aftermath of the emergency and to protect their families. How do they make it worse? By closing down gun stores in the area so that legal gun owners (and those who would like to be, especially in that situation) can better protect themselves, their families, and their supplies to help their families survive.
This isn’t just speculation. We saw that more than once in New Orleans after a hurricane hit that city. The results, as you likely know, weren’t pretty. Looting and violence were the norm, not the exception.
One state, though, has decided to do something different during emergencies, and it will drive anti–2A people nuts. Bill Pan writes,
Alaska’s Republican-led Legislature has approved legislation that would prohibit local and state officials from singling out firearm and ammunition retailers when shutting businesses during a declared emergency.
House Bill 61 states that firearm businesses can’t be forced to close, shorten their business hours, limit their sales, or hand over merchandise during a declared state of emergency unless the government equally does the same to all other businesses.
The measure now heads to the desk of Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy to be signed into law.
The Senate version of the legislation initially included language that would allow the government to shut down gun stores while still keeping certain businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, clinics and hospitals, and hotels and motels open during an emergency declaration. This language was removed with an amendment by state Sen. Bill Wielechowski, a Democrat representing East Anchorage.
According to Wielechowski, firearm and ammunition stores are just as important as, if not more important than, grocery stores for Alaskans, who rely on hunting as a way of life and sustenance.
“We have many people who live in rural communities and don’t have access to grocery stores,” Wielechowski said last week on the Senate floor.
“The reality is that, for many people in rural Alaska, going to ammo shop is essentially going for subsistence hunt and provide for their families.
“So shutting down the firearm retailers … and saying we can keep grocery stores open, for example, for many that’s just not realistic in Alaska.”
It’s good for the people of Alaska that their representatives (even Democrats!) get it about guns. Wielechowski is absolutely right: when there are no open grocery stores, being able to hunt may be your only way to feed your family.
I would add that those guns may be necessary to protect your life and the life of your family members, too.
So, rationality (something sorely lacking among anti–2A people) would have us reclassify firearms from a tool of violence (even if, technically, true) to a survival tool just like pocket knives or water filtration systems. Because that’s what they are.