Since the death of George Floyd, many in the city of Minneapolis have called for the police to be “defunded” and disbanded. However, as the residents of the city are finding out, that makes for a rather dangerous situation. And one that has driven many to begin buying firearms en masse.
As WCCO, a local CBS affiliate reported, “Background checks in Minnesota spiked in March as COVID-19 hit the United States, with more than 96,000 filed – the most for any month in 20 years.” and now due to the riots, civil unrest, and the continued calls for police departments nationwide to be defunded, those numbers are only rising.
“Kory Krause, the owner of Frontiersman Sports in St. Louis Park, says demand again grew following George Floyd’s death last month, and it is still climbing.”
Krause told the news outlet, “People are really scared coming in here. We had a three-four hour wait just to get up to the counter during the height of… the rioting.”
And I don’t doubt it. When people are scared, they want to feel like something can and will protect them. Nothing quite does that like a gun, even if one has little to no experience.
It’s one of the reasons why police officers are called to handle chaotic situations and crimes.
But now, after the city decided to defund the police, the good people of Minneapolis are essentially on their own.
The newly found independence from law enforcement has many second-guessing their recent decision and wonder if a huge mistake was made, especially in the more impoverished areas of the city.
As the Star-Tribune noted, the lack of a police force looks different depending on what side of it you live in, as the North Side has experienced a massive spike in crime and violence since the City Council announced their pledge to defund the police.
“I know on one side of the city, it looks beautiful for defunding to happen,’ Franklin said from the parking lot of Merwin Liquors as investigators marked shell casings that fell inches from where his car had driven. ‘But her on this side of the city, I’m scared if you defund the police … Is it going to turn into World War III over here?”
And this isn’t the only citizen to note the crime and chaos that is quickly taking over the city.
Steven Belton, who is president and CEO of the Urban League Twin Cities, has also noticed a “significant, dramatic uptick” in violence and crime in general since the fateful day that nine of Minneapolis’s City Council members voted to do away with the police.
The Star Tribune took his story, noting that he called the decision an irresponsible one. Belton, like many in the city, honestly believes that some sort of reform or transformation needs to happen within the police departments of Minneapolis, but he says that “defunding” them isn’t the answer.
He also noted that those who made the decision did so without any consultation or consideration from anyone besides those in their own inner circles. No one with severe sway or participation in the black communities of Minneapolis, especially those on the North Side were included in the decision. But the wealthy white citizens most certainly were.
But even these more prestigious persons are beginning to understand the consequences of not having law enforcement around.
As the New York Times reported, one predominantly white neighborhood now refuses to call the police for anything. But that vow is being tested now that a homeless encampment of about 300 has moved into the local community park.
Their once-quiet streets are now seeing double the amount of traffic and a severe increase in crime. Drug dealers walk their sidewalks, contributing to the recent overdose of two individuals in the park. Even prostitutes have set up shop on their street corners.
And that’s not even the worst of it. Recently one man was robbed at gunpoint by two teens.
It has left parents afraid to let their kids play in the park. Adults are losing sleep over thoughts that some campers may break into their home. And yet, the police are still not called.
No wonder gun sales are booming in the city. If the police aren’t allowed to protect and serve, who will?