Yesterday, while driving to the grocery store, I was asked for money three times while waiting at red lights. One man actually knocked on my window, gesturing to me to roll it down. He stood there staring at me, clearly angry, when I wouldn’t. I wasn’t that scared at that moment but what did disturb was that I had never seen people asking for money on that stretch of the road. Yesterday, there were three!

Other strange things have started to happen in my normally very safe neighborhood. Car break-ins have increased, as have car thefts (two cars were stolen last month on a street right around the corner from my house). While these stories are just anecdotal, the media is also reporting on this trend. 

For instance, Mother Jones reported this week that domestic violence 911 calls are increasing and that Coronavirus and stay at home orders are likely to blame. The DailyKos also reported this week that there’s been a spike in severe child abuse cases amid the coronavirus quarantine. And Breitbart News recently interviewed Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo who said burglaries are up 20 percent in the city since the issuance of “Stay-Home, Work-Safe” orders put in place by Harris County. Acevedo added that “…some people are seeing the shutdown of businesses as a target-rich opportunity.”

Yesterday, the New York Post reported that crime in New York was up about 12 percent over the first three months of the year.

Five of the seven major index crimes — robbery, felony assault, burglary, grand larceny and car theft —  showed a marked increase this year compared to last year.

Among the NYPD statistics from the first quarter of 2020:

  • Car thefts spiked 65.5%, from 943 to 1,561
  • 685 more robberies were reported for a 25.2% increase
  • Burglaries jumped by 21.9% with 533 more reported
  • 486 additional grand larcenies occurred, a 5.2% uptick
  • 117 more assaults were reported for a 2.6% increase

Considering these numbers and the continued uncertainty of how long the “stay at home” orders will remain, is it any wonder that gun sales are up? As IWF fellow Lara Carno wrote this week, gun stores are seeing a massive uptick in sales. First time gun owners make up the vast majority of those purchases.

Americans get it. They know that wanting to protect yourself, your family and your property is natural.  And they know owning a firearm can help you do that.