As more Americans exercise their 2nd Amendment rights, there are more armed protesters in many U.S. cities, and the results are dangerous at best, deadly at worst.
Armed Protesters and Racial Tensions in America
It’s no secret that racial tensions are high in the U.S. as the country completes two full months of protests against police treatment of Black Americans.
At the same time, firearm sales have skyrocketed in response to the civil unrest, coronavirus lockdowns, increased unemployment, and the looming election.
As many as 40% of those purchasing guns in 2020 are first-time gun owners, and many have previously voted for increased gun control.
But now, late-July protests across the nation have turned violent, including multiple shootings from Austin to Aurora, CO, to Portland.
Every American has the right to arm themselves and protect themselves, their families, and their property.
But as Amber Goodwin, founder and executive director of the Community Justice Action Fund, which aims to prevent gun violence in communities of color, has said, “Not everyone has access to gun safety.”
Responsible gun ownership does not end when you purchase a firearm; that is where it begins.
Many first-time gun owners have had little opportunity to practice and familiarize themselves with their new weapons.
Austin Protest Turns Deadly
Clip of the shooting at the protest in Austin Texas from Hiram Gilberto on FB pic.twitter.com/VFbzqfoSff
— Anthony Martino (@anthonyfartino) July 26, 2020
In Austin, 28-year old Garrett Foster was allegedly open-carrying an AK-47 as he crossed a street with about 100 other protesters.
Open carry is legal in Texas. When a car turned towards the protesters, they surrounded the vehicle and Foster pointed his rifle at the driver.
In response, the driver fired several shots and drove off. Foster was left dead.
The driver later called 911 and is cooperating with the police.
Foster’s mother disputes that he was armed at any time, although multiple reports confirm that he was visibly in possession of the rifle.
Gunfire Opened at Aurora, CO Protest
A protest taking place on a Colorado freeway near Denver led to gunfire when a Jeep drove through the crowd. At least one protester opened fire, injuring 2 other protesters.
One had his head grazed by a bullet while the other was shot in the leg. Both sought medical treatment at hospitals.
The driver of the Jeep has been in contact with police and agreed to be interviewed with his lawyer present.
He claims that protesters were hitting his vehicle and yelling at him and that a pickup truck ran into the front of his vehicle.
Portland Mom Struck in the Face
The Wall of Moms has garnered a swell of attention that Black mothers protesting in Portland for months did not receive. That attention is not lost on the participants. “Moms didn’t just show up a couple nights ago. Black moms have always been there.” https://t.co/lo3fLHJ973
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 28, 2020
A 41-year old Portland mom says she was struck in the face by a bullet after forming a human shield in front of federal agents at the Multnomah County Justice Center in downtown Portland.
It has not been confirmed that it was a bullet that struck the woman, nor where the object originated from.
She required the assistance of paramedics and later received seven stitches at a hospital.
Eugene, OR Protester Fires into the Air
In Eugene, OR, about 100 miles from Portland, a BLM protest was deemed a “riot” after vandalism occurred at multiple businesses.
Police had rocks and other projectiles thrown at them and arrested a man who fired a gun into the air during the demonstration.
Police Under Siege
Protests have continued to turn violent, with police forces in California, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington State reporting having rocks, fireworks, and other explosives thrown at them.
Many protests vandalized buildings and cars, started fires, and broke windows.
Dozens of arrests were made over the weekend, and multiple police officers were treated for injuries.
Police forces were reported to be using tear gas in response to the riots. There are no reports of officers using firearms.
What's your take on the growing number of armed protesters? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section.