As sales of firearms hit record highs this year in the U.S., causing shortages nationwide, it is clearer than ever that “gun control” is not a viable option in 2020. More and more Americans are choosing to get (re)acquainted with the 2nd amendment due to recent events and issues, and especially in light of the upcoming presidential elections, and the threat of Joe Biden coming for your "AR-14".
So how have New Hampshirites been dealing with the recent trials and turmoils our world has seen? Read on to find out how some locals have been responding to the riots and general chaos of the past few months.
The Downward Spiral
After months of agonizing lockdowns, countless victims, record rates of unemployment, and the economy in shambles, 2020 took a turn for the worse. As thousands marched nationwide to protest against police brutality following the killing of George Floyd by former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin on May 25th, an eclectic group of opportunists across the country have been taking advantage of the upheaval to ransack, burn, vandalize, and spread bedlam and division. While many police departments in certain states have been overwhelmed and unable to effectively fulfill their core duties, responsible gun owners across the country have been filling in the void, and New Hampshire is no exception.
Gun Laws in New Hampshire
First, a bit of context...
In 2017, New Hampshire joined the ever-growing number of states allowing constitutional carry. Therefore, New Hampshirites enjoy some of the least restrictive gun laws in the country. For instance no license is required for open or concealed carry, with very few exceptions. On top of that, New Hampshire is the only state with no laws restricting knife ownership (with the exception of convicted felons.) As a result, when it comes to crime, New Hampshire ranks as the 3rd safest state and has the 3rd lowest homicide rate in the entire country.
Don’t Hurt People, Don’t Take Their Stuff
With the strong libertarian streak running through the granite state it is no surprise that some locals find looting, senseless violence, and destruction of private property, to be distasteful. Especially since the country has already been devastated on many levels by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the response to it—as a result, many people have been left grasping at straws. Therefore, in a proactive, typical New Hampshirite fashion, some locals have been rising to the occasion to protect their communities and neighborhoods from potential threats.
So this begs the question – how exactly have New Hampshirites dealt with the threat of unrest? To find out, I recently hopped on the phone with Kevin Flynn, a local Manchester resident and military veteran, who decided to do his part in preventing local businesses from being targeted during the protests that took place in early June.
A.D.: Kevin, tell us a bit about what happened in Manchester back in June:
K.F: On Monday morning June 1st, I learned that a peaceful candlelight vigil was being held the next day at Stark Park, with hundreds planning on attending. The same day, word on the street was that an organized series of looting on South Willow St. was allegedly going to take place on June 2nd as well. From our understanding, both these events seemed to be totally unrelated to each other.
From the information gathered, it appeared that the potential looting was being spearheaded by a local resident, known for having taken part in such activities in the past. So this nefarious plan was not to be discarded.
A.D.: What made you decide to take action?
K.F: As libertarians, we believe in the fundamental and natural right to self-defense. I, for one, firmly believe that we should be as responsible as possible for our own safety. Now, I work at a small manufacturing company, and some of my co-workers were also unhappy about the prospect of protest spilling over into riots and plunder. So we decided to do what we could to prevent that from happening locally in our neighborhood. We were going to stand guard overnight at our facility in Downtown Manchester to make sure our building and surroundings were not going to be vandalized or looted.
A.D.: Can you tell us a bit more about your plan?
K.F: Tuesday came, and after work, my co-workers and I all headed home to gather some basic supplies for the night. We convened back at the factory with firearms, ammunition, radios, and basic protective equipment. I devised a basic plan and split the group in two. One group would be standing guard at the street level, while the other group would go on the roof to observe the situation and act as deterrence—just like the Koreans did during the 1992 L.A. riots. After loading a few more magazines, and doing a quick radio check to make sure we had proper communication established, we took to the streets.
The plan was simple: secure the perimeter by walking around, and making sure there were no threats. On the first lap around the building, we made contact with another group of citizens armed to the teeth with long guns standing guard in front of Murphy’s Taproom, they were protecting the bar and surrounding area. A few more groups of armed locals were spotted patrolling up and down Elm St. that night. Pickup trucks drove by one after the other with armed citizens in the back. From my estimates, there were at least 150 responsible gun owners that night in downtown.
As the night went on, we were made aware that the State Police, National Guard and Manchester PD were down on South Willow St. and the anticipated riot was prevented. At 10:30pm about 100 protesters from the candlelight vigil came from Stark Park and marched peacefully down Elm St., we watched them as they passed by.
As of today, and to my knowledge, no major incidents, looting, or vandalizing has taken place in Manchester, only a handful of people were arrested. I was pleased to see that the citizens united to protect their community and local businesses. Before moving to New Hampshire in August 2019, I had never before been part of such a diligent, caring, and responsible community, ready to stand up for their rights.
Thankfully no major incidents happened that night. But a lot of cities across the country have not had the same fate. And although it is not the only variable to consider, the ability for New Hampshire residents to keep and bear arms, certainly played a role in avoiding the worst.
As Robert Heinlein astutely pointed out:
An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.
The Case Against Qualified Immunity
Although far from being the end all be all, it certainly would be a step forward in the right direction to reevaluate the relevance of qualified immunity: a judicial doctrine that shields government officials, including law enforcement, from liability when they violate people’s constitutionally protected rights. For the past several years, the Cato Institute has been leading the campaign to abolish qualified immunity for good—but this turns out to be quite a dividing issue.
On May 31st, Rep. Justin Amash (L–Mich.) introduced the Ending Qualified Immunity Act, to “eliminate qualified immunity and restore Americans’ ability to obtain relief when police officers violate their constitutionally secured rights.” However, on Monday June 15th, the U.S. the Supreme Court turned down cases raising the question about the reconsideration of qualified immunity.
Last Resort of The People – Ultima Ratio Populi
[…] the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.
—Tench Coxe, Pennsylvania Delegate, Continental Congress
As we move forward in 2020, it has never been so clear to the people that the 2nd amendment remains a cornerstone right that should never be infringed or encroached upon. The alternative would be for ordinary citizens like you and me to keep on being victimized by unaccountable state officials and/or the ruthless and faceless mob du jour.
Since 2016, thousands of freedom loving individuals have made the journey to New Hampshire to achieve liberty in our lifetime. If you, too, want to be part of history, then why not join us? Come for Porcfest, Liberty Forum, or anytime of the year – there is always something going on and awesome folks to meet.
Live Free or Die
By: Arnold DS