In recent months, there has been a record increase in gun sales in the United States. It’s not surprising, considering the fact that tension levels have reached their peak. The coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests are raging in the states. Another reason is the presidential election. Both political sides are using the current situation for recrimination and to incite hatred.
The closer the presidential election gets, the more the situation in the country escalates. The struggle between the Democrats and Republicans probably has not reached the peak of intensity yet. A confrontation is gaining momentum and is inevitably causing an increase in society’s anxiety levels.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation detected record highs in the procurement of firearms last month.
From March to June, gun sales totaled 8.5 million, which is 94 percent greater than it was during the same time period in 2019.
This demand, undoubtedly, can be attributed to the pandemic. It caused society’s anxiety to rise, which is confirmed by the fact that weapon sales sharply went up when the U.S. began implementing quarantine orders. The numbers drastically skyrocketed again in June, when Black Lives Matter protests began, which also negatively impacted society’s frame of mind.
After the murder of African American George Floyd, armed citizens began to form militias to keep order amid the chaos. These groups are in large metropolitan cities like Chicago, but are also in smaller places like Omak, Wash. The “Civil Guard of New Mexico” is operating in New Mexico in reaction to the riots and the looting.
Finally, the election could provoke some anxiety. Neither political side has put forth actions or statements to resolve the situation.
For example, the other day, President Donald Trump stated that if Joe Biden wins, a revolution might start in the country. Such an outcome would not be supported by the majority of American citizens.
“He’s a weak person, he’s controlled like a puppet. It’s not going to calm things down, it’s going to be they will have won. They will have taken over your cities. It’s a revolution” said Trump in an interview on Fox News.
At the same time, Trump did not name who exactly, in his opinion, controls Biden. “They’re people that you haven’t heard of. People that are in the dark shadows … they’re people that are on the streets, people that are controlling the streets,” said the president.
Other statements made by the president may cause an increase in society’s anxiety levels. For example, he said that the only way to stop the increase in violence in American cities run by Democrats is by force.
“The only way to stop violence in high crime cities run by Democrats is through force!” wrote Trump on Twitter on Aug. 30.
Representatives of the Democratic Party make statements of a different nature, of course. However, they contribute to the hate speech as well. Biden, when speaking in Pittsburgh the other day, accused Trump of provoking racism, of responding weakly to the coronavirus and avoiding taking responsibility for it, and for the economic crisis that followed the pandemic.
“Do you really feel safer under Trump?” Biden repeatedly asked in his speech in Pittsburgh.
It is clear that it is not the first time mass riots amid racial problems have flared up in the U.S. Both political parties know how to play such situations to their advantage by mobilizing the electorate.
The president accused the Democrats of being weak and surrendering American cities to criminals. He insists on maintaining order by any means necessary, including by using force. Biden, in return, criticized Trump for “hate speech” and promoting violence. He claims to understand the protesters and recorded a video message for George Floyd’s funeral
Reactions to the protests have become another tool in the election. Supporters of both candidates use every excuse to criticize each other, turning the comments about the situation into campaign slogans.
The problem, however, is that both candidates speak hostilely, which forms and supports aggression in society. Their rhetoric is then picked up and spread by the media. American society is quite polarized. Amid the stress from the pandemic and the protests, the divide is only getting worse.
Last week, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse killed two people and wounded another while protesting in Kenosha, Wis. As Buzzfeed reported, the young man is fan of Trump.
A couple of days later, clashes began in Portland between Black Lives Matter activists and Trump supporters, which resulted in one death.
Politicians are no longer making real attempts to calm the population. Both parties use the existing situation in their own interest, turning it into an opportunity to make accusations. As a result, Americans, who are experiencing the pandemic, record levels of unemployment, disorder, conflict on the streets and police violence are also forced to watch an outright war in the ruling elite.
Taking into account that opponents are resorting to all means of pressure, it seems that any outcome in the election will guarantee terrible consequences. Democrats claim that Trump’s victory will bring the end of democracy in the U.S. Republicans insist that the “radical left” will destroy the country and the entire West if Biden wins.