Baton Rouge: ''Anxious residents boost gun trade''
The (London) Financial Times is reporting that sales at one Baton Rouge gun store have increased 1000% or more in the wake of Hurrice Katrina and
- The E-Z Pawn store on Airline Drive in northern Baton Rouge is doing a brisk trade in guns post-Hurricane Katrina.
“I’ve got people like you wouldn’t believe, lots of people, coming in and buying handguns,” said Briley Reed, 34, assistant manager. “I’ve even had soldiers coming in here buying guns.”
Before the hurricane, the store sold one or two guns on a typical day, according to Mr Reed. During the last week, they have sold 10 to 15 a day. The model of choice is a 9mm Highpoint that sells for $200.
The newspaper notes that activity at E-Z Pawn is a barometer of the anxiety coursing through Baton Rouge as the city copes with thousands of evacuees - at least a few of whom have exhibited a penchant for violence - streaming in from New Orleans.
Again, from the story:
- Many of the customers are local residents, including at least one doctor, concerned about the influx of desperate strangers who have become synonymous with looting, rape and the lawlessness that overwhelmed New Orleans last week.
It seems to matter little that the police have appealed for calm, and dismissed most of the reports of carjackings and armed robberies and other crimes as nothing more than rumour.
In any case, the fear appears to be mutual. According to Mr Reed, E-Z Pawn is also selling guns to refugees, who are moving on to Texas, Florida, Michigan and other places.
The law-abiding citizens of Louisiana clearly seem to have learned what all Americans need to - police cannot be counted on to protect you. Natural disasters beyond the scope of ability for quick response can happen. Only you can protect you.