People in St. Louis, Missouri, are preparing for the worst as they await the grand jury’s decision in the police shooting death of 300-lb. Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis.
The shooting of the black 18-year-old by white officer Darren Wilson had sparked looting and weeks of sometimes-violent protests all through the month of August. Fearing for his life, Officer Wilson has been in hiding on paid leave ever since the shooting.
On Monday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and called out the National Guard in advance of the decision by the grand jury.
Gun shops in the St. Louis area reportedly are selling everything they can get their hands on.
Metro Shooting Supplies, near the city’s main airport, is selling two to three times more weapons than usual in recent weeks — an average of 30 to 50 guns each day. Owner Steven King said, “We’re selling everything that’s not nailed down. Police aren’t going to be able to protect every single individual. If you don’t prepare yourself and get ready for the worst, you have no one to blame but yourself.”
Other gun dealers say their sales spikes are comparable to the increases seen soon after Brown’s death on Aug. 9. County Guns owner Adam Weinstein said, “I’ve probably sold more guns this past month than all of last year.” Last summer, Weinstein had fended off looters with an assault rifle and pistol at his storefront on West Florissant Avenue, the roadway that was the scene of many nightly protests.
Many commenters on the “St. Louis Coptalk” forum expressed fears that demonstrators will take to the streets regardless of the grand jury’s decision. A man who calls himself “A Concerned [Ferguson] Cop” issued a warning to the community to protect their families with firearms:
“If you do not have a gun, get one and get one soon. We will not be able to protect you or your family. It will be your responsibility to protect them. Our gutless commanders and politicians have neutered us. I’m serious, get a gun, get more than one, and keep one with you at all times.”
While the commenter’s status as a police officer cannot be confirmed, his warning is neither alarmist nor preposterous. None other than the FBI had released an intelligence bulletin stating a grand jury decision “will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure.”
Indeed, the protest group RbG Black Rebels tweeted a stream of violent online posts saying “We are paying $5k cash for location of Ofc. Darren Wilson. Real $, no joke, no crime we just wana get his photo an ask him a few questions,” and boasting of “combat experience,” “stockpiling” ammunition, cleaning out gun stores and being #WarReady.
It doesn’t help that Muslims are exploiting the Ferguson unrest by equating Brown’s death to the death of a black radical Islamist, Detroit mosque leader Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah, who was shot during an FBI raid in 2009.
Federal prosecutors say Abdullah was a separatist intent on overthrowing the U.S. government. But Dawud Walid, executive director of CAIR’s Michigan Chapter, calls Abdullah a martyr and portrays both Abdullah and Brown as victims of a national security apparatus that had “completely gone wild” and engaged in “demonizing and criminalizing Muslims.” (Michael Brown was not a Muslim. He was buried in August after a memorial service at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis.)
Kyle Shideler, director of the Washington-based watchdog group Center for Security Policy’s Threat Information Office, says that CAIR and other radical Muslims are “interested in building coalitions with other organizations in order to effect a legislative change to weaken anti-terrorism laws and weaken the ability of law enforcement to engage in counter terrorism.”
Sources: Bearing Arms; CBS St. Louis; New York Times, Daily Mail; Fox News
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