As America’s economy continues to struggle due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more citizens are realizing the bleak outlook of what possibly lies ahead. As unemployment skyrockets, desperation follows suit. As desperation increases, so does crime. It just makes sense.
In Oakmont, Pennsylvania, there is a shop that specializes in roasting the best coffee beans found on the planet, as well as out-of-this-world hand-rolled cigars. But what draws a continual flow of customers has nothing to do with coffee or cigars.
Outside of the store sits four large leather chairs to accommodate the daily overflow of customers who anxiously await their turns to visit the large backroom where most of the action takes place at the Smoke N’ Gun Shop.
Once a patron enters the huge room in the back, they’ll be met by the shop’s owner, Gregory Ionadi, or “Gooch,” as he is better known. Ionadi takes time with each individual patron in helping them select the perfect weapon to suit their individual need.
Whether a handgun, a long gun, or even a coveted Tommy gun is best suited, his customers trust his advice and will purchase accordingly. And sales have never been better.
According to Ionadi, “Prior to the COVID outbreak, President Obama was the best gun salesman we ever had. Anytime he was going to ban this, ban that, there was a rush on gun sales. When President Trump was elected, the fear of a gun ban subsided, and sales were so flat that several gun manufacturers went out of business, he said.”
He followed up with, “Things changed dramatically in February in gun shops across the country, when the first concentrated COVID-19 cases in one town were reported out of New Rochelle, New York. We made more here in those first two months of March and April than we did in the last three years of sales. It was crazy.”
Ionadi was quite accustomed to his regular customers browsing the backroom, but due to the pandemic, he has acquired a whole new clientele, a large majority of them being first-time gun owners.
As the pandemic began to rapidly surge in March, the shop recorded record sales. But according to FBI statistics, Smoke N’ Guns was not the only shop to experience a huge increase in sales. Statistics indicated an all-time record of 3.7 million background checks.
But in May, with the death of George Floyd and the beginning of widespread Black Lives Matters protesters taking their violence to the streets of our nation, the FBI’s previous March record was broken as they reported 3.9 million background checks.
These record-breaking sales are not even beginning to slow down. Liberal cries for defunding the police caused an additional 3.6 million background checks to be conducted in July.
According to Ionadi, his current flow of gun purchasers are not who one would expect. “You wouldn’t believe the first-time gun buyers I’ve seen. I started seeing little old ladies, 70, 80 years old, wanting to defend themselves because of what was going on. So, I had to change my thinking. I had to start buying 22 Magnum revolvers. I have some revolvers here, but I had to start buying revolvers that women and older folks could use because they are easy to handle. Semi-auto and a revolver are two different things.”
He went on to say, “I’ll bring out a semi-auto, and I’ll bring out a revolver and explain the pros and cons of both of them. I try to let them decide. If it’s a first-time gun buyer, I always try to get a revolver. Everybody has one revolver in their house. It’s usually a snub-nose revolver. You don’t have three. You don’t have four. You don’t have five. You have one. So, I try to get them into something like that, and a lot of times, they don’t want that. So, then I’ll bring them out a handgun, semi-auto. Then they realize they can’t operate it. And so, then they switch and go back to the revolver.”
In these days and times who can blame anyone for wanting to protect themselves? Gun shops all over America are hearing their cash registers sing for very good reasons. Not knowing what the future will bring, and God forbid if Biden wins the November election, it’s wise to prepare.
What have you done to protect yourself and your family? And more importantly, what’s currently in your home arsenal?