FILE – In this Oct. 12, 2018, file photo, Alyssa Milano arrives at Variety’s Power of Women event at the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. On Oct. 15, 2017, Milano urged the Twittersphere to join her in sharing a personal story of sexual harassment in the wake of rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The response was immediate and overwhelming, and touched off a cultural movement that has shed light on the pervasiveness of sexual harassment, assault and violence against women across all industries, building on work started over a decade earlier by activist Tarana Burke. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Activist and former actress Alyssa Milano took to Twitter to issue her version of a public service announcement on Thursday. She used her platform to give her audience advice on how to stay safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Her advice was simple: practice social distancing, wash your hands, and don’t buy guns.
That’s right, dear reader. Milano, reacting to the news about the sudden surge in gun purchases, advised the American public to refrain from buying weapons during the crisis. She created a brand new hashtag to support her cause…because of course she did.
The brand spanking new hashtag, #StopTheCoronavirusGunSurge is ostensibly intended to persuade more Americans to remain unarmed amid the pandemic. “I know that we are all scared and stressed out during these really uncertain times,” she said in the video. “But that is exactly why stockpiling weapons, you know, could have dire consequences for our own personal safety and those around us.”
The actress continued, pointing out that the guns that people are buying “could end up being used in households, schools, churches, bars, and on our streets in the future.” Then, she concluded: “We can’t lose any more lives to guns during this pandemic, or after it’s over.”
Americans bought over 2 million firearms in March of 2020, over a million more than this time last year. We have to keep each other safe by social distancing and washing our hands and not bringing dangerous firearms into our homes. #StopTheCoronavirusGunSurge #NoRA pic.twitter.com/O5J98QXTFO
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 9, 2020
But there something a bit off about Milano’s suggestion. A short trip in the wayback machine reveals that Milano could be engaging in a bit of “Good for thee, but not for me.”
Back in September 2019, the actress was involved in a back and forth with Sen. Ted Cruz over gun control laws. The two even met in person to have a civil conversation about the matter. But during the Twitter debate, Milano made an interesting admission: “We are a two gun household. This isn’t new news. I believe in the 2nd Amendment.”
Yes. We are a two gun household. This isn’t new news. I believe in the 2nd Amendment. I also agree with 90% of Americans who want stricter gun laws. And I believe it should be impossible for certain people to get their hands on certain guns. Pretty logical stuff. 🤷🏻♀️ https://t.co/cI1XC3CstM
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) September 12, 2019
So let’s get this straight: She believes it’s okay for Americans to own guns, but not during a pandemic? Perhaps the actress has not been watching the news. While crime, in general, is down because of the coronavirus, burglaries have increased sharply in certain areas.
Moreover, police departments have been forced to slow down their operations because of the pandemic, meaning that it could take longer for an officer to respond to an emergency call. In light of this, it makes perfect sense that people would want the ability to defend themselves.
In Houston, Texas, burglaries increased by almost 20 percent. Even worse, the city has seen a 20 percent spike in aggravated assault cases. These increases are happening while the county’s leadership is considering releasing nonviolent convicts due to the virus.
New York City has seen a 75 percent rise in commercial burglaries as the pandemic continues. The NYPD stated that 254 businesses had been burglarized between March 12 and March 31. NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael LiPetri told The New York Post that “What we are seeing is that criminals are specifically targeting cash businesses, supermarkets and bodegas.”
Burglaries have also been a problem for cities like San Francisco, California. While burglaries are slightly down so far, the fact that businesses are less guarded has created an opportunity for more thefts. The San Francisco Chronicle detailed cases in which burglars snuck into restaurants to steal their liquor. Some restaurants that have remained open despite the shutdown orders have also been vulnerable to burglary.
What people like Milano are missing is the possibility of crime becoming more of a problem as the coronavirus issue continues. While most of the burglaries are focused on businesses, this does not negate the need for individuals to protect themselves. Many of these businesses might remain open during shutdown orders, or perhaps the proprietors might still need to enter the buildings.
Moreover, what happens if criminals become more emboldened and begin threatening law-abiding citizens because they know their local police department might be overwhelmed? This is clearly not the time to avoid purchasing weapons. If someone deems it necessary to protect themselves, it does not make sense for gun control activists to advise them against it.
Taking precautions in case things get worse is not irrational; it is smart. And now is not the time for anti-gun propaganda.
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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