If you’re lucky enough to have avoided riots and looting in your neighborhood or city over the past week, congratulations, but don’t think it can’t happen where you live. On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co, I speak with Jon Stokes, editor of ThePrepared.com, and former NYPD officer Rob O’Donnell about what we need to be doing as individuals and a community to be prepared in case unrest hits close to home, as well as how we can begin to move past the rioting and looting and get back to a productive effort to reform and fix some of the legitimate issues that have been raised by the deaths of George Floyd and others around the country at the hands of law enforcement, instead of simply burning down our cities and using Floyd’s death to destroy neighborhoods.

Over the past week, not only have many Americans decided to embrace their Second Amendment rights and purchase a firearm for self-defense, we’re also looking at other ways to keep ourselves safe if we suddenly find ourselves in a neighborhood hit hard by riots and looting. One of The Prepared‘s newest employees lives near the Fifth Precinct in Minneapolis, and Stokes describes how she’s no longer able to visit her local grocery store or pharmacy, which have both been boarded up and looted. The city of Minneapolis is telling residents like her to get a go-bag ready filled with food and essential medicines, but not only is it impossible for her to now find those essential items, there’s nowhere for her to go even if she had them. As Stokes says, if you wait until you need these items, you’re likely going to find yourself unable to get them.

That goes for firearms and ammunition as well. Stokes, who lives outside of Austin, Texas, says he’s visited several local gun stores in recent days and has found them picked clean of common calibers like 9mm and .223. That’s not likely to change anytime soon, as demand for guns and ammunition is still far outpacing supply. We’ve had three straight months of record setting gun sales, and demand is likely higher right now than it was in early March when the country went on lockdown over coronavirus fears.

As many Americans seek out a firearm for self-defense, many gun owners are actually using their firearms to protect themselves and their businesses from rioters and looters, including in some unlikely places like Santa Monica, California.

Open carry is illegal in California, but then again, so is rioting and looting. Something tells me that even in anti-gun localities, police have bigger issues to deal with than business owners protecting their livelihoods with guns. In fact, expect to see much more of that the longer these riots continue. If the government won’t protect us, we’ll protect ourselves. That’s sort of the American way, after all.

As for what might actually stop the rioting and looting, Rob O’Donnell tells me that leaders need to step up and take charge, noting the absolute chaos on the streets of New York City last night. Gov. Andrew Cuomo may be trying to pin the blame on Mayor Bill de Blasio, but O’Donnell says Cuomo’s been part of the problem as well. O’Donnell also makes the excellent point that real reform and positive change when it comes to law enforcement can’t and won’t happen as long as there’s rioting in the streets and people’s local lifelines like grocery stores, pharmacies, and even post offices are being destroyed. O’Donnell says that not only is it incumbent on politicians to step up and do their jobs, but the actual peaceful protesters need to continue to call out and check Antifa members, anarchists, and others who are using legitimate protests to wage an illegitimate campaign against civil society.

Check out both interviews in the video window above, and stick around after for the latest on a story out of Omaha, Nebraska involving a bar owner who shot a looter in self-defense after he was attacked.