When it became clear that COVID-19 was not only on American shores but also not likely to be contained, a lot of people bought guns. Many because, as Asian-Americans, they feared being blamed for the virus. Many others because they feared a lack of police response to 9-1-1 calls due to the coronavirus.

However, many other people didn’t. They didn’t see the virus as having nearly as bad of an impact as some did. They weren’t concerned about the following economic issues potentially leading to crime, either.

All in all, they didn’t think it was necessary.

Then George Floyd died. At that moment, the nation’s simmering tensions exploded and cities burned. Cities. Plural.

That prompted more to buy guns. Over at The Federalist, one of those describes his thinking.

I bought a gun last weekend. It’s not a purchase I wanted to make, and I pray I never have to use it, but with mayhem recently engulfing cities across the United States, I and many others are biting the bullet and purchasing firearms.

Mine is a Springfield 9mm — something small enough to fit in my nightstand or under my driver’s seat should I have to visit one of America’s many war-torn cities. But it’s powerful enough to do the job.

I’ve pondered the purchase for years but always found a reason to put it off. The carnage that has rocked the country over the last couple of weeks, however, sealed the deal. After all, I have a duty to protect my family as best I can, and when the government’s protections begin to break down, a firearm becomes my only option.

Writer Greg Jones notes that he’s not anti-gun or anything. He just didn’t figure it was something he needed.

For the average Bearing Arms reader, that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense, but we’re gun people. We tend to focus on this a bit more and we’re more likely to actually have guns just because they’re awesome.

However, Jones isn’t–or, at least, wasn’t–like that. Despite being a conservative and having written pieces for The Federalist as far back as 2015, he just isn’t that into guns. There’s nothing wrong with that. What matters, though, is that Jones clearly understands the realities we often espouse.

I seriously doubt I will get the same trigger rush as my gun-loving friends, but I’m not in this for the thrills. Knowing that if someone kicks in my door I have a fighting chance of defending my home is well worth an arduous hour or so at the range. In fact, I have come to view it as my civic responsibility as I witness, in real time, the unraveling of the societal structures that are supposed to ensure our safety.

With weak mayors and powerless police, we have little choice but to take our safety into our own hands.

A applaud Jones for coming to this conclusion. I also urge him to train with his weapon as regularly as his gun-loving friends. Training isn’t about the thrill–though having that thrill helps. It’s about making sure you’re competent with the weapon should the time come you need to trust your life to it. That’s a day that none of us want to see, of course, but if it does come, we all want to be ready.

The thing to remember here is that Jones isn’t alone.

While many anti-gun activists are busy patting themselves on the back for their past victories, there are a lot of people who are now gun owners who weren’t on January 1st. Most of them probably weren’t planning on buying a gun this year, either, yet here they are.

That could make things interesting come November for a party that has decided to push a gun control narrative as a key issue in 2020.