The Second Amendment is gaining in popularity among a very unexpected group: liberals who voted for Hillary Clinton.
Faced with the world-ending prospect of a Donald Trump presidency, people who might be, normally, calling for increased regulations on the gun industry, are stockpiling weapons, learning how to shoot, and even forming their own gun clubs. Some even say they’re “prepping” —or preparing for the apocalypse by hoarding emergency food and supplies.
According to BBC News, shares in gun manufacturers have risen 18% since Election Day, and the FBI says that background checks for people buying their first weapon soared to a record high, 185,713, on Black Friday. The increase is reportedly due to “non-traditional buyers” (a nice way to say “progressives”).
The Liberal Gun Club, a national association for Democrats with handguns, says their membership is up 10%.
For most of the newly minted gun owners, though, it seems to be fear of other people, empowered by Trump’s angry rhetoric, that has prompted them to suddenly alter their feelings on the National Rifle Association’s policy agenda. But they aren’t the only ones taking precautions in case Trump puts an itchy trigger finger on the nuclear football.
Liberals are also beginning to “prep,” stockpiling emergency supplies in case the world comes to a swift end, Russia fires a nuclear weapon, or we’re suddenly ruled by a race of intelligent apes. There’s even a Facebook group, Liberal Preppers, for registered Democrats who want to share information on how to acquire seed vaults and trade paper money for gold bouillon.
The group’s leader is a Bernie Sanders fan, and their motto? “We’re here to show the survival community at large that you don’t have to be a right winger to understand you need to be ready when shit hits the fan.”
Their approach might be unique to longtime preppers, though. Conversations on the Liberal Preppers page do cross into the same territory as you’d find with traditional prepper groups—they discuss the best MREs, how much water you might need to survive, and whether blunt force objects are better in a zombie apocalypse (they are). But they also fret about which books will be needed to rebuild society’s intellectual tradition, and whether their group is as “inclusive” as possible.
That said, a little more liberal worldliness might be just what the prepper community needs. Why settle for army bunkers and fatigues when you can paper the walls of your shelter with shiplap, and stock your cupboards with organically grown, locally sourced canned goods, hand-packed by Portland hipsters?