L.A.’s Arms Race of the Affluent
From Beverly Hills to Santa Monica, the crime-panicked wealthy are banishing bling and buying guns
In Beverly Hills, even the purchase of a firearm comes with certain…expectations. The city’s only gun store, Beverly Hills Guns, is a “concierge service” by appointment only, for a largely affluent clientele. And business is booming.
Since opening in July 2020, the store has seen upscale residents from Santa Monica to the Hollywood Hills increasingly in a panic following several high-profile smash-and-grab and violent home invasion robberies. The apparent siege has brought in a daily stream of anxious business owners and prominent actors, real estate moguls and film execs, says owner Russell Stuart. Most are arming themselves for the first time.
“This morning I sold six shotguns in about an hour to people that say, ‘I want a home defense shotgun,’” says Stuart, whose store is discreetly located in a Beverly Hills office building, with no sign on the doors, down the hall from a diamond dealer. “Everyone has a general sense of constant fear, which is very sad. We’re used to this being like Mayberry.”
In Beverly Hills, the craving for additional security dates to the riot that followed an otherwise peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in May 2020, with unprecedented looting along Rodeo Drive that left broken boutique windows beneath beloved luxury brands: Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Michael Kors, MCM, Ermenegildo Zegna. Last March, a $500,000 Richard Mille watch was stolen at gunpoint from a diner at the Il Pastaio restaurant. The Dec. 1 home-invasion robbery and shooting death of philanthropist Jacqueline Avant, 81, in her Trousdale Estates home, only accelerated the arms race among the affluent.
Generally I’m for new gun owners.
In this case it’s tough.
I totally support the right of people to defend themselves and own the tools to do that.
At the same time I know two things to be true:
One: the wealthy elite buying guns in Beverly Hills are the same people to supported the Woke prosevtuors, changes to the law, and defunding of police that made California into the current shithole it is.
Two: these people still support gun control for everyone else, i.e., the poors.
If the elite want guns and concealed carry (which they get the same way they do in NYC,
corruption by donating huge sums to the Sheriff who approves the permit) because of this crime wave, that should be available to every citizen, not just the ones who can cut massive checks and go shopping in Beverly Hills.
So while I support new gun ownership, I can’t support hypocrisy, because we all know that the elite don’t get red pulled and change their opinions, they just buy themselves indulgences so to not have to be bound by rules and laws that inconvenience them.