BROOKLYN, New York (PIX11 News) — The owner of Wilensky Hardware—based on Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island since 1920—told PIX 11 the opinionated; Executive Vice President of the National Rifle Association is a “moron”—for claiming looters ran wild in south Brooklyn in the days after Hurricane Sandy. “I think his facts are completely off on everything he says,” said Steven Feinstein, standing at the counter on Friday.
“After Hurricane Sandy, we saw the hellish world that the gun prohibitionists see as their utopia,” LaPierre wrote. “Looters ran wild in south Brooklyn. There was no food, water or electricity. And if you wanted to walk several miles to get supplies, you better get back before dark, or you might not get back at all,” La Pierre added.
Feinstein told PIX 11 if LaPierre wanted to be accurate about apocalyptic-type looting, he’d have to go back to the black-out of July 1977. But some Coney Island residents agreed with LaPierre’s assessment, even though it was given from another part of the country.
“I think it is true, because once Sandy happened, everyone just went all ballistic,” said 20-year old Emily Santana. “You would actually see people just making holes in the gates, to get into the stores.”
But pharmacy owner, Praveen Appana—who wasn’t looted—said LaPierre is “reaching” by using south Brooklyn in his argument to carry arms. “Even if you have a gun, how can you guarantee you’re going home safe? By the time you pull out the gun, somebody can shoot you,” Appana observed.
Most shop owners along Mermaid Avenue agreed that police presence was great, as the waters receded after the storm. “Every couple of blocks, there was a squad car around,” said one clerk.
U.S Congressman Joseph Crowley, who represents sections of south Brooklyn, fired off a letter to LaPierre—in response to LaPierre’s “bizarre manifesto”. Crowley invited LaPierre to visit the area, pointing out, “Far from the post-apocalyptic wasteland that you describe, what I saw in my hometown after one of the most devastating natural disasters was New Yorkers coming together and helping one another, just as we’ve always done after a crisis.” The NYPD pointed out that no murders, no rapes, and no shootings took place in south Brooklyn’s 60th and 61st precincts, for at least a week after the storm. Burglaries, though, did spike.