Monday, November 13, 2023

Community members speak out against a tactical gear pop-up shop on 9th Street

Photos from Saturday by Eden 

On Saturday afternoon, a group of community members came together to speak out against a tactical gear pop-up shop on Ninth Street between Avenue B and Avenue C.

OneTigris, a China-based company has an online business offering military-grade lifestyle tactical gear, opened on the block on Sept. 10. (Images below via the OneTigris website)
On a block that has seen a handful of pop-up shops through the years, OneTigris, which sells a variety of bags and outdoor gear, didn't attract much attention until an Instagram promo arrived in early November for a giveaway set for Saturday...
Per the promo: 
On 11/11, join us in the heart of NYC's East Village, 618 e 9 st for a special event that's all about giving back. 🌆🦃 We're spreading gratitude just in time for Thanksgiving, with an incredible giveaway! 🍂🎁 

50 goodie bags and refreshing drinks are on us to show our appreciation for this amazing city. 🗽🎉 Our gifts are limited, so come early to make sure you don't miss out! 🕊️💨 Stay updated and be a part of this heartwarming event by registering with your email... Let's celebrate gratitude and give back to the incredible community we call home! 
Members of the community group, representing educators, faith-based groups, small business owners and anti-violence organizations, said they met with store management last Wednesday along with a member of the 9th Precinct's community relations team. 

According to the group, the shop agreed to cancel the giveaway in light of community concerns. However, by the next day, the group members said the shop had "broken that agreement, mysteriously rebranding themselves as gun-safety educators." 

This prompted Saturday's speak-out. Here's a copy of the flyer that circulated on social media...
Per a press alert that the group distributed: 
Posing as a harmless community sports equipment store for the paintball and outdoor set, their website tells a different story — with hundreds of product photos and videos of men and women holding assault-style weapons. 
One concerned resident shared this screengrab for the brand's Instagram account:
The shop remained closed during its posted hours of operation on Saturday. A handful of people spoke out against the shop, citing statistics showing that guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the United States.
The shop's original timeline shows it will be open here from Sept. 10 to Nov. 23. We contacted the store's management for comment.


Trixie said...

I agree that this looks like a terrible pop-up. Is there a petition to sign for those of us that are against it?

Anonymous said...

They're not selling weapons.

Anonymous said...

This is just a pop up shop. I thought those dispensaries were controversial.

Anonymous said...

This is absurd. From the community response you would think they are passing out hand grenades. If you don’t like what they sell, don’t shop there.

Carol from East 5th Street said...

Promoting or displaying the use of assault weapons in our community is NOT ACCEPTABLE. The last thing we need to do is encourage gun violence by displaying photos of macho men in combat fatigues with M-15 rifles in our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:03: Valid point but we are also well within our rights to call out something we dont want in our neighborhood among us. If someone wants to sell tactical gear they are welcome to do so just as we are welcome to stand outside of their shop and yell at them about it and at any of their customers too for that matter.

Neighbor said...

What a weird thing to open in NYC much less Alphabet City.

Anonymous said...

Hey neighbors, they are not selling weapons of any kind. Their website just sells camo bags and silly gadgets. If the sentiment is cause and effect then we might as well ban stores selling cigarettes and stores selling alcohol. Please keep in mind a store selling things is better than an empty store front. Bottom line is WE all care for our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

@7:28am AND @9:40am: Come on! You say they're not selling weapons, but they ARE selling holsters - and what exactly is a HOLSTER for? Either a gun or a taser.

Don't be so gullible. Once you buy from them, then you go on their website and can buy all the other horrible stuff. This place is a gateway to more dangerous items.

And DO NOT compare a store selling MILITARY-TYPE gear with a liquor store or a place selling cigarettes.

Your idea that ANY store is better than an empty store is absurd; would you be happy to have a pro-hatred storefront opening in our area?

In any case, there is no need for any kind of "pop up" to give the people of this area (esp. the young & impulsive) a taste for tactical equipment. If you can't see where that could lead, then you are completely disconnected from reality.

Michael Penn Photography said...

The same people complaining about this store would most likely complain about a good old fashion Army Navy surplus store that so many us bought our clothes in in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Anonymous said...

This is a essentially a clothing store but people don't like the industry that the clothing represents. Some people might like that style of style and gear, doesn't mean they have to be a violent gun owner. How is it any different than somebody wearing sexy revealing clothing and assuming they must be looking to have sex with strangers on the street. They just like the look of something so they wear it. Also, gun hobbyists and owners don't necessarily equate to violence. They can just like the engineering and target shooting. Martial arts and combat sports can be violent and kill people but in a hobby context it is not seen as a negative thing.

Edmund J Dunn said...

"good old fashion Army Navy surplus store "

Please, as someone who has lived around here forever (Hudson's anyone?), this type of store is no way like an old school Army/Navy type store or even a store like Galaxy (124 West 30th Street) which also sells tactical gear as well. As someone who has hunted way in the past (Grouse-ME) and passed hunter safety (also way in the past-NYS), their demo are not hunters or even paintball players (See"Big Bang Theory") but the right wing militia cosplay crew (tactical vests that carry 30 round AR-15 mags, etc.). And not thrilled that, as per the article, they lied after that local meeting. That being said, they are selling nothing illegal and one can only hope that they will fold sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

@11:27am: You say "Also, gun hobbyists and owners don't necessarily equate to violence. They can just like the engineering and target shooting. Martial arts and combat sports can be violent and kill people but in a hobby context it is not seen as a negative thing."

You don't see black-belt martial artists walking the streets in their gi's or kung-fu outfits. And the FIRST thing you're taught in any martial arts class is to AVOID a fight; you only use your combat skills if you cannot avoid the interaction.

If I see someone wearing what looks like tactical or combat gear on a street in the East Village, I'm going to assume that person is (a) likely crazy, (b) possibly lethally armed, and (c) very likely to be a threat to others in some way. That is MY take on this.

We already have more than enough people in NYC who have mental health issues who don't/can't get the mental health help they need.

There is no need for an opportunistic company to open a storefront that panders to those who feel a "need" too look tough/violent. It just plays to the lowest human impulses.

Anonymous said...

"You don't see black-belt martial artists walking the streets in their gi's or kung-fu outfits. And the FIRST thing you're taught in any martial arts class is to AVOID a fight; you only use your combat skills if you cannot avoid the interaction."

You can argue the same fact that the first thing they teach you if you take a gun class is safety and to avoid using your weapon in a confrontation. Tactical gear is just clothing and accessories, you may not see people walking around the streets with gi's etc. but if they did I wouldn't have a problem with it the same way I don't with tactical gear. It just doesn't make sense to assume something about people based on outward appearances. I'm not going to assume somebody with non traditional style is mentally unfit because it doesn't match my taste, that's essentially what your reasoning is. I actually do see people wearing tactical backpacks all over nyc on a regular basis including the East Village.

Anonymous said...

I walked passed this quickly and thought what the f#*K?
so glad my neighbors protested this.

Edmund J Dunn said...

Funny the pro-store posts on this thread do not mention this part of the article:

"One concerned resident shared this screengrab for the brand's Instagram account:"

Just a clothing store? Right wing militia AR-15 organism pictures? I don't think so. Their agenda is obvious by those pictures. But let me repeat. They are not selling anything illegal. So just don't patronize them. One can get tactical gear from a variety of other sources. I myself have bought semi-insulated tactical pants online that are perfect for my style of cold weather bike riding. And the vendor did not have those AR-15 pictures to entice me.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like an updated old Army/Navy store. We all shopped there back in the day. Today pink hair, combat boots, military's a fad at the moment for silly Gen Z. At protests and on the streets you see this military costuming all the time. Paramilitary is silly fashion! Selective Censorship in the name of "the children" seems misguided. It probably will end up being an illegal pot shop so everyone should calm down.

Comrade El said...

Why are you liberals protesting a clothing store thats mostly used for air soft games?
Its embarrasing.
This small business doesnt sell guns but yall want it ruined anyway.
Its also telling that you trust the police with guns but shriek and cry about the possibility of your neighbors owning one.
As someone from the hinterland let me let yall in on a secret.
The right wing is armed to the teeth and you better get that way too because all the PHDs, Well reasoned arguments, middle class sensibilities and protests wont save you from them in the coming civil war.
An armed left is the only solution to armed fascists.
All Power To The People

Anonymous said...

Hey 5:08p.m. “This small business” - it’s not a small business

Carol from East 5th Street said...

Comrade El and others who categorize this as "just a clothing store" - ordinary "clothing stores" even if they feature cammo material outfits don't style their photos with men aiming AR-15s. Let's not "inspire" our young residents with any incendiary photos.

Anonymous said...

Just cause you people don’t like harmless tactical gear doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be allowed. They’re not selling weapons. Get off your high horse.

Anonymous said...

@10:05 you make it sound like you can go into any pawn shop and purchase a weapon. This is nyc one of the most difficult cities to buy a weapon LEGALLY. That being said you can not buy weapons of any sort in the city. If you are so worried about”gateway” issues protest the dispensaries. The only pro hatred thing are the signs about the store.

Trixie said...

A lot of people didn't want a 7-11 in this neighborhood either and they spoke out against it. 7-11 opened anyway, but people who opposed it spoke their piece. Nothing wrong with that.