“Can’t we all get along?” – Rodney King
The Sandy Hook and Jovan Belcher/Kasandra Perkins tragedies have created a rallying point for those bent on limiting the U.S. citizen’s right to possess certain types of firearms. This is nothing new as each time a calamity like this happens, the same people rise up to blame the firearm’s for the event instead of the person wielding it. There is certain logic to their arguments, as the Founding Fathers never imagined a rifle capable of shooting a hundred rounds in a matter of minutes, nor did they conceive of bulletproof armor and the easily replaced clips turning mere mortals into killing machines. The Founders did, however, know all too well of the dangers of mob violence and the need to defend oneself.
On April 29th, 1992, America was waiting for the results of the trial of LA Police Officers accused of beating African-American Rodney King. The mostly white jury released its verdict of “not guilty” for the white officers at 3:15 pm, and within 30 minutes crowds of several hundred protesters were milling around the LA County Courthouse. Fifty police officers were dispatched to keep the crowd under control but retreated as the crowds started turning aggressive. Soon, the protests became a violent free-for-all as wide spread looting, torching buildings and brutality towards mostly white people turned South-Central LA into a war zone.
As the ever more bloodthirsty crowd unleashed their fury on innocent victims, one scene was captured by a TV crew in a helicopter and replayed for millions of horrified TV viewers. White trucker Reginald Denny was driving by in his big rig when he was yanked from its cab by a group of black men, then bashed in the head with a claw hammer, a brick and an oxygen tank, nearly killing him and leaving him with permanent brain damage. Fortunately for Denny, an African-American named Bobby Green Jr. was watching and promptly intervened saving his life. By now it became clear the police had abandoned the city as widespread looting and violence reigned supreme.
The next day dawned to even more ransacking and pillaging as the LA Police Department deserted several neighborhoods to the mobs. One of them was an area named “Koreatown” and like its name implied, was the home of mostly Korean immigrants. This area suffered massive property damage from the rioters and five storekeepers were killed. But unlike other areas of LA that surrendered to the non-existent mercies of the thugs, Koreatown fought back using pistols, shotguns and semi-automatic rifles.
The Koreatown residents assembled themselves into militias and formed defensive parameters atop their stores and homes to ward off the looters. Like the trapped Navy SEALS in Mogadishu, these brave souls defended themselves with the knowledge that there was no room for failure. By the end of the day, they had killed four looters and wounded many others. But they had saved their town from further ransacking.
On the third day, Rodney King went on National TV and asked the rioters “People, I just want to say, you know, can’t we all get along?” This was met by further looting and burning as the police were still AWOL from the scene. By the fourth day, the National Guard arrived and within 48 hours had the mobs under control. During the first five days, mobs around Los Angeles looted stores, burned 3,767 buildings caused more than $1billion in property damage, while some people died and around 4,000 were injured.
Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick
There are several lessons to be learned from this horrendous event, the first being that police are not always adequate protection and fleeing is not always an option. The beating of Reginald Denny could have been much different had he been armed and prepared to defend himself like the people of Koreatown were. Those people realized they had been abandoned by the LA Police Department and would either have to defend themselves or have the rest of their neighborhood razed. They wisely and courageously chose to form mutually assisting militias and were spared further damage as the rioters chose easier prey.
Another thing to learn from this event is that no matter how one feels about the verdict handed down on Rodney King, there are those who feel the destruction of property, looting and killing was justified. In a recent interview with VH1, Henry Watson, one of the four thugs who would have killed Reginald Denny was asked if he had any regrets about his involvement. His comments are chilling: “There’s no way that 400 years of the white folks’ b.s. is going to be justified by this one ass whooping,” said Watson. On a website dedicated to South-central LA history, the author justifies it like this: “The riots were not just a collection of random acts. People were speaking out against oppression; against being held down for so long. The only way they were finally heard was through the extreme acts that came to be called the LA Riots.”
This article is not meant to raise issues of hate, anger or race, but to simply inform those willing to listen; The LA Riots will not be the last time something like this occurs. If thousands of Americans are moved to destroy their neighbor’s property or even kill them over a perceived injustice, then how far will they go if they’re hungry? One only needs to look to Hurricanes Katrina, Irene and Sandy to see how swiftly chaos can engulf a city. Now, picture the scene if the disaster is one that affects large portions or even the entire nation. There is a distinct possibility the Federal Government may be unable to stop anarchy in time to avert massive damage. This leaves it up to the local people to be the first responders and depending on the severity of the situation, this could break down to the individual to look after themselves and/or their family and neighbors.
As the US debt continues to ascend like a Saturn II rocket, there is the growing probability of a major economic disaster the likes of which America has never seen. This is at a time when more Americans depend on the government than at any other time in our Nation’s history. Since President Obama took office in 2009, applications for food stamps have increased 47%, the amount of people receiving disability is now over double the amount of jobs having been created. As of January, 2013, more than 53% of Americans rely on some form of welfare.
I Carry a Gun Because Cops Are Too Heavy
Now, what happens if the government is no longer able to pay millions of Americans their welfare checks? Few Americans have more than a day or two of food at home and fewer still can last over three days. What happens when millions of people no longer have the ability to go to McDonald’s for cheeseburger because they are broke? One does not need to read tea leaves or a crystal ball to see chaos spread like a forest fire on a 100° day in this scenario. Semi-automatic weapons are legal for this reason: they protect people from extreme cases of assault.
As is typical following an event like Sandy Hook and Jovan Belcher/Kasandra Perkins tragedies, the media and gun control crowd look to penalize law abiding citizens for the actions of a few. If, as they claim, these attacks will be eliminated and the lion will lie down with the lamb by the outlawing of semi-automatic rifles then places like Switzerland must more resemble a war zone than one of the wealthiest countries on earth. As of 2001, Switzerland had around 420,000 assault rifles (fully automatic, or “selective fire”) stored at private homes. Additionally, there are some 320,000 semi-auto rifles and military pistols exempted from military service in private possession.
With the growing potential of a Federal default in our future, the possibility of civil unrest grows with it. Knowing the Korean immigrants would have suffered more casualties and property damage had they left their defense to the police, it’s time to understand that to control extreme situations, one needs to employ extreme controls.
“Denial and inactivity prepare people well for the roles of victim and corpse.” ― Ben Sherwood