When the riots aren’t just a news story anymore
Although I live in a red state, I live in a blue county and, more specifically, in a suburb that’s within twenty minutes of a blue city. I spent a pleasant day today running errands, surrounded by congenial people of all races. After my errands were done, I dedicated myself to domestic tasks. I avoided the news. When news is your job, it’s nice to take a little time off.
At 9 p.m., as always, I finally turned on my computer to see what was going on in the world. I was surprised to learn that there were riots and looting in that nearby blue city. People were marching, screaming about wrongs committed five years, eight years, 80 years, and more than 150 years ago. Like Muslims still vowing revenge for the Reconquista, the left never forgets a slight.
I view riots the same way I view wildfires – once they start, they can spread with incredible speed and shoot off in random directions. When there are wildfires within a 35-mile radius of your home, you make sure you have your go-bag at hand.
And when there are rioters attacking police, burning buildings, and looting stores within 20 minutes of your home, you take precautions. Rather than prepping for writing, I prepped for the possibility of an assault.
All entrances to my house are sealed. The alarm is set. Should someone break in, I know the police won’t be there, but the alarm’s shrill sound will give me an early warning.
The things in my house that can be used as weapons, including a nice actual weapon, are consolidated in my bedroom, which is the designated retreat space. A friend of mine was raped at knifepoint in her own home, with the added insult to that overwhelming injury being the fact that the perpetrator used a knife from her own kitchen. That won’t happen at my house, at least not tonight.
I like to get my ducks in a row. The greatest likelihood is that nothing bad will happen. Besides, the rioters are concentrating on shopping areas. If you break into a closed Nike store, you know you’re going to leave as happy as the woman in this video about Chicago’s Nike store did:
Nike store on Michigan Ave smashed and completely looted pic.twitter.com/IRZc4FuDBO— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) May 31, 2020
If you break into a jewelry store in Dallas, you might have to beat the owner to death (or almost to death), but at least you’ll get some jewelry. (And please, please don’t watch the video about that beating in Dallas -- which I’m not even embedding in this post -- if seeing horrific violence upsets you. I watched it because it’s my job and I’m still shaken.)
But breaking into a house is a more dicey proposition. The likelihood of finding the things you want is small. Moreover, even though I’m in a blue county, this is a red state, and, in many houses, looters may find themselves looking down the wrong end of someone’s AR-15.
When Donald Trump tweeted “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he was saying nothing more than the truth. He was not glorifying violence, no matter what the imbecilic, micro-brained morons at Twitter claimed. He was, instead, stating a fact. A black federal police officer was shot and killed in Oakland. That poor man in Dallas was beaten to mush. An Antifa rioter in Seattle grabbed an AR-15 and was prevented from committing mayhem with it thanks only to the quick-thinking citizen who seized and then instantly cleared the weapon:
Here’s another angle. This guy was SO quick to act. pic.twitter.com/yMJmjsIlHs— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) May 31, 2020
There are 300 million guns in America, most in the hands of law-abiding citizens. The NRA has approximately 5.5 million members, the vast majority of whom are law-abiding citizens. These are not people who use guns offensively. They are people who use guns defensively, as did this storeowner in Rochester. If the police can no longer defend them, they will defend themselves.
Trump wasn’t glorifying violence. He was warning the rioters and looters that they are poking the sleeping dragon. In World War II, the Japanese and Germans (who declared war on America two days after Pearl Harbor) thought that one good Japanese bombing and a German threat would keep America out of the war. They were wrong. Instead, they roused the arsenal of democracy.
Today’s rioters are wrong too, but we may be in for an ugly time in America as roused law-abiding Americans teach the rioters a well-deserved lesson.