Minnesota provides proof that the Second Amendment matters

One of the most striking images to emerge from the latest rioting in Minnesota is that of armed men guarding their property against looters.  It is the type of image that should educate large swaths of Americans about the fact that guns keep us safe, especially when law enforcement is in retreat.

For those who have grown up accepting guns as both an important right and a normal part of life, it's hard to understand the mindset of those who grew up in an anti-gun world.  I on the other hand, totally understand it.

I grew up in a Democrat household and was reflexively anti-gun.  In this world, guns were inherently evil.  They existed to load Jews into cattle cars and to kill innocent people during crime sprees.  The mere presence of a gun in the house, like some malevolent spirit, was enough to inspire violent death.

It didn't seem to occur to anyone in my pre-conservative life that guns are inanimate objects and that the problem is the bad actors using those objects.  Nor did it occur to us that guns could be used defensively as well as offensively.

That is, nobody ever made the cognitive leap to the idea that the Jews might have resisted the cattle cars had they been armed, or that a gun can be used to stop a crime spree.  And of course, in a pre-internet age, we lived in a gun control ghetto that didn't allow for opposing information.

What changed things for me was Hurricane Katrina because I finally saw law-abiding citizens wielding their legal weapons to protect their lives and property.  It made me understand viscerally the accuracy of that gun rights slogan: "When seconds count, the police are only minutes away."  We are all our own best and fastest first responders.

I know other former anti-gun people who had that same light-bulb moment over a decade earlier during the Rodney King riots, when Korean shopkeepers defended their property by standing on the roofs, armed to the teeth.  This meme remembers them:

Back in 1992, though, I was listening to NPR and watching ABC.  I had no idea about those rooftop Koreans.  And it was only because I was starting to read the conservative blogosphere that, by 2005, I saw images of New Orleans citizens with guns keeping home and family safe.

With the latest riots out of Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis, we're once again seeing the power of guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens.  The images show maddened mobs destroying store windows and, once inside, either looting the stores or simply engaging in wanton destruction.  The only exceptions are those stores that have armed owners standing guard.

Julio Rosas, as usual, was on the scene and made a point of showing how guns changed the dynamic between the mob and intended victims:

It really is that simple: there are more law-abiding people in America than there are criminals.  When the former have guns, they use them exactly as the Founders intended: to protect themselves from anyone seeking to interfere with their lives, liberty, or property.  With that in mind, you understand what it means that the current government is determined to pry your guns out of your hands.

Image: Looting the Dollar Tree.  Twitter screen grab.