How to Prevent Riots in California
By JOHN SEILER
I remember the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Even though I lived and worked in Orange County, a tingling electricity was in the air. U.S. Marines drove up through O.C. to L.A. to impose martial law. Many L.A. cops deserted their posts, instead of protecting the people they took oaths to defend.
We wondered if the rioters would drive down the 5 Freeway and burn Orange County. They didn’t.
Riots now are striking London and other British cities. Rioters are attacking citizens and burning buildings.
On Lew Rockwell’s blog, Christopher Manion writes how to end the riots, and prevent new ones: End Britain’s vicious gun-control laws, which allow criminals to have guns but severely punish honest, law-abiding citizens who have them. That would include allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons. Manion writes:
“I wonder how brazen those British thugs would be if they knew shop owners might have a loaded Sturm-Ruger Mini-14 under every counter. One report I saw tonight showed a block of shops totally destroyed and looted, save one: the bookstore. Clearly intelligent persuasion will not avail with the plunderers. Bullets might fare better. They are cowards, after all.”
Things are a little better in California. Although guns are severely regulated, you still can get one — after a 10-day waiting period. So, if you feel tensions rising in your area, you can’t buy a gun to defend yourself until after the riot might be over with, your business and home burned down and your family assaulted. And as in the 1992 riots — or the 2005 Hurricane Katrina looting in New Orleans — the police also might flee.
Restrictive California Laws
California also suffers highly restrictive conceal-carry laws. The decision on issuing conceal-carry permits is made by county sheriffs. In rural areas, sheriffs mostly are reasonable, as I wrote in a CalWatchDog.com article last year. But urban areas generally have tight controls, even in supposedly conservative Orange County.
Yet gun scholars point out that the more guns there area in the hands of honest citizens — and the easier conceal-carry laws are for honest citizens — the less crime there is. That’s because, in states with greater gun rights, criminals never can be sure if a potential victim will pull out a .38 and defend himself.
John Lott is the author of “More Guns, Less Crime.” He explained:
“States with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes. Thirty-one states now have such laws—called “shall-issue” laws. These laws allow adults the right to carry concealed handguns if they do not have a criminal record or a history of significant mental illness.
“There is a strong negative relationship between the number of law-abiding citizens with permits and the crime rate—as more people obtain permits there is a greater decline in violent crime rates. For each additional year that a concealed handgun law is in effect the murder rate declines by 3 percent, rape by 2 percent, and robberies by over 2 percent.
“Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons. First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves.”
During the 1992 riots, when police vanished from the streets, heroic Korean store owners took matters into their own hands. They brought out their guns and started firing at the looters. According to Wikipedia:
“Koreatown experienced the hardest crime and destruction of the ordeal. Hundreds of Korean owned businesses were looted, damaged or burnt down and an unknown number of Koreans physically attacked. By the second day of rioting, the LAPD and County Sheriff had been overpowered by the number of rioters forcing the departments to pull all units from patrol. As violent rioters next turned its attention to firefighters, the LAFD also recalled their teams. This left unchecked crime and fires which quickly expanded. The Korean American community, seeing the police force’s abandonment of Koreatown, organized gun-wielding groups to protect businesses and area residents. Open gun battles were televised live as shopkeepers defended their business from the crowds of violent looters.“
The message is clear: Get a gun to defend your family. Get training at a local gun range. Do it now, not when something happens and you have to wait 10 days. And not 10 days after the cops flee your neighborhood.
If enough Californians are armed, next time the riots might be prevented. And even if the riots occur, they will be less violent and of shorter duration.
Here’s a YouTube of the heroic Koreans defending their stores back in 1992:
May 24, 2013