When the Riots Come, Will You Have Your Gun?

In 1992, after the shock of the Rodney King not guilty verdict for the cops came down, South Los Angeles burst into flames.  So what did the cops do?  Did they go in to protect the citizens?

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No, the chilling truth is the rioting did not stop during that first night of fury. Nor did it stop the next day, or the day after.  It spread out throughout other LA areas over a six day period.

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Though a police presence were deployed in the area, they were outnumbered, and ordered to watch only.  Helicopters hovered overhead and the only thing they could do was film Reginald Denny’s beating.

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The media took hold of one socialite asking a reporter, “Has Beverly Hills fallen yet?”  It became a mocking slogan as it was revealed later that the police were ordered to protect the area and businesses there, and leave South LA and Koreatown on their own.

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Many of the disturbances were concentrated in South Central LA, which was primarily composed of African American and Hispanic residents. Half of all riot arrestees and more than a third of those killed during the violence were Hispanic.  Fifty-three people died during the riots, including ten who were shot dead by police and military forces, with as many as 2,000 people injured.

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Estimates of the material losses vary between about $800 million and $1 billion.  Approximately 3,600 fires were set, destroying 1,100 buildings, with fire calls coming once every minute at some points. Widespread looting also occurred. Stores owned by Korean and other Asian immigrants were widely targeted. 

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Korean-Americans, seeing the police force’s abandonment of Koreatown, organized armed security teams composed of store owners, who defended their livelihoods from assault by the mobs. Open gun battles were televised as Korean shopkeepers exchanged gunfire with armed looters.  During the riots, many Korean immigrants from the area rushed to Koreatown, after Korean-language radio stations called for volunteers to guard against rioters. Many were armed, with a variety of improvised weapons, shotguns, and semi-automatic rifles.

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Due to their low social status and language barrier, Korean Americans received very little if any aid or protection from police authorities.  David Joo, a manager of the gun store, said, “I want to make it clear that we didn’t open fire first. At that time, four police cars were there. Somebody started to shoot at us. The LAPD ran away in half a second. I never saw such a fast escape. I was pretty disappointed.” Carl Rhyu, a participant in the Korean immigrants’ armed response to the rioting, said, “If it was your own business and your own property, would you be willing to trust it to someone else?

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We are glad the National Guard is here. They’re good backup. But when our shops were burning we called the police every five minutes; no response.  At a shopping center several miles north of Koreatown, Jay Rhee, who estimated that he and others fired five hundred shots into the ground and air, said, “We have lost our faith in the police. Where were you when we needed you?” Korean Americans were ignored. Koreatown was isolated from South Central Los Angeles, yet despite such exclusion it was the heaviest hit.

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Though much of the rioting was racial, most people saw it as a disintegration of civility.  People rioted because of the built up anger and frustration of recent events.  Even your average citizen just saw an opportunity to steal and they did.

So, what have we learned from history?  We have learned that the 1% will be protected by the police and the military.  The rest of us are on our own.

Sources:                                                 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Los_Angeles_riots  http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/riots-erupt-in-los-angele        http://goo.gl/XLeb1

Barrels and Chains

One bad apple spoils the barrel.

I was reading the history of this little proverb and discovered it goes all the way back to

Geoffrey Chaucer (1343 – 25 October 1400).  In his “Canterbury Tales” readers come across the following passage in unfinished “The Cook’s Tale.”  The passage loosely translates as this:

About an old proverb, the words that say:
“A rotten apple‘s better thrown away
Before it spoils the barrel.” That is true
When dealing with a bad apprentice too.

But even Chaucer says it is an old proverb so he is not the originator either.  And many have referred to it since.  Most recently the blogosphere and social media has been using it when referring to the Boston Marathon Massacre and the two alleged bombers.

Are they the bad apples that will bring down Islam?  There is a slow and quiet voice among the Muslims here in America that is starting to say that these two are wrong and they don’t represent us or our beliefs.

It was “very traumatic, and really shook me,” said Dr. Sajid Faizi, of the Utah Islamic Center. ” I want to express and extend my deepest sympathy and compassion to all the American families.”   http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_4646.shtml

“These acts are categorically condemned in the Quran and by the Muslim majority,” he said. “Muslims have to begin to speak out against these acts more assertively and collaborate with other faiths and local governments so that the true tenets of our faith can be known. In the future, we need to do a better job countering it by educating the public against those who are ignorant and evil and hijack our faith.”  ~ Taymullah Abdur-Rahman  http://www.telegram.com/article/20130420/NEWS/104209974/1052

But the religious barrel isn’t the only place we find these bad apples.  They are everywhere.

  • sports  — Lance Armstrong — http://www.nbcnews.com/business/lance-armstrong-doping-scandal-hurts-cyclists-endorsement-career-963406
  • entertainment — Lindsay Lohan — http://www.listal.com/list/stars-behind-bars-gemmalil
  • politics — Jesse Jackson, Jr.  — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_federal_politicians_convicted_of_crimes#Legislative_Branch
  • business — F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. — http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/top100.html
  • and yes, even our own families — insert the name of your relative here.

So do they really ruin the whole barrel?  Well obviously not, because the barrels above seem to be carrying on; tarnished maybe, but still plugging along.  All we really do is deal with the bad apple, and not the barrel itself.  Which brings us to another idiom,

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

So our bad apples are our weakest links and they endanger the entire chain, but apparently don’t break it entirely. What these bad apples and weak links do is to show us we must not deny the badness or weakness, because they do contribute to our overall story and growth.  They show us we need to take responsibility for ourselves and our barrels and chains.

When we understand these bad apples and weak links we can become better barrels and chains; more enjoyable, productive, and dependable. Which brings me to one of my all time favorite sayings,

You can pay me now or you can pay me later.

Gil Rogers made that saying famous in a Fram Oil filter commercial.  http://youtu.be/aq3wL8ZXjBU

And it is so true about our bad apples and weak links.  They are expensive because they cause so much havoc and disaster and it is very expensive to clean up after them and get people back on track to believing in or trusting the barrel and the chain.  So we must deal with them, preferably now instead of later.

Each religion must find the fanatics and criminals in their ranks, as well as the entertainment industry, our political and business worlds, and our own families.

Bullets and Boxing

There was a lot of “bullet” sweating this past week concerning the gun control bills up for vote, or at least some worrisome drops from social media conservatives  and liberals wondering if the Democrats could muster the votes required to “shoot down” this legislation.  

Yes, Obama got the vote on gun control that he had guaranteed so many people.  But he didn’t get the results he wanted and immediately took to the main stream media with his trusty side kick, Joe Biden, (ever notice how much he resembles Walter the Grumpy Old Man puppet that belongs to Jeff Dunham?) and the ever dependable supporters thereto, and pronounced his shock and awe.

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He couldn’t wait to blame the NRA for the entire thing and this of course is probably what he wanted all along; a platform for which the voters could use to go after the Republicans in the next election.   It will be the David v Goliath if that is his strategy.  The NRA v the liberal voters.

In this corner, weighing in at 4.5 million members the NRA.  In the opposite corner, the registered voters of America, coming in at 150 million.  These two have met before on many occasions, and the last fight was won by the NRA in a not so surprising bout that scored  54 to 46 in the Senate arena. 

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Those 4.5 million NRA members have an estimated 270 million guns in circulation and they do not seem to be wavering in their opposition to the liberals trying to restrict or control them.  So from Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” to the Gifford’s “I Will Not Rest” it appears the next fight will be in the 2014 and 2016 elections. 

The argument — what exactly does the 2nd Amendment mean, what did the Founding Fathers intend, what does the Supreme Court interpret — is obviously not going away anytime soon.  Meanwhile we all hold our breath, knowing there will be another gun incident.  It doesn’t matter what laws are passed, someone will kill someone with a gun.  Unless and until guns are outlawed and confiscated it will continue to happen.  

The first being the fear of the NRA, and the latter being the fear of the gun-control advocates.   Fear distances you from the reality.  Fear makes you believe in an outcome that is imaginary and your fears succumb to lies; lies told to you, lies you tell yourself.  Fear makes you defensive and skeptical.  It makes you arrogant and think you can control the outcome. 

The above paragraph describes both groups.