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Cryo Chamber

What’s That About Self-Protection, Obama?

During the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992, the one news report that stuck with me was how the Korean shop owners kept their premises safe from the marauding mobs.

The uprising was the reaction to the acquittal of four white police officers accused in the beating of King after his arrest a year before.

When the verdict came it, all hell broke loose as out-of-control rioters spread from the inner city toward the affluent Westside.

The Koreans’ businesses were on the fringe of downtown and South Central L.A. where the rioting began. Those storeowners didn’t try to reason with the lawbreakers. They didn’t depend on alarm systems.

They couldn’t even rely on the police department – or the Army, Marines and National Guard – who were having their own troubles dealing with the street violence and massive destruction. It was all the cops and military could do to stop the mayhem and try to prevent the destruction and looting from spreading into Westwood, Brentwood and Bel Air.

I recall that local news reported that residents of those affluent areas suddenly became customers of local gun shops as they suddenly realized they needed ways to protect themselves.

Funny how threats to survival make people sensible.

That’s where the Korean shop owners come in. They’d planned ahead and had their firearms. When the roving mobs came into their area, they just sat in front of their stores with a shotgun across their laps, and waited.

The rioters, more interested in destruction than in getting killed, avoided those businesses and moved on to easier marks. There were a lot of those – more than 3,100 businesses looted, 7,000 fires started and a billion dollars in losses – to say nothing of the deaths and injuries.

Time magazine called it the “worst single episode of urban unrest in American history.”

But every armed Korean business was spared.

I thought of this episode as I followed the ludicrous situation facing Arizona.-[source]

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