Violence in America’s larger cities, like Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and New York, has been going on for decades. Recent violence in other cities, that began as peaceful protests of police misbehavior or malfeasance, have been going on for more than a hundred nights. And in neither case have these situations been effectively dealt with, or in the case of the recent riots, hardly dealt with at all.
The violence in Seattle, Washington; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; Kenosha, Wisconsin and St. Louis, Missouri began as peaceful protests of the treatment of black residents by police. But while there may still be some peaceful protesters in these cities, they have been pushed aside by violent rioters.
These people are bent on violence and destruction, looting businesses and sometimes setting them on fire, trashing and burning police vehicles and even police stations, attacking police officers who are trying to protect people and property, and threatening and assaulting bystanders. How this violence is supposed to help anyone, the rioters have not said.
The violence is moving from the downtowns into neighborhoods, with homes being threatened. After rioters broke through the gate of their St. Louis residential community, a couple appeared outside their home holding firearms to protect themselves and their property from the criminals. The rioters appeared at the curb, threatening to take over their home, arguing about who was going to occupy which room in the house, or perhaps, to burn it down and kill the owners.
Not so many years ago, these groups would have been quickly dealt with, many arrested and charged with crimes. Not today. Today, the two people trying to protect their home from criminals were the ones charged with crimes.
Today, instead of protecting the citizens and businesses in their cities, mayors tell the police to keep their distance, and leave the rioters alone, still inexplicably referring to them as “protesters,” as if there is no violence. One mayor’s plan is to just let things take their course until the rioters get tired and give up.
Another mayor did act, but only after the rioters approached her home. And still another mayor has moved his family after rioters tried to burn down the condo building where they resided.
The longer it takes to start countering the rioters, the stronger the actions against them will have to be to get them to stop, as this period of doing nothing has greatly emboldened them.
People across the nation have taken notice that this violence against innocent people and destruction of their property is growing. They have begun to worry about their own safety. If elected “leaders” will not allow police to interact to protect their citizens, the citizens understand that they will have to protect themselves and their property.
People are arming themselves in greater numbers than before. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) reports that as of July, 2020, 40 percent of firearms purchases were by people who have never owned a firearm before.
The NSSF, utilizing the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System, determined that from January through July, 12.1 million background checks were recorded, which is 71.7 percent higher than the same period last year. The NSSF notes that this equates to nearly 5 million first-time gun owners in the seven months surveyed. More than a few gun purchases were by women who fear for their security.
“This is a tectonic shift in the firearm and ammunition industry marketplace and complete transformation of today’s gun-owning community,” said Lawrence G. Keane, a senior vice president of NSSF. Many or most of those purchases are due to the out-of-control riotous element causing so much damage and injury in recent weeks. It is likely that some of these new gun owners were previously not strong supporters of our Second Amendment, but have seen the light, and now appreciate the right to bear arms for their own defense.
Evidence is growing that the riots involve people who don’t live in the cities where the riots take place. Police in Kenosha report that 175 rioters were arrested. More than 100 of them were not Kenosha residents, and in fact, had come there from 44 other towns and cities, according to local media.
Following the Republican National Convention event in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 27, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and his wife were shoved, shouted at and threatened as they walked to their hotel, and had to be protected by police. Paul believes the crowd that protested President Donald Trump’s speech was not there by chance.
He said they were organized, well-equipped, and had a neater appearance than rioters usually do. "My feeling is that there's interstate criminal traffic being paid for across state lines, but you won't know unless you arrest them,” he said, adding, “I promise you that at least some of the members and the people who attacked us were not from D.C....they were paid to be here."
If rioters are financially supported and being bused to locations, they are much more dangerous than groups arising spontaneously, and riots will most likely continue. And, they will move into other parts of the country. This violence must be stopped.