Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Second Amendment

This is what happens when you disarm the populace:
Stripped: A worrying picture from Twitter shows a man apparently in Deptford appearing to have his clothes removed as another man looks on

Aftermath: Burnt out buildings in Croydon are doused down following Monday night's rioting
(More here. Much more here. See also this. It's interesting that the girl blames the "rich people". I guess, Obama would say that "they can afford it". Or something about marginal utility.)

I am not saying anything against the police this time (even though, again, with the state having monopoly on policing, we simply don't know how effective the policing might have been had it been done by a number of competing private organizations). But the simple truth is that there aren't enough of them, whatever they are armed with. (Although, one could say that living in a police state tends to create a tension between the populace and the "ones in power". While living in a welfare state tends to create a sense of entitlement for good life without any effort. And when you combine the police state and the welfare state...)

And this is what happens when you allow people to arm themselves — a bunch of self-armed Koreans protecting their store during 1992 Los Angeles riots:


I could link to a bunch of stories of 80-year-old men shooting a bunch of punks trying to rob a store, etc., but it's not necessary. The simple truth is that the best protection is self-protection, and not everyone can do this:

By the way, arbat notes that the most popular items on UK list right now are baseball bats and police bats. I guess if you won't let the people arm themselves one way, they will go the alternate route. Just like if you implement price control, you will at the same time create deficit and black market. As the weird mathematician from Jurassic Park said, "Nature finds the way".

P.S. A nice collection on the topic from Istapundit.
It is fascinating to see how postmodern Western societies react to wide-scale rioting, looting, and thuggery aimed at innocents. In Britain, politicians contemplate the use of water cannons as if they were nuclear weapons; and here the mayor of Philadelphia calls on rappers to appeal to youth to help ease the flash-mobbing that has a clear racial component to it (is the attorney general’s Civil Rights Division investigating?) [...]

We seem able to admit that massive federal and state entitlements have created a sense of dependency, a loss of self-respect and initiative, and a breakdown of the family, yet we still seem to fear that trimming the subsidies would lead to some sort of cold-turkey hyper-reaction. We assume that society is to blame for disaffected youth and therefore are hesitant to use commensurate force to quell the violence or even to make it clear that perpetrators are responsible for their own conduct. Yet at some point — when the violence reaches middle-class communities or, in serial fashion, downtown or suburban stores — we likewise assume that sufficient force will be used. Sociological exegesis will go out the window. Reality has a way of dispelling such cognitive luxuries.


One of the more depressing things about these riots is the way that the only thing that the Police can think of to say to us non-looters and non-arsonists is: “Don’t join in” and “Let us handle it”. If the bad guys start to torch your house, let them get on with it. If they attack your next door neighbour, don’t join in on his side. Run away. Let the barbarians occupy and trash whatever territory they pick on and steal or destroy whatever property they want to. 
There was a fascinating impromptu TV interview with some young citizens of Clapham last night, not “experts”, just regular citizens, one of whom stated the opposite policy. Law abiding persons should get out of their houses, he said, en masse, and be ready to defend them.

The trouble with “letting the Police do their job” is that in the precise spot in which you happen to live, or used to live, their job probably won’t start, if it ever does start, for about a week. In the meantime, letting the Police do their job means letting the damn looters and arsonists do their job, without anyone laying a finger on them, laying a finger on them being illegal. This is a doomed policy. If most people are compelled by law to be only neutral bystanders in a war between themselves and barbarism, barbarism wins. The right to, at the very least, forceful self defence must now be insisted upon.


%Shocked% said...

I'll consider going back to click on your links and read the articles you linked to, but it's too early for me to use my phone to jump around like that.

I think your point definitely has some validity to it, but I believe it's too late for that at this point for what's going on in London. If people did take to the streets today, I think it would only exacerbate an already out of control situation. The first time a defender went too far and "accidentally" killed a looter (and at this stage, it's bound to happen), well, violence breeds violence is an appropriate phrase here. Sure, as a preventative measure it might work really well, but it can't be encouraged once the violence has already started. I don't think that would help at all.

Certified Ashkenazi said...

I may be wrong, but I think I saw some headlines (or fragments of news articles) stating that members of Turkish (or Kurdish?) community successfully defended themselves against the raiders. Just like many Koreans defended themselves against rioters in 1992 LA riots. Just like members of Russian community in Brooklyn cleared out the regions where they settled of scum. All this was done through aggressive means.

What do you mean by "went too far"? According to the Jewish law, a looter would be chayav misa if given over to the authorities, and the owner would be chayav to kill him, since there is a chazakah that a robber/thief will kill if necessary, which makes him a rodef.

I don't believe in appeasement. "Oh well, now it's too late to fight Hitler. Military response is not the right answer. It will only provoke him to further aggression and lead to hundreds of lives being lost for nothing. We should aim to solve this conflict peacefully, through diplomatic means,involving the League of Nations."

You say: "It would not help at all". First: what's your evidence? Where have you seen cases when organized defense led to negative results? Second: what would help? As the quotes show, waiting for police does not help either. The best response is to sit and watch as you are being attacked?

%Shocked% said...

And at the cost of how many lives? Of course, it's impossible to know what will lead to more deaths, allowing the riots to happen or fighting back, but I'd think the answer should be obvious. That's just my humble opinion though.

Are we talking about looters? Sure, there has been looting, but that isn't what your point, nor your post was discussing. Oops, just saw.. I mentioned looting. As did you... Shucks lol.. Um, right, now that we're on the same page again, what are you talking about? Chayav misa? I believe that applies in the heat of the moment, not handing them over to the authorities. As well, I don't believe he's chayav to kill the thief, but is allowed to. There may also be a difference if the looters are doing so in broad daylight or at night. But I'm not fluent with the halachos...

I'm not saying there should be appeasement either...

No evidence, I'd say it's common sense. But perhaps the Warsaw Ghetto Massacre would be a good example...? They rose up and were slaughtered. It's possible, perhaps probable, that would have happened anyway, but presumably they hastened it, no?

I'm not saying I have a solution, but I don't think telling the common-folk to resort to the same level of violence as the "hooligans" will do anything to resolve the situation