(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 Amazon.com 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.