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February 1, 2013

Unilateral Disarmament

Joe Charlebois

Nearly 21 years ago the City of Los Angeles succumbed to some of the greatest civil unrest the nation has ever seen outside of wartime.


The city's South Central district was turned upside down as a result of violent riots over a four day period starting on April 29th. The rioters took out their vengeance on law abiding citizens of Los Angeles when four Los Angeles Police Department officers were acquitted of assault and use of excessive force against motorist Rodney King.


King, who was risking prison time if he was found to be violating the terms of his parole, fled when the California Highway Patrol attempted to pull him over for a traffic violation. King's vehicle was reported to have exceeded 115 M.P.H. during parts of the chase.


Once King's vehicle was pulled over, the two passengers were removed and King was arrested.


An amateur videographer caught the incident on tape and showed the brutal nature of the arrest. In the minds of the public, there was little doubt that the four were guilty of assault and use of excessive force.


During the trial the defense was able to make the case that prior to the recording, King was aggressively resisting arrest and needed to be subdued by several officers.


The officers were found innocent of the charges.


What resulted was destruction, mayhem, murder and arson.


Over the four days of rioting, 53 people would lose their lives. Over 2,000 people would suffer injuries.


The hardest hit community was the enclave known as Koreatown. According to Rose Kim, in Ethnic & Racial Studies, Koreans suffered the most. They were victims to 45% of all damages. This included 2,300 Korean-owned stores that were burned or looted.


It could have been much worse.


Korean shopkeepers and storeowners were warned over a Korean language radio station to abandon their stores, retreat to their homes and pray. For the most part they did not abandon their stores, nor did they go home. They stood guard with whatever weapons they could gather and protected their property, lives and home.


They used weapons of all kinds including rifles that I am sure their own Sen. Dianne Feinstein would have either confiscated or restricted to a point that would have made defending one's life, liberty and property a much more difficult task.


The suggestions brought forth on the issues of controlling gun violence would have done nothing to stop any of the crazed gunmen who have tormented our citizens over the years.


The suggestions would do little more than make self-defense a more difficult task. Those who have ignored the law on use of weapons will still do so no matter what legislation or edict from on high is issued.


If the Los Angeles riots proved one thing, it is that you can't count on the police to protect you, and when the need arises to call 9-1-1, it is already too late. American citizens have the right to defend themselves. It is part of our Constitution and it is part of Natural Law.


Attempting to assuage the fears of many Americans, the gun control lobby has presented several proposals, but there is little logic to these arguments. They are attempting to take out of circulation rifles they deem to dangerous. They use the term "assault weapon," which is engineered to strike fear in those unfamiliar with guns. The term is both misleading and redundant and does nothing to further a rational argument.


The United States is a nation that has nearly one gun per capita, but there is only an infinitely miniscule fraction of those weapons that are used to assault others. Unless otherwise used, weapons in the hands of nearly every American are either sporting weapons or self-defense weapons.


Other proposals that restrict the number of rounds per clip that someone may use is no more than a pacifier given to those who have been torn apart by the senseless acts of a 20-year old coward.


When the heightened emotions wane, we will still live in the same culture and have either crazy or evil persons capable of doing extremely devastating things to their fellow human beings.


Restricting gun ownership, or the ability of anyone to defend themselves, is not the proper thing to do. Just ask the Korean merchants of Los Angeles.


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