“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” – children’s ditty
“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” – Buddha
The acquittal of George Zimmerman is neither the beginning nor the end of a tragic story. A 17-year-old young man is dead. (Yes, young man… he was not the 12-year-old the media successfully portrayed to garner emotional responses from the public at large). He will never grow up to realize his full potential as a contributing member of society, he will never go to college, and he will never know the joy of a wife or children.
A husband and father of two, Zimmerman’s life was inexorably altered the moment that fatal shot was fired. He will forever be hounded by the events of that day, forever hated and vilified, and despite the findings of a criminal court as to his innocence, will forever be looking over his shoulder for yet another civil lawsuit to emerge and watching while his wife and children suffer the fallout of everything that has occurred.
The fact is, in the end, there were no winners in this trial. Everyone lost—Trayvon Martin, with his life; George Zimmerman and his family, with their lives (even though they walk around still); and the American people, because while the rule of law technically worked in this trial, the spirit of it was destroyed.
It was destroyed because we allowed vigilante justice to become the norm for our legal system. We allowed the vile voices of race-baiting and deceit to determine whether a man should be charged with a crime, not the facts of the case. We allowed a biased media to frame the narrative, not with facts but with altered tapes and testimony in order to bring about the end they wanted. And afterwards, those same vile voices have been clamoring for revenge, for hostilities, for outright murder of a man who was acquitted, not by technicalities, but by the broad evidence in a case that said he was not guilty of the charges brought.
And because of those vile voices, we now have rioters, looters, and revenge beatings occurring throughout the nation, all in the name of “justice.” We are currently sitting on the edge of a cliff, and even a slight wind can blow us off it.
This is a sign of people who do not respect the rule of law and order, and feel destruction of property and people they perceive as “not them” as the only means of justice. The LA riots in the 90s were based on a very similar situation, a trial that racism had been attached to. The LA riots were in a time before social media, and were isolated to California. Living in an age of connectivity and communication means 24 hours a day we are blasted by the case, and everyone has an opinion they want heard. This also means those people who want to riot can build support from across the nation, as seen in the protests not only in Florida, but across the country.
Rioting is an event preppers must be ready for. Almost any disaster situation is going to bring out widespread panic, fear, and opportunism. Some people will riot because of their anger, others will take on a herd mentality and join in, some will do it for the thrill, and others will do it to take whatever they want and harm whoever they want. Either way, these are dangerous individuals with a degree of blood lust. Most will be caught up in the moment and be wildly unpredictable and destructive, regardless of what’s being destroyed. No matter their reason, you must be ready to deal with them and, if necessary, defend your life and property.
An image that has always been stuck in my head and has been my poster for the Second Amendment is the Korean shopkeepers during the LA riots. They were hard working immigrants protecting their version of the American dream. They protected their shops and each other with handguns, shotguns, and SKS rifles. Rioters be damned, it was theirs, and it was staying that way.
So what can we do to protect ourselves in case of these riots? You may find yourself in the situation of simply being out with your family or friends when things seem to go to hell. If one minute everything is peaceful and the next everything has hit the fan, you need to act.
First off, you need to get to cover and out of the focus of the riot. Your vehicle could become useless if the streets are packed with people. In fact, your vehicle may even become a target. Your best bet is to get away as fast as you can and bug in. Do not take cover in a place that offers rioters one these things: a reason to destroy it, plenty of things to destroy, or something worth stealing. Examples are government buildings (as people will have a perceived reason to destroy them) or places like car dealerships (or any place with a ton of valuable items that can be destroyed). Looters will be out in full force, taking advantage of a situation. All electronic shops, pawn shops, and jewelry stores should be avoided.
So where can you hunker down? Preferably a place that can be locked down or hidden. Places like hotel lobbies and restaurants are public places where you can hide. Preferably you should blend in, and try to escape that way. Hiding jewelry or any kind of status will also be critical. If you work in a suit and tie, ditch the jacket and especially the tie. Be prepared to defend yourself, but don’t advertise and try to be a tough guy or gal.
Another situation you may face is rioters around your home or business. First off is barricading your doors—keeping the rioters out will be critical. Use whatever you have in your home, but I don’t advise nailing your entrance/exits shut. There is a very real possibility you would have to deal with a fire, and being trapped in an oven is less than ideal. Utilize your furniture and locks. These things can be quickly defeated from the inside.
Speaking of fires, I would suggest having at least one fire extinguisher on hand. I would also suggest filling a tub, or sink, or both to have water in case it’s shut off or to soak yourself in case of a fire. Now when you’re not worrying about fires, you should block out windows and keep any light use at night to minimum.
Forming a plan with your neighbors can also save your life and property. There is a lot of strength in organized numbers. Remember those Korean American shopkeepers? They worked together. Organize yourselves, arm yourselves, and prepare yourselves.
Organize a watch and rest schedule. These sounds simple, but can become complicated when people forget their watch or are not woken up. Things like this can anger people and pull apart the group. It’s best to elect at least a pair of people to act as “sergeant of the guard.” These two will split the day into two shifts and make the watch schedule, insure the reliefs are woken up, inspect the watches to insure they’re awake and alert, and passing the word from watch to watch.
Organize a communication plan, whether its cell phones, land lines, walkie talkies, or little cups attached to strings. Have a way to alert each other of threats or changes in status. Be prepared to be working with people who have little to no experience with firearms, or even people who are anti-gun. You may have to organize them into positions of support away from any potential for violence.
This is where knowing the people you’re working with comes into play, knowing which of your allies can handle themselves. Veterans, hunters, and gun enthusiasts should be placed on watch and preferably someone with military or law enforcement experience should be the sergeants of the guard. An untrained person with a weapon can be just as dangerous as the mob at your gates. Guess who else makes a good sergeant of the guard or even a good leader? A house wife. Their organizational skills are tested every day and if they can apply that to the situation, you find yourself with a decisive, capable leader.
Be confident and aggressive. Make sure the mob doesn’t want to deal with you. After Katrina, people did band together, with their firearms, and defend their neighborhoods. The same thing happened after Hurricane Sandy, and it works. An aggressive counter force to a mob will be avoided. People want to burn, destroy, and steal, not get riddled with bullets.
Should something compromise your position, be prepared to bug out. Have your bug out bags ready and quick to access. Should a fire start and spread, you won’t have time to gather supplies. You just have to grab and go. Always have an egress route and plan. Should the mob actually push against your defenses, you need to organize a retreat, not just everyone dropping everything and panicking.
Retreats should be organized using covering fire and bounding techniques. Retreats work by teams setting in and covering the next team. Simple tactics like this is what wins battles. It’s not sexy, and it’s still a retreat, but your chance of survival is greatly increased.