Monday, May 4, 2015
Riots and other spectator sports
One line in this Washington Wire article caught my attention.
“A resounding 96% of adults surveyed said it was likely there would be additional racial disturbances this summer”
So I had to ask myself: what do they plan to do about it? Well if someone plans to riot they know what to do. What about everyone else? As for myself I live way out in the country where there's not enough people for a sewing circle, never mind a riot.
Let's say that you in a metropolitan area. At the very least you should have some idea if your city is ripe for the type of riots that swept Baltimore. In fact, you should have a darn good idea in which part of the city riots are most likely. If you don't your situational awareness needs some fine tuning or you should move out in the country with me. At the very least you should have some idea how to avoid the likely trouble spots. Riots rarely involve whole cities. The recent Baltimore riots were much smaller than the riots of '68 and even those didn't involve the entire city.
The best way to deal with a riot is to be somewhere it ain't. The thing that drives me absolutely drunken ape nuts is the people who'll go towards trouble. They want to see what's going on. It's exciting and they don't want to miss it. Next thing they know a brick hits them in the head and a police car runs over their legs. This we call bad luck. . .
. . . or we call it what it really is, stupid. I use to see a similar effect all the time when I was a Firefighter. Big fire at the toxic chemical storage area? Spectators all over the place. Bring the kids and pack a lunch. The police could not keep them away. What is it with people?
Whatever it is, don't be those people. Stay safe out there. As for people with real personal grievances? Destroying your neighborhood won't improve your life. In '68 more than a 100 cities had riots. Most of those neighborhoods never fully recovered. Some politician or “Community Leader” will get some recognition, power and a career boost. The average Joe won't.
The logical thing to do is to keep your ear to ground listening for trouble, then get yourself to a place where it ain't. Do you want to protect your family? Great. Now ask yourself if they'd be better protected by you standing in front of your house with a baseball bat or by being on a long camping trip in the mountains? Worried about your property? Is anything you own worth your life?
Unrest can get nasty and get there fast. Whatever you do, don't rush to have a front row seat at the erupting volcano.