I noticed last night that the St. Louis riots across town from my home caught the attention of Matt Drudge. Sunday night a QuickTrip in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, was robbed and burned to the ground by rioters and looters. Yesterday, violent incidents were reported at the Galleria Mall. There were also various incidents of violence and looting in several locations.
The triggering event was a police shooting. Some are saying that the shooting victim was unarmed and was not refusing to cooperate. There’s no video footage yet, or official lawsuit that makes allegations, so I have no idea what is true. If you have read this blog, you know we tend to take police homicides and other acts of violence very seriously. But right now it is impossible to know what really happened.
What we do know is that no business owner in Ferguson had anything to do with shooting anyone. Yet violent men have attacked local businesses, looting and destroying them. KMOV posted an interactive map.
Whether the police are at fault in the case of the young man who was shot, it is an outrage that this violence is permitted. J.C. Wireless, Hibbett Sports, Auto Zone, Taco Bell and other businesses had nothing to do with the police action, pay taxes for police protection, and they are getting little to no help. Willful looters and rioters take what they want and destroy property.
Who gets their property protected?
The business owners who protect it themselves, that’s who.
The Riverfront Times reports:
After hearing of the roving bands of looters, Mike Gutierrez knew he had to protect his tattoo shop. He brought a posse with him, including Adam Weinstein, owner of County Guns, who was acutely worried about criminals getting their hands on his merchandise.
“We didn’t want them coming in here and then running around with a bunch of free guns,” Weinstein told Daily RFT when we arrive at the store around 12:30 a.m. this morning. Weinstein was outfitted with an assault rifle, pistol and tactical vest. Gutierrez cradled his own rifle in his hands.
The two businesses shared a storefront. They suffered no property damage.