In yesterday’s post on the English riots, I suggested that UK gun control was a contributing factor. Disarming the populace led to a dangerous disconnect between the Government and the governed. Yes, well, the “other” gun-related analysis is gaining traction: if law-abiding UK subjects had guns they’d have shot the bastards. Of course, the Brits can’t have that. Individuals protecting their life and property through force of arms? We’re not America dear fellow! Let the police deal with these ruffians. To that end, Prime Minister David Cameron returned from his hols . . .
and promptly threatened the yobs with “sustained police measures” including the “possible use of water cannons.” After four days of organized criminal attacks, it’s time for the Super Soaker! Apparently David hasn’t heard 10cc’s classic “Rubber Bullets.” Anyway, here’s where things get really interesting . . .
“This has just started, this is just proving to the police, this is minor stuff, this is just showing what they can do. And people with guns are going to come out next, start killing people to show the police that we’re not standing for this,” said unidentified youths.
Nonsense. Tough talk from a bunch of economically disenfranchised young people hiding behind the cloak of anonymity [via ibn.in.com]. Then again, could we be witnessing the birth (radicalization?) of a popular resistance movement against the British police state? A British spring?
Ironically, it’s not the looters the government need to worry about. Much. It’s the middle class business owners and their friends watching their highly-taxed property go up in smoke—while the cops stand by and do sweet FA. Clock this from The New York Times:
In an ominous development, the Birmingham police opened a murder inquiry into the deaths of three men killed when a car drove at them while they were protecting homes and businesses from looters. If the fatalities are related to the spasms of violence gripping English cities, it will bring the death toll in the unrest to four.
Imagine how Her Majesty’s Government would respond to an armed defense. WILL respond. If the rioting continues, if it spreads to less urban enclaves, it’s a dead cert that hunting shotguns will come into play. If it keeps going after that, otherwise law-abiding subjects will tool-up. The wool has been pulled from the populace’s eyes: the cops can’t or won’t protect them.
In some areas of the country, residents began patrolling their own areas to forestall looting, accusing the police of inaction. Their presence played into a broader debate about tactics and force levels at a time when government spending plans call for a reduction in the size of police forces.
The rioting may simply fizzle out. If so, the “debate” over the riots will center on police staffing levels, which will lead to more police and, thus, more government control. And more aggressive policing tactics. The most surveilled nation on planet earth will get more of the same. Lots more. For sure, the po-po will swoop down on Twitter and Facebook felons, pulling the yobs in their squats and launching new initiatives to nip any further looting or rioting in the bud.
In short, the British police (a.k.a., Nanny) state will do what it does best. Maintain control. Meanwhile . . .
Some senior government officials encountered popular discontent as they toured heavily damaged parts of the capital. On Tuesday, Mr. Johnson, the mayor, who also rushed home from his own vacation abroad, strode down the main street in Clapham hoisting a broom to manifest his support for a large crowd of residents who had formed themselves into a volunteer cleanup brigade.
But when he called the rioters “a bunch of criminals” and said they would “face punishment they will bitterly regret,” some in the crowd confronted him, saying that the rioters had a free run of the area for hours, with no sign of police intervention.
“Where were they when we needed them to protect us?” asked Onelia Giarratano, the owner of a wrecked hairdressing salon. She said the crowd that destroyed her business included boys as young as 12, and said they had turned Clapham High Street into “a war zone”.
Then again, it could go the other way. If the police crackdown gets vicious, if they have to start shooting looters, it will trigger an increasingly violent response. The police shooting at the start of this conflagration was relatively uncontroversial [sic]. Mr. Duggan was a gang member with a gun. If the cops gun down an “innocent protester” or a gaggle of same, all hell will break loose. Again.
Interesting times. All of which could have been avoided if the British people hadn’t surrendered their right to keep and bear arms. Just sayin’.