by John Boch

I was down at Barnes Hospital today in St. Louis, not far from Ferguson, Missouri. So, being the dedicated reporter I am, I had to go see ground zero in the worst rioting and looting our nation has seen in decades. A few observations: First off, most of what I’ve been watching at one of the live feeds (this one) has been shot from the parking lot of the business Michael Brown allegedly stole those cigars from, Ferguson Market and Liquor. It has now become a media staging location, and actually it’s been designated by cops as a “safe harbor” location for the media to report from . . .

It works well for everyone. The media has a place to park and report from, the cops are always close by and the store’s owners know their business is much less likely to be looted as it was Friday night (which would be about the third or fourth time for them).

 

 

Getting out and walking around at roughly 1pm, all was very safe and calm. Police were everywhere: courteous and polite. They wore their standard duty uniforms. I didn’t see anyone in SWAT gear.

I even went into the Ferguson Market and bought a juice – truly ground zero for Friday night’s orgy of violence and the epicenter of the crowd’s anger at the perceived “snitching” on Michael Brown, effectively destroying the narrative race hustlers had so carefully planted and nurtured about him.

The store was fully-restocked, which frankly, I wasn’t expecting. Aside from the plywood over the missing windows, you wouldn’t have really known the place had been plundered three nights before. I thanked the woman at the register for reopening the store. She was probably the owner’s wife, kid or daughter-in-law, and she didn’t seem exactly thrilled that they were open again.

Back outside, cops didn’t outnumber pedestrians, but it was close. The media, though, outnumbered everyone. The State Troopers I encountered were almost nice. They were insisting people not loiter, wanting to keep everyone moving along.

Most of the worst of the televised violence happened along a six or eight block stretch from roughly the Ferguson Market northward to the burned-out Quik Trip. On several nights, some of the crowd – the hooligans and rioters among the protesters – headed further north into Dellwood and pillaged some wireless stores, beauty supply stores, a few restaurants and some big box stores.

Frankly, this community and this street wasn’t what I expected.

 

With photos and video of the rioters and looters fitting every racial stereotype known to mankind, I expected Ferguson’s main drag to be a ghetto cesspool – you know, Englewood in Chicago or East St. Louis.

It wasn’t. Not by a long shot.

This part of Ferguson could have been University Avenue (or Cunningham, or Bradley, or Bloomington Road) in Champaign-Urbana. It could have been West Market Street in Bloomington, Vermilion Street in Danville, Eldorado in Decatur or North or South Grand Avenue in Springfield. It could have been any working class commercial district in any city in America.

There weren’t a lot of protesters or pedestrians there during the day. Maybe a few dozen in a six-block stretch. There was a white girl who looked very out of place. She had a sign promoting a communist message. She wasn’t using her bullhorn. I suspect she was saving it for later. Up the road, we heard one or two people yelling and a couple holding their hands up – probably not with the idea “Hands up – Don’t loot”. It wasn’t rowdy. In fact, it was just another day. (That all changes in the evening, obviously. The protesters were probably at work while I was there.)

Obviously the locals are upset about Brown being shot. They are displeased with at-times heavy-handed police responses to the unrest, including some cops overtly pointing rifles at unarmed, orderly people during the day when things are generally pretty calm. Frankly, you point a gun at me without lawful reason, I’d be pretty salty too.

The problems are created by the opportunistic criminals, most of them from outside of Ferguson, coming to get their chance to loot and pillage local businesses. And when the police scatter them, they melt into the neighborhoods surrounding the shops, looking for more opportunities to steal things, break into homes or just create anarchy on a smaller, less public scale. If I were a nearby homeowner, I’d be very nervous.

If you take away anything from the unrest in Ferguson, it’s that something like that can happen in your community. If you live in or near a mid-sized to large city area where there are stores and businesses, you’re at risk.

It can’t happen to you? Yeah, think again. I’m sure if you asked the residents along these streets in Ferguson and Dellwood a month ago if they thought something like this could happen, they would have laughed at you.

Frankly, this is one scenario where a semi-automatic police-patrol-type rifle would come in quite handy to protect and defend one’s home or business from attack. Do you have one and the knowledge, skill and ability to employ it lawfully and effectively? Something to think about.

When will this all end in Ferguson? I don’t know. But so long as the professional agitators are in town and the Obama regime keeps adding energy to the mix, it’ll probably keep going into the next weekend. Just be thankful it’s not happening in your community.

 

This article originally appeared at gunssavelife.com and is reprinted here with permission.

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82 Responses to First Hand: Ferguson, MO Could Be Your Town

  1. Stuff like this wouldn’t really happen in Phoenix outside of the super ghetto areas (Where it happens to begin with).

    Too many guns owned by too many people who know how to use them. You’ll be absolutely shocked how quickly a neighborhood can bunker down here and protect itself from the criminal element with far superior firepower and the knowhow to use it all.

    • Phoenix maybe, but if somewhere in AZ were to have riots it’d probably be Tucson most likely. The possibility of a riot in my area is maybe like .02%?

      • Sonoran Solidarity amongst people of the gun indeed. Lock n Load my desert neighbors. We don’t need no stinking looters here… Tucson maybe… or south phoenix but id be prepared for contingencies in own hood about chokepoints and stuff and get to know your neighbors.

        • They’d have to wait until the middle of November to loot, and by then they’d be over it.

    • Was just thinking of that. Any shenanigans happening out here would only get so far before they started to piss people off. Even if the store doesn’t have a gun, they probably know somebody who does. Open carry surprises very few around here. Most businesses have a ‘no firearms’ sign.

      It could happen, I guess, but it wouldn’t get very far.

    • This is confined to an area smaller than the size of Tempe. It is not the ghetto of North STL, it’s just a suburb a bit too close to city limits, and with a population of marginal incomes. Most folks are the definitive working poor, and there’s some degenerates as well. But it’s only a property crime hotbed. Murders? Right at national average.

      I live about 20 miles from the “action” and I guarantee that none of this could get within 15 miles of me. There’s plenty of folks with walk-in gun rooms, millions of rounds of ammo, and racks of perfectly legal full-auto hardware. Not to mention the rest of us who are doing OK on supplies as well. I’ve lived in PHX, and while the culture was a bit more open than in STL, I saw nothing I haven’t seen before. Not a pissing contest, just a reassurance that we’ll be fine here in Da Lou.

      Of course, if you have spare autoguns you wish to send in fear for our safety, I’ll give you the FFL to do the transfers…

  2. BTW – Emerson Electric, a fortune 500 company is within VERY close walking distance of all of the drama. Yes, this could happen anywhere

    • Could happen anywhere, I suppose, yet doesn’t actually happen everywhere. Teens are shot by police under various suspicious circumstances all the time in this country. People don’t automatically start rioting everywhere, though. Some places have more fertile soil for this kind of unrest than others.

  3. “It can’t happen to you? Yeah, think again.”

    Sure it can happen anywhere.

    A couple of months ago, a police officer was shot and killed here and the suspect that shot him was killed by another cop. I still don’t know all the details of what happened and have some unanswered questions myself.

    Smallish town, but there was some tension for a few days.

    It did not ‘explode,’ though. Perhaps that was just luck of the draw. Not being right next to a big city, and off the beaten path a bit probably helped some.

  4. Ferguson could have been my town,
    It could have been your town,
    It could have been any town and EveryTown(tm) in America.

  5. “The protesters were probably at work while I was there”

    Lol sure. Or maybe they were out walking their unicorns.

    • Majority of people are peaceful protesters, majority of us work including myself which I’m at work right now Come here and see for yourself.

      • I would say 80 to 90% looters and idiots.

        Now that the three “witnesses” for “team Brown” hAve been thoroughly discredited (one committed the felony robbery with Mike Brown, one was determined to be about half a mile away, and one claimed “almost all the shots were in the back”) all that are left are those too dumb to realize how they fell for race- baiting and the looters.

        The release of the tape showed that the attack on the cop by Mike Brown was simply the second part of of a violent crime . “What motive would Mike have had” asked the “protesters” — now we know he had a clear motive — he feared he was being arrested for a violent felony.

        There are now 14 eye witnesses fully supporting the cop’s story – 11 of them African American and the autopsy fully supports the cops version too

  6. Stay tuned folks. Part 2: Window Shopping for Good Souveniers Edition to follow tomorrow morning’s Quote of the Day.

    Sorry, meant no offense but I couldnt help myself lol.

  7. Thanks for the “boots on the ground,” John. I had heard that Ferguson was not an urban slum, and the downtown area was being revitalized. Could a business developer even get cost-effective insurance now? And how much risk would an small business entrepreneur be willing to assume? I don’t know those answers, but I think that Ferguson has been set back twenty years by this insanity.

  8. Ferguson is actually an ok area….North county as a whole doesn’t have that much crime compared to the northside aka North City which is right…I live 5 mins away from Ferguson in unincorporated St Louis county and moved from Northwinds Estates right around the corner from what is now called Ground Zero and around the other corner which is where Michael Brown was killed

  9. I’d be lying if I said the unrest in Ferguson didn’t factor into my decision to buy a used Mossberg at the end of deer season. I live in Kansas City, about 3 hours from Ferguson.

    • Muddy, just took a newb to his first range trip this past Sat. He wanted to try a revolver and semi, had never fired a gun. At the last minute I threw my Maverick 88, a mossberg into the mix.

      After using the different types he was leaning towards the shotgun as his first purchase. I have the 88 and 500’s in 12 and 20. Good anti intruder and anti riot protection.

      • That Mav 88 is a pure bad ass gun. We have one, and it’s one of our two “someone just crashed through a window at zero dark thirty!” response guns. We’ve only ever fired buck and bird shot through it, though, never slugs. Any recommendations on 12 ga. slug for recreational or defense shooting?

        • Don’t. That’s my recommendation. Slugs kick too hard to be recreational and if you need the reach of slugs in self defense you probably would be served better by a rifle.

          Recoil is just too much in a short house gun with slugs. My upstairs shotgun is a security model maverick 88 with a 20 inch barrel and 8 round mag. My downstairs gun is a 500 with short barrel and 5 round mag. I practice with birdshot and keep buck for serious encounters.

          I prefer 00 in the law enforcement reduced recoil loads. Name brands don’t seem to matter that much to these guns.

        • For recreation, try wax slugs. If you’ve never heard of it, you empty out the shot from a light birdshot or target shell, mix it with melted wax, and pour it back in. Poor man slugs! They’re super fun to shoot, don’t screw up the barrel, and knock surprisingly large holes in anything you shoot with em. See YouTube for tips and methods on streamlining the process.

          However, DON’T use these for defense loads. While I have no doubt they would be effective, I can hear the prosecutor…

          “… Not satisfied with conventional ammo, the accused used homemade, super high powered wax cast mega shells to kill the victim, who was just turning his life around…”

  10. This could happen anywhere, but armed stores are obviously harder to rob. I wish stores would advertize armed clerks so that they wouldn’t be such a big target. The bigger chains would rather risk the lives of the clerks and give the robbers whatever is in the register to avoid lawsuits. Smaller stores should be able to transcend that BS and protect themselves.

  11. “semi-automatic police-patrol-type rifle” Hahahaha, YESSSS. Best I’ve ever heard it put. A bit long winded, but an accurate description and one that would probably scare non gun owners less.

    • Somehow work in the concept of “meets or exceeds all of the safety standards of our own state and local police, as well as the FBI”.

  12. We were there this spring, just running through picking up a friend in neighboring Jennings, and I’ve been thinking the same thing.

    However, isn’t going to happen anywhere without the media’s help, IMHO. Some day, people are going to clue into that.

    This person has a current video on their hometown of Ferguson, and a few from the past couple of years.

  13. I live about 30 minutes from Ferguson in West County, what you’d call the upscale part of St. Louis.

    This crap is making everyone uncomfortable as hell here.

    Seemingly there is growing “black (looters, criminals, those promoting the ‘revolution’ (if that’s what you want to call it) versus black” (tax payers, law abiding citizens) sentiment here.

    Listening to talk radio here in St. Louis, you’d be surprised by the number of African-Americans calling in and complaining about the criminal element creating a ruckus in that part of town.

    Good God, don’t make it a race thing. It’s exhausting and not the whole picture. Even though I know some people want Armageddon to occur due to differences in ethnicities (cough! *Black Panthers* *The KKK* cough!).

    • C’mon man, the chances of anything of any consequence happening west of 270 and south of 40 are so close to zero as to be irrelevant. You might get one carload who come out and assault/rob some whitey in retaliation or something. Good luck making it back out of town.

      There’s far more hardware than the MHP could ever muster located in a few collections that I know of between Lindbergh and 270 alone. Are the 1% of our residents that are black really gonna riot? Do you really think they’d make it more than a few blocks in some confrontational posture? These are the folks who have actually made it, or they’re riding the bus to working-class gigs. Either way, I just can’t picture either being in anyway realistically hostile.

  14. some places are hotter then others..But I don’t doubt for a minute that this sort of thing can happen anywhere given the right reasons..even up here in the American redoubt where guns are accepted, and heard by everybody without so much as a blink of concern.

  15. Things like this, and the water contamination in Charleston, WV (“2014 Elk River chemical spill” -120 miles south of me), I’ve had nearly a month of water, food, basic to moderate medical supplies (Diabetes for 26 of my 28 years on earth), on top of anything that is TTAG related.

    As a cyclist, I’ve also developed a bike powered generator that will keep a TV going if I pedal. Not useful for that, but it does work well for radios, charging, laptop (*.pdf’s full of books and data), as well as able to run a bilge pump if needed.

    You can’t rely on many things keeping you safe other than the Lord and yourself. Even a week of chaos, and people will go apeshit, as you pointed out.

    • Edit/Response – Wow, this really does make me sound like a “crazy prepper”.

      The bike thing was mostly from finding a free treadmill that I nabbed the DC motor out of.

      • Oh whatever you crazy prepper you….

        I honestly don’t think you sound that bad at all. I have a standby propane generator, a deep freeze full of food, a stocked pantry, and I’ve always been a fan of firearms.

        I didn’t go buy any of these for “prepping”. The deep freeze is for when we have a cow slaughtered, the generator was a great bargain, and helps with our 6 month long tornado season/6 month long ice storm season. The stocked pantry is just because I live 35 minutes from a real grocery store.

        There’s nothing wrong with being prepared, but you sound less extreme if you actually USE your “prepper” items on at least a semi regular basis.

    • Working on 20 yrs of my 26 yrs with diabetes. Definitely makes “end of days” scenarios interesting for us.

      • Jon, I don’t lie to my physician about how often I check my blood sugar or the amount of insulin I use, but I clearly stretch those data points to my maximum daily amount used, time 30 to give him a suggestion on how much I need for a month.

        I have a year’s worth of strips and insulin, throughout the year.

        “old insulin” is better than no insulin.

        • I am not in your situation (PTL), but I sure understand. I want it in my HAND, not “theoretically available”. At least to some depth.

  16. OK: Let us go now you and I, while the truth about what happened in Ferguson, MO, lies eviscerated and stretched across the sky like a patient etherized on the table, and look at the actual numbers:

    From Wikipedia re: Ferguson 2010 census:

    “The racial makeup of the city was 29.3% White, 67.4% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.”

    Also:

    http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Ferguson-Missouri.html

    Now – let’s trip the light fandango and seek not just the Truth About Guns, but the truth about what everybody knows by does not want think about in the form a harmless gedankenexperiment Assume, just for sake of argument mind you, the same event occurred with a white kid shot by a black cop in nearby upscale white enclave of Olivette, MO. From Wikipedia re: 2010 Ovilette census.

    “The racial makeup of the city was 60.9% White, 23.9% African American, 0.2% Native American, 10.7% Asian, 1.7% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.3% of the population.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivette,_Missouri

    http://www.city-data.com/crime/crime-Olivette-Missouri.html

    How probable would it be that the good white folks in Olivette be running around signing “the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire, we don’t need no water let the mother f*ker burn, burn, mother f*ker, burn” whilst tossing Molotov cocktails with abandon, smoking swisher blunts, and reveling in general mayhem – because black people be “RAYYCISSS”? Indeed, would the lily white residents of Olivette be demanding,in the immortal words of the late, great Joe Strummer of the Clash”: A White riot, White Riot, a riot of their own?”

    My guess? Probably not.

    As to why Ferguson has some decent, intact infrastructure: check out the census a few years back. Section 8 types moved in and a certain group, like Billy Joel sang, decided it was moving out, probably, you know, to Olivette.

    One day the media will get its great white defendant for the 21st century- but, alas, the poor cop caught in the middle of this is not their guy.

    And lest I be derided as an apologist for the cops. Well, all’s I got’s ta say, was NWA got one thing right.

    • Shhhh!
      You can’t say that!!
      It’s actually pretty sad that you have to dress it up and drag it out like that.
      Poor black towns/areas are prone to crime, and will always have a few people willing to take advantage of any situation and riot.

      Side note, if his post gets moderated, TTAG has lost a reader for life.

    • My first thought was, no, it couldn’t happen in my hometown. My hometown lacks an important ingredient to the mayhem in Ferguson. I think you clearly spelled out what that ingredient is.

  17. I am acutely aware it could happen in my town south of Chicago. Plenty of boys with their pants on the ground up to no good. Don’t know about an AR around here. 12guage is ok. 00 or slugs preferred. I don’t need a bullet to kill a kid a mile away. YMMV

  18. For JR…

    New Bern is run by Progressives.

    White Newbie LE stops Black felon with gun. Felon kills newbie. White partner kills felon. White Progressive Mayor went to the felon’s funeral.

    Craven County votes Republican. Lots of retired Marines outside the city limits. What happens inside the city….

    • My post above.

      Craven County Sheriff (D) or one of his deputies attend all gun shows and provides instant background checks to local buyers.

  19. Gentlemen, you have it all wrong. I just watched an interview with a resident protestor/rioter/looter, his parents and siblings on Deutsche Welle tv. Apparently, the rioting and looting are necessary to secure media attention for the protests against the militarization of the police. This is all just a freedom of speech issue like the annual mass nude bicycle rides in Portland and Eugene Oregon, just not as much fun to watch. Plus, the mass nude bicycle rides only last a few hours for one lousy day a year. Although, in Eugene, girls can go topless as a political protest which really makes me want the anti-open carry folks to pipe down. Of course, I would not want the Hysterical Mother to succeed in her efforts to get Bloomberg, Soros, both Clintons and Janet Reno to go topless to protest so called lax gun laws. Where was I?

    News media in Germany and England are happy to portray the criminal activity in Ferguson as a political protest against racism/police militarization or anything that pops into their heads, just like our home grown liars. Like it or not, our struggle to defend our rights really is global in nature.

  20. “(That all changes in the evening, obviously. The protesters were probably at work while I was there.)”

    Highly unlikely. More like sleeping it off until it gets busy again.

    • I admit some sarcasm in that line and for some of them, I certainly believe you were correct.

      There were *very few* people out at noontime yesterday.

      Too many are drawn by the cover of darkness for nefarious purposes.

      John

    • I don’t really see what there is to defend against. Liberals calling people whom they hate nasty names again? *Yawn* I’ll alert the media.

      The MO authorities have not handled this flawlessly, but there’s nothing inherently wrong in their mission. The protests were peaceful at first and the police did not interfere. When they turned violent, the police acted. Again, not flawlessly, but neither has this been Kristallnacht, either. There are no firehoses sprayed nor hounds released. There’s no door to door firearms confiscation. There’s no ban on firearms sales. There aren’t massive indiscriminate beatdowns. There are no checkpoints invasively searching and seizing at will. Ok, there’s some tear gas. Well, abide by the curfew and quit looting and you’ll be fine. What civil right is being abused that they want the NRA to speak out about?

      The liberals are mad precisely because they have no NRA quotes or proposals to ridicule, yet they still have story deadlines to meet. So they ridicule the silence, the membership, the leadership and call everyone racist. That’s constructive, not to mention original. Liberals: having run out of ideas, now they’re running out of insults.

  21. A laser on your carbine or shotgun can be helpful for dealing with looters. That little red dot on someone advancing aggressively towards you can change their mind.

  22. No, what is happening at Ferguson can’t happen “anywhere.”

    What is happening at Ferguson can (or will) happen only where the demographics provide a population of people willing to commit mayhem.

    Where you don’t have those demographics, and you’re not so close to areas where those demographics can amble or drive over to your town quickly, you won’t have what is happening in Ferguson.

    • I think somewhere in there ought to be a mention of people trained to look for and demand free stuff, as their due. “How DARE you not give me free stuff!?”

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