Baltimore: When Seconds Counted, The Police Were Nowhere to Be Seen

Man with shotgun, Baltimore (courtesy

The headline at pretty much says it all: Smashed, looted and burned by the mob: Inside the destruction of Baltimore as shopkeepers tell how they fled burning shops and one says he called police 50 times – and nobody came. Money shot: “This shop is my life. It’s destroyed, we’ve got nothing left.” The question no one’s asking: why didn’t store owners defend their lives and livelihoods by force of arms? Mr. Benelli and I would have been standing guard; ready, willing and able to stop the threat. And, of course, some store owners did use guns to protect themselves and their business. Here’s an example via . . .

Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton was saved from a mob of rioters by a Baltimore business owner armed with a shotgun.

According to CNN, Fenton was reporting from the heart of the Baltimore riots and was moving to a location where a Baltimore police officer was reported to have been injured.

“I ran down and got in the middle of everything,” Fenton explained.

He was being protected by “a group self-identifying as Crips gang members” near a “cash checking place [that] had been broken into.”

Fenton turned away from the gang members protecting him to take a photo and was approached by a man with a hoodie pulled tight over his face, holding a cannister of mace.
The man in the hoodie ordered Fenton to turn over his phone began to spray mace in his direction.

At that point, Fenton tried to escape, fleeing towards a nearby store.

Inside the store, he found a shotgun wielding store owner protecting his property and, now, a very scared reporter.

Needless to say, the attacker did not follow him into the store.

Needless to say? I think it needs saying. Again and again and again. You are your own first responder. And maybe even some other people’s as well. Make sure you have the tool(s) you need to assume that responsibility. That is all. [h/t Petition4redress]


  1. avatar dph says:

    I don’t know Mr. Benelli but I’ve got a Swedish friend named Mossberg.

    1. avatar Art out West says:

      Though Mr. Kalashnikov has gone to the grave, one of his children resides at my house for just these types of situations.

      1. avatar vv ind says:

        Yeh, one………

      2. avatar DavidT says:

        I have adopted the offspring of two fine Americans for the same purpose here, one out of a Mr. Browning and another from a chap named Stoner. Fine friends to have around in just such a situation.

        1. avatar Robert W. says:

          Our speedy friend Dillon wishes he could come to more of these parties…

      3. avatar Jesse says:

        One of Browning’s kids and all of his friends from Hornady spend their days at my place for just such an occasion.

      4. avatar Joe says:

        Just a thought…why not just move away from the urban jungles, filled with savages…I’m tooled up, but shite like that doesn’t happen ’round here, cause “they” know better than to mess with people that are well armed.

        1. avatar davidx says:

          The demographic trends seem to have more peeps moving TO the urban jungles and more ghost towns out in the fringes and exurbs. We’ll be seeing some interesting stuff this summer, no doubt, though. Another long hot summer reminiscent of the ones I saw on the tee-vee during the Glorious and Heroic Sixties. Six o’clock nooz swung back and forth between Watts, Detroit and the weekly body count in ‘Nam.

        2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

          It just seems people are more civilized out in the sticks regardless of the guns.

        3. avatar Zachariah says:

          People move to the city for work. That said, I set a goal to find work elsewhere and moved my family out as soon as I could. Best decision I ever made.

        4. avatar Art out West says:

          I agree. I wouldn’t want to live in a large city anyway. Crap like that doesn’t happen where I live (medium sized town), as the majority of households contain gun owners. Last year, I was on a jury in a criminal case, and a majority of the guys on the jury were licensed concealed carriers (and ones that actually carried).

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      I’ve got some friends from Prague, with nearly unpronounceable names, who can help in a crisis.

      1. avatar Art out West says:

        Czech friend, Austrian friend, Brazilian friend, Chinese friend, Russian friend, and a number of patriotic American friends are standing by willing to help in time of need. It sounds like some of the folks in Baltimore could use some more “friends”.

    3. avatar ThomasR says:

      “Say hello to my Leetle Frein”

    4. avatar Stephen says:

      I have a little friend from Germany with quite the bite and one of his big brothers from America but has roots in the Deutschland is here to keep me company as well as some Russian and American pals.

  2. avatar MarkPA says:

    Any sign the citizens of Maryland are waking up to the fact that they are on-their-own? Any indication of a surge in gun license applications? Are any of them calling their State legislators calling for Shall-Issue?

    Oh, well. There is plenty of time to learn from the lessons of history. Just bear in mind that their neighbors from Delaware and Virginia are not going to be rushing into Maryland to try to defend their homes or businesses. It’s probably against the law in MD.

    1. avatar SD3 says:

      ‘Serve & Protect’, bitches.

      1. avatar Joe says:

        NJ sent a whole crap load of Gestapo, I mean NJ State Police to help…perhaps looking for women from PA with a CCW that isn’t recognized by MD.

        1. avatar davidx says:

          …or an older guy who had an ancient flintlock in his glove box…

          Damn scofflaws.

      2. avatar Howdy says:

        Warren vs DC

  3. avatar TheOtherDavid says:

    Interesting how the antis’ world view shapes how they process information like this.

    One mentally ill person shoots up a theater, in a hugely isolated incident, and they call for a nationwide ban on “assault weapons”

    Widespread looting and destruction with no law-enforcement presence, when the possession of a firearm is the only thing protecting you and yours… “Well, that could never happen in MY hometown”

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Good contrast.

  4. avatar matty 9 says:

    It’s not about Maryland, it’s not about Aurora, it’s not about Ferguson. It’s about 5 decades of liberals in charge, solidifying their thrones by keeping poor ignorant inner city blacks poor and ignorant, as long as they vote straight D, they receive the same repeated promises of free gubmint cash. Every city with half a century of D leadership is the same damned ghetto, by design.

    1. avatar BDub says:

      =( because true.

    2. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Applies to some other groups as well.

    3. avatar LarryinTX says:

      But how do they keep the suckers coming back, given that the promised free stuff never materializes? Can’t they at least learn, given repeated occurrences which are exactly the same, over periods of decades?

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    Baltimorons have been disarmed and the Baltimore cops were ordered by the city’s brilliant mayor to “stand down.” I’m surprised that there’s anything left of Baltimore. In fact, I’m wondering why.

    1. avatar John L. says:

      Masonry and brick construction don’t burn that well.


    2. avatar Raoul Duke says:

      I would not say they are disarmed by force. Baltimore has no special carve out in regard to Maryland gun laws which although terrible are nowhere near as bad as California, New York, or Connecticut in terms of purchasing power.

      They CHOOSE to be disarmed since they have swallowed the liberal kool-aid.

      1. avatar davidx says:

        Maryland seems to be more than a little messed up; there is apparently a raw divide between geographical areas, politically and culturally, and during the War Between the States, there was a split, too; depending on which army’s troops were marching through, some towns just swapped out their flags.

        I’m re-watching all “The Wire” episodes in lieu of any meaningful vid footage from the place this week. In case anyone missed it, it’s sort of the sequel to the previous and excellent “Homicide: Life on the Street.”

        1. avatar Geoff PR says:

          ‘Brother Mouzone’ is my favorite character…

        2. avatar davidx says:

          He cool, real cool, but I also dig Omar.

      2. avatar Gatha58 says:

        Worst part of the MD gun laws appears to be that gun owners must register their guns with the State Police. Other than that, it appears their laws are about the same as WA, where I live. Not sure if they are a shall issue State though. Anyone know ? And, of course, their capacity limits on magazines are a very poor joke. Another law the left wingers got passed that makes shooting inconvenient but does little or nothing to stop violence. But, it appears to pacify the uninformed voters and makes the politicians appear to be doing something even though, in reality, it is all smoke and mirrors.

        1. avatar Zachariah says:

          No, Maryland is definitely not considered a “shall issue” state! I think we’re considered restrictive may issue – it’s really hard to get a permit. Handguns are regulated to a much greater degree than they are in WA state. Fingerprinting, registration and mandatory safety training. An “assault weapons” ban was passed in 2013 that prohibits the sale of most semi-auto rifles that you can still buy in WA, and no guns (long guns or handguns) with magazines that exceed 10 rounds can be sold.

          I left MD shortly after this was passed, so I may have captured some of the finer points.

    3. avatar Geoff PR says:

      A bunch of Baltamorians (sp?) need to apply for concealed carry that will (of course) be denied.

      Then show up EN-MASS (Hundreds, thousands of them) and DEMAND to know why they were denied, ON CAMERA. Shut that city council meeting down.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        For THAT sort of outrageous lawbreaking, you can have no fear that no “stand down” order will be given, you will be settled down and tuned up repeatedly, while space is miraculously found to jail every one of you until the 17th of month after next.

  6. avatar Am says:

    Its awsome how gangs where the ones protecting and serving their communities while the police let I
    It burn

    1. avatar JohnO says:

      That was the mayor protecting her voting block. Like in Chicago, the gangs probably have a voice in city governance.

      1. avatar Art out West says:

        Corrupt officials, and criminals, are frequently intimate friends, and close business associates. In some cases they are the same actual people. BOTH want to disarm the citizenry. Look at Mexico! It is a country run by criminals, and the peasants are ALWAYS kept disarmed. Look at Argentina. There, the thugs work for the government and the government works for the thugs.

        We need a lot more “rooftop Koreans” (and other rooftop citizens of other ethnicities)

      2. avatar Am says:

        Uh no the mayor didnt protect anyone hence the gang members, bloods and crips teaming up to stop the rioters. They actually inspired chrch leaders from Christian sects and the Nation of Islam to work together as well to try to quell the violence.

  7. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

    They were busy elsewhere severing spinal cords.

    1. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

      So looting and arson, in their own neighborhood might I add, is a perfectly acceptable response

      1. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

        Because calling out the cops as murderous thugs is defending the looters. 🙂

        1. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

          No but classifing an entire department for the actions of a few is just as irresponsible as looting as a means or airing grievances

        2. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

          The role of the police is to dispense violence for the state. That is not the role of a few “bad apples”, that is the literal job description.

          Whether that violence comes in the form of an unexplained spinal break or just a plain old tasering and beating is little more than the personal preference of each individual goon.

        3. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

          I thought you would take it there. Your flawed interpretation of police duties aside I assume you have never called on the police for anything and if there was any interactions you were tazed/beaten/shot thus the violence for the state comment….or just out for an evening troll

        4. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

          Why would I call the police? I like my dogs alive, children unburnt, and spine intact. 🙂

        5. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

          Then don’t manufacturer meth, fight dogs, or house illegal immigrants….or have a cache of doughnuts

        6. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

          Implying cops actually care about stopping dog-fights unless the target is a rich NFL QB with lots of assets to forfeit.

          Implying manufacturing meth is a bad thing. Oh right, the DOJ said meth is bad, because the DOJ has the medical authority to dictate these kinds of things.

        7. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

          “medical authority” holy [email protected]…your mother should have swallowed

        8. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

          Ah yes, the default response to a boot-licker when confronted with the inscrutable “logic” of government diktats.

        9. avatar Grindstone says:

          No but classifing [sic] an entire department for the actions of a few is just as irresponsible as looting as a means or airing grievances

          Good cops who do not stop bad cops are not good cops.

          Then don’t manufacturer meth, fight dogs, or house illegal immigrants….or have a cache of doughnuts

          Your belief that police only harm those who are guilty of a crime is childish, at best.

          In my city, a man was arrested and subsequently died during the arrest for refusing to show his ID. He was not accused of a crime and this is not a “Stop and Identify” state. He was literally exercising his 4th and 5th Amendment rights. Yet he was still killed while in police custody. You live in a fairy land if you believe that only the guilty are killed by police. Either that, or you support such actions. In which case you would be the enemy of freedom.

        10. avatar Accur81 says:

          I’ve found it easier to push a Mazda that ran out of gas to the right shoulder – by hand – than to debate Sex T. In his mind, virtually all cops are bad, all the time. Mention positive police behavior and he’ll just blather about other misdeeds. Grindstone gets on the same kick.

          I’ve officially filed that into the “I don’t care” category. I also don’t argue with 5150’s. They either go to the psyche ward or go with LAFD for medical treatment.

        11. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

          Yes it’s the only response I can give to your medical authority comment…I figured if I reduced it to a personal attack it would pull out your inner troll and you would continue to make “creative” arguments…and I was right

        12. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

          Feel free to explain how the lawyers and bureaucrats at the DOJ are qualified to classify and assess the properties of drugs and other chemicals, because they are the ones who put drugs into schedules. What are their medical bonafides?

          That conundrum must be considered any time some bootlicker makes a passing remark about “cooking meth”.

        13. avatar Grindstone says:

          Yes, holding armed agents of the state accountable for their actions is the same as labeling “all cops as bad”. If you could point out where I’ve ever said that “all cops are bad” or even intimated as much, that would be great. Except, you can’t, because I haven’t. “Positive police behavior”? You mean “doing their job correctly”. That’s great. If you need special recognition for doing your job, perhaps you shouldn’t be doing that job. Especially if that job involve wielding state-enforced power of death over the people. If you can’t understand the significance of that, then you do not belong in a free society.

          The irony of claiming to be a supporter of the 2nd Amendment while giving a pass to the violators of human rights is incredibly strong here.

        14. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

          I said manufacture not cook and regulatory crime is a joke that I will admit but there is a lot more good than bad from police. It’s the federal level that concerns me

        15. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

          Really? That is a simplistic generalization of all LEO’s. Just hit the tube and you will find examples of both. Cop do far more good than than bad.

        16. avatar Accur81 says:


          You know what, I may have confused you with Publius regarding the anti-police comment. If so, mea culpa. I apologize.

        17. avatar Grindstone says:

          Understandable. For the record, while I am highly critical of police and other armed agents of the state, that does not mean I am wholly against them. Police play an important role in our modern society, but that role must be held accountable and tightly restricted in order for a free society to exist.

          Unlike Sexy T, I am not an anarcho-capitalist, just more of a minarchist.

      2. avatar PeterW says:

        I think this is a false assumption, here just as it was in 1992 Los Angeles, that the rioters/looters are in “their own” neighborhood. I would hazard a bet that none of the rock/bottle/brick-throwers own a residence in any neighborhood, and only are in this one to cause mayhem and loot some free toilet paper. [To be honest, I have no idea why anyone would steal toilet paper in a riot- as long as you are stealing, aim higher?]

        1. avatar Am says:

          U cant riot with a shitty ass I guess

      3. avatar Governmentknowsbest says:

        Just as all gun owners can’t be blamed for the actions of a few, all cops can’t be blamed either. Constitutional infringement starts with negligence/apathy

        1. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

          Their jobs demand contempt of the constitution.

          Show me a single cop who resigned rather than participate in the 4th amendment gang-bang along with the nation’s judges and politicians.

      4. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I have heard no evidence on whether these people were from the neighborhoods being destroyed, I heard one story that kids were hitching rides to the fun from D.C. Cops should have randomly shot about 50 dead, so that we’d have a good sample, to see if more were local or imported.

  8. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

    The reporter has apparently changed his story, and is now saying he ran to Crips for protection and not the shopkeeper.

    In the style of RF:

    Some might speculate that editors at the Sun pressured the reporter to make his story more politically correct, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Can we stipulate that “Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton” is an fing useless moron?

      1. avatar Old Ben turning in grave says:

        Yes. Yes we can.

    2. avatar ThomasR says:

      Of course it’s more PC to say a bunch of viscious, ruthless and savage gang members like the Crips were giving him protection rather than a law abiding gun toting store ower.

      Liberal/Progressives, a death cult that destroys civilizations.

      1. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

        It’s about as PC as saying the police protect storekeepers. There’s liberal PC, and there’s bootlicker PC.

        Also LOL @ “viscious”

        1. avatar The Mountain That Rides says:

          Sort of a portmanteau of vicious and viscous, yes? Some kind of extremely aggressive blob monster. Or just a really fat, angry gang banger.

        2. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

          >Or just a really fat, angry gang banger.

          Donuts will do that.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Yo, Tranny! If you’re going to “correct” someone, you might want to be correct! It’s “vicious”.

        4. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

          But I wasn’t correcting him, I was making fun. 🙂

  9. avatar Pieslapper says:

    According to statement by Baltimore mayor, businesses will now be required to clearly post “looting hours” on door signage.

  10. avatar Paul says:

    I wonder why it is that he felt so protected when he was with the Crips? Oh, I know. It must have been the pretty colors they wear.

  11. avatar David says:

    Remember that post about trunk guns that TTAG did awhile back?

    If anyone wondered when and why you would ever need a long gun at a place other than your domicile, the answer is any situation like the Baltimore riots.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Along with standard cap clipazines.

  12. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Nothing scares a lowlife thug better than a shotgun…unless it’s his momma beating the shite outa’ him. My kid lives nearby. No response yet from me telling him he needs to arm up. Maybe(I doubt it) things will get better in the socialist paradise of the “charm city”…

  13. avatar SouthernPatriot says:

    I wonder, just wonder, if the mayor received instructions on how to allow those bent on destruction, the space and time to do exactly that?

    What is proves among many other things, is that we are personally responsible for the protection, and the protections of our families and property. Do not depend upon law enforcement which may be under orders not the enforce the law, or to selectively enforce it.

  14. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    So, has the shop owner been arrested yet, for carrying a firearm? Those aren’t allowed in the unicorn-and-rainbow land known as “Charm City,” you know.

    1. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Well, the guy with the shotgun is a threat to the liberal elite, while the protestors are their constituents.

    2. avatar Gatha58 says:

      Chip, I can’t find any references to a law in Maryland or Baltimore that says shotguns are illegal to own or purchase for defense or other purposes. However, it does look like MD is a “may issue” state and very few concealed carry permits are issued. Interesting history on that one as it appears that one court overturned that and a higher court later upheld it. May issue needs to go away everywhere and give way to shall issue IMO. No reason that a law abiding citizen should not be allowed to carry a concealed weapon to protect themselves. Especially in cities like Baltimore where crime and violence is rampant.

      1. avatar Zachariah says:

        Yeah, Woollard v. Gallagher. I was really hopeful when it went to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, but they reversed the Federal District Court Judge’s decision.

      2. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        My comment was written only slightly tongue-in-cheek. My parents lived in the People’s Republic of Maryland for ten years, and I remember how much of a pain the state was regarding firearm possession. It is essentially impossible to carry a firearm in Bal’mer.

        As for the Maryland AG’s stance on the issue of carry of long guns:

        1. avatar MarkPA says:

          Per the referenced link: “. . . within 1,000 feet of a demonstration in a public place, . . . ” So, apparently, it would be permissible to have a long gun in your shop in MD until a riot reached less-than 1,000 feet of your store. Thereupon, it would automatically be illegal through no action of your own.

          I have the impression that it would be legal for a shop keeper to bring a long gun from his home to his shop notwithstanding that he would have to carry it in the public place between his parking place and his shop. He might be charged with disturbing the peace.

          Now, suppose he took care to carry the shotgun in a closed case; say, for example, a gun case. Would it be construed to be disturbing the police to so carry a gun? It’s hardly the same thing as carrying it uncased. Could a law-abiding citizen in MD carry a cased long gun if it were unloaded? Could he carry a “speed loader” of some sort; e.g., a tube with shotgun shells that could be placed in the loading chute of the gun and be loaded in case of imminent danger?

          If so, perhaps this is a means of MD citizens exercising most – though not quite all – of their right to bear long-arms at times of excessive danger in public places. Perhaps it’s time for an organization named Open-Carry Maryland.

  15. avatar Dave78 says:

    An Anti is just a pro2A that hasn’t been mugged yet. There were a lot of muggings..

  16. avatar Alan Longnecker says:

    The gang member were protecting the business that paid protection.

    1. avatar Am says:

      All business pay protection to the government in the form of taxes. At least the gangs have enough morals to uphold there end of the deal unlike our government.

      1. avatar Sexual Tyrannosaurus says:

        This. The police are the most unscrupulous gangsters of all.

  17. avatar davidx says:

    Yo, I hang out here in quiet ol’ northern Vermont with Mr. Smith-Wesson, Mr. Remington, Mr. Ruger, Herr Mossberg and Senor Taurus. We jes’ hangin’ out, diggin’ the fine spring weather today…and ain’t no one bustin’ into shops around here, ‘less they do it at night, usually alone, strung out, and getting caught almost immediately. How you ask? By the cops following their bike or footprint tracks in the snow or mud, right back to their hovels.

    I guess we know by know that once a nooz reporter and his media manglers get into the mix, we’re never gonna know what really went down out there. And asking the cops would be at least as futile.

  18. avatar Wilson says:

    But, uh, mace is illegal to possess in Baltimore.

  19. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Good! Burn, baby, burn! Elections have consequences. Suck it, slave staters. Suck a million.

    1. avatar bryan1980 says:

      ^^^This a million times. People (in general) get the government they deserve.

  20. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    The slave city of Baltimore voted for free stuff in exchange for loss of gun civil rights. They are a lost cause. Don’t worry they will get pleasure from the government in the form of gay marriage and Marijuana intoxication. That is the pattern. It was done in Washington state and Colorado.

  21. avatar Anonymous says:

    Money shot: “This shop is my life. It’s destroyed, we’ve got nothing left.” The question no one’s asking: why didn’t store owners defend their lives and livelihoods by force of arms?

    “I know this is a foreign thought for conservatives, but life is more valuable than property.” – clotworthyi ( commenter advocating safety for burglars by eliminating access to guns)

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      No, actually, a looter’s life is not more valuable than my property. Maybe that idiot should post his/her address for the next thieves to feel safe looting and raping, before the inevitable burning. Do these people ever think?

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        This property vs. life argument is actually pretty interesting. There is a SCOTUS ruling that opines that you can’t shoot an under-age burglar in the back to halt his escape.

        I trust most of us wouldn’t be optimistic about an acquittal if a green-grocer shot a person who stole an apple and was running away.

        At the other end of the spectrum, suppose you witness an angry person holding a molotov cocktail in a throwing position with an apparent target of a CVS pharmacy. That’s arson; and, it is a heinous violent crime that you are hoping to arrest. Is the arsonist’s life more valuable than CVS’s property? A further difficulty is that the shooter can make any assumption he might like as to the probability that the building is occupied at the moment; he can’t be certain.

        The usual answer to the property vs. life dilemma is that the threat to property is apt to be coincident with an implied or expressed threat to life. The pretext of defense of life can then be used to protect property.

        However, there are also circumstances where there may be a threat to property without even an implied threat to life or even severe bodily injury. E.g., what if a gang of football players confronted an armed courier. They might explain to the courier that they intend to rob him of his money bag but will not injure him. They will use bodily force to take his money bag.

        In such a scenario the threat of strong-armed-robery does not rise to a threat to life or even severe bodily injury. Does society expect the currier to refrain from use of lethal force to defend the money of his employer’s customers?

        If the currier must refrain from lethal force then what does this say about the right to defense of property in our society? Such a conclusion would be exceedingly disturbing.

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