So now we're going into another night of rioting in Britain. This will be the fourth night, and it's spreading from London to other cities now, spurred on by youth organizing attacks on specific businesses via social media. It all allegedly started when London police shot a career criminal after he shot at them with a blank gun that was modified to fire live ammunition. He reportedly struck a police officer but the bullet lodged in the officer's radio. In response, the thug's family and friends organized the first blow-up, but now it's just punks all over Britain joining in, including two girls interviewed by the BBC as they drink looted wine and boast that they're doing it to show the police and the rich that they "can do what they want". They also say that it's the government and conservatives' fault that they're out stealing.
When the interviewer asks them why they're looting and burning businesses in their own neighborhoods, they laugh and say "well it's because they're rich..."
And they're not alone. Most of the looting now seems to be focused on stores that sell jewelry, electronics, high-end shoes and other fashion wear...just bling.
If there's any sort of justice, every business that is looted or burned will re-open somewhere else and leave these punks to stand around befuddled like all of the rioters and looters in LA in the aftermath of the Rodney King riots did when the local Korean-owned businesses that they targeted--many of them places that they'd regularly shopped at for years--relocated when they rebuilt, leaving the looters with damned few places to buy stuff or shoplift from afterwards. Communities that allow this to happen should be punished for this sort of premeditated crime by the removal of every store within walking distance from the areas where such behavior took place.
Now in the short term, the authorities need to get a handle on this quick. The British Prime Minister David Cameron said last night that force would be used, including water cannons, but he was almost immediately contradicted by his own Home Secretary, Theresa May, who said that water cannons would NOT be used on the rioters and that they would try to get them to stop by "consent". What a great way to send the message to the criminals that the government doesn't have it's head on straight.
What I think they ought to do is come over here and borrow some of our cops for a few days. Send the Prince Georges County, MD police. They know how to control violent criminals. Send the LAPD. Where are those officers who beat down Rodney King? Are they doing anything this week? Hell, get Johann Meserle, the former BART cop who shot that scumbag Oscar Grant in Oakland a couple years back. Surely even in our own rapidly-sissifying country we've still got a few hundred police officers left who know how to lay the law down the old fashioned way: by laying the bad guys out.
I don't necessarily condone casual police brutality but there does come a time when you need to take your own streets back from the rampaging criminal element that's running amuck and threatening the safety and livelihoods of the people who depend on the police. Since the citizens in England cannot own or carry firearms to protect themselves, the police need to step up and start kicking some ass over there, and not stop until order is restored. Seriously. And if they've forgotten how, I'm sure that we can recruit some old-school police officers from cities like New York, Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans and Miami to give them a few pointers and show them how it's done.
Oh--and another deterrent? One so powerful that even our government is afraid to use it? Simply make it clear that anyone convicted of any riot-related offense loses their benefit checks and public housing, permanently and effective immediately. If you're living off the public largesse, there should be a requirement that you either be model citizens or find your own way. Alas, there as here, there are too many people getting welfare checks these days who are eligible to vote and the politicians are too scared of them to ever consider making them angry. But in a Just world...