...when messed-up crap is going on in the world, I always know I can hop online and watch streaming BBC News for up-to-date and somewhat balanced (if occasionally a little too politcally-correct) information. I am, however, unaccustomed to the messed-up crap actually being something that is going on IN England. The riots are sickening as I hear names I know from Tube-stops or going about London, or other cities I've visited there.
I watched video on BBC of people bursting out of stores with stolen televisions and other gadgetry, convinced they are taking something back and striking out against the rich. I am struck by the profound irony that the people they are hurting most of all are the countless hundreds of hourly wage earners who worked in those burned-out buildings they've destroyed. The rich have insurance and will be relatively insulated. The rioters are teaching the small shopkeeper that they can't afford to do business in town, and there will be a diminution of the glories a relatively open marketplace affords.
I find delicious, though, the prospect that high-tech gadgets have been used to document who did what from pretty much every angle, and it's all over the internet for the perusal of investigators and prosecutors to review in a calmer moment. Those who instigated this activity via social media outlets should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. (better yet, bring back the pillory)
In the late 90s, I was visiting a girlfriend who lived in Edwardian row house in Rochester, Kent. The first night, she told me to take my purse upstairs with me, in case someone broke in. She told me that happens- that people may break in, but we'll be okay if we don't go downstairs to the ground level where they are pillaging-- just let them take what they will on the ground level and that's sort of how it works. How screwed up is that?
I say if this degree of violence spills into the private homes of decent citizens, then those citizens should be allowed to protect themselves with firearms. Else, heaven preserve them. I shudder to think how all this will be resolved, but I sure do wish people had the ability to protect themselves properly with firearms-- these thugs would think twice about pulling these stunts if they thought they might actually be held accountable. Let's hope they're held accountable anyway, for the good of all involved.