May 1992 – Michael’s Observations

Anarchy Now!

Well, you probably thought that the riots, looting, arson, and assorted civil insurrections in L.A. were a result of the Rodney King court decision. Not so. They were a “welcome Chuck back for the Gun Show” and a “see what you’ve missed” celebration.

Now that the restless natives have screwed up the Gun Show, which is in limbo at this time, I hope at least it will shake some people up out there enough to seek shooting instruction from me. I think I’ll start handing out flyers at Oriental-owned businesses, which ought to be well received. The local natives don’t seem to be able to tell Koreans from Japanese or Chinese or Filipinos, and you can believe that I’ll stress that in my advertisements.

I also received in excess of 20 calls, from around a dozen or more people, starting on the first night of the “troubles” — mostly well wishing, but some from those who were curious as to how things really were in my neck of the woods, including if I had any “body count” for them yet. It was very interesting to talk to different people, and listen to the ones from around here tell of their preparations for these troubles and what they had either just completed or were in the process of doing about it.

These conversations lead me to think about my own preparations and how they stacked up against what was happening. It was almost an anticlimactic situation, brought home by a downstairs neighbor (a wimp non-shooter, of course) who ran up the stairs, banged on the door (while I was talking on the phone), and in a big panic asked my wife, “Has Michael got his guns out and loaded?” Well, my wife calmed him down and reassured him that I was ready, and that the rioters were at least a good two or three miles away at the present time — according to the latest TV reports –not just around the corner and down the street from us, as he had feared1.

I have the same “ready weapons” in place that I have had for the last 10 years or so. I have quite a few loaded clips (real, en bloc, M1 Garand clips), plus .45 ACP magazines, plenty of food (in excess of a three week supply for two people), and 55 two-liter and two five-gallon containers of water in the house. I do have more food, water, and ammo in the garage and workshop, and out in the vehicle.

Maybe I don’t really have enough water on hand. I’m going to add some more — how about you? Yeah, I have some candles and first aid stuff, but I’m a rifleman, not a corpsman or medic. Also, my long-time shooting buddy and landlord, the infamous R.J. Dohrman, has a good supply of all the same stuff, plus a few more group-type items (porta-potty, Coleman gear), so I’d say we’re better off than most.

It seems that if you’re fairly well prepared to begin with, all that you have to do is:

  1. make sure the perimeter is secured,
  2. increase your level of alertness and awareness, and
  3. make sure all those involved are reminded of any plans and procedures you have pre-arranged,and that any communication links you need are operational.

You could make an intensive checklist that goes on for pages and pages, but the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid) is best and can be done very well whether you have minutes, months, or years to prepare.

Chuck and I traveled to the Gun Show (or at least to the motel — the people at the fairgrounds said the show was on when we called on Thursday) and we went down the Santa Monica Freeway on our normal route. We saw a gas station burning fiercely, about 200 yards off of the freeway, among all of the other fires in the distance on both sides of us.

I was asked by someone if either Chuck or I were apprehensive as we drove along, with burning buildings on both sides of the freeway and the possibility of armed gangs lurking in the bushes at the side of the road. Well, as it happens, we were prepared for armed conflict if it came to that.

Charles and I each had a .45 auto with two spare magazines immediately available (and more in my bag, in reach) plus, if we had to come to a halt during a gunfight, we had a .30-06, M1 Garand and 80 rounds of ammo available to us within 10 seconds of coming to a full stop. We also discussed that if we got into a fight, and if either one of us had to reload twice, he would call, “rifle,” and Chuck would cover me as I went for the rifle. Then he would replenish his .45 magazine supply from my bag as soon as I’d brought the rifle into play. Simple, nothing too fancy, but backed up by years of practice and training — plus a great deal of confidence in the other person.

No sense worrying too much about something that you’ve trained for in many different forms over the years. It doesn’t mean some exciting emotions (pressure, fear, apprehension, butterflies, or what ever you want to call it) wouldn’t come into play if and when the rounds started to fly your way. But even so, why does the average person, even in law enforcement, perform poorly in a gunfight or crisis situation?

Experience and training, or the lack of it, seems to determine how most people perform in a fight. Charles and I have each faced death before in our lives, and we managed to make enough right decisions that we are still here. So why should we worry about armed gang members, especially when we know that AK-47s are not “magic wands” that slaughter everyone in front of their muzzles. Hell, those punks don’t know the true “magic” secrets, like: front sight — squeeze — hit!

I don’t believe that these street gangs have the skill level or training to engage people like us, who have trained practically as a way of life for so many years. Sure, they could get lucky, but I just heard or read that a street creep or gang member waited in ambush with his AK-type weapon, and then opened up on two cops at 10 feet — and missed! (The cops captured him.) These people are like dangerous children, or wild dogs on the rampage — if you have your wits about you, you should prevail over their kind in a fight at least 99.9% of the time.

I try not to underestimate my enemies, but don’t complain about my lack of sympathy for the down-trodden or lack of political correctness if I lick my lips and grin when I see street gang members with their AK-47s a block away, coming in my direction. From a prone position, well concealed, I could scatter gang members at 125 to 175 yards with a .45 ACP pistol, if it was just some discouragement that was called for. If there were two or three bunched up, and I really didn’t want them wandering around my neighborhood, I might let them pass my position and shoot them in the back at close range. And, of course, if I had any of my usual rifles available to me –well now, who would you bet on?

I discussed with several people the new practical stages for rifle and pistol events that will come out of the “Watts II. in ’92” riots: the “Drag Me From the Cab — If You Can” stage, the “My Car Broke Down and I Gotta Get Home” stage, and the “Sure, Uncle John, I’ll Help You Protect Your Store” stage, to name just a few that were discussed.

I hope if nothing else this has served to remind everyone of how good or bad their plans or preparations were for a crisis of this type, and where they need to shore up their plans to be a bit better prepared next time. There will be a next time, mark my words. All big cities will face this recurring problem as a crumbling economy and the welfare state mentality works together to pit the”haves” against the “have nots” in our society. And since I’m one of the “have nots,” I think I’ll join them next time — but with my own very personal agenda.

I do need a better communication system — one that isn’t completely dependant on the telephone company, or on smoke signals (I just couldn’t resist that one), for both strategic (long distance) and close-by tactical communications, like hand held radios and hard-wired comm within my perimeter. If the two could overlap, then all the better — I’m working on it. I would also like a few more fire extinguishers spread around, and I would have put sprinklers on the roof, except that this isn’t my property.

Are you working on your possible problems? You should either work on the problems you have discovered or raise your bed up higher, so that it is much more comfortable and roomier when you go to hide under it until the troubles are over — or your dwelling finally burns down around you, ending all your problems.

And talk about racist policies: the City of Los Angeles banned the sale of gasoline, unless it was put directly into a motor vehicle. Ever hear of a siphon? How hard is it to punch a hole in a car’s gas tank to fill up your Molotov Cocktail? And a ban on the sale of ammo! Holy Mother of Self Defense, that means that the Whites, Yellows, Browns, Reds, and decent, law-abiding Blacks couldn’t buy ammo to defend their homes, businesses, and families!

Nothing was said from City Hall about stopping the sale of liquor or closing down the bars,period, not just at curfew time. I would remind our leaders that in riot situations, that “liquid (80 or 100 proof) courage” makes a contribution to anti-social action. You dig?

Mark my words for next time, the slow response by Police agencies will be standard in the future because of the fear of being charged with “overreacting” and then the police will be used as a”whipping boy” by those liberal politicians who always pander for votes among the most easily impressed — the same people who were the rioters.

You are still responsible for your own defense! Don’t be caught short of weapons or ammo, for openers, and you’d better have enough food and water on hand so you don’t have to risk going to the store in the middle of a riot.

I didn’t need the financial body-blow that cancelling the Gun Show caused, and it sure didn’t cause me to think well of a class of people who claim to be civilized, and just as good as I am, but don’t act that way when push comes to shove. I don’t riot when they release a child molester or rapist. However, maybe I should. I did cheer when the state gassed Mr. Harris, because he deserved it.

Nobody seems to riot in the streets when they let murders off with light sentences, or some ACLU lawyer manages to get a criminal off on a technicality. That is supposed to be our system of law in action. So when the police use that same system to their own advantage, what’s the big deal? The court system has let a great number of people off who were probably guilty. So what?

Does anyobe think that the powers-that-be (in an election year) are going to leave those cops alone? They will be hounded with law suits until they are in jail for civil rights violations or are broken financially, their careers destroyed, and their lives ruined, to appease the mob. Would the politiciuans apply that much power, and do all that, to a mugger that beat and maybe crippled a member of your family? I don’t think so. Just look at all the trouble they have had trying to keep Theresa Saldana’s attacker in jail after he tried to stab her to death.

No, my friends, the system of justice in this country works best for the very rich, followed closely by being used by the politicians for whatever purposes they see fit, including throwing part of their own establishment (the police) to the wolves whenever they need to appease a segment of the population.

I thought the prosecution made a very racist remark when they said, in the L.A. Times, “These people in Simi Valley came here to get away from Black men like Rodney King…,” implying racist fear and hate instead of the real, economic reasons Simi Valley developed as a “bedroom community” for the people who have to work in the L.A. area. Did the people who moved to Sand Canyon go there to get away from Rodney King? Are you a racist if you choose to move to Simi Valley, or to Sand Canyon, instead of into South Central Los Angeles? Are all these new housing developments that are out near Pearblossom and Little Rock (just past the D.M. range) for racists only? It’s all a bullshit argument!

Also, the prosecution complained about the fact that eight of the twelve jurors were former military people. If lawyers had their way, they would hand-pick people for every jury. But prosecutors, supposedly working for the state and the people, who are complaining that former military types are unsuitable for a jury is a contradiction — the state requires military defense, and it uses the police and the military to enforce its laws, and to keep order. How can the state realistically contend that the very people (who are sometimes put at great risk) who have served the system are not qualified to sit in judgement within it?

I know all the typical lawyer’s arguments, but they are the just the standard convoluted reasoning of people who want others to do their dirty work for them. I just can’t abide by what has been happening to this country and our courts, and to the law. I vote for anarchy now! No more mr. Nice guy! Snarl, slobber — burn, baby, burn! I want to have some fun before I really get too old to enjoy it, and I want some of those TVs and cases of beer, some new clothes, and those fancy tennis shoes. Yeah, man, I’m good and fed up with the establishment too. I sure want to raise hell — then maybe they’ll give me some kind of government grant to be nice and leave them alone… say what? That be righteous then, brothers!