Rightbloggers Find the Cause of England's Riots: Gun Control and Black People

tomt200.jpgRiots broke out in London and other parts of England last week. The evident catalyst was the controversial killing by police of Mark Duggan; but, as with the Rodney King beating that sparked the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, it's unlikely that one small event could have caused so much fury and violence.

Some people thought the austerity program of the nation's Conservative leadership had finally pissed off enough young citizens to provoke street-level backlash, as had happened earlier this summer in Greece.

Rightbloggers? They obsessed on gun control and black people.

Several rightbloggers were swift to blame gun control for the riots. True, gun-shy England's murder and gun-related-death rates are much lower than gun-crazy America's -- even the hardcore Gun Owners of America argued in 2008, when confronted with this fact, that "the murder rates in many nations (such as England) were ALREADY LOW BEFORE enacting gun control."

But in recent years violent crime has risen in the UK. As ending all gun control is one of American conservatism's holy missions -- right up there with destroying Social Security -- the brethren declared that England was now so violence-wracked that the situation could only be reversed by the free circulation across Blighty of Saturday Night Specials and semi-automatics.

"'Concealed Carry' Will End the British Riots Overnight," claimed Christopher Manion at Lew Rockwell's blog. "I wonder how brazen those British thugs would be if they knew shop owners might have a loaded Sturm-Ruger Mini-14 under every counter." He recommended that the UK "hand out concealed carry permits to every small businessman in England, and end the British riots in a New York minute." Arrests, a more traditional remedy, seem not to have occurred to him.

Hey, you know what would have made this much better? Guns for everybody!
John Seiler of Cal Watchdog concurred, recalling wistfully how during the L.A. Riots "Korean store owners... brought out their guns and started firing at the looters." (This memory also warmed the cockles of Daniel J. Mitchell of Forbes, among others.) Seiler told his readers, "Get a gun to defend your family. Get training at a local gun range. Do it now, not when something happens and you have to wait 10 days... If enough Californians are armed, next time the riots might be prevented." The L.A. Riots were 19 years ago, but you know how reminiscing can get the old-timers feeling their oats.

(National Review's Stanley Kurtz also hearkened back to L.A., recalling that a young Barack Obama had said in 1992 that those riots "reflect a deep distrust and disaffection with the existing power pattern in our society." "That's Alinsky-speak," said Kurtz, "for 'We've got to use the power of the angry underclass to put capitalism in check,'" which you have to admit is a much more incendiary pull-quote, however fanciful, than Obama's actual anodyne statement. "I certainly don't think President Obama would openly speak about events in London the way he spoke about the L.A. riots nineteen years ago," added Kurtz. "What he thinks to himself is another matter." [cue sinister music.])

Ultimately there was no talking sense to them. When the Boston Globe pointed out that the English riots had left far fewer dead than the L.A. riots, SayUncle responded, "This completely ignores the possibility that some of the life lost in LA was people who needed to shot." "How many of those 35 people killed by gunshot wounds in the LA riots deserved it?" agreed Snowflakes in Hell. "As long as the people killed in a riot were killed because they were flouting law and order, I have no problem with it." By this reading, the English failed not only by not having enough guns, but also by not having killed enough people. Talk about a no-win situation!

The English rioters were reported to be of several races -- as were the riots' victims. You can see plenty of pictures of white folks out in the scrum.

But, as those of us who've followed their fantasies of a black crime rampage across America might have predicted, some rightbloggers quickly became convinced it was all about the dark people.

The Say Anything Blog found a Telegraph writer who said, "the rioters were, I suspect on the whole, black," and ran with it:

"Mark Duggan Is Black," said Say Anything. "Well... actually he was black. And so are most of the rioters who've been setting London and other cities across England on fire night after night. And though the media refuses to say so, these are essentially race riots that are spreading fear and destruction across Britain."

For anyone who read the actual source, that's a giant leap, but one in which many rightbloggers were willing to join.

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