The residents of Baltimore woke up this morning to look through a smoke-filled dawn to see the shadowy figures of Maryland National Guard soldiers patrolling the streets in full “battle rattle.”

For many, it will be too little, too late. Their homes and businesses are shattered glass and ash.

But the residents of Baltimore have no one but themselves to blame.

Streets in Baltimore looked like a war zone Tuesday morning after a night of riots, fires and heartbreak.

“Too many people have spent generations building up this city for it to be destroyed by thugs who — in a very senseless way — are trying to tear down what so many have fought for,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.

Buildings and cars across the city were engulfed in flames. About a dozen businesses were looted or damaged. At least 15 officers were wounded, six of them seriously, the police commissioner said.

Pockets of violence broke out Saturday amid protests against Gray’s death. But the spark that ignited Monday’s pandemonium probably started with high school students on social media.

An online flier advertised a “purge” after school Monday, starting at Baltimore’s Mondawmin Mall, The Baltimore Sun reported.

The film “The Purge” is about a dystopian society in which all laws are suspended for one 24-hour period every year.

This wasn’t about low-level drug dealer Freddie Gray dying under very troubling circumstances in police custody. Those rioting didn’t know Gray and didn’t care about him, or even seriously care about allegations of police abuse.

This wasn’t about poverty, either, as there are poorer communities around the nation who would never dream of acting in such a manner.

No, this is about looting, and street piracy, and in the terms of the street, “getting me mines.”

So far, the injuries being reported by the media are primarily to police officers, who have shown incredible restraint—too much restraint—in dealing with the rampaging mobs.

It’s too difficult at this time to determine the extent of the damage, but it is known that numerous fires were set by arsonists among the looters, who incredibly cut fire hoses and attacked firemen who were attempting to put out the flames.

We’re hearing this morning—but can only confirm anecdotally—that some stores inside the riot zones were not destroyed because their owners took up arms to defend their businesses against the looters in a visible display of force.

Unfortunately, Maryland is a “may issue” state in terms of concealed carry, and a “no issue” state in terms of application of that government discretion. An average citizen simply cannot legally carry a handgun for self-defense in Maryland, and the perfect firearms to conclusively put down mass riots like this—semi-automatic, magazine-fed rifles fed with standard-capacity magazines—are also outlawed.

I hope you have shotguns, folks.

How many times do we need to see the basic fact that the government cannot and will not protect you before people learn that they are their first responders?

This is what Garand and Lawson warned against in their book A Failure of Civility.

You are responsible for your self-defense. You are responsible for your own medical care.

If you aren’t prepared to defend your family, why should you expect the police to swoop in and save that which you didn’t defend?