As many of you probably know, there were riots in Baltimore, Maryland this past weekend. The riots spun out of protests that emerged from the suspicious death of Freddie Gray from injuries incurred while in the custody of the Baltimore Police Department. If you need to get caught up with the back story, there is a Wikipedia page that is attempting to keep current with the latest developments of the investigation.
One of the most disturbing images to those of use old enough to remember the 1992 Lo Angeles riots was a scene where a blue Subaru station wagon was surrounded and attacked for no apparent reason by rioters.
There is an abbreviated video of the attack posted to Facebook by Derek Menser.
In the incident two men step in front of the car and start taunting the vehicle’s occupants. Why the idiot of a driver didn’t immediately lock all doors is anyone’s guess.
Another man wearing a “Black Lives Matter” shirt then rushes to the passenger-side door and opens it.
When I saw that, my mind immediately flashed back to the attack on Reginald Denny in the 1992 riots, where a similar mob dragged a truck driver from his vehicle and nearly beat him to death, taunted the news helicopter overhead, and celebrated over Denny’s bloody unconscious body.
Mr “Black Lives Matter” opened the door and reached inside the vehicle.
At this point, if you were stopped by a mob of rioters and someone opened your door, would you have legitimate reason to fear that your life was in immediate, proximate danger of a deadly force attack, similar to the nearly-fatal beating of Reginald Denny?
I don’t know if this action would legally justify the pulling of a concealed weapon in all jurisdictions, but it certainly would in many, if not most.
Fortunately, the men don’t resort to violence and the door is shut by another man.
Rioters then jump on the hood of the vehicle.
Jordan Chronister posted a more lengthy video from a different vantage point showing that the people in the Subaru did nothing at all to justify the attack.
The driver sees and opening behind him, puts the car and reverses out, only to be attacked (inconsequentially) by several other members of the mob.
Fortunately, the incident ended without bloodshed, but when people begin acting with the mindless violence of a mob towards innocent strangers, those being attacked by the mob have a right to defend their lives. If the driver or passenger of this vehicle had been armed, they may have had justification in using lethal force against the man who opened the passenger side door and reached into the vehicle.
Individual members of a mob may be “unarmed,” but with their numbers, they are clearly a deadly force threat, and the fact that Baltimore’s mayor intentionally gave the mob a “space to destroy” is utterly insane.
If Democrat-led governments in the cities beset by mob violence in the past year continue to refuse to aggressively contain those rioters, we’re going to end up with a situation where either rioters seriously injure or kill innocent bystanders who just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, or law-abiding citizens are going to feel the need to open fire upon these mobs in an attempt to save their own lives.
People have a right to peaceably assemble and protest perceived injustices.
That right stops when it begins putting innocent lives at risk in mob violence.