Vail Daily letter: Mobs and magazines | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: Mobs and magazines

Ferguson, Mo. Consider the pictures of burning buildings, surging mobs and scurrying looters. Local law enforcement was overwhelmed. The governor activated the National Guard, but they were kept back.

Ferguson’s mayor says he was unable to get in touch with Gov. Nixon or any of his staff during that critical period. The lieutenant governor says he has no idea what the problem was, that troops were not sent in to suppress disorder.

Things like this happen. During the Rodney King riots, the Los Angeles police just removed coverage from certain threatened neighborhoods. We saw pictures of Korean store owners protecting their premises with guns.

Anarchy was widespread in large parts of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. There were pictures of informal armed neighborhood groups gathered in the street behind warning signs.

In Iraq, government forces melted away in the face of ISIS. In Mexico and Brazil, militias have formed to deal with drug cartel violence the government has not been able to deter. In Nigeria, local protection groups have formed in response to Boko Haram’s kidnapping and murder.

When troubles started in Ferguson back in August, there was looting and disorder, but not where store owners stood outside brandishing firearms.

There’s no telling when law and order will break down, and citizens have to protect themselves. If the mob is numerous, you’ll need more than a bolt action rifle to have credibility. A semi-automatic firearm, with a large capacity magazine is what it takes.

Let’s hope when the Colorado Legislature convenes next year, they reconsider the high-capacity magazine ban passed in 2013.

Terry Quinn

Eagle