Monday, August 14, 2017
Cops, Outgunned, Scurried for Cover in Charlottesville.
Governments claim to themselves a monopoly on organized violence. This is exercised via police agencies and military forces. Nobody is supposed to be more powerful than the state which has a fundamental duty to respond to such challenges.
Only not in Charlottesville on Saturday.
Plenty of observers watching the chaotic violence commented on the apparent absence of any police presence. There were about a thousand local and state police on the scene but they were nowhere to be found where they were needed. They abandoned the protesters to the fascist, neo-Nazi, and white supremacist horde. Many paid for that with injuries. Some were critically injured. One woman lost her life.
The explanation? The fascist side showed up with assault rifles. The cops, outgunned, kept their distance. The gutless bastards in blue folded.
Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe, was long on excuses.
“You saw the militia walking down the street, you would have thought they were an army ... I was just talking to the State Police upstairs; [the militia members] had better equipment than our State Police had,” McAuliffe said. “And yet not a shot was fired, zero property damage.”
McAuliffe's response that law enforcement's handling of the violence was successful because there were no bullets fired and "zero property damage" would appear to ignore that dozens were left injured and a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, was killed when an apparent white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd.
Does this mean that protesters now are on their own? Should they start showing up, militia-style, their own assault rifles "locked and loaded"? Is America regressing to the era of the settlement of the West when newcomers had to organize vigilante forces to exterminate the lawless that preyed upon them?
It turns out there's a Virginia national guard armoury right there in Charlottesville. If it was firepower the local authorities needed McAuliffe merely had to pick up his phone.