The 1992 Los Angeles Riots engulfed the city in a days-long wave of uncontrolled looting and destruction. The city’s Koreatown neighborhood, home to many immigrant-owned small businesses, was among the communities hardest hit by the riots. Largely abandoned by local law enforcement, many Koreatown residents looked to their Second Amendment rights for protection, banding together in small armed groups to defend their livelihoods from further injury. Despite being wildly outnumbered, the armed residents of Koreatown proved themselves to be consistently capable of driving off looters. The “Rooftop Koreans” are perhaps the most widely recognized example of a community defending itself during civil unrest, but they are far from the only such example.
“Disarm a community and you rob them of the means of defending life. Take away their weapons of defense and you take away the inalienable right of defending liberty.” 26 —REPRESENTATIVE THADDEUS STEVENS, primary author of the 14th Amendment
Did you know that in many cities, the average police response time to the highest priority emergency calls is still over 10 minutes? 27
26. Representative Thaddeus Stevens, Speech Before Congress: State Governments Republic In Form (March 18, 1686) Reprinted In The Selected Papers Of Thaddeus Stevens, Vol. 2: April 1865–August 1868 (Beverly Wilson Palmer & Holly Byers Ochoa Eds., 1998).[Needs Cite.]
27. See, e.g., SLCPD Released Response Time Data for January 2022, Salt Lake City Police Department (Feb. 1, 2022), http://www.slcpd.com/2022/02/01/slcpd-releases-response-time-data-for-january-2022/; Colton Stone, ABQ 4WARD: Examining APD’s Response Times (Updated Aug. 11, 2021 10:22 PM), https://www.kob.com/albuquerque-news/abq-4ward-examining-apds-response-times/6204745/; See, e.g., Tami Abdollah & Aleszu Bajak, Detroit’s Black Residents Seek More Police Presence Yet Often See Slower 911 Response, USA Today (Updated 2:08 p.m. ET July 26, 2021), https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2021/07/26/black-detroit-residents-want-more-police-slower-911-response/8058968002/; Andrew Rogers, Colorado Springs Police Response Times Up Nearly A Minute In 2021, KRDO News (Aug. 17, 2021), https://krdo.com/news/2021/08/17/colorado-springs-police-response-times-up-nearly-a-minute-in-2021/