Oleg Volk on Riots vs Pogroms

A very interesting read by Oleg Volk on riots, pogroms and why he doesn’t see large scale rioting in America as anywhere near the threat it would be anywhere else. One particular passage struck me and made me think about my own preparations for civil unrest:

From the 1992 LA riots, we know that at least some criminals kept up attacks despite being fired upon with pistols. Being able to observe their victims and overwhelm them with numbers apparently made up for the risk of getting shot. We also know that rifle fire from extended ranges, especially with the shooter being invisible, cause instant retreat. In 1992, people were willing to fire at extended ranges due to the absence of authorities — 50 yards is not a typical self-defense range and most people are conditioned not to fire until backed into a corner and almost at contact distance. Lawful people are also conditioned to perceive individuals rather than groups or mobs as threats, so most would not fire into a hostile group. Putting buckshot with “to whom this may be addressed” dispersion into a group can be very effective but goes counter to the peacetime conditioning. The number of conversations with 911 dispatchers where people in dire and immediate danger keep asking for permission to fire suggests that the main factor preventing massive casualties to rioters is the lack of the will, not the lack of firepower. That will is notably bolstered whenever a riot affects residential areas rather than business districts. A store may be abandoned, but a home with a family within is likely to be defended to the last.

I admit I’m a scattergun guy, and an eccentric one at that with my Stoeger Coach gun and pistol grip Mossberg Cruiser in 20 ga and my .45/410 NEF Survivor. Like many Americans I have some basic training in firing a rifle but I just can’t justify owning a rifle since I live on a tight budget and don’t do any hunting. I’m also a bit leery over firing at crowds out beyond my property no matter how bad a riot just because post-riot you’re at the mercy of authorities who may stick you in the same prison that people you fired at are in.

Tht said I have been planning on trading in my Mossberg for a multi-barrel gun like the Rossi Pick 4 which comes with both a .243 and .22 lr rifle barrel and his essay is making me want to finalize that plan. It is said Israel has had great success with controlling mobs in the past by using .22 rifles to wound “leaders” within the mob. Unless there was real TEOTWAWKI style unrest I’d be more comfortable trying that then just deciding to plug some rich, liberal’s kid with a .308. I also take issue with the idea that large scale looting can’t happen here because of gun ownership, L.A. had plenty of gun owners during the Rodney King riots.

But read the rest and make up your own minds, Volk makes a lot of good points.