Yesterday we talked about the recent, violent episode in Waco, Texas, and how liberal, anti-gun rights activists were trying to conflate these events with open carry legislation. But there’s plenty of other obfuscation going on in the aftermath of the shootout at Twin Peaks. There was “analysis” aplenty going on at MSNBC and liberal blogs across the spectrum, all focusing on the failure of some (who must have a hidden, racist agenda) to call the deadly gun battle between river biker gangs a “riot.” There was also more than a little suspicion that it must have something to do with the “fact” that the bikers are white. (Though in the case of the Bandidos, they must be talking about “White Hispanics” a la George Zimmerman in many cases.)
At National Review, Kevin D. Williamson takes a look at what he calls a great deal of stupidity on the left, and cautions readers against confusing a riot with a gunfight.
Making the comparison with Baltimore, many on the left — Salon’s Jenny Kutner, to take an example — demanded to know why the media did not describe the events in Waco as a “riot.” The answer, obviously enough, is that the event in Waco was not a riot — it did not represent a general state of civil disorder, there were no mobs targeting property for destruction, etc. What happened in Waco was accurately described — in the New York Times, the Waco Tribune, USA Today, and many other outlets — as a gunfight. Also chaos, biker gang shooting, the work of very dangerous, hostile criminal biker gangs, and, in case that is not strong enough for your taste, something akin to a war zone. What happened in Baltimore was not a gunfight. (It might have been a gunfight if it had been attempted in or around Waco.)
Sally Khon also demanded to know why the Texas law enforcement community didn’t call in the National Guard as they sure would have done if the bikers “had been black.” Willaimson has this point covered as well.
Of course there is a good reason that the National Guard wasn’t called out in Waco: It wasn’t needed. The Waco police did not follow the lead of the Baltimore police; the mayor of Waco did not follow the lead of the mayor of Baltimore and declare an outlaw-biker free-fire zone. Instead, the police swooped in, arrested the better part of 200 people, started booking them, and peace was restored.
And nobody in Waco gave any press conferences about the need to understand the legitimate rage of the poor white peckerwood dumbass class.
Given the overriding media narrative it is neither surprising nor informative that Sally Khon and her cohort would want to use the Battle of Twin Peaks as a pell in their combat practice. If you can show that the cops somehow “take it easy on the white criminals” while treating blacks in a more violent fashion, it pushes the story line forward. But there probably couldn’t have been a much worse example to pick than the shootout in Waco. First, as Kevin correctly notes, there wouldn’t have been much time for the National Guard to get there and do anything useful even if the mayor or the governor had sent them in. The cops knew about the meeting before it started and had officers stationed in the area. When violence broke out, they were on top of it quickly and wound up bringing the situation under control.
As to treating the gang members more charitably, that’s laughable on its face. Perhaps it’s just how they roll in Texas, but when the meeting turned into a war zone, the police waded in guns blazing. They’re still trying to figure out how many of the bikers killed or wounded each other and how many were potentially shot by the cops. Take a look at some of the mug shots which were released. The bikers without bullet holes in them were frequently beaten down pretty badly unless they complied with law enforcement instructions immediately. And unlike the rioters in Baltimore – many of whom will see no punishment at all – nearly two hundred gang members are in the crowbar motel looking at a million dollar tab for a breath of fresh air. Capital murder charges are pending against many of them.
So no… this wasn’t a riot. In terms of criminal activity, it was far worse in some ways. In scope and randomness of destruction it wasn’t a riot at all. This was a limited area war which broke out among violent men. (And apparently one woman, just to be fair to the ladies.) And it was quickly brought under control. Rather than criticizing how it was described, perhaps we should be learning something from how it was handled.