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Lessons from the Ferguson Black Riots of 2014


The 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri should serve as an important reminder to anyone who is thinking about owning a gun.  When your safety is already at risk, it may be too late to buy that first gun.

Why do I say that?

1.  You'll be lucky to find a gun at a gun store when EVERYBODY is trying to buy one.  And IF you do find a gun, it may not be the best gun or the most suitable gun and it's going to cost you a lot more money than it would have before the emergency.

2.  You may not be able to find ammunition for your new gun.  And IF you do find ammunition, it may not be the most suitable ammunition for self-defense, you may not find it in the quantity you want, and it is going to cost you a lot more money.

3.  You may not be able to purchase important accessories for your new gun.  Things like spare magazines, holsters, slings, and optics.  Not having enough magazines or not having a holster could put you in a real bind.  You may not have time to research which accessories you need or be able to install them quickly if you can even find them.

4.  By not having bought the gun ahead of time and now being in the middle of an emergency, you won't have the time to take the gun to a range to do important things like:

 a) making sure the gun actually works and is not a one-shot or even a zero-shot wonder

 b) making sure that the ammunition you purchased works in the gun

 c) practicing with the gun to become proficient in its use and to know how to do critical things, like reloading the gun quickly while under pressure

 d) becoming comfortable and familiar with various controls such as thumb safeties, grip safeties, or de-cockers

 e) adjusting the sights on the gun to make sure the bullet is going to go reasonably close to where the gun is aimed

  f) installing and testing any accessories, like bipods, tactical lights, laser sights, or custom grips

The time to become a gun owner is NOW when you are NOT in the middle of a riot or some other emergency. [NOTE: That goes for your friends and neighbors, who you should help if need be, as a good friend or neighbor.]

The time to do it is when you have time.  When you can purchase the gun you want.  When you can purchase and store a quantity of the ammunition you want.  When you can verify the gun functions properly and is sighted in properly.  When you can study which accessories you want and have time to get those accessories.  When you can practice and train with both the gun and the accessories so that you have confidence in your ability to protect yourself and your family.

All of that can be done in a reasonable amount of time if you put enough effort into it, but it can't be done instantaneously in the middle of an emergency.

If you're going to become a gun owner, and you don't live in Ferguson, MO, there is no time better than RIGHT NOW.

Ebola questions reporters need to ask

Stop me when I get to a question that makes no sense or you've heard the media ask already:

Why didn't president Obama seek out a broad coalition of troops before sending our soldiers to fight the Ebola virus?

What was Obama's basis for seeking to fight it unilaterally, deploying troops without Congressional approval?

Why exactly did he need an extra 1,000 troops to fight the virus, so soon after the first deployment?

Are Russia or Communist China sending in troops to fight the virus?

Why do you send military troops to fight a virus?

When do our troops come home? Is there a rotation schedule?

Do they have to be quarantined for 21 days when they do come home?

What's the plan for troops who come back and have Ebola?

Has the Veterans Administration been prepared for handling Ebola cases?

Is your confidence in their ability to do so as high as your confidence in the CDC?


What's the CDC procedure for cleaning vomit off a street where an Ebola patient has vomited?

Is it true a guy in shorts and a t-shirt hosed Ebola vomit into a Dallas sewer?

How long can Ebola virus survive in a Dallas sewer? (wrong question)

Does anyone know how long Ebola virus can survive in a Dallas sewer? (that's rhetorical: the answer is no; Can things living in the sewer transmit the virus?)

If the CDC is so well prepared why did they leave that patient's Ebola-tainted stuff sit for days in his apartment with his family members? Please don't duck this question.

Would it be fair to say that the CDC isn't as prepared as many spokespeople say they are?

Are all American cities as prepared as people say the CDC over in Atlanta, Georgia is?


The Dallas mayor said on national TV all the people in the apartment complex were communicated with, yet the people there said on national TV no one told them anything, why didn't you question him about that?

Anderson Cooper on CNN said the apartment residents spoke many different languages, who translated for the mayor? Why didn't you ask him?

Why did so many people there sit outside mere feet away, with their kids, as we saw on TV, while the room was hosed out with the doors open and fumes sprayed out? Is this standard CDC procedure? Can we have a copy of those procedures?

The Dallas mayor said the tainted goods were treated with bleach, is bleach effective on the virus?

What treatments are available for Ebola patients, and why haven't you reported on that yet?

What's the actual medical test for Ebola virus?

How long does the test take, and who can conduct the test?

How do you dispose of all the gear that comes in contact with Ebola?

Why can't you get Ebola from someone who is pre-symptomatic?

Does that imply a blood transfusion from, or sex with, a pre-symptomatic person would be fine? Why not?

How many cities have a company that can properly quarantine an apartment complex?

Who issues the permits for that?

How did Dallas find the clean-up company it decided to use? Is there another one in town?

Who would you use in Phoenix (or pick a city)?


Is measuring a person's temperature with an infrared thermometer, as we see airport staff in Liberia doing on TV, a positive test for Ebola?

If a person has no temperature but carries the virus, is it safe for them to board a flight to the U.S.?

If a person has no temperature does that mean it's safe to have sex with them?

How many people per hundred thousand have a non-Ebola fever (or diarrhea or vomiting) on an average day?

If a person has a fever (or diarrhea or vomiting) is that grounds for isolating them for 21 days? Is that legal?

How did the cameraman for NBC get the disease? Why hasn't this question been answered already? What treatment can he get in the U.S. that he can't get somewhere else?

Tell us about the U.S. patent on the Ebola virus. Why hasn't that been covered already?

How exactly does Ebola kill a person?

How long does it typically take from onset of Ebola symptoms for death to occur?

How long can the virus live in airborne droplets of bodily fluid, like from a sneeze?

Does the Ebola virus die instantaneously in air, or in a nanosecond, microsecond, seconds, and how do you know that?

Why isn't there any supply of the experimental drug ZMapp? Has ZMapp been proven effective?

Tell us about other drugs they're testing and how much supply there is.

How are you authorizing human testing of new drugs without clinical safety trials. Is this legal?

What's happening in Brussels, Belgium, where the first patient landed and changed planes?

Where is the ambulance the patient was transported in, how is that being disinfected?

I could keep asking questions like this but I suspect your patience is wearing thin.

Do you get the idea that reporters aren't asking relevant questions? Why is that? Didn't they go to journalism school? What do they teach them in there? Am I being to cynical for you?

Have a nice day. Namaste.

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About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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