April 26, 2023
Recent violent riots (yes, I called them riots) by hundreds of youth from coast to coast show a depravity that surprises many of us who were raised to respect law and order. Last weekend in Chicago, hundreds of youth gathered downtown and assaulted drivers, demolished vehicles and stomped innocent passers-by who were just attempting to enjoy a pretty evening in the Windy City. Two people were shot during the melee.
One young couple, who were simply trying to walk to a restaurant for dinner, were set upon by the crowd, knocked down, punched and stomped. If it hadn’t been for a concerned motorist—a woman who got between them and the crowd and escorted them to her vehicle—things could have ended much worse.
“They said they were going to kill us,” said Ashley Knutson, one of the assault victims. “They turned around and started fighting. I got pushed down to the ground and the whole group went to DJ (her boyfriend) and not to me.”
For her part, Lenora Dennis, the good Samaritan and hero in this story, had some other appalling news to report about the situation. She said that she tried to get several police officers walking nearby to help her protect the couple, but the officers refused to get involved.
"I literally went out in the street and held my hands up to a police car and asked them to stop and motioned them over to what was going on, and they just cut a path around me and just kept going," Dennis said.
In the midst of literally hundreds of people committing violent crimes on Chicago streets that evening, only 15 people were arrested.
Meanwhile, across the country on the same weekend in Compton, California, about 100 violent youth stormed, looted and ransacked a convenience store in what appears to be a targeted hit. As the mob nearly wiped the shop clean of products, the clerk hid in a locked bathroom in fear. Deputies said they couldn’t intervene because they were so outnumbered.
Not to be outdone, a mob of youth in Queens, New York, stormed and destroyed an Asian restaurant in that city. According to the restaurant manager, the large group of teens stormed in and started trashing the place for no apparent reason.
“I’m not going to use your language, which I think is wrong, and say it was ‘mayhem,’” Lightfoot told reporters. (Watch the video here and decide for yourself)
Johnson went even further over the edge, acting like he condemns the violence but then throwing in a big, “however.”
“In no way do I condone the destructive activity we saw,” Johnson said, without actually condemning the violence. “However, it is not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities.”
Statements like that only embolden youth, who see them as invitations to continue what was, indeed, mayhem, even if Lightfoot doesn’t see it that way. Lightfoot and Johnson are only reinforcing the message set forth during the George Floyd riots, when Democrat politicians at all levels encouraged youth to be loud and disrespectful, and showed them that violence was an acceptable form of protest by not prosecuting attackers, looters and others committing criminal acts.
Of course, there’s no easy answer to solve this growing problem of youth who don’t care about anything but themselves—including the law. However, all three of the riots mentioned earlier were captured on video, and it would be easy for police to spend a little time identifying participants and arresting every one of them who broke the law. Having police on hand actually arrest criminals during such riots instead of ignoring cries of help from victims would also discourage such violence and give tourists a little more confidence they might be saved if under attack.
In the end, there’s no doubt that many inner-city youth face some serious challenges. But that fact doesn’t turn wrong to right, illegal to legal, or evil to acceptable. Laws are laws, and they must be enforced if our civil society is going to survive. At this point, I’m not sure that we might not already be past that point in some of our larger cities.
If we can learn anything from last weekend’s runaway youth violence, it’s what we’ve known all along—with the government largely unwilling or unable to protect us from violent felons of all ages, it’s up to us to be ready to protect ourselves. Do what you can to avoid dangerous places, and be ready and willing to be your own defender if the need ever arises.
About the Author
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for over 20 years.
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