All it took to change our focus from COVID was RIOTS and widespread violence! LOL!
So, all weekend long all we heard about was the rioting spreading in cities across the nation. Sociopathic miscreants were taking advantage of the situation to go out and have “fun.” Of course, their behavior had nothing to do with perceived injustices or social issues. The opportunity was there.
This ISN’T about looting in terms of theft of valuables.
Then on social media I started seeing posts and photos about dental offices being looted, gutted, and burned.
It’s 100% criminal opportunism. There are people (using the term loosely), who default to their most base “instincts” whenever the threshold for accountability is lowered. When that opportunity to act out without the risk of being caught or punished comes about, they go into animal mode.
These soulless cretins are destroying for the sake of destroying, because they know they can get away with it. It’s “fun.” Really… as sick as that sounds. That’s pretty much it. Theft of valuables or merchandise is NOT the primary goal. To wit… the dental offices that were destroyed.
Only a couple of hours after I saw the photos of the destroyed dental offices, I got a message from a dentist friend one county south of me. His friend, who is married to a cop in my area, sent this message about a potential riot in my area:
I got the message at about 4 PM. It was go time. I told my wife I had to go. My son was worried about me.
The location, which I blurred out in the screen shot above, was 1 mile from my office. Now, I realize that we can’t believe everything we see on social media… or hardly any of it, really. But, I felt I couldn’t take any chances. I packed up my gear and headed down to the office. No way I was going to let my office end up like those in the photos above – while I’m in the office. I would not have been able to forgive myself.
When I got “intel” that some shit could be going down near my office… and I went to the office…. It weighed HEAVILY on me. On the car ride down to the office, I pondered that I may be forced to shoot someone. I felt very somber on that 40-minute ride. That’s some heavy shit! I was NOT happy about it. I also realized that I could end up hurt, or worse. Honestly, this worried me more than when I was in the Persian Gulf for Desert Shield / Desert Storm.
I arrived at the office at about 5 PM.
What’s the plan?
My office has two doors: A front glass door and a solid back door. The windows are up high and narrow. Neither the back door nor the windows would allow easy ingress for an attack.
So, I expected that the mostly likely breach point would be the front door. I could create some distance from the back of the consultation room to the front door.
I also staged three fire extinguishers around the office.
I sent a message out to several friends about my plans and invited any volunteers to join me. One friend joined me. Two others eventually offered, but by then it appeared all was quiet in my area. My son sent text messages to check on me about every hour. By 10:40 PM, my friend and I decided to call it a night. Thankfully, nothing happened.
Just being there took a toll.
When I got home late Sunday night, after the riot failed to materialize at my office’s location, I was WIPED OUT. RELIEVED, but wiped out. I was exhausted from the mental energy spent by standing guard. Knowing that at any moment, the shit could hit the fan, and that I could be thrust into a fight for my life… hit me like a truck. It was like an adrenaline hangover, but I never got the “adrenaline dump.” I was very tired the next day, too.
When is this going to be over?
Every day this week, I brought my duffel bag of “gear” back to the office, just in case the situation changes. I will defend myself and my team from any attacks on our lives. So far, so good. All quiet on the dental front.
I have been falsely accused of being “cavalier” or “eager” and even a “vigilante.” I assure you that is NOT the case. I have never wanted to be in that position (of possibly defending myself with force). I never DREAMED I would be in that position. Given a choice, I’d be back in the Persian Gulf, instead. That was a more predictable situation! No shit.
I hope this bullshit dies down, and SOON. More people will get hurt. Business owners are starting to fight back. We have put our entire lives into our businesses. This isn’t about losing some “property” or “items” that “can be replaced with insurance.” That’s not the issue at all. It’s about protecting our own lives in a place we have a right to be and LOSING THE BUSINESS, which is far more (and more valuable) than the sum of its physical parts. I will not let it happen, and I will defend my life if attacked by looters.
Do NOT confront rioters!
I will NOT go outside my office / dwelling to confront them, nor do I recommend anyone else do that. But, I will defend myself inside, if they break and enter. Below is a video of what happened to some business owners who tried to reason with the marauders to spare their businesses. Do NOT try this, please!
Your mileage may vary.
I understand some folks will bristle at the notion of “defending property.” This isn’t just property. It’s a business. It’s my life. I will stand in the way of looters. If they attack me, then it’s game on. I also realize that there are no guarantees. I might win. I might lose. In any case, it’s very serious business, which I do not take lightly.
During the L.A. Riots of 1992, the only businesses in Koreatown that survived were those protected by armed Korean-Americans. They became known as “Roof Koreans.”
It’s a very personal decision, and I respect those who choose not to defend their businesses or even their own lives. I don’t understand it, but I respect that they have that choice. But, I would challenge my fellow Dental Warriors and small business owners to be your own “Roof Korean.”
Edit to add: When I posted on social media about my efforts and preparations to defend myself in my business during potential rioting, I received a mixture of responses. Most were supportive. Some actually claimed I had “no right” to be at my business after hours, and therefore… no right to defend myself. I was mocked by some as a “vigilante.” Apparently they don’t know the actual definition of that word.
Here is a video of an interview with Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County, Florida about defending yourself against rioters and looters in your home and business. I added some captions of the sheriff’s comments on the video.
PS: Check out this article in Dentistry Today by my dental colleague and fellow writer, Dr. Michael Davis: Season of Violence Impacts Dental Practices