During the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992, the one news report that stuck with me was how the Korean shop owners kept their premises safe from the marauding mobs.

The uprising was the reaction to the acquittal of four white police officers accused in the beating of King after his arrest a year before.

When the verdict came in, all hell broke loose as out-of-control rioters spread from the inner city toward the affluent Westside.

The Koreans’ businesses were on the fringe of downtown and South Central L.A. where the rioting began. Those storeowners didn’t try to reason with the lawbreakers. They didn’t depend on alarm systems.

They couldn’t even rely on the police department – or the Army, Marines and National Guard – who were having their own troubles dealing with the street violence and massive destruction. It was all the cops and military could do to stop the mayhem and try to prevent the destruction and looting from spreading into Westwood, Brentwood and Bel Air.

I recall that local news reported that residents of those affluent areas suddenly became customers of local gun shops as they suddenly realized they needed ways to protect themselves.

Funny how threats to survival make people sensible.

That’s where the Korean shop owners come in. They’d planned ahead and had their firearms. When the roving mobs came into their area, they just sat in front of their stores with a shotgun across their laps, and waited.

The rioters, more interested in destruction than in getting killed, avoided those businesses and moved on to easier marks. There were a lot of those – more than 3,100 businesses looted, 7,000 fires started and a billion dollars in losses – to say nothing of the deaths and injuries.

Time magazine called it the “worst single episode of urban unrest in American history.”

But every armed Korean business was spared.

I thought of this episode as I followed the ludicrous situation facing Arizona.

Here you have an entire state being invaded by thousands of illegal aliens swarming across the border every month – human trafficking, gun running and drug smuggling are rampant – to say nothing of the financial burden on the infrastructure and, not least, the crime and dangers to American citizens/residents of Arizona who face personal and property crimes daily. And don’t forget the killings.

Arizona is the innocent victim because the federal government ignores its own border laws and lets rampant illegal invasions continue.

Los Angeles was the innocent victim of the rioters as local police couldn’t handle the mobs and needed massive military reinforcements to put down the uprising.

In Los Angeles, armed shopkeepers protected their property without firing a shot.

In Arizona, the legislature crafted a state law to mirror the federal border law and Gov. Jan Brewer signed it. They made it illegal to be an illegal alien in Arizona. It’s their way of drawing a legal line in the sand to provide personal protection to residents.

The tactic worked in L.A., but, so far, not so in Arizona. The feds, from the president on down, have linked arms to defy Arizona, even going so far as to sue the state.

Judge Susan Bolton gutted the heart from the bill in her ruling Thursday, the day S.B. 1070 was to go into effect. One of her ludicrous findings was that reporting illegals to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would put too great a burden on the federal agency.

Gee, we’re able to fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan simultaneously as well as having military bases worldwide – but dealing with illegal aliens who sneaked into this country is too great a burden?

Sounds to me as though we need some reorganization in how this country is run.

The federal government telling Arizona it doesn’t have the right to defend itself when the government doesn’t do its job would be comparable to a police department telling citizens they cannot defend themselves or their own homes.

But there are police who feel that way. I’ve interviewed officers, and, after referencing the successful actions of the Korean shop owners, had them tell me they do not approve such actions. After all, I was told recently, that gun could go off and hurt someone.

They’re the same police who do not want homeowners to have weapons.

Sorry, officer, but in the midst of a riot, or any other threat, I’ll take my chances defending my family, home and business – no matter what you say. I’ll never give up my right to life and self-protection to any government or officer of the state.

The same applies to each individual state in the union. If the feds ignore their own laws and won’t protect states from foreign invasions and if the feds protect the “feelings” of foreign governments (read that Mexico) then it’s incumbent upon those states to do it themselves.

And that’s no matter what Eric Holder, Barack Obama or even Judge Bolton have to say.

It’s reported in the News in Mexico, that the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, Carlos Pascual, said that the “Obama administration respects the human rights of all immigrants, and that his administration will work to avoid acts of racism against any person who lives or travels in North American territory.”

What odd phrasing from an American president. The U.S. is a country, not a territory. Ditto for Canada. What’s going on?

If this kind of pressure continues, the civil unrest of the civil-rights movement of the ’60s will seem like a cakewalk.

Some might say “lock and load baby.”

I’ll just say it’s gonna be a bumpy ride. It’s already started.

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