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Koreatown Guns of the L.A. riots

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Koreatown Twenty-Six Years Ago: The Guns of the L.A. Riots
The truth about guns ^ | 29APR19 | by Luis Valdes 

Posted on 5/2/2019, 4:29:53 AM by vannrox

This was an inspired read when Kirt referred to it in his latest Townhall.com editorial.

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Twenty-six years ago, from April 29 to May 4,1992, much of Los Angeles was ablaze. In the aftermath of the Rodney King verdict, South Central L.A. was consumed by riots and looting. Homes and business were burglarized and destroyed by arson. Law-abiding people and business owners were mugged, beaten and robbed.

The LAPD pulled out and basically told folks in the worst-hit areas that they were on their own. But a small section of Los Angeles known as Koreatown, located just north of South Central, didn’t burn. Why? Because the Korean business owners banded together, exercised their Second Amendment rights and protected their property, their businesses, and their livelihoods. Here are some of the news reports from the riots.

 
 
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They were well armed and they defended themselves. Let’s take a look at some of the guns they used.

 

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Two Korean Americans take cover behind a forklift during an exchange of gunfire between store owners and looters.

 

We have a GLOCK and what appears to be a stainless 1911. This was back in 1992, so the GLOCK more than likely is the Model 19. The .40 S&W while just recently introduced a couple of years prior, was more popular in the law enforcement market than the civilian market. This was before the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban, so 15- and  17-round magazines were easy to get.

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What appears to be a 1911 actually isn’t. It’s a Colt Double Eagle. They were a 1911 Slide and Barrel on a double action frame and were made only for a short period of time. They were chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and 10mm Auto and used standard 1911 magazines. They were Colt’s answer to the SIG Sauer P220 and the S&W Model 4506/4566 line.

 

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Korean supermarket employee returns fire from drive-by shooters at the corner of Western Avenue and 5th Street while attempting to protect the market from looters.

 

This gentleman is shooting what appears to be your standard period Colt Model 1991 Commander. It came from the factory with G.I. sights and a ring hammer. They used the Series 80 safety block and came with a stainless barrel. They were a more affordable option from Colt and that made them popular.

 

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Store owner Richard Rhee keeps vigil on the roof of his grocery store.

 

Here’s a blued Colt Government Model .380 and an equally impressive period cellphone. Specifically a black Motorola DynaTAC commonly known as the “brick”. The Government Model .380 was part of Colt’s .380 Concealed Carry line back before the .380 pocket pistol market took off with guns like the Kel-Tec P3AT and the Ruger LCP.

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This is a Korean store employee armed with a Norinco made MAK-90 AK pattern rifle. The fully-enclosed front sight hood is the give-away. Norinco Type 56s and MAK-90s had them while your Eastern European and Egyptian made guns had the standard winged sight protector. There is also the George Bush import ban-compliant thumb-hole stock.

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Here we see what appears to be a Benelli M3 and an unknown Over & Under shotgun. The Benelli M3 was and is a fantastic police shotgun. Semi-automatic with the ability to switch to pump action so the shooter can use low recoil shells that wouldn’t properly cycle in a gas driven gun like a Rmeington 11-87.

 

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Armed volunteers take position behind cabbage boxes as they guard a market from approaching looters during the second day of riots.

 

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Personal hunting guns were also employed. Traditional over/under shotguns and a Remington 700 bolt action rifle. Sure, the O/U isn’t “tactical” but it’s better than harsh language when looters are trying to trash your store. And 00 buck will ruin anyone’s day.

 

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Korean Security Guard taking cover while his cohorts provide over-watch.

 

This security guard is armed with the ever popular wheel gun. Either a Smith & Wesson K-frame service revolver or a Taurus Clone. I’m leaning towards the Taurus due to the half lug on the barrel and it being a blued finish.

The blued S&W K-Frame in .38 Special had an exposed ejector rod like the Model 10 and the only .357 Magnum K-Frame with a half lug like that was the S&W Model 66 which was stainless. Taurus did a K-frame clone like the one shown in a blued finish, fixed sights, with a half lug, and came in either .38 Special or .357 Magnum.

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The Mossberg 500 Tactical 8 Shot also played a role. Here you have a Korean grocery store employee standing guard inside the business with one.

 

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Period newspaper photo showing David Joo armed with a TEC-9.

 

This being the early 90s, the Intratec TEC-9 was an extremely popular (if misguided) pistol. It was designed by George Kellgren (current owner and lead designer of Kel-Tec) in 1985 and was a huge seller that stayed in production even during the Clinton AWB.

(The gentleman behind Mr. Joo is holding a Remington 870 with a LE Overfold stock.)

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Another standard TEC-9 being held as someone listens to the latest news on the radio.

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Here we have a young man carrying a chrome finished A.A. Arms Kimel AP-9 as the LAFD is attempting to save a building. The AP-9 strongly resembles the TEC-9.

 

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Korean store owners and employees keeping watch from the roof.

 

In this iconic photo, the gentleman on the far right is armed with a Ruger Mini-14. Chambered in 5.56x45mm, the Ruger Mini-14 was a very affordbale option at the time. Colt, Bushmaster, and Olympic Arms all made AR-15s, but prices for those were closer to $1,000. A Mini-14 cost around $250-$300 and 20- and 30-round magazines were easy to get. The man to the left of him has an unknown shotgun.

 

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A Korean man carries an rifle to prevent looters from entering a grocery store .

 

Last but not the least, is a man armed with a Daewoo K1. This is a South Korean-designed and built rifle still used to this day by the ROK Army. It is a direct impingement design like an AR-15 and uses standard AR-15 STANAG pattern magazines and is chambered in 5.56 x 45mm.

Entering service as a replacement for the M3 “Grease Gun” SMG, it was designed with an 11.5-inch barrel and a small flash-hider like the Colt XM-177 carbines from Vietnam. Deawoo made a 16-inch model for the American civilian market.

 

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Sold in the US until George Bush import ban, it was sold under two names by the various importers. They were marketed as the Daewoo K1A1 Rifle and the AR-110C carbine and were priced to compete against the Ruger Mini-14.

AR-15s just weren’t as common at the time. They were pricey and had a number of lower-priced competitors. You had the influx of Norinco made AKs which were priced around $250 and SKS carbines, sometimes for under $100, There were the Daewoos and Mini-14s directly competing at about the same price point, not to mention common hunting guns.

On the handgun side of things. the revolver was still holding strong. GLOCK was just beginning to gain ground while the wonder nines of the era like the Beretta 92, S&W Model 5906, and SIG Sauer P226 were starting to sell like hot cakes. And there was always the classic 1911.

Just as today, these were Americans defending their property the best they could with the most effective tools they had. They were basically on their own, left to deal with the situation themselves.

Today, of course, everything you see above (with the exception of the security guard) is illegal in California. Open carry is forbidden, as are “high capacity” magazines. If you own a gun like that Daewoo K1, you were obligated to register it with the state.

And that photo showing people buying firearms to protect themselves and their property during the rioting is a relic, too. California now has a 10-day waiting period for all gun purchases. The 1992 riots lasted five days and did over $1 billion in property damage. If it happened today, anyone who didn’t already own firearms would be out of luck.

 

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https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2019/05/02/be-a-rooftop-korean-n2545651

 

Be A Rooftop Korean

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent the views of Townhall.com.
Be A Rooftop Korean

Source: AP Photo/Reed Saxon

We should all be ready to do our duty as American citizens and, when duty calls, each of us should embrace our inner Rooftop Korean.

The year was 1992, 27 years ago right about now, and the city was Los Angeles. Several police officers who got into a videotaped brawl with a petty criminal named Rodney King were acquitted of beating him up. The city exploded. It was chaos.

I was a first-year law student, back a year from the Gulf War, and I had just joined the California Army National Guard. My unit was the 3rd Battalion, 160th Infantry, and we got called up early the first night and were on the streets for three long weeks. Making it even more delightful was the fact that the unit was in Inglewood, which was pretty much on fire. They burned most everything around, except our armory – that would have gone badly for them – and the Astro Burger.

My battalion commander grabbed then-First Lieutenant Schlichter, and we went all over the city in his humvee as he led his deployed and dispersed troops. Our soldiers came, in large part, from the areas most effected by the riots, and they were notably unpleasant to the thugs and criminals who quickly discovered our guys had no patience for nonsense. One dummy discovered that the hard way when he tried to run over some Guard soldiers from another battalion; he had a closed casket funeral

The city went insane. Order simply ceased to exist. It was Lord of the Flies. I remember a cop totally breaking down because everything was completely out of control.

But I had a M16A1 – a real assault rifle – and I had a bunch of buddies with M16A1s. The regular folks … not so much. The decent people of LA were terrified, and with good reason. See, the dirty little secret of civilization is that it’s designed to maintain order when 99.9% of folks are orderly. But, say, if just 2% of folks stop playing by the rules…uh oh. Say LA’s population was 15 million in 1992…that’s 300,000 bad guys. There were maybe 20,000 cops in all the area agencies then, plus 20,000 National Guard soldiers and airman, plus another 10,000 active soldiers and Marines the feds brought in. Law enforcement is based on the concept that most people will behave and that the crooks will be overwhelmed by sheer numbers of officers. But in the LA riots, law enforcement was massively outnumbered. Imposing order took time.

And until then, our citizens were on their own, at the mercy of the mob. Betting that the cavalry was going to come save you was a losing bet.

LA’s Korean shopkeepers knew that. They operated many small businesses in some of the least fashionable areas of Los Angeles, and they were already widely hated by activists, being scapegoated for problems and pathologies that long pre-dated their immigration to Southern California. So, they became targets for the mobs.

Bad decision by the mobs.

See, most of these Koreans had done their mandatory service in the Republic of Korea’s Army. Those ROK soldiers are the real deal – the Norks are not a theoretical threat and the South Korean army does not spend a lot of time talking about feelings. They were some solid dudes. So, when the local dirtbags showed up for some casual looting, they noticed the rooftops were lined with hardcore guys packing some serious heat, including the kind of scary rifles that the Democrats want to ban.

The Rooftop Koreans.

It did not take long for the bad guys to realize that the Rooftop Koreans were not playing games – they were playing for keeps. The mob went away in search of softer targets.

There’s a lesson there.

Our first responders are awesome, but it takes nothing away from their heroism to point out that the title “first responder” is a misnomer. The citizens on site are the first responders. And they should be ready to respond. We all should. Personally.

Some duties of citizen should never be outsourced. If you are an able-bodied adult, it’s your duty to know how to stop the bleeding and give CPR until the pros who do it for a living arrive. And it’s your duty (and right) to defend yourself, your family, your community and your Constitution. With guns – effective guns, which sometimes means your concealed pistol and sometimes means the guns that those who want you defenseless call “assault weapons.”

Ban them? We should insist non-felon adult, able-bodied citizens own them and become proficient with them because all that law and order you see around you can disappear in a heartbeat. I watched it happen up close and personal, in one of America’s biggest cities. And as the Rooftop Koreans recognized, groups of citizens with (preferably) semi-auto rifles with 30-rounds mag is the only thing that is going to keep a mob in check.

It’s your duty to be prepared to defend our community. Your duty. Yes, being a citizen of a free country is sometimes hard. Too bad. Tighten up and be ready and able to pick up a weapon. Whether it’s a riots and disaster, or whether it’s some scumbag who decides to shoot up your house of worship or a shopping mall, it’s on you.

You have a job to do when chaos comes – no shirking your responsibility and outsourcing it to the local police or the Army. Being a citizen is not a spectator sport.

Now, the left does not see things that way. The mere idea of a good guy with a gun makes them wet themselves. The left hates the notion that we citizens might take personal ownership of, and responsibility for, the security of our own country – that we might act like citizens. See, citizens are unruly. Stubborn. Uppity. We’re hard to control at the best of times. Armed, 300 million of us are impossible to control, unless we consent to it.

Now, the Founders, who enshrined the natural right of free men to keep and bear arms in our Bill of Rights preceded only by the rights of free speech and freedom of religion, knew this. To them, an armed citizenry that is prepared, mentally and logistically, to respond to threats to the people is a feature.

To the liberal elite, it is a bug.

The elite wants serfs, not citizens. It recognizes the threat in our possession of modern weaponry. But it’s not a threat of us causing evil but of us quelling it. An armed people is a free people, and a free people demands its rights and its say in its own governance. Liberals talk about “gun control,” but what the really want is total control.

Of us.

There are two models to which Americans can aspire. One is to be citizens, armed and sovereign. The other is to be serfs, disarmed and obedient to their liberal elite overlords. Choose wisely.

Choose to be a Rooftop Korean.

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GREAT post!!!

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I Remember it. One job I had at the time was next door to a Korean Owned Liquor store, we were friends with the owner and he asked us if we wanted to stand guard at his store. He went to another family members store closer to the area impacted and helped there. My buddy took the job and spent the night locked and loaded (Not in impacted area).

Driving thru that area with my buddies when it all was going down was stupid, but we wanted to see that shit-show first hand. Crazy times to be 20 years old.....and NO we didn't loot or steal anything for those wondering :lol:

:crusty:

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Yep, I remember it well...3 days on an engine going from fire to fire. Only time in my career that we had people aim their guns at me. It was after that when the Department started to assign vests to us

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Perfect example of why the Second amendment is needed. I remember going to the gun range at the Long Beach police academy with a friend who was going for target practice. The place was full of Koreans practicing with their shiny new weapons.  Needless to say the range was not a safe place that week but the roads were 😂

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Very interesting.  There is a Netflix documentary about this LA 92.

 

I was a junior in high school at the time. I remember there was a curfew and would see the National Guard patrolling my neighborhood. 

 

Local gangsters broke into the 3 neighborhood grocery stores.

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Why are so many of them left handed

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I was in the National Guard at that time. Spent 2 weeks in glorious Crewnshaw. We lived in an underground parking lot. We had designated parking spots as sleeping areas (LOL). We patrolled the area at night, secured the stores and local businesses. The police loved us and didn't want us to leave. It was a scary time them, but looking back, I had a good time in the military.

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Lots of family friends got screwed by those dirtbags looking for "free shit".  The police barricaded the exits out of Koreatown and basically funneled all of the rioting there.  50% of the damages, losses and death were suffered by people who made up less than 10% of the population.  All of that hatred for white oppressors and the LAPD from blacks was funneled by the LAPD into Koreatown.  When push came to shove, the police left Koreatown to burn and it was up to those that lived there to defend it themselves.  

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Interesting read about using the military in civilian law enforcement operations.

 

https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1809&context=llr

 

Quote about the guy who attempted to run over some soldiers during the L.A. riots:


“The soldiers were manning their blockade in the Pico-Union dis- trict, an area in which the rioting had been particularly severe.6 Rivas drove rapidly toward the nervous troops, ignoring their orders to stop and forcing one soldier to leap out of the path of the speeding car. Three soldiers locked and loaded' their M16A1 assault rifles, took aim and fired.9 Rivas was hit in the head and arm."° The mortician who prepared Rivas's body for the open-casket funeral placed a baseball cap on his head to cover the bullets' damage."I

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, L.R.S. said:

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Dont forget one of those pieces of shit was acquitted, the other served a couple years. The one acquitted ended up murdering someone a couple years later and is in prison, the other was rearrested and did time for dealing drugs, and was later killed in a fight outside a club

Edited by sausage450r

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Good for those shop owners, lots of animosity from the people because they owned businesses in that area.

Was crazy, I lived in the valley during this time. Could see the fires and smoke from one of our regular party spots in the hills.

I do remember a curfew being imposed.

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Poor Reginald Denny. 

I didn't know this at time but I got a sound system installed at a house near the area of 85th / Cimarron about 10 years ago or so.

 

While at work and talking about the Netflix Documentary LA 92 someone mentioned that the house where I was getting my stereo installed was a brother to one of the thugs that hit Reginald Denny. Not sure if I met the guy when I was there but supposedly it's the thug that through  the brick on Reginald's head.

If I would have known that then I would have never gone. 

Goes to show you how small of a world we live in.

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That was a fun week. :2guns:

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3 hours ago, Romans9 said:

“The soldiers were manning their blockade in the Pico-Union dis- trict, an area in which the rioting had been particularly severe. Rivas drove rapidly toward the nervous troops, ignoring their orders to stop and forcing one soldier to leap out of the path of the speeding car. Three soldiers locked and loaded' their M16A1 assault rifles, took aim and fired. Rivas was hit in the head and arm."° The mortician who prepared Rivas's body for the open-casket funeral placed a baseball cap on his head to cover the bullets' damage."

Poor Rivas.

Unknown to the soldiers, Rivas was an immigrant from El Salvador who

was reputed to be a drug dealer in the Pico-Union area. Id. One witness described Rivas as

having participated in acts of looting earlier in the riots.

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48 minutes ago, SANDPSYCHO said:

That was a fun week. :2guns:

Any stories you can share, I'll grab some popcorn.

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We were rolling 4 deep handing out .223 by the hand fulls to the NG that were put on the streets without any ammo!!!

Almost missed a shooting class at Gunsite because of the riot but luckily they called off the mutual aid and we made it.

 

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Was at the forum the night the riots started, Lakers / Portland game. The drive out of there was insane. Had my little AMT 380 and told the wife and another couple with us to duck and plug their ears if anyone tried to get in the car...

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Good thing that all went down at the end of the month.  When the welfare checks were due and the mail was not being delivered, most of the hood was in queue at the Post Office waiting for their free shit.

 

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I've always been interested in the story because Rodney King was 8 years older then me and grew up in the same city, and we went to the same high school. The infamous video was filmed just off the 210 frwy in Lake View Terrace, about 10 miles west of where I live now.

I was 20 years old in 1992 worked at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and drove all over So CA to pick up and drop off equipment at facilities near LAX.  That week I got to see the destruction first hand, some buildings still smoldering.

Followed the story for years and wasn't at all surprised at how his life turned out. 

 

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