Puerto Rico has been absolutely devastated by Hurricane Maria. The relief effort was already made difficult by the logistical nightmare of the island, but the Puerto Rican government's debt and insolvency issues have only added to the problem.
The United States federal government is providing necessary resources, power, food, and other materials needed to stabilize the U.S. territory. But ultimately, in this time of crisis, local police and law enforcement cannot provide the necessary protection to its citizens.
Post-Hurricane Maria should serve as a reminder to all Americans why exercising second amendment rights and owning a gun is so important for your safety.
'We have been completely abandoned by our government and the US. My brother's friend is a cop, his advice was arm yourselves with whatever you can find and do what you need to do. If you had signal you could try calling the cops but they won't come. He said that if we shoot someone we should just leave their body in the street and they will come and pick it up in the morning."
Four days prior to Hurricane Maria, Pomales had just found out his wife was pregnant. It was inconceivable to him that only a week later he would be fighting in the streets for his wife and future first born.
Now the cops, as he says, have completely abandoned him.
It is not that the police officers do not want to protect their citizens, it is that the crisis is so large and resources are so thin, there can be no guarantee of adequate service.
Looters, as happens after every hurricane, fully understand this and take advantage. As bad guys, they have guns and take an educated guess that most good guys with guns are too busy to pay attention to them.
They know that the police cannot stop everybody from stealing televisions, shoes, and other luxury items, so they take a risky gamble to hoard these ostentatious goods either for themselves or to sell on the black-market.
Typically, law abiding individuals with guns are able to guard their belongings from such looters if needed. But those who do not bear arms are left helpless. Their dependency on the government for protection propelled them into this precarious scenario.
Natural disasters cause chaos which leads to a temporarily non-existent government unable to provide the type of protection that only a gun can, but manmade disasters have created this atmosphere as well.
Remember the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, California. Four Los Angeles Police Department officers were acquitted after brutally beating Rodney King, an African-American man. After their acquittal, many people in predominantly African-American L.A. neighborhoods rioted in protest. In total, these riots killed 50 people, burnt nearly 4,000 buildings, and caused nearly $1 billion dollars worth in property damage.
It is entirely debatable exactly why police were no where to be found during these riots. But the fact remains, they were not around and did not provide safety. Innocents in these neighborhoods were left hopeless and without guardians until the National Guard arrived.
Koreatown in particular was targeted by looters fairly hard. Roughly 40% of all property damage and five deaths occurred in L.A.'s Koreatown.
But, there was a group of Korean storeowners armed with hand guns and assault weapons. These shop owners were able to band together to form militias in the absence of their government and defend their private property.
One such owner was Richard Rhee. In 1992, Rhee told the Los Angeles Times how determined he was to protect his private property:
"Burn this down after 33 years? They don't know how hard I've worked. This is my market and I'm going to protect it."
Rhee had the ability to keep his land and family safe because he practiced self-governance by responsibly owning a gun and using it when he needed it most.
Rhee most likely never expected to form mini-armies with his neighbors, but that is whole purpose of owning a gun; you need it for the unexpected.
Usually in the gun debate, when a pro-second amendment individual makes the case that a gun is for when the government cannot or will not provide security, skeptics’ thoughts often drift off to a post-apocalyptic scenario where the government has completely dissolved.
It is hard for these skeptics to imagine a time when that would ever happen.
But, just as Richard Rhee learned in 1992 and Haniel Pomales is learning now, it does not take a complete and total collapse of government for police protection to disappear. And if that happens to you, it would be far better to own a gun than to be left defenseless.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that Rodney King was "beaten to death." He was not. This mistake has been corrected.