A couple items on my earlier post…
First, I never wanted to imply that I was indemnifying the rioters of culpability for their actions. Mob mentality or not, every one of them made their choices and should have to accept the consequences.
Second, the consequences need to be in line with the crimes. The crimes are bad. Over fifty businesses damaged plus the cars and other vandalism on the streets. At least 150 people went to hospital, several in serious condition and one in critical condition. Who knows how many people just suffered cuts and bruises and made their way home. Then there comes the innocent people who were trapped in the crowd. Those who were afraid. The people who were in their stores trying to defend them from the rioters. Those in their homes watching fires on the street and wondering if they could spread or their asthma or emphysema would cause problems due to the smoke. Finally there are the intangibles like the harm to the reputation of Vancouver, to the reputation of the Canucks.
People need to be held to account for those crimes.
But they only need to be held account for those crimes. These aren’t murderers. They aren’t organized criminals. They are a mirror of what we can be at our worst.
The Interwebs are good at organizing people into groups for a purpose. Getting volunteers out to help clean up the town. Getting people to identify people in pictures. But they are even better about blowing hate out of proportion. At their most harmless comic book guy and me just posts and registers our disgust throughout the world. At their worst, they post addresses and families and create stalkers that threaten the welfare of the families of those stupid enough to be instigators. That type of behavior is bad too. I don’t know how to rank it against instigating a riot, but it certainly isn’t helping an old lady cross the street either.