Compared to similar outbreaks of unrest in the United States, like the 1992 riots in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict, there has been relatively little loss of life. In LA, 53 people died; in the UK, four were dead as of Wednesday afternoon. This likely can be attributed to one major difference between the US and the UK, which is the low level of gun ownership in Britain (35 of the LA victims were killed by gunshot wounds).
How many of those 35 people killed by gunshot wounds in the LA riots deserved it? One of the biggest philosophical differences between us, and people who are repulsed by firearms, is that we accept that some people’s criminal behavior makes it completely justifiable to shoot them. As long as the people killed in a riot were killed because they were flouting law and order, I have no problem with it. Saving lives should not be the measure the civility of dealing with a riot; how quickly law and order is restored and maintained is the measure of civility.