As rioting broke out in Ferguson following the grand jury's decision not to indict Police Officer Darren Brown for the shooting death of Michael Brown, four armed black men headed to a white-owned gas station.
But the real story is that they were there to protect the business — not to loot and burn it:
One of them, a 6-foot-8-inch man named Derrick Jordan whisked an AR-15 assault rifle out from a pickup truck parked near the entrance.
Jordan was one of four black Ferguson residents who spent Tuesday night planted in front of the store, pistols tucked into their waistbands, waiting to ward off looters or catch shoplifters.
“We would have been burned to the ground many times over if it weren’t for them,” said gas station owner Doug Merello, whose father first bought it in 1984.
Another man, who identified himself as “R.J.”, explained why he and other volunteers singled out Merello's gas station to protect:
“He’s a nice dude, he’s helped us a lot.”
The four men, and other volunteers, said they felt they owed Merello, who has given many of them jobs over the years.
Twitter reacted to the news with support for gun rights:
Incidentally, Missouri law allows open-carry of firearms. For that, Mr. Merello and his loyal friends are undoubtedly grateful.