IN its sweep and immediacy, the shock wave of looting, arson and outrage that swept the nation's black ghettos after Martin Luther King's murder exceeded anything in the American experience. By week's end, 168 towns and cities had echoed to the crash of brick through window glass, the crackle of the incendiary's witch's torch, the scream of sirens and the anvil chorus of looters. Yet one sound was remarkable in its very diminuendo. The fierce fusillades of gunfire that exacerbated the disorders of years past were heard only rarely last week. And considering...

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