Wednesday, December 12, 2007

But it's safe here...

I always hear people say things like "that doesn't happen here, not in MY town." I hear it quite a bit from people around here. They live in denial. They leave doors and windows unlocked, keys in cars, even with the cars running (I've seen cops do this as well) and most are generally oblivious to the world arouond them. Where I live we used to have a tiny county police station within walking distance from my house. It's since been closed and now the closest State police headquarters are maybe 10 miles away.

The thing is, bad things DO happen here. More often than you might think. In Newark where I go to school there is an armed robbery or home invasion in the student newspaper almost weekly, yet our school administration doesn't consider it necessary to allow campus police to carry their weapons. Instead they must radio the station if they're responding to a call and think they might need a gun.

Things like this do happen. The woman in the article was carjacked not half a mile from my house.

An elderly couple not too far away from me was murdered a year or two ago by a man with an Axe who had broken into their home. I don't understand how people can expect that "the cops will get here in time to save me." or worse, they realize that the cops can't protect them and still convince themselves that they're insulated from the violence in the world and that owning a gun will only increase, not decrease that violence. They see only violence, unable (or unwilling) to see the difference between the predatory violence of criminals and the protective violence of their fellow citizens. They don't understand, as Sir Robert Peel explained, that the duties of the police and citizens are intertwined. In a general sense, citizens are the police, and the police are citizens. It doesn't matter whether an armed citizen already at the scene stops a threat, or whether a responding police officer does. Marko explained that perfectly in a recent post and I think his words are worth quoting.

"I've said it before, but it bears repeating: the only thing that will stop an armed attacker on the spot is a person with a gun of their own. Gun haters realize this as well, which is why they rarely ever suggest disarming the police. They, too, rely on the gun to protect themselves from harm--they just feel all high and mighty because they outsource the task.

The number of casualties at the site of an attempted mass shooting is usually determined by whether the gun used to stop the killer is already at the site, or whether it must be carried there in the holster of a police officer."

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