“…most criminals search for easy targets.”

That line is from a new post on the LAPD blog about rising robbery and theft rates and things you can do to protect yourself. The last part of the post struck me and I posted a comment there but it’s a little off topic so I thought I’d mention it here as well. On the post, they end with this:

“It has been our experience that most criminals search for easy targets. Thus, by hardening the target it can either prevent the crime from occurring and/or buy enough time for suspects to be apprehended. Always be aware of your surroundings and take the necessary steps to protect yourself, family members and valuables.

You probably already know where I’m headed with this one, anyway, my comment was:

“I’d be interested in hearing how the LAPD thinks this logic, that “criminals search for easy targets” and that people should “take necessary steps to protect themselves, family members and valuables” applies to the current CCW issuance policies in Los Angeles. Couldn’t the argument be made that since CCWs are issued frequently in surrounding cities and counties, but rarely within LA that these policies are turning LA Residents into “easy targets” and preventing them from “taking necessary steps to protect themselves, family members and valuables?” Certainly a resident of Los Angeles who a criminal can safely assume does not have a CCW is an easier target than a resident of Orange County who might have one.”

There is another comment from another reader expanding on my comment but nothing from the LAPD yet so I thought I’d mention it over here for further discussion. I pointed this out to a friend of mine who is a police officer and his reaction was that “the bigger picture is that law enforcement realizes they can’t eliminate crime but only make it go somewhere else.” Anyone have any thoughts on this?

29 Replies to ““…most criminals search for easy targets.””

  1. Yeah, I’m sure that there are lots of criminals making the trip into L.A. for easier targets of their crime…

    not.

    Can you show me comparable crime stats for OC and LA that control for other variables (demographics, population density, etc.) that support your case or are you just spouting nonsense?

  2. I agree with Don that figures comparing LA to other similar metropolitan areas with relaxed CCW laws would be necessary. I don’t think the logic is flawed, in that some criminals will think twice about commiting a crime if they think their victim may be armed, but I also don’t think criminals are going to move to an area they know is more ripe for crime.

    I also don’t think New York or Los Angeles would ever benefit from relaxed CCW laws – too many raw nerves here that would be tempted with the new gun at their side.

  3. First of all I’ve made no reference in this post to any crime rates so compare all you want (easily done since law enforcement agencies are required to make their compstat profiles public – my point was simply that someone without a concealed weapon is an easier target than someone with one, and pointing out that the LAPD is going on record saying criminals prefer easier targets. Are you disagreeing that someone with out a gun is an easier target than someone with one? It’s the same logic that applies to guard dogs or alarm systems, or locking your doors for that matter.

    And David, the same argument about raw nerves has been made in every state that has passed shall issue laws and their hasn’t been a bloodbath yet. Are you telling me that in the more than 40 states that are shall issue, there is not a single person with the same “raw nerves” as people in LA or NYC? CCW requires mandated background checks and training, they don’t just hand them out to whoever stops by and asks for one.

  4. I have to go with Sean on this.

    Although, the fact that me having/not having a CCW really doesn’t play into a criminals decision to make me a victim.

    He will find out after he’s committed to the act, whether or not he’s found an easy or difficult target.

    But comparing an unlikely issue county to a good chance issue county in a may issue state is pointless…Most folks assume you can’t get a CCW in OC anyways, and criminals generally aren’t bright enough to formulate that thought to begin with.

    However, time and again, on any ccw related website, you will find that people who HAVE ccw’s in SHALL ISSUE states tend to be cognizant of their status at all times, and with very few exceptions, react accordingly.

    And criminals soon learn, If I go to X town to ply my trade, I stand a good chance of becoming a statistic. It’s best I go somewhere where I am somewhat protected, as a criminal, against violent and terminal action from my “victim”.

    Blood is running in the streets in Washington DC, and they have a VERY restrictive gun laws, To the point where transfering a gun from one room in your house to another is illegal.

    Oakland and San Fransisco have horrendous crime, and they’ve been trying for all out bans on guns. Orange County is a liberal issuer of CCW’s, and statistically has some of the safest cities in the USA.

  5. “Yeah, I’m sure that there are lots of criminals making the trip into L.A. for easier targets of their crime…

    not.

    Can you show me comparable crime stats for OC and LA that control for other variables (demographics, population density, etc.) that support your case or are you just spouting nonsense?”

    I don’t think the article implied anyone is moving into LA or coming from adjoining areas to commit the crimes. They live amongst YOU!

    Also, in relation to the above quote, I believe the onus is upon you. OC, taken as a whole, might have different statistics than LAC, but city by city, you will find a whole different set of facts. One control here is whethere city of county law enforcement is in charge, per county comparisons.

    Do a bit of simple research. The answers are out there. What you may find will be certainly for the least interesting. Check Florida stats, for one.

  6. As to statistics, the relevant numbers are to be found nationwide in the FBI database. Comparing LAC to OC, with respect, is not comparing “shall issue” to the CA system as applied in major urban centers. While there are more permits in OC, per capita, than in LAC, the issue, to me, is more “what can be done” than what is being done now in CA.

    The work of John Lott and Gary Kleck also is instructive. Both are academics and the data/conclusions peer-reviewed, vetted. Kleck particularly might be of interest as he tries to address the instances of crimes averted where no report is filed.

    As to the “raw nerves”, David, there surely are people like that out there. They might get a permit despite a background check. However much publicity “road rage” does get, the incidence is not up to the hype. Neither have been the predictions of “blood running in the streets” when assault weapon bans lapse or states implement “shall issue” carry laws.

    I am most familiar with the TX population as I used to live there. Statistically, people with permits are less likely to be involved in any scrape with the law, from speeding to improper use of force. They are the soberest people, generally, who (I speculate a bit) understand the onus they have to behave sensibly. They also well understand that someone else might be armed, and confrontation is not a good idea.

    It is a fact that daily shootouts over fender benders and the like are unfailingly predicted and unfailingly do not happen. Since Florida went “shall issue”, there are 39 case histories. They all read the same, as to the fears which prove baseless.

    CA is unique, but not so unique. I don’t see why there would be a totally different result here than in other states with regard to gunfights over trivialities. Maybe we can look at the relavtive rates of psychosis between CA and other states, but it is most likely someone with a history like that would not qualify for a permit.

    As to increased accidents in the home and bystanders getting hit by errant rounds, “shall issue” again seems to have no impact. Certainly some negligent people will not properly store their firearm, but this is unaffected by “shall issue”. One can have a pistol in the home without a permit in CA. It is possible that someone may attend the training classes, in fact, realize just how deadly a firearm is, and be more careful. I doubt the training will make them more negligent, if they are so disposed.

    Errant rounds are less likely with a trained shooter. That said, even law officers statistically shoot 4-6 rounds for every hit. If daily gunfights in crowds were to occur, then this fear would carry some weight. The fact is such gunfights do not occur with any regularity, if at all, so the point is moot.

    Easier access to guns by criminals? Not observed to any extent. LAPD Bratton was quoted in the LA Times not long ago that most guns used criminally and recovered are not registered in CA. This means they were not bought in CA (through legal channels), as each handgun bought legally is registered automatically in the purchase.

    My point is that most handguns used by criminals, according to the Chief and other data, are not sourced through burglarly or otherwise taken from law-abiding citizens. It is a good story that disarming the good guys will get guns off the street, but it is a story.

    The reality is if there is a demand for firearms by criminals, someone in the criminal business will fill that need. Look at the UK, an island with effective bans on anything offensive, including handguns. Handguns are easily acquired and gun crime is on the rise, with overall violent crime highest per capita in the “developed world”. Google “Joyce Lee Malcolm” and “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” if you want to see an incredibly bad situation that is getting worse.

    This points up something else worth considering: much violent crime is not “gun crime” per se. The serial murderer being sought in the UK now does not use a gun to kill, but his hands. A criminal attacking an unarmed citizen with a baseball bat can be as deadly in outcome as if he used a gun.

    The UK and Washington DC experiences point to gun bans increasing violent crime across the board. Experience in Australia and New Zealand support this, too.

    Cultural factors have a role in gun crime. Canado has a very porous border with the US, so the guns “leaking” into NYC and Washington DC could get there as or more easily, if there was a demand. Gun crime in Canada is very low, however, especially compared to DC and NYC. The problem, sad to say, is not with guns, but bad people. Things get worse as their activity becomes safer.

    Washington DC is a classic situation. Disarm those who abide by the law and those who don’t will operate more brazenly and with much impunity. That’s reality. Very unhappy, but the facts are there.

  7. The statement about too many ‘raw nerves’ is insulting to Californians. Are there too many ‘raw nerves’ in Miami? Dallas? Pittsburgh? Minneapolis? Portland? Seattle? Las Vegas? Phoenix? New Orleans? Atlanta? Memphis? St. Louis?

    Is it posible that the residents of those cities in SHALL ISSUE states are somehow more special than Californians that they can handle themselves with their own self defense and not go nuts just because they carry a gun? Get real.

    The current CCW system in California is archaic and elitist, particularly in LA County. At the end of the day all the statistics are meaningless–either you trust law abiding citizens to be able to defend themselves, or you don’t. If it’s the latter you can take comfort in the fact that most criminals appreciate your assistance.

  8. “How does carrying a concealed weapon make you appear to be a less easy target?”

    That’s exactly the point, it’s not a one on one situation. It’s generally assumed that no one in Los Angeles can get a permit, so it’s safe for criminals to assume people are not carrying a concealed weapon. In LA, with over 10 Million people, there are less 400 permits on the streets. Conversely, in a shall issue state, and even in some shall issue counties in CA no one knows who does or who doesn’t have a permit or who might have a weapon. Someone who you know doesn’t have a weapon is an easier target than someone who might.

  9. Cars kill more people than guns do per year, and cause more property damage, yet we give full range to operate these machines to 16 year olds. So why do we have a problem with allowing a law abiding, properly trained 21 year old adult carry a tool that might save his/her life or the life of a loved one?

    Far more children die every year do to drowning and fires, yet we don’t see that many people with pool phobias demanding that no one should be able to have a pool in there backyard, or heaters should be banned. Of course not, because they do more good than harm, and so do firearms. Firearms are used more often to prevent a crime than they do to commit them.

    You know what, it’s not about the statistics. 40 states have “shall issue” concealed carry laws, and none of them have seen any increase in crime, but at the same time there is no conclusive proof that they have caused a significant decrease in crime. It’s not about numbers, it’s about the fact that one human being who’s life might be taken away by a criminal because they were defensless, might be able to prevent there own death because they had a tool to which they can defend themselves.

    The only people that I find spout nonsense on a regular basis, Don, are the gun phobic people who claim that guns are responsible for crimes and peoples criminal acts. I have never seen an anti-gun person offer any sources for there claims that guns make criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens, or that the public is somehow more at risk because a trained law abiding citizen is carrying a gun. On the other hand, I could give you source after source to prove your claims wrong, and support the fact that you are more likely to avoid serious injury if you use a gun to defend yourself.

    If you have a problem with citizens carrying a firearm, please give me a reason why citizens should not have that option then back it up with some reliable sources, please.

  10. Might I add that criminals already carry firearms to commit crimes, they are not going to spend the money or put there fingerprints in a database just to get permission to do something they already are doing.

    “Shall issue” concealed carry laws only put guns in the hands of law abiding citizens who’s fingerprints are put on file, and who have to undergo a certain minimum amount of training.

    If you have a problem with concealed carry it is just a phobia, because there is no logical reason to apose it. If you don’t want one, fine don’t get one, but don’t prevent those that do from doing so.

  11. “An armed society is a polite society….”

    Ruth: Tell that to the people who lived in, say, Medieval England, when every adult male carried a big knife, and murder rates were much higher than they are today.

  12. Actually, in Medieval England the adult males who carried around big knives used them to keep the people who didn’t have them in submission, and it was thanks to the development of things such as firearms, which gave the poor people the same ability to fight and defend themselves, that these class levels were disrupted.

  13. Sean,

    That would be an interesting idea if it were true. The fact is that in medieval England, nearly every adult male, rich or poor, carried a big knife at all times. Murder rates were more than twice what ours are. And this is despite frequent and merciless application of the death penalty, the prevalence of religion in everyday life, and what many people nowadays would call strong family values.

  14. “An armed society is a polite society….”

    Ruth: Tell that to the people who lived in, say, Medieval England, when every adult male carried a big knife, and murder rates were much higher than they are today.

    Posted by: Oren at December 14, 2006 10:39 PM
    Oren,
    We don’t live in medeival England. I assume we have progressed a little since then. If Ruth can talk to them, I need to see her about contacting my parents, gone since 02.

    As I said above, the UK has the highest per capita rate of violent crime with draconian rules against the carry of any offensive weapon, knives, sprays, guns, whatever. The actual law, passed in 1953, bans “any device that can cause another person to feel fear”. Pocket knives are now illegal. People who act in self-defense are jailed. And the crime rates, including gun crime, keep rising. It is nearly a consequence free environment for criminals, and a total mess.
    The situation is one of social breakdown and chaos. It is a people thing.

    That gun crime is still slightly less prevalent than in the US makes the situation no better, because violent crime is violent crime.

    By your apparent logic, “disarm everyone”, the UK should be a paradise. Washington DC, also. Have they called off the “police emergency” in DC yet? The problem is criminals don’t care about the laws and live outside them. I bet you most criminals carrying guns in LA now are already facing a charge for carrying a weapon, before they do anything else. They don’t care a bit about it.

    Under any “shall issue” rules, use of a firearm to muscle other people around or to injure someone not in self-defense are crimes. At best, your permit to carry is forfeit. This is one reason people with licenses tend to be more scrupulous in their conduct. They have something more to lose through bad choices.

    Then there is the recognition that if I am armed, someone else might be too. Therefore, I will try to avoid confrontations unless there without a damn good reason, a clear threat to me or others.

    In CA, the upraised middle finger to another driver is an easy insult with very little chance of a comeback. Things are not so simple elsewhere.

    Just the thought that someone else might be armed tends to put a lid on some of the displays of “raw nerves” and rude bravado that occur here. The downside of petty rudeness and confrontation is much higher, if you do meet up with the one in a million that feels threatened enough to use his weapon. Most people decide to forego the luxury and ego trip, focus on more important things. As, I should say, they should have in the beginning.

  15. Man, I’m so tired of arguments comparing other items – cars, pools, whatever – to guns. The difference: cars and pools have non lethal uses.

    Guns have a single purpose. Even if you use them merely to shot skeet or targets, they were created for a purpose and are valued for their lethality.

    I’m not against gun ownership. After living briefly in West Virginia, I’m even not so much against hunting anymore (though I’ve no desire to do it myself). But I think there’s a difference between being armed on your land in West Virigina and being armed in your house in Oakland or L.A.

    I think using the statement that “most criminals look for easy targets” to leap to a discussion of CCW’s is logically incorrect. (And I know Sean prefaced this post by saying he was taking the discussion in a bit of a new direction, but still.)

    When I read the statement “most criminals look for easy targets” – my mind more directly leaps to some other crime discussions we’ve seen on b.la – like laptop thefts from cafes. If you use a laptop lock, even if it can be broken easily, your laptop still looks much less attractive than the one used by someone else in the cafe – where it isn’t locked and a thief can simply grab and jam.

    Using the club on your steering wheel. Those “this property armed by” signs. Anything that makes someone think, eh, well, maybe it is armed and it will take me a few seconds longer to complete my crime, better hit the next target.

    This goes all the way down the list of common sense measures like women carrying purses with zip closures (or other securing snaps, buttons, etc) so that their wallet is less snatchable than the one in the tote bag of her friend.

    But concealed weapons are CONCEALED. And unless we start signing Los Angeles to the effect of “This county permits the carrying of concealed weapons. Visitors and residents should presume all inhabitants are licensed to carry a firearm” – which the convention and visitors’ bureau *might* have a problem with – there’s not going to be much of a connection between CCW’s and crime prevention.

    If you want to keep a gun safely in your home, learn to use it and store it properly, fine, that’s your right, I don’t have a problem with that. But I do have a problem coming up with a reason – a really, really good reason – why you need to have it with you at all times. Especially in densely populated urban center where, while there is a chance of crime – even violent crime, most people’s chances of falling victim are very, very low.

    Add to that the basic legal premise that deadly force is NEVER, NEVER reasonable to protect property (personal or real) and you’ve left me little reason to rally behind your cause.

  16. CD, your very last statement is so wrong on so many levels, I will be able to only partially respond. Think of the small business owner carrying inventory or cash. Think of the real estate agent entering dark homes or the financial advisor carrying a laptop with thousands of clients persoanl info. And then check the laws; personal property CAN be a reason to which to use deadly force, if confronted with deadly force, fear of bodily harm.

  17. It’s so wrong it’s stunned you into silence? Okay.

    IF confronted with deadly force – because then the risk is agaist your PERSON, not your property.

    Losing a laptop – even a super important one, is a pretty small thing in comparison to losing your life. And frankly, a small thing in comparison to taking a life as well.

    If we’re talking about crimes like attempted murder, that’s one thing. If we’re talking about crimes like theft – mugging, car theft, whatever – then I’m still not going to champion arming everyone and his brother.

    But you’re getting away from the point: concealed weapons aren’t likely a deterrent the way that LAPD is recommending in its post. LAPD is saying: don’t look like a chump. Or at least make sure you look less chumpish than the next guy.

  18. CD,
    I guess I have to ask if you know when, where and how you will die?

    My point is that an attempted theft of property can turn violent or result in significant injury to the target. So to say one should never use force to defend property is to imply you always know what is going to happen before it does, that the criminal’s goal is to take your property but not harm you in doing it. A large man coming after you with a crowbar may only want your wallet, but you may be hard pressed to figure that out. He might not want to ask, but just thump you.

    It also assumes there is nothing worth fighting for except your life. I generally agree, but I expect there are some exceptions. The bigger problem is when are you sure?

    The LAPD blog was limited to theft from cars, but this discussion has included licensing of concealed weapons because it does have an impact on crime overall, and expecially if you are getting into or out of your car.

    I also don’t champion arming everyone and his brother. That would be a mistake, as there are people who should not be in charge of firearms. i am not slamming them. I think it should be a matter of choice for those willing to undertake the responsibility, training and choice of being armed.

    “Shall Issue” is not arming about everyone. It is that persons who pass reasonable training requirements and a background check will receive a license to carry. It takes the licensing out of a political process and puts it on the choice of the citizen.

    As for non-lethal uses, handguns have them. Some people find it challenging or relaxing to shoot in competition, or just plink, at targets. Handguns are used for hunting, though rifles are preferred. Shooting might not be a sport you find interesting, but others do. the vast bulk of shooters spend most of their time putting holes in paper.

    It is a matter of personal taste whether you like to shoot or not. Don’t be confused about it. I find baseball to be dull, but I don’t mind those who like it.

    “Especially in densely populated urban center where, while there is a chance of crime – even violent crime, most people’s chances of falling victim are very, very low.”

    That quote, well, I think it is nice that you allocate just a few other souls to the hands of criminals. I don’t happen to think their lives are worth less than yours, or Dianne Feinstein, who has protection as a Senator and multimillionaire. She also has the view that your chances are low, so no one needs to carry.

    What if it happens to be you, CD? A friend, maybe? Do you just shrug and blow it off? Phrased another way, because it isn’t you, then it doesn’t matter? Maybe you too can buy all the protection you could want, or live where you have a ton of security. Good for you. So people who don’t are just stats in the paper?

    I hope you enjoy your elite status. I’ll try to remember to bow to your carrige as you pass by.

    I have been a target and know very personally what limits “police protection” has. That licenses are handed out to high rollers, celebs and a few others in LAC is nice for them, but it does not help me. Those people rarely get in trouble, and not because they can carry, but becasue they can hire their own security and live separately from places other people have to go.

    Self-defense is an action to affirm the innate right to life. Police in LA County (or anywhere)cannot protect each of us individually, and are not legally bound to do so. That being so, 40 states have decided to implement “shall issue” laws, and such laws have worked to reduce crime and make individuals safer.

    CA is not “progressive” but behind the times in how it handles licensing of concealed carry, in the large urban centers, where MOST crime is committed. It is time for Sheriff Baca and others to admit that gun bans and highly restricted issuance of concealed carry licenses are making things easier for criminals, not harder. They claim a right to protect citizens, but cannot follow through. Morally, they should put more power in the hands of citizens.

  19. harry, you do little to improve your argument when you make statements like this:

    “In CA, the upraised middle finger to another driver is an easy insult with very little chance of a comeback. Things are not so simple elsewhere.”

    what exactly are you implying? you cannot claim that gun carriers are more responsible, then say that giving someone the finger in a shall-issue state is asking to get shot.

  20. The law says deadly force is only an option when you life, or the life of someone near you is in danger, or when you are at risk of great bodily injury. Why are we arguing about that?

    If someone stabs you and takes your laptop, the laptop is the least of your worries.

  21. Christopher,
    Good point, and pardon my poor example.

    The stats prove licensees are more law-abiding by any measure than average.

    What I mean by the example is not that the one finger salute is an invitation to get shot at by a licensed person. It means that idle confrontations and rudeness seem to make less sense, at least to me, whoever might be armed. I don’t want to get into a scrape with someone if I can avoid it.

    So being more polite becomes a way of life. Not because of the potential comeback as much as avoiding a trivial conflict that might escalate.

    Nobody licensed to carry that I have ever met WANTS to use their weapon. Even in a clear self-defense situation, there are lawsuits, investigations, your own realization of using deadly force…it is a huge issue. Far better than the alternative, but no cakewalk.

    Particularly in TX, the training spends a fair bit of time on conflict resolution skills, to try and talk your way out of a problem if you have the time. The more general point is to avoid conflicts if you can.

    Get cut off in traffic? If everyone is safe and there is no damage, let it go. Not worth arguing about, whether you are armed/not or the other person. Stay off the horn, keep your temper in check, make it home in one piece.

    Does that make sense to you?

    Glad you pointed out my poor use of words.

  22. Why would someone be afraid of a law abiding citizen who has received training being afforded the ability to defend their lives or the life of their loved ones with a firearm? Residents of California are already allowed that ability at home–why should walking out your front door make you suddenly incapable of acting responsibly?

    I repeat from a previous post–why aren’t Californians trusted like the residents of the nearly 40 shall issue states? In those states there has been no bloodbath. In those states CCW holders are more law abiding than the general population.

    And you know what, all the talk about CCWs preventing crime…I don’t care. There is no logical reason that if I am the only person to ever be accosted by a criminal seeking to do me great harm that I should not have the ability to defend myself. The Supreme Court has already ruled that the police have NO requirement to protect an INDIVIDUAL. They are here to protect society as a whole. Where does that leave the individual when the police are a 3 or 4 minute (on a good day) response time away. And where does that leave the woman dragged into an alley by a rapist. How does she dial 911? What does the scum do to her in those 3 to 4 minutes? Does she do what a former official of the Brady Campaign said–give the criminal what they want?

    If someone wants to surrender themselves to the hope that the police will always be there, good luck to you. I for one choose not to. I carry every day. Legally. And my weapon has not jumped out of its holster and attacked anyone yet. I hope it never comes out at all. I hope it remains there peacefully and unknown for the remainder of my natural life. THAT is where my hope lies–not in some wishful thinking that criminals will ‘likely’ never target me or my family.

  23. harry, thanks for your intelligent response. i understand your basic point, though im not sure i favor it as a supporting reason. it may simply be a self-selected result. since there’s a process involved being licensed, only those who a)know about the process and b)are willing to complete it will choose it – which may pre-select for the more even-keeled in society such as yourself.

    it seems there isn’t much data either way to warrant true speculation on the long-term wide-ranging affects of a completely armed society. high violent crime rates in areas like england or d.c. are also accompanied by high poverty and unemployment and general disenfranchisement, which are very strong correlating factors. wisconsin and illinois prohibit carry and yet neither are referenced as hotbeds of violent crime.

    citing the lack of blood-baths in the 40 shall carry states is likewise less than persuasive given the self-selection already discusseda and other factors – such as do those shall-issue states include high-density urban city populations (see this map of shall-carry).

    as someone who has never felt the need to own a gun, im slightly biased against the idea of gun-carrying (not ownership per se), but i realize that’s simply a consequence of my upbringing.

    it seems the biggest difference is philosophical. if you believe the world is a inherently dangerous place, and as independent people we need to be self-starters and protect ourselves, then gun-carrying can make sense, even if you don’t choose to do so yourself. i am beginning to fall into this camp.

    but i also come from the pollyanish philosophy that enlightened society should have no need for weapons-carrying. and if you believe that way then carrying is an affront and an acknowledgment that we’ll never get to that point. the idea being that there’s a certain level of trust one can’t get beyond if it’s based in not doing something because someone might kill you for it.

    in this world view, a polite society isn’t the goal. eventually enough technology would ensure that. the goal is a collaborative, intertwined, engaged society where love of your fellow man is the driving force, not fear of his reprisal.

  24. “the goal is a collaborative, intertwined, engaged society where love of your fellow man is the driving force, not fear of his reprisal.”

    Good Point.

    Why can’t I have love for my fellow man and choose not to be a victom of a violent crime at the same time. The only person who should fear reprisal is the one who is trying to end my life or my families.

  25. Christopher,
    Thanks for YOUR intelligent response.

    My behavior is self-selected (everyone’s is), and you can factor in that TX tends to be more polite, in my limited experience. However, the downside of having to use a weapon in self-defense is about the same here and there. Nobody in their right mind really wants to go there, and the logical way to stay out is to avoid “scrapes”. That is not by hiding from everyone, but other ways.

    I am one who believes the world is inherently dangerous, and to borrow the instructions I got when river rafting, I intend “to take an active role in my own rescue”. Waiting around for someone else to save me is not a preference.

    Said another way, I refuse to yield to idea that I should learn to be a good victim.

    This philosophy permeates a lot of things other than carrying a weapon. The line between life and death is very thin, very easy to cross. That said, I like to ski and do other things (legally)that involve some level of risk. I try to stack the deck in my favor and stay within my limits on that stuff.

    Self-defense is part of the right to life. If you cannot effectively defend your life, you have no right to it. Oh, sure, the taker might get caught and punished. That does me and mine no good at all.

    I wish it was that love was the only animating force of human actions. It has never been, isn’t now and won’t be in my lifetime. Technology being a creation of man, I don’t see it as the solution. The solution, if there is to be one, is in the human soul. For some, they cannot get away from envy, or hate, or seeking the easy way out. Debate the causes of crime, the fact is there are good people and there are evil people. However they got there doesn’t change or excuse their choices.

    Go to a football game and watch the people cheer for their team. It is usually a benign expression of disliking the other guys, but it is deep inside the soul.

    Every place I have been I seem to find some good people to enjoy and some bad people to stay away from. Race, religion, whatever. You can get into trouble in London, Tehran, Singapore or Santa Monica if you want to. Similarly, you can find wonderful, caring people to laugh with.

    My point about England is, whatever force is abetting violence, banning arms has done nothing to help the situation. Cultural factors certainly play into the propensity for violence. Where, however, there is a propensity for violence, disarming people so they cannot defend themselves has only one outcome, more crime. The English are so far gone now they jail people who defend themselves. It doesn’t stop the violence, guns still find their way into crimninal hands, and people are not safer.

    When walking two blocks to have dinner at a restaraunt you like, or coming home late from work, safely, depend on whether the local “hoodies” want to knock you about and you are denied any way to convince them otherwise, your fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness belong to them, not you. They can take them away anytime it suits them.

    This is not, IMO, a civil, enlightened soceity. Forget about what is written in laws, essays on morality, etc. Functionally, you are a sheep for them to shear as and when they wish. Maybe tonight it is your wallet, or maybe it is your life. They choose, not you.

    Don, John Lott has been challenged but not discredited, and his work is peer-reviewed, results independently replicated. The fellow from Emory University who wrote “The Arming of America” is the one who was fired from a tenured position for fabricating his data, not Lott.

    If you are talking about the Brady Campaign rebuttals, I have read some, and others. They select information they need to make their point. Avoid certain context and you can sell anything. Both Lott and Kleck are vindicated by the passage of time and accumulating data, not Brady. If you examine their claims about gun bans, shall issue, the lapse of the Assault Weapon Ban…they are the ones who are discredited. They are lousy predictors of future events. The emotional appeal is high, but the facts simply are not there.

    So is public policy to make us feel good or deal with facts? I like facts. I can feel good about plenty of things besides the antics of politicians. I don’t need them to make me feel good. I wish for them to make good factual decisions. What do you prefer?

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