July 09, 2009

Because someday it might be you

I met a fellow online a few months ago who proudly stated he had never in his life felt the need to carry a gun. This is a wonderful thing to hear and is a solid testimony to how much safer our society is than others. I doubt anyone would suggest that at the present time New York is more dangerous than Mogadishu, but that does not mean life in these United States could not be safer still.

If your only reference is Hollywood, then you probably feel the post Civil War United States, an era commonly referred to as "the Wild West", was an inherently dangerous place. According to every serious historian I have ever studied under, nothing could be further from the truth. One of the reasons the western part of the nation was so attractive, and one of the reasons Manifest Destiny became so successful, is that despite desperadoes, rampaging war parties, grizzly bears and rattlesnakes, the western territories offered both greater opportunities and safer living than many east coast cities. Boston and New York in particular experienced multiple homicides, armed robberies, street killings, and other violence every single day. Like now, in addition to desperate men and women resorting to crime just to survive, both cities had rampant street gangs attempting to divide up and pillage the metropolitan areas by neighborhood, street, and borough. In those days it was opium, in modern times it is methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana, but in both cases drug lords control the streets once the sun sets.

As I was contemplating these things and wondering if I should take the time to dig up the statistics, I dropped by Sensibly Progressive's blog to see what he was writing about today. His site featured a 90-minute documentary by Larry Elder about people, guns, crime, and the inalienable right to self-defense. Take the time, watch it, and consider carefully the implications for your personal life.

If you live and work in a quiet, peaceful city, be thankful. If you don't, be prepared, because sooner or later it will happen to you.