Thursday, June 16, 2005

Empowering Citizens Makes Crime More Expensive

Why are defensive shootings important? I write about them all the time, (see this list) so at least I think they are important, and from some of the comments I receive and the trackbacks these posts generate others think they are important as well.

Criminals need to realize that there is a real possibility that some of their intended victims are armed, and prepared to use deadly force to defend themselves. In More Guns, Less Crime, John R. Lott Jr. makes the case, by analyzing in depth statistics regarding crime rates, that concealed carry laws which make it easier to defend yourself, contribute significantly to lowering crime rates - or at least lowering violent crime rates. When I lived in South Florida, there was evidence that crime shifted away from robbery to car theft (not car-jacking) and burglary - when no one was home. I always said that was fine. I am not worried about my TV or stereo, but about my health and safety. (I am worried about defending myself, not my stuff.) Property crime bothers me less than a threat to my person. As more people are prepared to defend themselves against such a threat, criminals get the message that crime can be hazardous to your health.

I have no illusions that criminals are reading my blog, but it is also important for the everyday folks to recognize that they can defend themselves. If you rely on Big Media (WaPo, NYT, LAT, et al), you will never see these kinds of stories. The stories of everyday people defending themselves and their families from violent criminals come from smaller cities, mostly in red states. Big Media do not want you to know that you are - or could be - empowered to take responsibility for your own safety. People who take responsibility for their lives in one area, are less likely to look blindly for government programs in other areas.

In other words, individualists are less likely to support socialist programs. And Big Media stopped reporting the news long ago; they push their socialist, welfare-statist agenda in the news as well as on the editorial page.

Failure to empower people for their own defense has a very real cost in the area of domestic violence. (See my coverage of domestic violence.) If you are not prepared to defend yourself against violence, then you will likely put your faith in restraining orders and other court documents. I am not opposed to restraining orders; I am opposed to having people rely on them as their only means of protection. In too many instances restraining orders have been shown to be ineffective protection. People (mostly women) end up severely injured or dead at the hands of an ex.

How does a small woman defend herself against an attack by a large man? A tool that will eliminate the advantage of size, and upper-body strength most men have over most women is called for, and a firearm is the most effective tool available. There is an old saying, which I have altered a bit, "God made men and women; Mr. Colt made them equal."

People who are prepared to defend themselves can, in the end, escape from the horrors of domestic violence. Big Media doesn't report these stories, because they also interfere with the idea that all aspects of our lives should be controlled by the state.

Stories of defensive shootings illustrate the fact that we are not powerless in the face of violent crime. We can take responsibility for our own safety and the safety of those we care about. We need not – in fact we cannot – blindly rely on the state to take care of us.

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