Saturday, March 18, 2006

Canadians Focusing on the Wrong Guns

red ensignHamilton Spectator - Why isn't anything being done? A long and tragic tale of repeated violence escalating to murder. Arrests followed - every time - by release. The police claiming their hands were tied.

The whole focus of the article is "why aren't the police doing more?" And this may be a valid question. Probably the police could do more. But the police will never be on every street corner where violent crime can erupt. They will never be able to guard every domestic violence victim 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. They will never provide a 100% effective deterrent to crime.

Individuals could do more as well. Individuals could take some action to defend themselves. We already do many things: we buy smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, we lock our doors, and we keep first aid kits handy. But when it comes to violent crime, we do far too little.

This does not mean I am blaming the victims. The criminals are in each case the ones responsible for their act. But as responsible adults we do many things to impact our safety. We lock our doors at night, even though they are not 100% effective at keeping bad guys out. We wear seatbelts while driving even though they are not 100% effective at keeping us safe in a car crash. We could take other measures for safety. No measure we take - whether carrying arms or learning martial arts - will ever be 100% effective. We are only human after all. But most people could do more.

My choice is to own firearms. Canadians still have that option, but it seems few use it. The article bemoans the lack of government action, and certainly more needs to be done. But not one mention of self-defense.

If you were being continually stalked by an ex, whose behavior reflected escalating violence, what would you do? Me? I would sleep with a .357 magnum under my pillow. Oh wait, I do that already. (Well, not under the pillow - it is too lumpy.) If I was dealing with someone who continually violates a restraining order, someone who continually doles out violence, and if that someone broke into my home, I would reasonably be able to assume I faced an imminent threat of death or grave bodily injury, and would blow the sucker into the next life. That is, I would legally exercise my right of self-defense.

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