Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Importance Of Being Armed

There's an awful lot of nonsense said (by those who should know better) about how dangerous guns are, and how evil those 'gun-lovers' are, and so on. (Personally I've never met anyone who 'loves' their gun[s], or has any sort of relationship with them . . . but perhaps I'm behind the times.)

In my book on prison ministry I describe some of the lessons I've learned through working with convicts. I'd like to quote a couple of paragraphs from my manuscript:

There are those who claim that we should rely on police and law enforcement agencies to protect us. I’m afraid that’s nonsense. I have the highest respect for our law enforcement officers, but they have no legal obligation whatsoever to protect individuals except under certain very restricted and limited circumstances. A lot of people don’t realize this, but it’s true. Our courts have explicitly ruled that it is a ‘fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen’. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either uninformed or lying. If a ‘politically correct’ spokesman urges citizens not to resist criminals but rather to leave things to law enforcement, consider the matter in the light of this cold, hard truth and act accordingly.

Furthermore, all too often police only get to the scene of a crime in time to fill out the forms and clean up the mess. To give just a few examples: in 1999 in New York City, NY, according to statistics released by the Mayor’s office, the average amount of time it took a police officer to respond to a 911 call was 10.3 minutes. Kansas City, MO police reported their average response time as ‘five to ten minutes’ in 2005. In the same year Priority One responses to 911 calls in Atlanta, GA and nearby counties took an average of nine to fifteen minutes. If the average response times are that long, this means there are many calls that take even longer. Dear reader, remember that you’ve got to get to a phone and call 911 before the police can respond at all! What if you can’t? What if the criminals have cut the telephone line or the cellphone tower is out of range? Also, if you think that even the average response times aren’t enough for a determined, violent attacker to beat, rape or murder you (and perhaps your family as well) then you’re deluded. I have personally witnessed a club-wielding attacker kill a fit, strong man in less than ten seconds. Yes, it’s that fast if the assailant, like many violent criminals, knows what he’s doing. Plan accordingly to defend yourself and your loved ones.

For those who think I’m being unduly alarmist, I invite you to inspect your local crime statistics at the DA’s office or through your law enforcement agencies. Remember that even in the safest areas criminals can arrive without warning (as Wesley did - see his story in Chapter 2 - and as some cities and towns found out to their cost when they accepted evacuees from Hurricane Katrina in 2005). Ask about average response times to 911 calls in your area. If local authorities can’t or won’t provide the figures you might want to ask yourself, “Why not?” Is it because they’re abysmally slow? Follow the local news (particularly the police blotter) and look for reports of violent crimes. I’ve counted over a hundred in the past month alone within half an hour’s drive from my home. Remember that the odds of being a victim of a violent crime during adulthood in the USA are better than two to one (see Chapter 2). With all this information you’ll be able to objectively assess the risks you face in your particular environment and decide what precautions are appropriate and suitable to guard against them. If you truly think you don’t need any, there’s a bridge in New York City I’d like to sell you. Cash only and small bills, please.

Those paragraphs have just been confirmed by recent developments in Lake County, Indiana. Three months ago a woman found herself trapped in her home by a stalker who was making violent entry. Scared half out of her wits, she called 911. The entire conversation is captured in the YouTube post below. The encounter ended with her shooting her stalker, killing him (and jolly well done, say I!)

Think about it. If she hadn't had a gun, just how much damage would he have done to her before the cops arrived? Note my comment above about how long it took a man with a club to kill another man. I saw that personally, readers. It's frighteningly easy for a strong, violent man to kill you. You need an equalizer . . . and in circumstances like this, a gun's the only equalizer that will save your life.

Think about it.



Anonymous said...

"What if the criminals have cut the telephone line or the cellphone tower is out of range?"

The cell tower does need even need to be out of range, cell phone jammers, which are illegal in the states, but somehow still get through US customs from the UK, can block a cell signal within a given radius (like 25'). A jammer can easily fit in a pocket.

Point of note, most cell phones will fall to a jammer, however, home security alarm systems with a cellular backup have the power to punch through a jammer.

If you have a home security system, and you don't have a cellular backup, see about getting one.

Anonymous said...

I travel and do research in places where both two and four-footed predators have been reported. Even if I could call for help, I'm not sure how fast the sheriff's truck could get over the hiking trails and ford the arroyos.

tooldieguy said...

and then there is this story

Anonymous said...

In my county, response time can be 45minutes just because that's how far it is from the county seat to a little community up in the mountains in the southwest corner of the county. In winter, multiply that response time for bad weather and whatever shape the roads are in. Whatever happens, this is another such situation where you better be prepared to deal with it.