Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Another reason to be armed

Last night I wrote about the gun-control measures threatened by the Obama administration and its allies.  It appears likely that attempts will be made to regulate, if not ban, high-capacity magazines and so-called 'assault rifles' (which aren't true assault rifles at all - it's a description designed to elicit a knee-jerk emotional reaction, but which isn't factual or accurate).

Consider such attempts in the light of news reports like this one.

Dodging open manholes where thieves had swiped cast-iron covers, Stephen Wigginton drives the crumbling streets of his hometown, East St. Louis, Illinois, pointing out new landmarks in America’s most violent city.

There’s the shopping mall where a police officer was shot in the face, a youth center that saw a triple homicide in September, and scattered about the city of 27,000 are brightly lit gas stations that serve as magnets for carjackers, hit-and- run robbers and killers.

“It’s the Wild West,” said Wigginton, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois. With a murder rate 17 times the U.S. average, the nation’s highest according to the FBI, East St. Louis offers a glimpse at the future for budget- strapped cities like Detroit and Camden, New Jersey, that have made deep cuts to their police forces.

. . .

The city reduced its police force by 33 percent from 2008 to 2011, the 12th-largest reduction among cities with more than 25,000 people, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation data. Among the 20 biggest U.S. police jurisdictions during that period, the number of officers fell 2.7 percent to 99,312.

. . .

East St. Louis remains plagued by “vendettas and beefs,” Parks said, describing the reasoning of criminals.

“If I think your family is in a house and it hurts you to get your family, I’m going to shoot up the house,” he said.

. . .

Cities reducing the size of their police departments should learn from East St. Louis’s travails, John Firman, director of research at the International Association of Chiefs of Police, said, adding that they ought to consider the threshold below which officers can no longer do their jobs.

“These cuts could backfire,” Firman said.

There's more at the link.

There's a neighborhood like that within an hour's drive of my home.  What makes you think I'll go anywhere near it without more than one high-capacity magazine for my handgun?  If possible, I wouldn't go there at all without a rifle and several magazines of ammunition for it.  I value my life, and the scumbags there don't.  It's as simple as that.

Local police budgets are stagnant, and likely to drop as federal funding dries up (and if you think federal funding won't dry up as economic reality bites - see below - you're politically and economically myopic!).  If they won't be able to protect me, I'd better be able to do so myself, hadn't I?  And if anyone wants to take away the tools I'll need to do that, whilst simultaneously cutting funding to the only other people who might be able to help me . . . where does that leave me?

(Don't answer that . . . it's a rhetorical question.  I know where it leaves me!)



tweell said...

Sigh. The games politicians play with people's lives.

My home town loves to raise taxes, claiming that they will have to cut police and emergency services without the money. Unfortunately (for them) they have to hold a series of town halls before a vote can be called for. This is where citizens like me get to ask them where the rest of the money is going. It's usually possible to shame them (or at least make it public) that they consider their pet projects more important than people's lives.

Anonymous said...

Also, don't forget that East St. Louis is in Illinois - where you basically can't carry a personal firearm on you or in your car (I worked in ESL this last summer - never bought gas there and always arrived very early in the day and left before mid-afternoon to avoid the worse of it).

Old NFO said...

Cut...cut...cut... Oh those people dying? NOT our fault... sigh