Friday, September 02, 2005

The End of Civility

Crises always bring out the best in people. Neighbors help neighbors, people open their wallets and home for strangers, charities mobilize, governments put aside partisan squabbling and rush to help each other.

Crises also bring out the worst in people. As we’ve all read, civility, justice, and law have broken down in New Orleans. Looters rule the streets. Snipers fire at relief boats and helicopters. Gangs are raping women in the Superdome and on the streets. Critical food, water, and aid can’t get to people who desperately need them.

It is possible that certain gang members are attacking rescue boats and helicopters to continue the end of civility. Think about it, right now they rule neighborhoods. They have all the food and water they need because they’ve stolen it from someone else. Somewhere, they have roomfuls of consumer electronics, jewelry, new clothes. Being able to loot, rob, burgle, rape, and perhaps kill without retribution must be their idea of heaven. Eventually government will eventually restore law and order in New Orleans, but it may involve urban warfare with these armed gangs.

Some may argue that guns empower the looters and snipers, and there is a degree of truth to the argument. Similarly, knives, machetes, tree limbs, bricks, rocks, and muscle empower people who have no moral core to begin with. There will always be people who prey on weak, elderly, women, and children even if every gun disappeared from our planet.

The only thing one can do is to arm oneself, to know how to use a gun, and to plan in advance (where family members will meet, how to keep watch, etc.). Here is an article in the New York Times of all places that tells stories of armed civilians who protected their lives and property and will probably make it through this lawless period alive. Note how a machete-armed gang planned to “liberate” a family’s electrical generator, but were scared off with a couple of warning shots.

Here is a story about a man, his wife, a canoe and a shotgun. He and his wife made it to Baton Rouge in the canoe probably because they could protect it from thieves with the threat the gun posed (hat tip to Bruce at mAssBackwards).

I’m sure that a handful of people will argue that there should be more gun control so people would not have guns at all. If that is done only those people who are “burdened” with a strong moral core will be hurt. Next time there’s an end of civility, stories like those above will be different. Instead, machete wielding thugs will steal the generator and probably rape the women and kill the men. The canoe will be stolen and the couple; well who knows what will happen to them.

Government cannot guarantee there’ll not be another catastrophe. It’s your responsibility to yourself and your family to buy a gun, to learn how to use it, and to practice with it regularly. “Just in case” might happen to you.

Here is an excerpt from an e-mail submitted to National Review Online’s Corner that shows people are getting it.
"Angry is not the word for this former New Orleanian....The looters are now starting fires throughout New Orleans and have been hampering rescue efforts for two days now…. I’ve never owned a gun. However, I am purchasing one this weekend and taking a firearms class. My son will be taught to operate firearms as well when he is old enough...."
There’s a gun show in Concord, New Hampshire this weekend. Although I have plenty of guns I might just add one to my collection or buy more ammo, "just in case. "

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