A rather disturbing incident happened this week in our remote and isolated rural neighborhood. Before dawn, a strange pickup truck came roaring down our potholed dirt lane, straight past our driveway and on to where the road dead ends in a neighbor’s yard a quarter-mile away. I grabbed the binoculars to see if I could figure out what was happening.
The truck lingered in our neighbor’s yard for a moment or two, then hastily turned around and raced out again, driving so fast it was bouncing in the air from hitting potholes.
Our neighbors were shaken. They had no idea who these people were. It happened so fast they barely had time to tumble out of bed to see what was going on.
While none of us in the neighborhood have any idea why this truck was in our area at so early an hour, it was painfully clear that IF their intentions had been nefarious or violent, they could have done severe mayhem before anyone would have been cognizant enough to fend off an attack.
But at least our neighbors are armed. To the teeth. We all are. Rural Idaho is like that.
We are fortunate to be far off the beaten track. But as this incident clearly demonstrated, isolation is no guarantee against hit-and-run thugs.
For our more urban cousins, these concerns are even more profound. A dear friend who lives alone with her teenage daughter recently wrote me a distressing email.
“I’m not sure if you’re aware of the abysmal financial situation here in our county, but I’ll give you a quick, horrifying snapshot. There’s NO money. The sheriff has few patrols; the juvenile justice center (kiddy jail) has been shut down; the adult jail is nearly shut down – just a few beds and few jail staff. Basically, when someone should be arrested and taken to jail, they are given a citation and a court date. However, no one is showing up for their sentencing because they know there’s no way they’ll go to jail if they do have a warrant! Lovely, eh? I’m thankful I have an alarm system on my home, but still. …”
My friend sent me local newspaper articles backing up these statistics; grim commentary detailing home invasions, rapes, armed robberies, murders, and other mayhem. And this is in a town of 35,000 previously known for its peaceful nature and beautiful scenery.
This, folks, isn’t the future of America. It’s the present. Those who predicted this were dismissed by critics as wearing tinfoil hats. What do the critics say now?
And of course as lawlessness increases, it becomes self-feeding. If the bad guys know that law enforcement is thin and the worst that can happen is a slap on the wrist, they become bolder and more numerous. A woman living alone with her teenage daughter is very vulnerable.
Shortly after emailing me, my friend renewed her concealed-carry permit and purchased a handgun, which she keeps on her at all times. She also became active in her Neighborhood Watch.
Progressives who think private gun ownership is unnecessary have no idea how much their safety is subsidized by their gun-owning neighbors. It’s always a risk when a bad guy decides to try a home invasion. In most cases, it’s not a home security system that stops a robbery; it’s the possibility that he could be met by a blaze of buckshot. It’s that element of uncertainty – does this homeowner have a gun or not? – that keeps you safe in your bed at night.
And yet there are those who actually want to disarm us in the name of “safety.” (“The ruling class doesn’t care about public safety. Having made it very difficult for States and localities to police themselves, having left ordinary citizens with no choice but to protect themselves as best they can, they now try to take our guns away. In fact they blame us and our guns for crime. This is so wrong that it cannot be an honest mistake.” – Sen. Malcolm Wallop)
Consider the following scenario. A criminal is walking along looking for a place to rob, when the road splits. A sign pointing to the left says, “This way to Liberalville, a gun-free town.” A sign pointing to the right says, “This way to Patriotville, where every household has a gun.” Which road do you think the criminal will take?
Or this: Let’s say you were to put up a large and prominent placard on your living room window, announcing “This home is proudly gun-free.” Gee whiz, who do you think a robber is likely to target, you or the fellow next door with NRA bumper stickers? C’mon, be truthful.
And of course the critical importance of gun ownership extends far beyond the boundaries of our homes and properties. It extends to the defense of our nation. Not (necessarily) against foreign invaders (“You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.” – Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto), but against the invasion of our liberties by a government determined to ignore and undermine the Constitution (“The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson).
Do you really think our Founding Fathers were thinking about duck hunting or home invasion robberies when they wrote the Second Amendment? Of course not. Above all else, they feared a repeat of an abusive and tyrannical government.
In the last few years, America has experienced increasing internal tension. Our government is fomenting class and racial hatred at unprecedented levels, then using every incident of mayhem as an excuse to crack down on firearms or ammunition. It is my opinion that the ultimate goal is to be able to stick a big sign on America that says, “This nation is proudly gun-free.” (“… to disarm the people – that was the best and most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380)
It was George Washington who said, “Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence … the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”