Tam links to an interesting article about where the author considers the question of why we as a society don’t view public safety as a Do-It-Yourself endeavor.
Today we listen, watch, and are entertained not by ourselves or our peers but by people who get paid to do those things: the professionals. I’m sure you can think of other examples from your own experience. Is it any surprise, then, that people delegate their safety to professionals rather than learn why they need to do it themselves?
Tam asks if a current movement will change that.
You know, I like the concept. I like the fact that I can go to the store and buy whatever I want, yet I can plant a garden and grow my own if I like. If the garden fails, the market is still there. If the market somehow runs out, I’ve got some food in the garden to tide me over. I am unlikely to grow enough to sustain me independently, but at least I could have options.
Self-defense is like that. I can always call 911 and they’ll do their best to send me someone to help me out. He’s trained, armed with decent weapons, and has a bunch of friends who will arrive right after him. But I’ve also got a gun of my own. I can choose to use that gun to bridge the time gap between RIGHT NOW and when the cavalry arrives. If the cavalry is otherwise occupied, I may be waiting a little while. But if they’re quick to arrive, they might handle problems for me.
The major benefit of having professional public safety officials on 24 hour speed dial is that I don’t have to be armed like a Marine infantry platoon and live in a bunker. I can live in an ordinary house, with those big breakable windows and doors that (at least according to cop dramas) can be kicked in pretty easily. I don’t have to live in a medieval castle and hire full time security just to have a basic level of safety. The police exist to allow you and I to live in ways that would be unthinkable 800 years ago in Europe, and impossible in many countries today.