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13 October 2005 @ 04:34 pm
Then they came for me  
I hadn't read this until metkat's recent post... this so perfectly sums up why I've been trying so hard to stay politically active and write my letters and form my opinions since the last election.


Variation on Pastor Martin Niemoller's poem:

They came first for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.

It's us. We - every human among us, and a few typing-ept cats - are the voice and the action that stops abuse, cruelty, oppression, tyranny and watchguards the innocent. If we aren't, we are the corroborater.

It's so much easier to focus on food on the table, laughter in the evening, work on a weekday, a good night's sleep in relative safety. I begin to think that our inclination to lead a happy, simple life is our single greatest advantage that we give to oppressors.

I'm not a pornographer, I'm not illiterate, I haven't yet been and am not in need of emergency contraceptive - but I have a voice and by the gods, I'm using it.

A's rabbi at Rosh Hashannah last week challenged everyone at synagogue to never stand by when they knew someone was being abused. Meddlesome, sure. Codependent, maybe. But at the end of the day, we can invest in each other or turn our backs on each other. I'll take the former.
Current Mood: fire! fire! fire!
Kburgunder on October 26th, 2005 10:41 pm (UTC)
Fear motivates. It sounds like the argument is that a part of criminal preventive maintenance is to have equal access to violent threat? I am currently pro-gun, largely because I've been open-minded and persuaded about your thoughts on the issue and I've even managed to develop a few of my own opinoins, especially as relates to the original intent in the Constitution, and I continue to be personally mortified that we even invented these damn things. I firmly believe killing people is bad, but I never manage to sit down with Ghandi because I don't like the odds of survival or ethical evolution in a place where all the "bad" guys have guns and none of the "good" guys do. I get so torn up about things like Tibetans retaining their peace and being the last leg of the genocide because they were passive vs. fighting back, retaining Tibet, but losing their inherent Tibetan-ness. I don't begin to understand which the greater tragedy is. It's amazing how quickly I wind up rambling when I want to respond to something you or vaxhacker have said... makes too many synapses fire at the same time, heh.

... I wonder how much pre-meditated criminals rely on the average person not breaking laws to plan and execute their crimes? In a state where a criminal can sue for being shot while breaking into a house, I suspect they're a bit more willing to take some risks than in a state (are there any?) without laws against shoot-to-kill trespassers/thieves. Anecdotally, the criminals I've known (most of them of the smoking pot and DUI/traffic violation variety) are absurdly well versed on the laws they're breaking, which makes me wonder if thieves are as well versed on laws around trespassing, property, etc. ... Maybe in Vermont, those laws make the risk not as worth taking?
Brettwakko on October 26th, 2005 11:44 pm (UTC)
Actually, our own state's laws on the use of lethal force are surprisingly liberal. In essence, lethal force may be applied to stop a criminal committing any felony in your presence.

I agree with you, as does nearly ever gun owner I've encountered. None of us want to be forced to shoot someone. The emotional and psychological repurcussions are abhorrent, not to mention the legal implications.

The reason we carry is the same reason we wear seat belts: just in case we should ever be placed in the situation that we'd need the safety device. Crime is simply a fact of human life. Being prepared for it is just a part of being a responsible adult.

I'm honestly thankful each day that goes by where my firearm stays concealed and I don't need it.

However, the DOJ did fund a study of 1,874 imprisoned felons conducted between August, 1982, and January, 1983. The study was titled The Armed Criminal in America.

[begin excerpt]
A 57% majority agreed that "Most criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police." Although 37% of those surveyed admitted that they personally had "run into a victim who was armed with a gun," that figure surpassed the 50% mark for armed criminals, an experience shared by 57% of the active gun predators. And 34% of the sample admitted to having been "scared off, shot at, wounded, or captured by an armed victim."

Significantly, almost 40% said there was at least one time when the criminal "decided not to do a crime because [he] knew or believed that the victim was carrying a gun." Clearly, armed citizens represent a real threat to criminals, a threat with which large numbers are personally familiar, or familiar with through the shared experiences of their fellow outlaws.
[/end excerpt]

That last part is what I'm aiming for. Deterring criminals simply by their own belief that their intended victim is armed. I believe that if we increase the number of armed citizens to that point, we've won.