RE: crime in big cities and Europe

From: Karsten Baender (
Date: Tue Jun 20 2000 - 07:26:29 MDT

[Non-member submission]

Well, though I rarely have the time to skim through all the masses of
e-mails that go around this list, this one got my attention because of the
fact, that someone draws false conclusions out of obvious facts:

> Washington DC also has one of the most restrictive gun laws in
> the country. Name any other high crime city in the US, and you
> will find a city with extremely restrictive gun laws.
That seems to be true. As I do not live in the US, I would not try to
question this, though I read some foreign newspapers. But Washington is
renowned for its criminals even in Germany.

> As I've said before, almost everyone I have known personally that
> has visited europe has been robbed at least once while they were
> there, they've had their hotel rooms robbed, their cars broken
> into or stolen, and bags snatched out of their hands.
That might be true, but then I wonder what places all these people have
visited. I live in Europe for almost thirty years now and I wasn't robbed
till now. Most people I know haven't been victims to anything more than
perhaps burglary. By the way, I cannot not think of any method to secure my
car by means of wepaonry than to fix some claymore mines to it - and that
would certainly exceed any reasonable use of force.

> The brazenness of theives in europe to me is incredible, and
> testament to the fact that they know there is little a person can
> do to defend themselves against robbery in europe. I've heard
> many stories of women mugged and raped with bystanders just
> walking by, ignoring what went on. Non-gun crime is so prevalent
> I believe that most people there just don't see it, or refuse to see it.
> (end)
I would certainly not want to live in a state where it is legal to shoot
someone who is only a thief. That would mean to equal the worth of the human
life with that of property which seems inadequate. But this theory can also
work the other way round, which is the case in Germany: Three friends of
mine were playing cards on the balcony of their appartment when they heard
the desperate cries of a woman. They rushed to rescue her and found a man
trying to rape a young girl. Luckily they arrived in time and gave the
criminal the beating of his life. After that, they called the police. The
criminal sued them for severe injury. In the end, the criminal was sentenced
less hard than those who had helped the victim. And that is definitely not

> It bothers me that my father who lives in New York City and is a
> former courier who carried a sidearm cannot now do so. But he
> does live right next door to a large NYPD precinct house! lol He
> likes to eat lunch at a local bar & grill with a group of friends
> who are homicide detectives and share with him some juicy stories
> over food.

> New York City and Washington D.C. are two places where lawful
> citizens should absolutely be allowed to easily get permits to
> carry a sidearm. Would it lower the victimization rates I
> wonder? It might also cause criminals to "raise the bar" to a
> new level of viciousness but, so be it. I don't feel the need to
> carry a handgun in Anchorage but if I were visiting the big apple
> I would sure want one.
That is one fact. In Europe, possession of arms is restricted. But the "bad
guys" also have limited weapons. If you would allow anyone to carry weapons,
then the bad guys will certainly carry them. Although I would have prefered
to have a gun as long as I lived in Frankfurt, I doubt that it would have
done any good. If you are unarmed, well, you can get beaten up or robbed.
Okay. If you are armed, you get shot. Okay, if you are a combat-trained
gunslinger, you might be able to shoot them, but most people aren't. So this
is no big defense. The bad guys usually have more guns, more firepower and,
ost important, the least problems of using them.

Weapons do no harm. It's the people who use them. Most of the people who
have guns neve use them. At least not on other people. Even most criminals
would not deliberately use excessive force to achieve their goal. If all
people have guns, the criminal is forced to use maximum force to achieve
their goal without danger for themselves. The problem of liberal gun laws is
that the tendency to use them will increase.

> I have heard stories of severe thievery in Europe and on a
> sophisticated level that dates back centuries. I did not know
> they suffered from apathy when it comes to intervening in
> situations such as an ongoing rape. I know that has happened in
> the United States. What parts of Europe are you talking about?
Well, that is indeed a problem. A 17 year old girl was raped in Hamburg, by
day (!) and in a crowded local train (!!). I do not understand hos something
like this can happen in my country. Though I made the shocking experience
that this is common in this country, though rarely in such an extreme case.
Most violations are never reported due to the shame of the victims, which
makes it only worse. The problem here is not guns but simply the way of
thinking. As long as this does not change, the way people behave will not

If we look at the overall facts, crimes like burglary or robbery might be
more frequent in Europe. But definitely the rate of murder and other capital
crimes is much higher in the US. If faced with the choice, I would always
prefer Europe. Property can be restored, that's why we have insurances. But
no insurance can give you back your life.

Like the Romans said: Ab igne ignem. - Out of the fire - fire.



An nescis, mi fili, quantilla prudentia mundus regatur orbis? - Don't you
know, my son, with how little witt this world is being ruled?

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