Re: crime in big cities and Europe

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Tue Jun 20 2000 - 21:17:57 MDT

Karsten Baender wrote:
> [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.

Actually, there is a nice system that originated in South Africa that
consists of some short duration flame throwers that shoot up from under
the rocker panel, covering the doors on both sides of the vehicles.
Supposedly very effective in deterring and preventing carjackings.

The way to secure your car most cheaply is to live where so many law
abiding people are armed that a car thief is more likely to be
apprehended by an armed civilian than to escape with the vehicle or its
contents. Where I live most people don't even have to lock their cars.
The concept of the security of one's private property is part and parcel
of one's right to personal security. Its understood that your countries
suffer from a higher percentage of five fingered socialists, always
willing to redistribute your stuff to themselves.

> > 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.

What is your life worth when your life savings and property have been
destroyed or stolen? A person who would steal the product of your labor
is stealing your time, is stealing your life, is enslaving and killing
you. Just because the theif only takes a small portion of your life
makes him no less a killer than one who takes your entire life at once.
Lets say a pickpocket steals my insulin kit, and I'm visiting a city in
europe where few people around speak english to a degree to understand
my needs as a diabetic. I go into insulin shock and die. Should the
thief be charged with murder, or just for petty theft? He only stole
maybe $100 worth of medical equipment and drugs. Thats not much. But it
was the difference between life and death for me. Even if I reach
medical attention in time to save my life, the toxic shock has
irreversibly shortened my life, so years of my life have been stolen,
not just a mere $100 worth of medical equipment, and my life was
threatened. Lets say I pull my legally owned pistol when the pickpocket
grabs my medical kit, and hold him at gun point. I can justifiably say
my life was threatened, can't I? Was ALL of my life threatened, or just
part of it? Which part? The part represented by the $100 invested in the
insulin kit? Or the possible years taken off the end of my life by
insulin shock? Or would it be the entire remainder of my life if I could
have died?

Frankly, I don't have to worry about it here in New Hampshire. It says
right there in the state constitution that I have the right to defend
myself, my family, my property, and the state. One of the things I
really like about this state.

> 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
> just!

Very much so. There are places here like that, very socialist states
like Massachusetts, where such idiocy is allowed to be considered common
> > 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.

The 'bad guys' in europe have all the weapons they want. The bad guys
carry them whether law abiding people have them or not. If a criminal is
so bold as to decide to take your life in defiance of the law against
murder, what makes you think a little thing like a weapons law will keep
him from getting a gun. BTW: I've always wanted to ask a German this:
How does it feel to still be living under laws drafted under the Nazi

> 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.

No. you are very wrong there. States here that have liberal gun laws
have shown very little use in crime. It is in states and cities that
have very restrictive gun laws where most gun crime occurs.

> > 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
> change.

That way of thinking is the thinking of well conditioned sheep. Any
society that would convict good samaritans deserves the crime it gets.
We had similar problems here in the states in the 1960s and 1970's,
where criminals would sue people who apprehended them, and police and
prosecutors would convict good samaritans. Finally people got sick of it
and got the legislature to pass good samaritan laws, and they formed
neighborhood watch groups, like the Guardian Angels.

> 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.

You yourself pay for the property to be restored, since you pay much
higher insurance premiums than I do. In the meantime, some of your life
has been stolen, just as sure as if it had been killed off with a knife
or a pistol...

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

They also said "come home with your shield, or on it." Stand like a
Roman against the barbarians and fight and win, or fight and die, or
don't come home at all. In the Roman Republic, only the serfs, the
slaves, were disarmed. Now you want us all to be slaves?

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