A couple of interesting tidbits from the news on this, the third of April.
First, from the brilliant and always-worth-reading Dr. Sowell, on a topic that has been the subject of endless discussion of late: Guns Save Lives. Excerpt:
The defensive use of guns is usually either not discussed at all in the media or else is depicted as if it means bullets flying in all directions, like the gunfight at the OK Corral. But most defensive uses of guns do not involve actually pulling the trigger.
If someone comes at you with a knife and you point a gun at him, he is very unlikely to keep coming, and far more likely to head in the other direction, perhaps in some haste, if he has a brain in his head. Only if he is an idiot are you likely to have to pull the trigger. And if he is an idiot with a knife coming after you, you had better have a trigger to pull.
Surveys of American gun owners have found that 4 to 6 percent reported using a gun in self-defense within the previous five years. That is not a very high percentage but, in a country with 300 million people, that works out to hundreds of thousands of defensive uses of guns per year.
Yet we almost never hear about these hundreds of thousands of defensive uses of guns from the media, which will report the killing of a dozen people endlessly around the clock.
I have personally prevented myself from being the victim of robbery twice, both times by simply revealing that I was in the possession of a loaded firearm. That possession was illegal on both occasions, but since the statute of limitations on both events is long past I feel free to say they happened in Chicago in 1981, and in St.Louis in 1988. On the first occasion I was approached by a single youth with a knife, on the second by several youths armed with nothing more than ill intent.
On both occasions I carried a heavy .45 caliber revolver. On both occasions I did no more than sweep the same long Army-surplus trenchcoat aside to reveal the holstered revolver. The gun never cleared leather; my hand never touched the grip. On both occasions the confronting punks turned and walked away. No shots fired, no shouting, no news media involved – and no crime, barring my illegal carry of a gun. Now, in my own Colorado, I carry legally (a piece of sensible policy the increasingly irrational Colorado legislature has not yet undone) should such an occasion arise now, when times find me older and slower than I was then.
As the saying goes, “I’m too young to die and tool old to get my ass kicked.”
Moving along: Have a read of the latest from the inestimable Dr. Victor Davis Hanson, America in the Age of Myth. Excerpt:
In the last thirty years, I have probably spoken 200 times at a coastal university of some sort, most of which were on the Eastern seaboard. I spent eight years at UC Santa Cruz and Stanford. I go to Palo Alto every week to work, and often lecture or teach in southern California.
So I know the Bay Area and Los Angeles almost as well as I know the San Joaquin Valley and the culture of the Eastern seaboard. I talk sometimes with the media, academics, foundation heads, a few in entertainment, and some politicians. All are coastal-based. Here is what I’ve learned over the last three decades about the mythologies of our national oligarchy.
There is a liberal coastal aristocrat, but he is really not very liberal, at least in the sense of his regressive life not matching his progressive rhetoric. His views are mostly conditioned on his education, salary, and material circumstances. Put the coastal aristocrat in charge of a 7-Eleven in Stockton, and his therapeutic view would turn tragic quite quickly. And that fear is why he rarely goes to either a 7-Eleven or Stockton.
And it is the attitudes aptly described by Dr. Hanson that have driven the Golden State to insolvency.