Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Breda's Book

Breda reviews a children’s book at her library.

Synopsis. The People have the right to bear arms. Firearms are there for self defense. A situtation arises where a minor is home alone when a burglar breaks in. Said child calls 911 and the cops arrive before anything bad happens.

In 1987's context, it is quite positive. It was still very much the attitude of the time that, "Let the cops do their job, don't take the law into your own hands." Also, the Brady Campaign types were resurgent and would continue to be for a few more years. The fact that ANY children’s book came out with a positive spin on the 2nd is amazing.

20 years later, that canard that you should just rely on the police to protect you has gone by the wayside. People with half a brain and common sense are coming to that realization now. The idea that the police, despite that “to protect and to serve” written on the squad cars, physically CANNOT be everywhere at once even at their most diligent and efficient and benign posture. People are responsible for their own defense, and police are a backup if you are lucky.

So that’s progress.

Why the progress? People saw the efficacy (lack thereof) of gun control bills and rejected them as ineffective at best. The majority of folks view that ‘reasonable’ gun control was gone beyond reasonable some time ago, and new legislation since has tipped toward just people control, vis criminal control. What the People think of as ‘reasonable’ doesn’t in any way jibe with what the Democrat party thinks, now. A Supreme Court decision for Heller gelled people’s ideas, and it came down on the Human Rights side rather than the Control side. And when positive defense rights legislation, like conceal-carry, came down the pike, the dire warnings of Dodge City shootouts didn’t come to pass. At worst conceal-carry caused no change in crime. (There is correlation with a drop in crime in places, not necessarily CAUSED by conceal carry, but… No matter, it cause no harm and it’s an expansion of freedom.)

If this children’s book was written today, it would not be the same. The debate has changed since 1987. Changed in our favor.

There is some grumblings that the child in the book had to dial 911 instead of dialing 911 AND arming themselves. I am of 2 minds about this. There are laws restricting children’s access to guns, so that option is mostly off the table. Do I want a child making life or death decisions? Maybe a child has the maturity level to handle a prowler, and be armed. That would have to be determined case by case, judged by the parents. I already am wary of the parents judgment in this story with them leaving the child home alone, so I doubt the parents properly trained the child for nighttime house-clearing Ops.

The problem isn’t that the law would frown on the child defending itself with a firearm (not a good idea), and the problem isn’t that calling 911, only, is the right thing to do (relying on that slender thread for salvation is also not a good idea.) The problem is, why did the parents fail in their responsibility to protect their child? Clearly the child wasn’t mature enough to handle the full spectrum response implied. Perhaps most children are not.

And a children’s book that counseled youthful armed response… imagine the hysterics THAT would cause? You’d get less outcry putting hardcore pr0n in the kid’s section.

Naturally, I developed all this rambling without having read the book. I was relying on a trusted reviewer. That's ok. This is a blog post, not my PhD dissertation. I don't need that much due diligence to pull an opinion out of my butt.

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