Monday, September 21, 2015

Societal Trends

Crime rates.

Yeah yeah, more guns are in the hands of law abiding citizens now, than in the bad old days of rampant crime.  Other things are different too.

"America was throwing the kitchen sink at the crime problem. Tougher sentencing, more creative policing techniques, more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens, and massive public-education efforts all converged to save our cities. Black pastors threw themselves into the breach, using their prophetic voice to call young people to a higher, better life. Countless educators and mentors gave their time and money to give at-risk youth a fighting chance. At the same time, America was entering a post–Cold War economic boom. We can argue endlessly about which factor was most important, about how precisely they worked together to save tens of thousands of lives and spare hundreds of thousands from the pain and terror of criminal violence."
But you know what?  Lots of people had guns before.  There was other, less noticed, factors that brought guns to the forefront.  Where they are not only in law abiding hands, but contributing to crime reduction.

And I am not just talking about conceal carry liberalization.  Though that is a symptom of my subject.

I became more acceptable for someone to shoot someone else with a gun in a case of self defense. 

Does anyone besides me remember a time where homeowners shot badguy home invaders and more often than not got cuffed and taken downtown?  Do you remember a time where the police chief always came out before the news cameras saying "Let us do out jobs. Don't take the law into your own hands"?  Where people that did defend themselves from the depredations of criminals in open and shut legitimate cases and they were still tarred with the slur Vigilante? 
People believed, for a time, 30+ years ago, that cops were responsible for protecting them from any harm and were surprised when the Supreme Court ruled that, no, they had no such duty.

I don't know when that mindset started.  I can't remember back before the 1970s.  But I'm going to guess post WWII.  But so much changed from the Stock Market Crash to VJ Day and the years in between are a bit of a black hole of exceptions to the rule.


There was a sea change.  When the general public's thinking drifted away from the above and started accepting cases of justified self defense in their attitudes of others and in for their own conduct.  It started slow and can be tracked with CCW states opening up and crime rates going down.  But those, like I said, are signals to something deeper.


So, what if it switches back?  Crime is spiking the other way, now.  Cops are understandably wary and less pro-active now because they aren't getting the support from their management like they got in the 90s. But has the mindset of the general population changed?  CAN we even go back to the crime of the 70s?

1 comment:

Bob said...

The sea change came when Bernhard Goetz shot those black teens in the NYC subway. It was after that that Florida liberalized its CCW laws, and other states, seeing Florida's sudden drop in violent crime, followed suit.