Tuesday, September 04, 2007

911 or 1911?

The good ole cell phone vs. handgun debate was discussed a few weeks ago. This was when I was back in Seattle (of course).

There seem to never be any "reasonable" arguements against people owning firearms but this particular person was far beyond reason. One of his that even my own mother has used was, "I would rather have a cell phone."

My response to my mother was, "You can have both. One does not preclude you from having the other." I then talked about the response times and the "what if" scenarios like being outside of cell phone coverage.

The last few days though, I have given more thought to this. The idea of having a cell phone as my first line of "defense" has been bothering me. Not only for the absurdity of the idea that it can stop a violent miscreant, but it also bothers me for a few other reasons.

I do not call my parents when I need money. In slim times, they have offered and I have accepted but I would not call them. I do not call my neighbors when my pantry is empty. I go to the grocery store to stock my pantry myself. Why should I call someone when those who I hold most dear are in danger?

I realize that the analogy is not exactly tantamount. It does however illustrate the way I feel about it though. I am as self-sufficient as I can be. I stock emergency provisions and prepare for "mild disasters."

During hurricanes Bertha and Fran, I lived in North Carolina near the coast. We lost power and were on stored water for a while. I took care of my family and then helped those around me. I was on active duty at the time and in base housing. Many of the men around me had to take the aircraft further inland during the hurricanes. (I was not flight crew so could remain on base.)

We took care of ourselves and each other. There was a very strong community there. By the time the base got around to cleaning up the debris in base housing - which was very low priority - most of it was already gone or cleared to a common area for easy removal.

To my knowledge, nobody in base housing needed emergency services except for the removal of the odd tree through the odd roof. Those whose houses were damaged were immediately taken in to the houses of others.

Dangerous situations in my house or around my car - or anywhere for that matter - will likely be resolved to some end by the time the police arrive.

While I view the policemen around me as just as much my community, I still strive to take care of my family first.

I will try following the logic of the "cell phone only" group for a minute though...

A cell phone will allow someone to call police who are trained in handling dangerous situations. Should they arrive on the scene before the situation has been resolved, they will likely have drawn their own firearms to protect themselves and others. If necessary, they will shoot anyone who is an immediate threat and who cannot likely be stopped by any other means.

In other words, the police may have to kill someone else to protect you.

That is a lot to ask of someone. I realize that it is part of their duty. If ever in a dangerous situation, I hope it would not come to that. If it does, I think that I would be bothered by asking someone else, even a policeman, for protection.

I should add that as part of our Emergency Action Plan for home intruders, both 911 and the 1911 are involved.

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