Robert Heinlein said it best, “an armed society is a polite society.” Many people believe that the solutions for reducing or preventing crime involve increasing the number of police officers on the street, imposing gun control restrictions or by throwing more people in prison. None of these are effective. The police, as an institution and by its very nature, react to crime instead of prevent it. Gun control serves only to disarm the law-abiding and provide plenty of ammo for the criminals. As for incarceration, our prisons are over 35% capacity and we very well know that the prison system serves only to punish and not to rehabilitate.
In Mexico, violent gang cartels run wild. What’s worse is that government officials, even the police, are in on it. What is a citizen to do? Many Mexican citizens have taken up arms and formed their own autodefensas or “ self-defense community militias” as a way to curb the violence. The same is being done in our very own Detroit, where the local government has degraded into nothing since the financial collapse of the city’s economy. All emergency services have been dramatically cut to the lack of budget, including the police force. As a result of the urban decay criminals run rampant, thousands of buildings have been abandoned, and it takes roughly 58 minutes for a police response to a high-priority call. It got so bad that citizens started putting together their own neighborhood patrols to handle crime. The private sector has also developed a solution through the Threat Management Center, a private security company that protects neighborhoods, corporations and even the poor from the criminal element.
Community response teams/community defense groups are arguably a very good solution in a state of anarchy, but could it be a good replacement for local police forces around the nation? Crime prevention tends to be difficult to implement because most people lack the will to band together, relying on law enforcement to handle crime instead. But as we here at Stun & Run Self Defense constantly say, the police are a reactive institution rather than a preventative one.
Many preach the notion that “you are your own first responder.” And this could not be any truer. When faced with violent crime, civilians themselves have to be the first to respond to their own situation. It could take the police minutes to arrive. Not only that, but residents can look for indicators of possible criminal activity and work in collaboration with local law enforcement to keep their communities safe. But until people begin to actively invest in protecting their neighborhoods, rather than simply being passive or apathetic and relying on government intervention, crime will continue to plague certain areas.
What are your thoughts? Do you think armed communities are a solution to crime-ridden areas? Should private security organizations serve some purpose in protecting individual citizens?