Perception of Public Safety

I read you can no longer find a pressure cooker in the Boston area for sale. If this is not a case of over reaction, there has yet to be one. Modifying one of the old phrases from the NRA (I think), ‘Pressure cookers don’t kill people, people kill people.’

People who over react to situations need to realize that living is a risk. There is no legislating any of us are going to wake up tomorrow. There is no protecting ourselves from someone else is willing to risk everything to harm us.

Without going through the obvious facts of flu deaths each year, death from automobile accidents, falling off ladders, chairs, or down the stairs, there are so many ways to die each day it is mind boggling that so many of us make it through to the next day.

Where I grew up as a kid, we used to hunt and fish a lot. Hunting and fishing was a way of life. It put food on the table and stretched the family budget beyond the paychecks ability alone. People lived on fish and game. We also had some funny laws around hunting and fishing. Of course there were very creating ways around those laws. They were illegal, but the need to eat outweighed the legality for some people.

One law I found the funniest was hunting season for game birds. Generally one hunted game birds in the same areas others hunted deer. The only difference was the weapon used and the time of the year. First it was bird season, followed by a few weeks of no hunting, then came deer season.

During the bird hunting season, those that could not wait used illegal hard to detect methods to take deer. Some used their deer hunting rifles, and others used more creative approaches. Deer season did not apply to these people at all. They did what they wanted.

The Department of Fish and Game was sensitive during this two week no hunting period to any gun shots coming from the woods. People who were needing to eat, found creative way to take game boards with out a gun. They did what they wanted.

In the spring in the lakes and rivers, game fish schooled up to spawn. Fishing was illegal during this period, or it was illegal to fish for certain species of fish. For example, you could fish in the shallows of an area where the Bass were spawning for Northern Pike, but you could not fish for Bass because the season was not open yet. I have never seen species selective artificial lures, or live bait.

Snagging hooks were banned at all fishing waters. Yet most of the fisherman had at least one treble hook that would pass for a snagging hook in their tackle boxes. If you talked long enough or new each other well enough one learned of other ways to take fish other than legal methods.

If someone is determined, search the net for methods, or creative enough to come up with something new on their own, there are multiple ways to do almost anything. Self bans on pressure cookers in the Boston area, and probably most of America, does not make our streets safer. Each of us is still as likely to be killed each day by explosion as we were some months ago.

Legislating any activity or item does not ensure our safety. If someone wants to do something bad enough, they will find a way. Which brings me to my previous article on slingshots. Much to my surprise I discovered I was a law breaker as a kid growing up. On occasion I had my slingshot with me within city limits of a city where they were banned.

Today, I doubt there are any slingshots being carried by kids in that city. If kids are serious enough, they are carrying something more vicious than slingshots. Kids are probably carrying stolen guns hidden in their baggy clothes. If they do not have access to a gun, or can not afford one, and feel the need to protect themselves, they carry something else. Knives, baseball bats, or other hand weapons.

In a hurry or leaving?

We depend on each other for our safety

Look at the man in the picture. What is inside the black camera shoulder bag? How about the packages? Is that really an eye glass case in his top pocket? Is the bulge around his waste really belly fat? Why are his jeans and shirt a little baggy?

Do you know why people have their keys on the end of a lanyard? Maybe we should think about banning keys. Some do it because they see others do it. Others do it, because they have a perfectly legal, very serious weapon in their possession.

Does that dog owner have a pit bull because they love the breed, for personal protection, or is it a barely contained attack dog?

What about the person with that walking stick. Is there more to that walking sick or cane than meets the eye? It could be a gun, saber, or other weapon depending on the owners creativity and ability to disguise.

How about the driver of that car. Were they trying to hit you, or just not paying attention for an instant? We can only legislate individual safety so far. The rest is risk we have to accept as part of normal life.