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Ed Shaw Law No Nonsense Legal Advice

Local Solutions For Local Problems


by | Feb 5, 2024 | Criminal Law |

Was a term my old martial arts instructor used to describe how to determine how to respond to potential danger. The degree of threat and the danger posed to you determines how you respond, ranging from ignoring, to responding with deadly force, and everything in between.

This concept would be a good one to use in how we respond as a society to risks. Violent crime is higher in this country than in almost all other wealthy, stable countries, even though those places lock up a far smaller percent of their population in jails and prisons. Even with our higher violent crime rates, the way most media outlets portray crime, and the way most people think about it, does not match how actual crime occurs. People fixate on crimes by strangers, the thug jumping out of a dark corner or bursting into your house. While this does happen sometimes, and is terrifying when it does, in the vast majority of situations violent crime is not random as typically the criminal and the victim know each other. This is usually the case because they live together, are in a romantic relationship of some kind, or have children together. It can also be among associates, sometimes engaged in other criminal activity, i.e., drugs, or people with other connections, i.e., they spend time together at the same bar, with in-laws, etc.

The best way to assess your threat and stay safe is to choose your partners and company carefully; get out of volatile, conflict filled relationships. Keeping a gun under your pillow may help if a thug comes through your door, which is not highly likely but will almost certainly not help if the person you live with attacks you, which is much more likely.

In any event, the risk from all types of crime is less than that for suicide. People are more likely to kill themselves than to be killed by others. The gun under your pillow will not protect you or someone in your house from killing themself, it will greatly in increase the odds of that happening.

Deaths from violent crime and suicide are dwarfed by death from infectious diseases, Covid and other illnesses, and diseases made worse by poor diets and sedentary lifestyles, diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancers, etc. The biggest threat to your life is not the thug lurking in a dark alley or even the thug you live with, it is the Covid and flu germs drifting in the air at your crowded office, the sugar packed big gulp s. at your local convenience store, the fast-food burger, and the long commute to your work that leaves you no time to exercise.  If politicians complained as much about those things as they do ‘crime in the streets’ we might actually become a safer, healthier place.



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