Monday, January 12, 2009

"Robbers Are Getting Braver"

A local business is robbed at gunpoint. One of the two cousins minding their uncle's store calls 911 during the robbery, but as usual police don't arrive until the criminals are long gone.

The media reports the cousins said "it scares them that robbers are getting braver."

OF COURSE robbers are getting braver! Look at the facts:
  • The businesses being robbed do not allow their employees to be armed. Nobody working there will be able to pose any risk to a criminal.
  • The businesses being robbed prohibit concealed carry. That ensures no legally armed customers will be present to interfere with criminal activity.
  • Over and over, politicians and police officials tell the public to cooperate with criminals, not resist, and not defend themselves. Potential robbery victims are being trained to be easier to rob.
ALL OF THESE THINGS MAKE ROBBERS BRAVER. NONE OF THESE THINGS ARE ANY DISINCENTIVE TO ROBBERS AT ALL.

Kevin Baker, on his Smallest Minority blog, posted a series of essays he calls the "Dangerous Victims Trilogy." I have them linked on my sidebar becauase they are important. In the first installment, Kevin explains why it's most important that all potential victims be as dangerous as they can. In the second, he discusses violence and the social contract. In the third installment, he addresses governments, criminals, and dangerous victims.

The first essay applies most closely to the surface issue here. The way to keep convenience store clerks and customers safe is not to make them as helpless as possible. Robbers aren't afraid of the police. They almost never arrive in time to stop a crime in progress. Robbers aren't afraid of the courts. They have been through that system over and over, only to wind up back on the street to commit more crimes. The only thing robbers fear is somebody with the tools, skills, and will to stop them right now.

I recall a friend describing a brief time when he worked in a liquor store. It was the only one in the area that had never been robbed. The store owner had a policy that anyone working there had to have a gun and carry it openly.

One evening, a carful of young urban males drove past the store repeatedly. Then they stopped for a better look. What they saw was a store clerk wearing a Smith & Wesson .357 K-frame and looking them right in the eye.

They left and never came back.

What saved my friend, and his employer's profits, was that he was a dangerous victim, not a helpless one.

Now every news broadcast reports more armed robberies around here every day. The media acts like it's a good thing when the robbers clean out the cash and whatever else they want and "nobody was hurt."

But from the robbers' perspective, their efforts have been rewarded. A crime has still been successfully committed. The robbers now have money (and in one case where an adult store was robbed, pornographic DVD's) and a strong incentive to do it all again.

Never mind that a business owner has lost hard-earned revenue in a difficult economy. Never mind that an employee has had a terrifying experience and gets to return to work knowing he or she is still little better off than live bait.

At least there seems to be some shame among the overlords. Ever since a convenience store clerk was murdered after she complied with all of the criminals' demands, the pontificating about how being helpless and submissive will keep you safe seems to have decreased.

Kevin's essays delve far more deeply, though, into the greater significance of dangerous victims. Given the current political situation in America today, that significance will need considerable discussion on its own.

3 comments:

Rio Arriba said...

An excellent post!

Thank you for the links to Kevin's essays. I was not familiar with them but shall become so.

The major points of your post are ones that we should all be hitting again and again.

DirtCrashr said...

Sometimes it's hard to find the various different essays on Kevin's own site! :-)

Broadsword said...

Maybe the robbers had C.C.F.A.R.T version 1.0, instead of the newer 1.1. This revised version of the C.C.R.A.R.T clearly states: "Rule #2, part a) After they give you everything, when robbing clerks at the Kwik Shoppe, do not shoot them to death."

*CCFART: Code of conduct for armed robbers and thugs.