Sunday, August 08, 2010

Gun Ownership

Growing up we didn't ever lock up our house. We didn't even have keys to the locks...we could not lock the house if we wanted. It just wasn't necessary. We used to go to Juarez often too. To shop, to buy gasoline, or to eat at a restaurant. Not any more.

For many years I lived in western Europe, where it is almost impossible for a non-criminal civilian to own a gun. I got by just fine and didn't miss owning a firearm. When I moved over there I gave away the few guns I had to a friend of mine in who lived in south Louisiana. A fine, respected, ethical black man. Golly it pissed off a lot of white people. Hard to believe, but true.

I have been back living in America for 4-1/2 years now. I own a little house about 5 miles north of Juarez and the international border with Mexico. I live in a nice suburb of new houses, and over 90% of my neighbors speak Spanish in their homes. Many, probably most, are not even capable of speaking English. At the newsstand there are always Spanish language newspapers, but only occasionally one in the English language. Overwhelmingly, most of the TV stations here broadcast in Spanish. I guess 25% of the cars I see driving in the neighborhood either have license plates from Mexico or are being driven with no license plates at all.

And the El Paso City Council is doing everything it an to demotivate and anger the El Paso Police Department. For the second year running they have asked to re-open contract negotiations so that wages and benefits can be reduced.

Yesterday on the freeway I saw a road rage incident take place. Then one of the participants, a big full size hog of a pickup truck, forced the other car off the road and blocked it from driving. As I passed them, the big fat ass driver of the pickup truck had gotten out and was waddling towards the other car involved in the incident.

Every day I see on the TV news (or read on the internet news) about the latest atrocity by Mexican criminals and the drug mafias. The Mexican judicial system is near total collapse and breakdown. The Mexican law enforcement agencies are completely corrupt. A car bomb exploded in Juarez recently. It was activated by cell phone just like in Afghanistan or Iraq. Extortion is on the increase and so is kidnapping. Mass murders and dismemberments have become an everyday occurrence. It is now common for the criminals to dress up as law enforcement officers when they go off to do their killings.

A guy was arrested here in El Paso a couple of weeks ago. He had a siren installed on his car, and he had been pretending to be a law enforcement officer. Unfortunately for him, he pulled over a genuine undercover cop. Busted.

Under these circumstances I do not think that being constantly armed is a bad thing. It doesn't mean that I have turned into some kind of a gun phreak or a Republican. It certainly does not in any way imply that I am some sort of ignorant, ethnocentric, racist, foreigner-hating right winger. All it says is that I am doing the necessary. Like a good boy scout, I am prepared in advance.

If needed I will defend myself. With as much force as is necessary.