North Philly should be the safest place in the world, according to the NRA.
No, seriously. But let me back up a second. For the last year or so I’ve lived outside of Philly, in a place where I regularly come into contact with vociferous flag wavers, super patriots and gun nuts. The kind of people who think every round they fire is a mini-explosion of freedom.
I’m not mocking these people (well maybe a little, what with their Walmart-bought bald eagle-superimposed-over-the-American-flag-t shirt aesthetic, gotta love the paranoid buggers).
Normally I pay as little attention to the national discourse as humanly possible, mostly because I don’t care about any of it. But on a daily basis I get to hear people talk about how safe the world would be if everyone had an AR-15 strapped to their shoulder.
The National Rifle Association has been saying this for a while now. They say that when we’re packing heat, we’re less likely to be the victims of violent crime. It’s hard to argue with the logic, ain’t it? I mean c’mon, Sandy Hook never would have happened if the teacher had a bazooka.
The logic is this: If we all have guns, we’re less likely to kill each other. Everybody knows everybody else is armed, so nobody gets robbed or murdered. Mutually assured destruction and all that shit.
So if this NRA “arm everybody and rock out to freedom” theory is true, why are people constantly getting killed in North Philly? There are probably more guns in a half-mile stretch of North Philadelphia then there are in the entirety of Pennsyltucky, where there are literally more shotguns than people.
And it’s not like your average North Philly gangster hanging out at 10th and Lehigh is hiding the fact that he’s packing. He’s not a little old man with a glock tucked into his shorts, ready to surprise an unknowing mugger with a deadly shot of freedom in the face. Every criminal in every North Philly ghetto is well aware that every other gangster has a gun on him.
Yet they continue to kill each other. Most murders in Philadelphia can be attributed to drug-related violence, with the preferred modus operandi being a good ol’ bullet to the chest, even when the murderers know their murderees are fully capable of defending themselves because the victims are likely to be armed as well.
Oh, and unlike the theoretical little old man hiding the glock in his shorts, our armed criminals in North Philly are absolutely willing to kill the shit out of you. There won’t be any hesitation, I assure you. Knowing all this, other criminals will still try to kill them if they feel it’s necessary.
Basically: A gun and a sociopathic willingness to murder motherfuckers does nothing to deter another motherfucker with a gun and a willingness to murder motherfuckers from killing the first motherfucker.
So NRA? What about that?
Don’t take my little theory as a sign that I’m some sort of anti-gun California Democrat with pink underwear. (My pink underwear has nothing to do with my views on guns.) Guns are awesome. And yeah, I think everybody should have the right to shoot some freedom into a bad guy if the situation calls for it. But the issues of violence and guns are two big ass gray areas. Black and white solutions just won’t work.