I haven’t seen Death Wish since it was in the theaters, but we watched it today.
Charles Bronson plays a civilized, peace-loving architect whose wife and daughter are savaged, and the wife killed, by muggers who break into their apartment. Bronson acquires a gun and walks around New York by night, offering himself as bait. When the bad guys try to rob him, he shoots them. In the resulting media storm, the city’s crime rate goes way down.
I just want to tell you something that every political scientist knows: in fact, it’s not political science at all. It’s common sense.
A government that cannot or will not protect its citizens from those who would do them harm has no reason for existing. Sooner or later the people will replace that government with one that can and will protect them.
Death Wish hits hard on the resignation and hopelessness of “civilized” people who don’t understand self-defense and just sort of hang around waiting to be victims. But eventually a spark comes along that ignites them–and then watch out.
American history is full of lawless towns, cities, and territories that were cleaned up and pacified by governments willing to shoulder the burden. By governments I mean individuals who did the job, sometimes at the cost of their lives. Elfego Baca and Judge Parker spring to mind; and Woodes Rogers, in the lawless Caribbean of the early 18th century. Parker and Rogers employed the same crime-reduction formula: hang the bad guys.
It can be done. It doesn’t have to be done by vigilantes.
But it sure as shootin’ won’t be done by liberals.