Rapper 21 Savage — no joke, that’s his name, or alias, “21 Savage” — has some advice on how we can solve all the world’s problems. In an interview with The Fader, a music orientated magazine, the young man explained his solution.
“It’s one simple thing that would get rid of all the problems in the world,” he explained. “If Americans had no guns they’re wouldn’t be no police killing people. That’s the easiest and simplest way to solve it. To take everybody’s guns, not just the civilians. Take the police’s guns too.”
Well, I know what you’re thinking: 21 Savage is a complete idiot. Or put more diplomatically, 21 Savage is extremely ignorant. I’m not going to argue to the contrary, but the one thing I’ll say is that unlike most gun-grabbers, at least he is an equal opportunity disarmer. That is, he doesn’t just want us to lay down our guns but wants the police to put their guns down as well.
Of course, maybe he doesn’t realize this arrangement already exists in places around the world. England, for example, has adopted the gun-free model in that police and civilians don’t carry firearms. Civilians aren’t allowed to and police generally do not. And guess what Mr. 21 Savage? Problems such as rape, assault and murder to persist.
The following stats are borrowed from Sam Harris website, SamHarris.org. For those not familiar with Harris, he is neuroscientist and public intellectual.
Incidents in the year 2010 per 100,000 population
UK (includes Northern Ireland) 1.2
UK (England and Wales) 28.8
U.K. (England and Wales) 664.4
Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Note: UNODC data and those of the Australian government do not agree. For Australian rates of Assault and Rape, I have relied on the report issued by the Australian Institute of Criminology
As one can see, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies in countries that adopt the gun-free model. As it turns out, instances of rape and assault are more common in those highlighted countries than compared to the U.S.
Like with everything in life, there’s a tradeoff. In the U.S. you have the right to keep and bear arms so you have the optimal means to protect yourself, your family and your property. You have the power to avoid becoming a statistic. Elsewhere around the world, you do not have the optimal means to protect yourself, your family or your property. You have to pray you don’t become a statistic.
What this whole conversation boils down to is agency. As a citizen, do you want to be in control of your safety or would you prefer to hand that responsibility over to the government? Do you want to live in a country that embraces one’s right to self-defense or dismantles one’s right of self-defense?
Sadly, regardless of what one chooses, good people will still be murdered and raped and assaulted by bad people. Guns or no guns, it doesn’t matter. Evil exists in this world. Therefore, it circles back to the original question, do you want the power to defend yourself at a moment’s notice or do you want to place your safety in the hands of a government that can be minutes, maybe hours away?
It appears 21 Savage would like to defer to the government when it comes to his personal safety. That’s fine. That’s his choice. And, it seems to be the choice of an increasing number of folks. But not me. I’d rather be armed and go out on my own terms, come what may.