7.2.3 Individual Self-Protection, such as Gun Ownership
(This is a current page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3 book contents. An archived copy of this page is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/723a.htm)
If people have reason to believe that they will not be protected under a country’s governance, and if they don’t want to flee as refugees (18.104.22.168), they might choose to protect themselves. The following sub-sections examine three ways of doing this:
- They can take precautions, such as crime prevention measures (22.214.171.124).
- They can buy guns. This is highly contentious; not everyone agrees that gun ownership make people safer (126.96.36.199).
- They can appoint other people to look after their security, ranging from security guards to armed militias (188.8.131.52).
It might seem that these forms of Self-Protection are a matter of individual choice, but they affect the rest of society. And weapons in private hands can inflict a death penalty without the safeguard of a court of law – as in the contentious case of the killing of Trayvon Martin in February 2012. A CNN article, Trayvon Martin Shooting Fast Facts, described how a private security guard, George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder after he had killed an unarmed boy in disputed circumstances.