Monday, January 28, 2008

Don't Feed the Bears

The thesis to LawDog's current post is an admirable one:
Evil is not defeated by submitting to it. Evil is not defeated by running away from it; nor is evil defeated by ignoring it.

Evil is only defeated by fighting back.
He discusses how giving thieves money when threatened is something that generally encourages them to be criminals. Which means they're going to go off and rob someone else. It essentially rewards a thief for having the balls to threaten someone with violence. This is not a good thing. For some reason people don't seem to understand this so let me use a non-crime related illustration.

When people go hiking in the woods, it isn't uncommon for them to run across wild animals. This isn't so much of a problem when they're bunny rabbits or even deer, but it is a problem if you're in territory with bigger predators like bears. Why? Because bears will occasionally eat people if they look tasty or do something they don't like.

As an answer to this, the government issued a recommendation that people run away from bears. Which doesn't work because bears see running as a sign of weakness and they're quite a bit faster than humans. This was then modified to "drop your pack/food and run away." The bears would then go after the food in your pack and you would get away safely. This largely worked. For a while. Then the injury rates started to climb again until they passed previous levels. Well, why would that be?

The answer is that by giving the bears a free meal with no negative consequences, this technique actually encouraged the bears to start hanging around hiking trails to scare hikers. Hiker hippies: "Like whoa, a bear! Like, drop your pack and let's go!" Bear: "Mmm brownies... I wonder what the next guy will give me?"

Since that time, the government recommends you carry bear spray in bear country. Bears don't like getting hit with bear spray. Experienced woodsmen often recommend carrying firearms with an eye for deep penetration, so a 12 gauge loaded with slugs or a rifle in .45-70 might be a better idea. Combined with the "Don't Feed the Bears" signs they put up everywhere, this will hopefully discourage bears from hanging around humans. Everyone ends up happy.

My question is, do you think people are dumber than bears? Bears figured out that a display of violent intent would get them a free lunch. Don't you think people will? The answer is not to drop your pack or wallet and run. The answer is to actively discourage the bears.

And this is also why gun control fails. In the short term, the criminals get scared, but they're rarely prosecuted and they forget. Then the easy buck wins out. And gun control always makes it harder for law-abiding citizens to get guns, which makes the easy buck even easier because honest men and women can't fight back.

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