Friday, December 07, 2018


     You know what? I trust people. I have to -- and so do you.

      I have heard a lot of elitist nonsense from the anti-gun side, and a little from the pro gun side. And I get that the world is stuffed to the gills with yahoos; I've seen "People of Wal-Mart." I qualified for Mensa; I'm supposedly smarter than most of the folks I meet and I'm pretty sure that's so.

     But many of those "yahoos" have skills I lack. Some of them are just better people than I am. And the truth is, most people are all right. I've had cars conk out in bad neighborhoods and had three guys show up to push the thing to a gas station; I had a muffler fall almost off in a wealthy neighborhood, had to pull into the nearest driveway and wire it up out of the way, and the homeowner came out to see if everything was okay. The rich guy didn't run me off. The poor guys didn't rob me.

     You trust these people. You have to. You trust your next-door neighbor with natural gas and a charcoal grill. You trust his seventeen-year-old kid at the wheel of their car. You trust the utility workers to not zap you or poison your city water. You trust the Mormon down the block, with a couple of year's worth of food and who knows what else socked away in his crawl space. You trust the drivers of enormous tractor-trailer rigs on the highway, and the garbage man in his huge truck. You do so every day and you don't think about it much.

     And your neighbor with a gun or two, or twenty? You're trusting him, too, like it or not. The odds are *hugely* that he's not out to get you -- the firearms death rate (other than suicide) in the U.S. is one third of the automobile death rate. (Add firearm suicides in and the rates are within a tenth or two of being equal, a little over 10 per 100,000.)

     If you want a safer world, get to know the people around you. If you want less violence, make more friends. The world is full of people. Most of them are pretty much like you: they want to get along. We mostly hear about the crazy and the wicked -- but they are a tiny minority.

     (This is a rerun, but I think it's worth rerunning.)


Merle said...

yep - most definitely worth re-running! :)

pigpen51 said...

Yes, very nice. And you know what? That Muslim couple down the street, they only want to live their lives in peace and raise their kids, teach them about their spiritual beliefs, and perhaps go to on vacation once in awhile.
I actually qualified for Mensa when I was younger and my mind worked better than it does now. I just didn't see the point in joining a group that I would never attend.

Anonymous said...

That is a pleasant philosophy. (Notice that I did not use the pejorative "nice".)

The problem is, I am historically only wrong about 1% - 2% of the time during the 10 seconds or less that I take to assess someone after they have started speaking. I cannot remember (I am a late sexagenarian) the last time I was "wrong" about someone. I cannot remember the last time I experienced something called "surprised" since I was about 14 years old.

Maybe it has something to do with my almost 50 year (now retired) vocation, going from the military (including RVN service) and then Fire/EMS/LEO (all at once), closing out at the XO level.

The way you are speaking about trust seems to be something based upon a theoretical lack of sufficient knowledge to make an informed decision. Could it also be a type of self-imposed refusal to "untrust", instead of a real lack of knowledge.

I will posit that there are reasons why people prefer to "trust" rather than focus the gimlet laser on people. One is that it makes them feel bad; "Oh I am being too "judgemental". Another is that, maybe, many simply do not pay attention.

Is there something that qualifies as knowledge based on practical experience that is not proved scientifically, but still valid? Something along the lines of what is used in emergency medicine, empiric, as in the method of treating disease based on observations and experience.

The saying "You cannot judge a book by its cover." is misquoted. It actually is "You cannot ALWAYS judge a book by its cover." The modifier always creates the exception. That means most of the time you can.

Paul said...


Barrentaiga said...

Thanks for this. It reminded me of author John Ringo's take on Trust Societies vs Familial Societies (tribal). The countries we live in, The U.S. and Canada, are Trust Societies. We're importing the other at an unsustainable rate.

Anonymous said...

"Thanks for this. It reminded me of author John Ringo's take on Trust Societies vs Familial Societies (tribal). The countries we live in, The U.S. and Canada, are Trust Societies. We're importing the other at an unsustainable rate."

Trust my family? You would have to be insane.

Keith V. said...

Dear Anonymous (12/7 10:50 PM),

You sound like you're kind of a dick.
Just my assessment after reading your comment.