A (very) small town in Western Pennsylvania is discussing an ordinance recommending “all heads of households maintain a firearm along with ammunition.” From CNN:
Under the proposed law, residents of Cherry Tree, Pennsylvania, would be asked to own guns and know how to use them. Cherry Tree, some 70 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, has about 400 residents.
The town council was scheduled to vote on the proposed “Civil Protection Ordinance” on Wednesday evening.
Since residents of Cherry Tree, like everywhere else, already have the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, it would be easy to dismiss this as a political exercise in redundancy. There is, however, an underlying issue with which I agree strongly: the need for a return to personal responsibility.
From his post on the Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association, Borough Councilman Henry Statkowski has three reasons for this proposed ordinance, and I’m quoting the second of them:
Second, law enforcement exists to provide for general public safety. The key phrase “general public safety” does not include personal protection – that’s an individual responsibility. The police are not always available when immediately needed, and are neither required nor able to provide for the individual safety of all persons and their property. The police might show up after all the damage is done, but they’re not going to be there when the homeowner needs immediate help (immediate means right now, not five, ten or fifteen minutes from now).
There’s a great deal of truth in that. The demands made upon the police today are extraordinary and unrealistic. They cannot be everywhere at once, and such an expectation can only result, ultimately, in a police state.
The “general public safety” has grown to include any number of things: noisy parties, kids opening Christmas presents early… truly, we’ve lost the ability to control our own environments.
Unfortunately, exercising Second Amendment rights doesn’t solve the wider societal abdication of responsibilities; we’ve grown dependent upon rules and agencies, and it’s hard to see a path back.