dollars than were the defense contractorsnwho sold Uncle Sam those exorbitantlynpriced toilet seats in the 1980’s.n—Anne Marie MorgannGUNS AND RAPE are often deplorednin the public prints as two of ournnation’s worst plagues. One may be thencure for the other. Denver, for instance,nis at the mercy of a serial rapist.nIt is increasingly clear that the police, ifnnot exactly helpless, cannot cope withnthe massive violence that is a symptomnof the social pathology of contemporarynAmerica. They have enough onntheir hands doing the job they havenassigned themselves: giving parkingntickets, setting up checkpoints forndrunk drivers, patrolling the adult movientheaters of Sarasota, Florida, andnshowing themselves sensitive to thendomestic quarrels of Jeffrey Dahmernand his dates. Anyway, the Denvernrapist gets to his victims by enteringnopen windows and unlocked doors —nfrequent in warm weather. Although innthe 60’s the mayor of New York usednto put a policeman in every subway carnon occasion, a policeman in everynhouse would probably be too much fornmost Americans.nThat leaves one alternative: selfdefense.nAs George Mason tried tonremind us in the Virginia Declarationnof Rights, a well-regulated militia isnnecessary to the security of a free state,nand by militia he meant the armedncitizenry. The police cannot rescuenAmericans from the wave of violencennow drowning them. Denver needs anstatute that insists that all women mustnbe armed. Failure to carry a gun ornkeep one at home or residence wouldnbe punishable by a small fine, like antraffic ticket. Licenses for keeping andnbearing a gun would be issued to allnwomen after they pass a simple writtennand practical examination, just as forndriving a car. The law would include anprovision that there would be nonchecks on the possession of a gunnexcept in the case of a crime of violence.nThere would be no harassmentnof women who chose not to carrynguns, except for a small fine when annact of violence was committed. Rapistsnwould know that all law-abiding womennwere keeping and bearing arms.nThe law would contain a Sunshinenclause that would guarantee a reviewn8/CHRONICLESnafter five years. If Denver were still asnviolent as before, the law would fallninto desuetude.nExperience and the theory of republicanngovernment suggest that rapistsnand other violent men would avoidnDenver and betake themselves to ansafer habitat. The licensing provisionnwould help to ensure that our armedncitizenry was well-regulated. Beforenlong, perhaps even men would benpermitted to participate. Women whonpreferred to rely on police could alwaysnmove to Minneapolis or New YorknCity.nLook upon it as a social experiment.nAre there aspects of republican governmentnthat can prove useful and vital innthe empire that our political class hasncreated? I know your objection. Whatnwill happen to bur system if any substantialnplurality of our subjects learnnthat they can take care of themselves?nYou may be right. It may be toonhorrible to contemplate.n— E. Christian KopffnHOMELESSNESS was the subjectnof a task force recently established bynthe mayor and county board of Tulsa,nOklahoma. Its purpose was “to developnmechanisms and a philosophy ofncare that will break down the barriers tonbecoming ‘un-homeless,’ so that thesenpeople are given the opportunity tonpursue stable and productive lives innthis ‘America’s most livable city.'” Notnsurprisingly, the task force concludednin a report last summer that Tulsancould best help the homeless by receivingnmore state, local, and federal moneysnfor more social programs.nMost interesting are the vignettes ofnthe homeless that the report highlighted.n”Nathan” uses drugs, describesnhimself as “rebellious,” has been arrestednfor burglary, and says he isnlooking for work but would never acceptna minimum-wage job. “Angel”ncould not “stand being around hernhusband and child anymore” and son”made a choice to leave and becomenhomeless.” She smokes dope everynday, takes speed three times a week,ndescribes herself as “stubborn and rebellious,”nand says “being homeless isnOK.” “Foreman” abandoned his wifenand four kids, sifts through garbage fornfood, and has spent 17 years in prisonnfor shooting two police officers. “Al­nnnfred” chose to become homeless whennhe left his wife and kids because he “nonlonger wanted to be tied down” andndiscovered “he could make more moneynstealing.” He mugs indigent womennfor their food stamps and “finds himselfnthinking about hurting other people.”nIt is safe to say that these are notnexamples of the noble and sufferingnsouls depicted in TV docudramas whonwould return to their families, jobs, andnhomes if only evil society would shownthem some concern. As these profilesnmake clear, many of the homeless havenwillingly chosen to be homeless andnchosen to steal, take drugs, and abandonntheir families for a life free of tiesnand responsibilities. Dan McMurry,nthe Middle Tennessee State Universitynsociologist who researched the homelessnby living amongst them for 18nmonths, concluded that “the homeless”nare actually modern-day versionsnof the bums, winos, and derelicts of annearlier era, and Tulsa’s task force hasnsimply reinforced this truth.nIn fact, Tulsa’s task force does notnhave a clue how to “solve” the problemnof homelessness. The ridiculousntitle of its report speaks volumes;n”Commitment to Un-Hom.elessness.”nWithout knowing whether its commitmentnwas to the reestablishment of thenfamily, the care of the mentally ill, orneven to the cleaning up of the streets,nthe only objective it could muster wasnthe negative rendering of what it disliked:n”un-homelessness.” Not exactlyna well-defined purpose on which tonbase public policy.nIn the short run, there is only onenway to deal with homelessness, but it isna method unpalatable to fashionablentastes. Inoffensive bums who mindntheir own business, keep out of trouble,nand stay out of the way can be ignored.nTheir decision to drop out of societynshould be respected, but it should notnbe subsidized by the state. However,nthose who harass the public, createnhealth and safety hazards, and becomenan aesthetic drain on the communitynshould be put into whatever facility isnmost appropriate — jail, a drug treatmentncenter, a county work farm, or anmental institution.nIn the current climate of opinion,nthis direct approach is unlikely. WhennNew York mayor Edward Koch attemptednto clean up the streets andn