Indians laid a foundation for America’s attachment to the gun,rnit does not provide a convincing explanation of why Americarnstill cherishes the gun, long after the danger of an Indian raidrnhas passed.rnThe frontier conditions which forced so many Americansrnto own guns for protection have changed, but they havernnot disappeared. The lawless frontier is no longer found in thernwoods of Massachusetts or in remote parts of Texas. Rather,rnthe frontier is the American city. While the racial warfare betweenrnwhites and Indians has disappeared, today decent Americansrnof all races must defend themselves from a large criminalrnclass of all races. But there is one important difference. Indiansrnand whites, vicious as they could be in warfare, typicallyrngrew up in two-parent families and lived in close-knit traditionalrncommunities. Our modern criminals are much less civilized.rnAs the late Senator Frank Church wrote in Restricting Handguns:rnThe Liberal Skeptics Speak Out, most peoplernwould not go into ghetto areas at all except in broad daylightrnunder the most optimum conditions—surely not atrnnight, alone or on foot. But some people have nornchoice. To live or work or have some need to be on thisrn”frontier” imposes a fear which is tempered by possessionrnof a gun.rnChief Justice Rehnquist agrees that the inner city is not adequatelyrndefended by the government: “we are rapidly approachingrnthe state of savagery…. In the Nation’s Capital, lawrnenforcement authorities cannot protect the lives of employeesrnof this very Court who live four blocks from the building inrnwhich we sit.”rnThe famous cattle town of Dodge City, Kansas, experiencedrnmany wild times when drunken cowboys rode into town, readyrnfor a fight and willing to spend their season’s wages on womenrnand liquor. When former Washington, D.C., Mayor MarionrnBarry enforced a ban on gun ownership for self-defense, he declared,rn”Washington is not Dodge City.” No, it is not: ModernrnWashington’s per capita homicide rate exceeds Dodge City’srnduring the frontier era. Despite the recent drop in crime rates,rnmany American cities today are much more dangerous thanrnDodge City ever was.rnIn Dodge City, victims were at least allowed to defend themselves.rn(Indeed, the drunken cowboys of Dodge City and similarrnlocales tended to pick on each other in “fair fights” ratherrnthan prey on innocent women and children.)rnAccording to a Department of Justice, Bureau of JusticernStatistics study, the chance that an American child aged 12rnyears will be the victim of a violent crime during her lifetime isrn73 percent. The chances of two or more victimizations is 52rnpercent. Nevertheless, the United States Conference of Mayorsrninsists, “The probability of being raped, robbed, or assaultedrnis low enough to seriously call into question the need forrnAmericans to keep loaded guns.”rnOf course big-city mayors like Chicago’s Richard Daley reallyrndo not need to keep loaded guns. They are protected byrntaxpayer-supplied bodyguards carrying loaded guns.rnMany other gun-prohibition advocates, although not surroundedrnby taxpayer-funded protection, have their own securityrnguards. While there are several hundred thousand police officersrnin the United States (dedicated to protecting the wholernpopulation), there are 1.4 million private security guards dedicatedrnto protecting those who can pay them. “Private securityrnguards are simply vigilantes for the rich,” writes former WestrnVirginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Neely. If societyrnallows rich people to hire security guards (most of whom arernvery poorly tiained), is it just for society to forbid less wealthyrncitizens to protect themselves?rnChief Justice Neely writes:rnThe same government, academic and media elites whorncluck their tongues at even such benign citizen forces asrnNew York’s Guardian Angels have nothing unkind to sayrnabout bank guards, railroad detectives or the little chaprnwho sits in the guard shack at the entrance to Jonathan’srnLanding in Palm Beach County, Florida.rnToday’s gun prohibition advocates often claim that, whilerngun possession on the old American frontier might have beenrnjustifiable, modern conditions are different. They are right.rnMany parts of the modern American frontier are more dangerousrnthan the old frontier. And on the old frontier, potential victimsrndid not have to contend with hypocritical, wellguardedrnelites who wanted to disarm the common people.rnThe Passionate Shepherd’s Returnrnby Richard MoorernA Celebration of the Works of Dostoyevsky, Chekhov,rnStalin, and OthersrnCome live with mernin ancient Moscovy.rnI got a little hovelrnnear Yaroslavl.rnThere mud and God mingle,rnand every slat and shingle,rnwarped, madly curled,rnhas changed the world.rn22/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn