Self defense, an increase in crime and the economic downturn.
I recently watched a report carried on the British news channel SkyNews regarding the anticipated increase in UK crime as a result of the current economic crisis. In essence the argument went as follows:
People steal because they need to survive.
More people are battling to survive as a result of economic downturn (loss of jobs, soaring food costs, rising oil prices and the like.)
Ergo, more desparate people = more thieves.
The logic is simple.
Well, for the moment South Africa has not been as hard hit as many other economies around the world and I hope it stays that way. However there is no way that there will be no impact on the South African economy – in fact Trevor Manual in his recent budget speech estimated that growth would slow to a mere 1.2% this year. At least it’s still a positive number.
Back to my train of thought – while we may be insulated to some extent we are going to suffer some form of knock on effect. It’s unavoidable in my opinion since we live in a global village and need to trade with other countries. If they buy less, we sell less. US President Obama in his stimulus package has (I believe) introduced a “buy American” clause to encourage Americans to purchase US products rather than foreign ones.
What has this go to do with self defense? I think we could be impacted in similar ways to those highlighted in the SkyNews report:
1) If jobs are lost more folk will become desparate (and we South Africans don’t have a social welfare system to fall back on – well at least not one of any value)
2) If more people become desparate, more may turn to crime.
3) If more turn to crime, there will, of necessity, have to be more victims.
4) If there are more victims then the odds of you having to confront a criminal go up.
I hope I’m wrong – but what if I’m not?
What to do?
As in all things – take responsibility for yourself! Don’t fool yourself into believing that “others” have the responsibility to protect you. Empower yourself. Gather the necessary knowledge and skills because you may very well need to rely on yourself.
Training is like banking – it provides a nest-egg for those rainy days. So ask yourself – am I the prudent chap who squirrels away a nugget of knowledge and a smattering of skills in the hope I never need them, or will I find myself in need. Survival overdraft so to speak.
The choice, as always, is yours!