Despite the fact there are more than 200 million guns in circulation, there is a certain tranquility and civility about American life. . .(via Instapundit, who quotes Robert Heinlein's "An armed society is a polite society," from Beyond This Horizon (1942))
To many foreigners - and to some Americans - the tolerance of guns in everyday American life is simply inexplicable. . .
Why is it then that so many Americans - and foreigners who come here - feel that the place is so, well, safe?
A British man I met in Colorado recently told me he used to live in Kent but he moved to the American state of New Jersey and will not go home because it is, as he put it, "a gentler environment for bringing the kids up."
This is New Jersey. Home of the Sopranos.
Brits arriving in New York, hoping to avoid being slaughtered on day one of their shopping mission to Manhattan are, by day two, beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about. By day three they have had had the scales lifted from their eyes.
I have met incredulous British tourists who have been shocked to the core by the peacefulness of the place, the lack of the violent undercurrent so ubiquitous in British cities, even British market towns.
"It seems so nice here," they quaver.
Well, it is!
Monday, April 28, 2008
BBC North America editor Justin Webb, broadcasting from Missouri on April 19th: