"Protection" Cited As No. 1 Reason For Gun Buys, As 911 Delays Increase

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posted on October 15, 2023
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Image courtesy of Guy J. Sagi.

Twenty-six percent of participants in a 1999 Pew Research survey who owned a gun said protection was the primary reason they exercised their Second Amendment rights. By 2013, the figure jumped to 48 percent. Results in 2017 indicated it climbed yet again, up to two-thirds, and this year’s results, released in late August, are higher—72 percent.

It’s a tidal change in attitude that began with the Y2K bug and apparently continues after the widespread violence and social unrest that plagued the COVID 19 pandemic. The dramatic increase in the time it takes first responders to arrive, regardless of where you live or affluence of the community, is one of the diving factors. Seconds count when an attacker is at the door, in your face or on a loved one.

Volume of 911 calls is a driving factor, but there’s another. Law-enforcement officers are leaving the job in record numbers and young adults, who might otherwise enroll in an academy and soon work a beat, succumb to the fashionably inaccurate perception of the profession. As a result, applicants across the nation continue to decline, and those who pass the stringent requirements don’t fill vacancies fast enough.

In April ABC News warned, “Police departments across the country are facing a ‘vicious cycle’ of retirements, resignations and fewer hires, according to policing experts, leaving the communities they protect with understaffed departments and potentially underqualified officers.”

One study found 911 response time in New Orleans nearly tripled from 2019 to 2022. The same report found New York’s figures jumped from 18 minutes to 33 minutes. For comparison, Big Apple law enforcement response time in 1999 was 10.3 minutes, according to the New York Times.

In Nashville, Tenn., Metro Police averaged 73 minutes to respond in 2022. Urgent calls are life-threatening and tracked separately when they come into emergency dispatch. According to a February report from WSMV4 TV—an NBC affiliate in Nashville, Tenn.—“…response time for emergency calls increased from 10.7 minutes to 15 minutes, in the last three years.” Four minutes, 18 seconds seems like the blink of an eye when at work, it’s eternity when a family member is attacked.

The nation’s capital isn’t immune either. WTOP News there found residents experienced an additional 90-second delay in response to Priority 1 [the most urgent] calls to 911 just in the 12 months of 2021.

The numbers make it obvious. More law-abiding citizens than before understand owning a firearm and training are the best way to survive, especially when seconds count, and police are minutes away.

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