JimmytheGeek; No offense taken, you ask a good question. Here is my response.
Despite what the "stats" say, those of us in LE are seeing bad things, VERY bad things, 24/7, that don't always make the news. Remember, statistics can be manipulated, and often are, to reflect what those in the Ivory towers want them to state. Those in power, want to remain in power and will seek to justify their mandates and leadership, one way or another.
I only wear my vest while on duty, per Dept. policy, but not off duty. Too hot! A handgun?, always.
Crack/Meth heads and Bath Salter's are about as close to Zombies as we are ever going to see. This ain't wacky weed they are smoking anymore folks! These are some scary, desperate people, who will DO ANYTHING to get their drug of choice. And once they use, they are often out of their minds and very dangerous. Robbery, Rape, Burglary, Murder... they don't care about anyone else, including family, friends, elderly, etc., no empathy or compassion, only the securing of their next "high".
Their value system is often based upon a sense of entitlement, and may be the product of several generations of the same (the apples don't fall far from the tree), broken, abusive, dysfunctional family units, without positive male role models
. Add hardcore drugs to the mix of these pro-criminal thugs with under developed brains, a few stolen weapons, and perhaps a dab of gang culture and you end up with very dangerous people roaming the streets. "Zombies", if you will. And they just keep right on breeding...
We taxpayers either pay for their Treatment in the community, or in institutions. Either way, "Evidence Based Practice & Treatment" is the current National philosophy (or at least the philosophy of the Dept. of Justice), and not primarlily punishment or accountability as it has previously been. And while this philosophy is based on logic & reason and WILL, over time, cut down on recidivism rates at prisons and Jails (which translates to lower taxes), but in the mean time many of those violent offenders who slip through the cracks of our LEGAL system (I didn't say "Justice", did I?
), and remain in the community
and continue to use or relapse, pose a HUGE threat to public safety. There are no easy answers, and our Society is "at the crossroads", with two distinct groups comprised of those of us who are law abiding, decent people working and paying into the system, and those degenerates who live off the system and have no respect for the law, other people or society as a whole. We work and hope & plan for the future, for our children, for our Nation. "They" live and party in the moment, have no plans or desire to work, and expect, if not demand, our society to care for their basic needs, and then some. Zombies. It is
a violent culture we live in and it's not
getting any better.
So while we try to remain positive, understand this is why
many LEO's, CC permit holders / gun owners and others in our society are afraid, no matter what the "latest stats" say.