Friday, August 20, 2010

Hate Crime? Schmate Crime! But Get a Gun!

Troubling headline in today's Inky:
Radnor family assaulted and robbed, possibly because they are Asian
It is a sad but interesting story about a 3 a.m. home invasion. The father was pistol whipped and more than $23,000 in cash was taken.

The headline raises the question whether this was a "hate crime," driven by antipathy for Asian people. The answer, though, is almost assuredly it was not. But that mean that Asian-Americans shouldn't be concerned about being targeted by such criminals.

The reason? Cultural and ethnic stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason; often - not always, but often - they reflect a general cultural truth about that group.

In the case of Asian Americans, the stereotype is hard-working, hard studying, strong families and savers.

Criminals are not the dumbest creatures on the planet. The look for victims who won't give them much trouble. Victims who are unarmed and appear unlikely to fight back. Unless I miss my mark, this was not a hate crime but a crime of planned opportunity. But one, in which, the ethnicity and cultural traits of the victim played a part.

The solution to changing this stereotype. Asian American business and homeowners ought to start arming themselves for protection. As a group, Asians are among the most law-abiding citizens in the country. They need to realize that as much as the police would like to protect them, they can't. It is up to individual men and women to have the means to protect their families. That means having a firearm in the house and knowing how to use it.

Just a thought.

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