by Frank Pauc
This first appeared in Frank’s blog on September 20, 2022, as “More Guns.” It is republished here with the author’s permission.
My son, Hans, lives in Bryan, Texas. Bryan is the sister city of College Station, the home of Texas A&M. The Bryan/College Station area is building up rapidly, but it is still semi-rural. The local economy is almost totally based on the university. Everything in BCS revolves around the Aggies.
Many college towns tend to be progressive communities. I know that the city of Madison, here in Wisconsin, is very liberal. Austin, Texas, is also a leftwing outpost. College Station is an exception to the rule. BCS is a deeply conservative town. A person might see a rare political sign for Beto O’Rourke, but generally, this small urban area is solidly Republican. Often campaign signs in and around Bryan/College Station make a point of saying that the candidate for office is not only a Republican but a conservative Republican.
Anyway, a couple of days ago, Hans called me. He does that on a regular basis. He started off by saying, “Hey, I don’t know if I told you this already, but I nearly got truck-jacked three weeks ago.”
“Yeah, I used my fob to unlock my pickup from inside the house, and these two SUVs pulled up. They blocked the entrance to my driveway. I ran out of the house as fast as I could, and I got my .357 Magnum out of the truck’s glove compartment.”
Hans paused and said, “The guys from the SUVs looked at me, and my gun. One of them said, ‘F— this, he’s got a gun’, and they drove off. They all had their faces covered. I didn’t have enough rounds to shoot all of them, but they didn’t know that.”
Hans went on, “I need to get me a gun for concealed carry. All my guns are too big. I could carry a pistol on my hip, but if you aren’t paying attention, it’s really easy for somebody to grab it from you. I’m thinking of getting a small 9mm. You know, something I can strap on whenever I leave the house.”
I should have been shocked by our conversation, but I wasn’t. Somehow, I wasn’t surprised at all.
Hans is a combat vet. He fought in Iraq. Hans has a lot of guns (that’s standard for a Texas resident). He has a weapon in nearly every room of his apartment. Now, some guys wanted to carjack him in front of his home. He sees that the answer to this problem is to buy yet another gun. Maybe that is the answer from him, but it is a little too Wild West for my tastes.
Hans complained that crime was increasing in Bryan. Hans lives in a working-class neighborhood where most everyone lives in a duplex. It’s not a bad place to live, and the area is very close to a gated community with high-end homes. Hans attributes the rise in crime to the people coming into the region from the big cities. He lamented, “We’re becoming Houston.”
Years ago, Hans used to live in the country. He shared an old farmhouse with an elderly man near the small town of Calvert, Texas. They had issues with crime there too. So, it’s not just an urban problem. I wrote about an incident Hans had with a rural thief on my blog (“The Crackhead and the Lawnmower”, June 30th, 2017).
I live in the Milwaukee metro region, and violent crime here has been increasing. Lots of shootings, many of them in parts of town that never before had any killings. I don’t understand why this is happening. I don’t plan on getting a gun. I don’t see that making me and my family any safer.
I have often read articles by conservative writers accusing liberal mayors of being responsible for rising crime rates in urban areas. That may be true to a certain extent. However, it doesn’t explain why somebody is willing to steal my son’s pickup from him in Bryan. Bryan doesn’t have any liberal politicians that I am aware of. There must be other factors involved.
I just don’t know what they are.