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GALLERY

Under the Gun

August 13, 1995|LUIS SINCO

In many ways, we are a society under the gun. Armed guards watch us as we walk our streets and live our lives, their presence reassuring our fragile sense of well-being while at the same time alerting us to the dangers we face. We deploy force and ever-bigger firepower in an endless quest for public and personal safety. To protect the law-abiding and the legal, we cry out for more policing. And we tell ourselves that we're safer because of it. But in the end, the mobilization also serves as a constant reminder of how lawless and randomly violent city life is today. It completely betrays the notion that crime will ever be reduced; that we will ever again feel truly safe anywhere--be it home, at play or in school. Whether we like it or not, we live in an armed camp, one created by our own fears--a city under siege.

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