<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lisamarie:
Ironically, Brookline is one of the most civilised towns in Ma. But it is also naively and idealistically liberal. This whole issue was precipitated by the fact that people refused to call the police when they heard someone screaming, because they felt that the "punishment would be too harsh!"
This reminds me of the Kitty Genovese murder in New York many years ago now. People assume it is someone else's responsibility and then after the neighborhood has gone to hell a few years later, they wonder how it got that way.
As for training, I think that to the extent it increases confidence for a person, it is a help, but beyond that, I wouldn't expect much in the situation you describe. That is, I believe criminals tend to choose their targets and prefer to prey on those whom they believe will more easily bend to their will. Beyond that, trying to kick or injure or disarm someone with a gun is just unlikely to get the job done. In the close proximity of an initial encounter, you may a better chance with mace/pepper spray of temporarily disbling an attacker so that he cannot shoot you. Accordingly, a situational awareness/personal safety class may be of more use than a self-defense class.
That said, it really all comes down to community. An active community with crimewatch and attentive neighbors is very helpful in deterring crime. As for Brookline, I have to admit that I never thought of it as a sleepy little town, but more of an urbanized neighborhood of Boston. That may be because I lived in the more urban section of Brookline for a time. Crime, of course, can pop up anywhere - look at Truro, of all places.
I do think it unfortunate - and somewhat ridiculous that you can't carry mace without a permit. Perhaps, the wild west of Texas has finally gotten to me . . . I've gone native.