When a person works in a dangerous neighborhood, is it advisable to apply for a license for a gun?
Now that’s a question that’s not so easy to answer because many times you can get by with a substitute for a gun. Like what you say in Elokai Netzor every day: ונפשי כעפר לכל תהיה – And my soul should be like dust to everybody. If somebody, a goy, is fresh and insults you, become an anav. It pays to be an anav – you’ll live longer if you’re humble and keep your mouth closed.
But when you have a gun in your pocket, you might forget yourself and answer back something rash. And then, it’s not so certain that he doesn’t have a gun. And he might know how to use it better than you.
I was once walking in the street and I visited a friend of mine and he saw that I carried a stick, a heavy stick, on me. It was many years ago, about thirty years ago and it was a dangerous neighborhood so I was holding a stick. And this friend told me, “Don’t do that! It’s dangerous to carry a stick.”
It’s dangerous to carry a stick, because first of all they could take the stick away and hit you with it. That’s number one. Secondly, with a stick, you become reckless. Without a stick, you’ll stay home. You’re safer off. And it’s better always to avoid trouble.
I told you this many times. The Chinese say, “Who is a hero? The one who knows how to run away.” That’s a hero – if you know how to run away you’re the hero.
So therefore, I won’t answer the question. It’s always better to avoid any possibility of danger, but carrying a gun sometimes makes you reckless and you go into places where ordinarily you wouldn’t go.
Tape # 714