Since I now live in this town, I’m starting to pay closer attention to “local news,” particularly if it has an impact on my life. Human after all. Apparently, San Francisco city supervisors have placed a measure on the municipal ballot for next year that would, if passed, effectively ban handguns in the city. You can listen to this segment about the topic on NPR.
Hearing this made me think of my life in South Africa in the early nineties. I also lived there in 1984-85 but at that time, it was still a very white elitist place. When I lived there the second time around, nearly every woman I knew who lived or worked in Johannesburg, carried a handgun in their purse.
When we parked our van in the city at night, my ex-husband Michael would disable parts of the engine to reduce our chances of theft, which was prevalent at the time — especially vans which could be repainted and turned into what was referred to as ‘black taxis’ overnight.
I certainly don’t feel the need to carry a handgun in San Francisco, yet the urban feel of many parts of the city is a dramatic change from Boston, which has always felt incredibly safe to roam around at night alone.