January 17, 1994, I was staying with friends in Beverly Hills, California. At about 4:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time the whole house shook, awakening me from a deep sleep. Realizing what was happening and that there were pictures hanging above my bed, I rolled onto the floor (taking the pillow and blanket with me) and put my head under the desk. I soon heard four excited people running about in the dark shouting at each other in French (my friends are native French speakers).
There wasn’t much we could do; it was still dark, and when the sun rose it was revealed that a bottle of liqueur had fallen off the sideboard and broken. Beyond that, there appeared to be no damage (only months later would an inspector discover some correctable, structural damage). The telephone lines worked (why, I don’t know), but the police department line was busy. What was difficult was the lack of electricity which didn’t come on until later that day (some waited several days). That was the day I changed my thinking about guns.
I had never been interested in the whole gun issue. It didn’t mean anything to me, but suddenly I understood. You see, without electricity almost nothing worked at the house and elsewhere; it was impossible to pump gas or even to drive because none of the traffic signals worked. If someone had chosen to attack us, the police could not be called, the guard dog could have been shot, and entry was easy – throw something through a window. After all, the household alarm didn’t work. Should anyone with evil intentions appear, the ONLY THING STANDING BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH was a gun.
I WOULD RATHER BE JUDGED BY 12 THAN CARRIED (TO MY GRAVE) by 6.