Joe has an interesting article on outreach, when he was speaking of a former manager of his who is a foreign national. “Interesting about self defense being the place that I ‘lost him’.” That doesn’t surprise me, having spoken to a few non-American co-workers about the subject. The idea of the individual being responsible for their own security seems to be an American concept. That’s not to say they don’t believe in the morality of an act of self-defense — when you push them on it they accept that if some guy comes at you with a knife, you’re justified in using any means necessary to defend yourself.
What they don’t accept is the preparedness. In my experience there’s a view that security is a community function and not an individual function, so the job of going about prepared to defend oneself is in the view of a non-American an anti-social act. It is the usurpation of something that is supposed to be a community function. That’s a pretty fundamental difference of philosophy, and one that I think it’s hard to get past.