Once there was a city that was built on the edge of a cliff. Why the founders built it there, I don’t know, but there it was. The city was situated in a dangerous part of the country, filled with marauders, thugs, and outlaws (the kind with bandanas).
The founders of the city had built a large wall around it, protecting the inhabitants from ruffians and thieves, as well as preventing any livestock or children from wandering too close to the cliff’s edge. The one way in and out of the city was through the large reinforced gate on the west side.
Generations went by, and the trusty wall did its tedious duty, protecting the people of the city from all manner of harm.
At some point, however, the people of the city began to feel that the wall was one massive inconvenience. It was way too restricting. It hindered the free flow of goods in and out of the city. People on the east side of the city had to walk all the way across town just to get to the gate. All that extra effort was exhausting and inefficient.
So some of the more enterprising citizens decided to tear some holes in the wall. Nothing too large, just enough to make travel easier. The naysayers in the town warned of disastrous consequences if parts of the wall were torn down. But the deconstructors were persistent and most of the townspeople didn’t give a rip.
Despite the holes in the wall, nothing disastrous happened. Soon more people were making holes in the wall and the existing holes were widened. A few bandits got in and out, but no one seemed to mind. “That’s the price of progress,” they said.
As the wall continued to deteriorate, the consequences were not hard to predict. One of the Jones kids fell of the cliff, as did half of Farmer Peterson’s flock. A new band of thieves moved in and started absconding with property that didn’t belong to them. At one point, some marauders actually burned a quarter of the city to the ground.
Though many of the inhabitants were surprised by the rise in crime, they quickly came up with a solution. They passed laws against thievery, fire, and falling off of cliffs. They were sure that their new legislation would solve the current problems.
However, a number of the younger folks in town came up with a different solution. They started building their own walls around their houses (and in some cases, whole neighborhoods). When asked why they didn’t simply rely on the new legislation, their reply was simple:
“That’s what walls are for.”