Guns have been a recent heated debate topic. Political members, city leaders, and local individuals have all come out defending one side or the other. I’ve followed the debate quite closely and enjoyed reading dozens of articles pertaining to the subject. One of the most enjoyable aspects of reading gun debate articles is the comment section below the article. Often I find the comment section more entertaining than the article itself. One particular section of the gun control debate that I enjoy is the use of guns for home security. While I support honest, capable individuals arming themselves to protect themselves and their families, I believe the idea of guns as a primary defense to be flawed.
The U.S. Department of Justice released a “Crime Data Brief” describing the amount of firearms stolen each year. The DOJ wrote, “Overall, about 1.4 million guns, or an annual average of 232,400 were stolen during burglaries and other property crimes in the six-year period from 2005 through 2010.” Firearms are among the top 4 items stolen during burglaries.
Ironically the item that many American homeowners rely on to protect themselves, has become one of the top targets for theft. Sadly enough stolen firearms usually make it into the hands of harmful individuals perpetuating crime.
Not home or on vacation
During the last few months stories across the country of individuals protecting themselves with guns have popped up throughout the media. Stories of mothers protecting themselves and their babies as intruders essay to break-in are nothing short of miraculous.
Conversely for guns to be an effective means for home security, individuals must be home during the time of the intrusion. Most often this is not the case. Most burglars openly admit a desire to avoid confrontation. In order to do so they break-in between 9am and 11am. A time when most homeowners are out or at work. Thus leaving your firearm open to theft.
What a good primary solution?
I’m not advocating the ban of guns; however, I am advocating a second look at guns as a primary defense against burglaries. The FBI cites, “1 in 3 [homes are burglarized] without an alarm system [while] 1 in 250 with an alarm system.” Home security systems drastically reduce your chances of being a target of home theft. In addition, home security systems are extremely difficult to steal and can protect your home while you are at work or on vacation. On top of all the statistical benefits, home security systems are at their cheapest prices ever! Monthly monitoring fees can cost as little as 50 cents per day.
Guns are an excellent secondary source of home security. In the event relentless intruders make it into your home, a gun can be a pretty strong deterrent. I recommend regular visits to the shooting range and annual gun handling courses. These types of measures will help you act quickly during real invasion.