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February 21, 2006

Links of the Day -- Girls With Guns edition

By Neil the Ethical Werewolf

Belle Waring's piece on guns and gun control is very fun.

One thing I was curious about -- how common is nighttime burglary, anyway?  When people think about why they need a gun for protection, that's one of the foremost crimes to come to mind.  But is that really what the criminals are up to these days?  I'd think that they were all selling drugs or something.  I'm fortunate enough to have spent most of my life in suburbs and friendly college towns, so I've never been burgled. 

And while I'm linking to female bloggers writing about guns, I cannot resist the temptation to send you here. The pictures are safe for work, but not for your heart. 

February 21, 2006 | Permalink

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Comments

In the same way it's considered uncouth to give someone knives as a gift (and, as someone who enjoys cooking, I'd love to have a great set of knives), it strikes me as similarly uncouth to buy someone a gun as a romantic gift, especially on Valentine's Day.

When I moved to a bad neighborhood in my town, I considered getting a gun and I researched the burglary patterns. It turned out that burglaries were most common in the middle of the day (while no one was home) and further up the street in the nicer homes where, presumably, burglars considered there to be something more worth stealing.

Posted by: Constantine | Feb 21, 2006 12:59:20 PM

Well, I think it should be noted that within that blog entry, the context that home defense was brought up in was for it's deterrant effect, and I think this is important. There's an argument to be made that nighttime home invasions don't occur in the U.S. with the same frequency they occur in other countries precisely BECAUSE of private gun ownership—burglars know that there is a a relatively good chance that they can be shot to death. Whereas you look at England, for example, and their rates of "hot" burglaries and muggings are just skyrocketing, even as they impose stricter gun control. Burglars in England (and they are not the only country) know that they won't get shot.

Posted by: Guav | Feb 21, 2006 2:17:34 PM

I lived alone for many years, usually in first floor apartments in converted houses. New England has a lot of those. While there were burglaries in my neighborhood, my apartments were never broken into. Why? Because I had a dog. A very good dog who not only growled when folks came up to the door, but would show himself in the windows (still growling, never barking) if you decided to walk down the driveway to the back door. There were a number of times while traveling alone when I would see men approach my car (at a gas station or restaurant where I had stopped) only to back or turn away when my dog stood up and looked at them. Waving a gun around wouldn't have had that effect and it wouldn't have stopped my place from being robbed when I wasn't home. I know not everyone can have or even wants a dog, but I've never found a better security system.

Posted by: Reba | Feb 21, 2006 3:44:41 PM

There was a rash of really unpleasant home invasions in the Bay Area Vietnamese community for a while there. The problem, apparently, is partly acculturated on the part of the gangsters, partly that said community immigrated from a place where you kept lots of ready cash and valuables around, if you put anything in the bank at all.

My folks, who grew up in postwar Europe, kept more than one or two ounces of gold hidden around the house for decades. Habits like that die hard, so you can't blame the victims.

To answer your question: check the UCR. I believe roughly 2/3 of burglaries are daytime jobs. Cf http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_04/offenses_reported/property_crime/burglary.html "..most (62.2 percent) residential burglaries occurred during the day, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nonresidential structures were targeted more often at night with 58.0 percent of these offenses occurring from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m."

In short, burglars as a group avoid breaking in when someone will be there.

Posted by: wcw | Feb 21, 2006 4:12:06 PM

I like the dog idea, primarily because, if you are attacked, if you had a gun or a knife or mace or whatever, if the attacker knows what he's doing, you won't have time to pull it out. Even if you're pinned and unable to move, your dog can keep on barking.

I just say this because, not to get all confessional, but I was mugged once, and I had no time to retaliate. I just handed my wallet and car keys to the guy - my only weapon was being polite. Even if I had a Magnum, I would have been too spooked to use it correctly, and the guy was so fast that I couldn't budge. If you wake up in the middle of the night, all sleepy, and someone's invading and threatening you, you most likely won't have the reflexes to get 'em.

Posted by: Pepper | Feb 21, 2006 4:59:46 PM

Guns, particularly handguns, are a relatively safe, portable and effective means of self defense.....that's why the police use them.

As to the article, the P-230 .380 is a nice gun, but a small caliber. Swiss engineering and made in Bavaria, I think. These guns are *not* inexpensive. I would guess the cost of this gun new to be at least $450....maybe more.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Feb 21, 2006 7:57:34 PM

Criminals may be deterred in the U.S. by the thought of being shot, but here in Australia I am very reasured by the thought that I'm very unlikely to be shot by a criminal.

Posted by: Ronald Brak | Feb 21, 2006 7:59:48 PM

In the same way it's considered uncouth to give someone knives as a gift (and, as someone who enjoys cooking, I'd love to have a great set of knives), it strikes me as similarly uncouth to buy someone a gun as a romantic gift

Depends on the person. After my wife took a class with a .22 pistol of mine, she realized she really likes to shoot. She kept talking about how she wanted her own gun, so I saved up and got her a Ruger GP100 for a kind of combined Christmas/birthday gift.(her birthday is two weeks after Christmas) She loved it.

Posted by: gswift | Feb 21, 2006 9:25:54 PM

As to the article, the P-230 .380 is a nice gun, but a small caliber. Swiss engineering and made in Bavaria, I think. These guns are *not* inexpensive. I would guess the cost of this gun new to be at least $450....maybe more.

The Sig .380 autos were P230's until the late 90's. Now the model is the P232. That was a pretty good guess on the price. Looks like the minimum is indeed right about $450.

Posted by: gswift | Feb 21, 2006 9:27:56 PM

I'm not a big fan of carrying handguns around town (since, unlike your garden-variety purge-'em-all enthusiast, I do not like shooting people), but if I were going to carry one it'd be my grandfather's old PPK.

His had a big dent crunched into one side of the wood grip, but for '30s charm you just couldn't beat it.

Really, though, I wouldn't carry one. Guns just get someone shot.

Posted by: wcw | Feb 21, 2006 10:43:55 PM

...if I were going to carry one it'd be my grandfather's old PPK.

Walther makes an exception weapon, but again, we are talking about a .380.

Guns just get someone shot.

I have carried for years and so have all of my friends *and* my girlfriend as well and none of our guns have killed as many people as Ted Kennedy's car.
Seriously, it becomes just another tool.......Wallet, keys, cash, pistol....doesn't seem daring or exiting or anything like that. However, like the police, we are all trained in lawful use of deadly force, proficiency and safety. I can't see any negatives to having qualified citizens that are trained and armed.
When concealed carry was first allowed, the liberal gun-grabbers predicted a "Wild West" atmosphere with shootings in the street over traffic infractions, etc. Never happened. In fact, there is evidence that crime is lower because of it.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Feb 22, 2006 9:09:46 AM

From Crooked Timber:

Do foot soldiers carry handguns into combat?

Yes, actually they do. So do pilots. I don't get the claim that "banning handguns could be consistent with the 2nd amendment." Not at all. The lethality of handguns is identical to that of a semi-automatic rifle. The range and amount of ammo is different, sure. But for close quarters combat, a handgun is necessary.

Posted by: Adrock | Feb 22, 2006 9:59:49 AM

Adrock,
For once we are both on the same page with this important civil liberty. Those who would ban guns try to make distinctions and argue that one type is OK while others are not in an effort to get some guns...*any* guns banned. Make no mistake, if they had their way, they would ban them all.

Posted by: Fred Jones | Feb 22, 2006 10:38:35 AM

(This sometimes leads to a coded defense of gun rights which suggests that the problem is, you know, those people, rather than guns per se.)

The coded defense as being racial is obviously incorrect. It doesn't matter that perp is the black gangsta or the white nutjob that shoots a guy over a road rage incident (this happened twice recently in MA.) But it seems to me, the insistence on blaming the tool instead of the perpetrator is a distraction from addressing the real problem, which is that some people clearly shouldn't own a gun. This is why strict license and buying requirements are a necessity.

And the truth is, whatever Eddie Eagle says, lots of people with guns get drunk and high and act like jackasses.

Substitute 'cars' for 'guns.' We don't take away the tool in question, the car. We could institute a 25MPH speed limit on all roads in the U.S. which would virtually cut automobile-related fatalities down to zero. But we don't.

I don't even like guns. I want nothing to do with them. Nothing frustrates me more than a statement like "Take this gun from my cold dead hand" because unhinged rhetoric doesn't seem very responsible to me. But responsible gun owners should be in favor of fair, efficient and effective gun control laws because they should recognize that the right to own a gun extends to responsible Americans only and it is up to the government and its citizens to decide who is and isn't responsible.

Posted by: Adrock | Feb 22, 2006 11:31:09 AM

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Posted by: judy | Oct 1, 2007 4:39:09 AM

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