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Biden inspires free home defense guns
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Recently there has been a lot of discussion on how to reduce the number of gun related crimes in the U.S.

It seems as though gun related crimes are increasing exponentially and that no one is doing much about it. Truth, however, is indeed stranger than fiction. A recent study by the respected Pew Reseach Center has discovered that in the past 20 years (from 1993 to 2013) gun related homicides have actually fallen by 49%. Analyzing data from a host of sources, including the FBI, CDC, Census Bureau, and the Urban Institute, the Pew study also notes that non fatal gun crimes have dropped by 75% during the same time period. Ironically most of the public believes that gun violence has increased.

The fact is that in the nation overall, gun crime has dropped dramatically. What has caused the drop is still unknown, and there are numerous theories to explain the reduction in gun related crime.

One theory is related to the aging of the Baby Boomers and holds that old codgers commit less crime. Hank Williams Jr, put it rather succinctly when he sang “All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down”. Another theory is that the drop in crime rates is related to the fact that 35 states have passed “Shall Issue” laws, making concealed weapons more readily available to ordinary decent people. In every single state that passed such a law, violent crimes dropped radically. Does that prove that it’s a cause and effect relationship?  Not at all, but it does raise the possibility that more gun ownership by ordinary folks might be a way to reduce crime.

Recently in an on-line interview organized by Parents Magazine, Vice President Joe Biden advised caller Kate Ernest not to get an AR-15 for home defense but rather “If you want to protect yourself, get a double barreled shotgun”. While I rarely agree with Mr. Biden on anything, at least he’s got this one partly right.  The Vice President reiterated several times during the interview: “Buy a shotgun”.  A shotgun makes a great defensive gun. Many times over the past years folks have asked my advice on various sorts of guns for different uses. My answer is always the same:  “There is no finer weapon for home defense than a pump action shotgun”.  Just the unique sound of a 12 gauge shell being pumped into the action, is enough to make almost any intruder flee the scene as quickly as possible.

Now it seems that the public is taking Mr. Biden’s advice to heart.  When I googled “Joe Biden on shotguns” I found over 3.7 million hits. At last week’s National Rifle Association Convention in Houston, a fellow named Kyle Coplen announced the formation of a new non-profit group, The Armed Citizen Project, which has begun providing free pump shoguns to citizens of Houston and 15 other cities including New York and Chicago. Applicants must pass a background check, and must also pass a safety and familiarization course, after that they are given a free riot gun to defend their homes. The first participants are primarily lower income, single mothers, although others may qualify as well.

The group targets a specific high crime area and then provides residents who desire them and who qualify with free 12 gauge pump shotguns. Signs are then posted around the neighborhood similar to neighborhood watch signs, advising that many citizens of the area are armed and trained.

Mr. Coplen observes “It’s our position that criminals do not want to die in your hallway. We think society can use that fear to deter crime.”

Whooda thunk it? Our Vice President, the inspiration for a free gun home defense program!

It should be instructive to track the crime rates in the targeted areas and see if the program really reduces violent crime. Maybe Joe Biden got something right!

Until next week,

Tight Lines