US firearms debate: A real marauder's map?

In case you’ve missed this latest twist in the ongoing firearms ‘debate’ in the United States, an anti-gun local newspaper has compiled and published an online map of “guns in the neighbourhood”

by Henry Hill on 4 January 2013 17:08

In case you’ve missed this latest twist in the ongoing firearms ‘debate’ in the United States, an anti-gun local newspaper has compiled and published an online map of “guns in the neighbourhood” – i.e. which households have firearms licences. You can read more about it here.

The Wall Street Journal has already started having fun with the simple hypocrisy of the situation: the paper has hired armed guards to protect its offices and, despite its clear enthusiasm for firearms reporting, not mentioned that fact in its pages. This is allegedly to protect it from enraged gun owners who might seek to avenge themselves upon it.

But as I was reading that, it struck me as odd. Whilst some people whose licences have been published have been harassed, surely those who don’t own licenced firearms should be angrier about this project. One of the great benefits of diffuse gun ownership is that a housebreaker has to factor in the odds of raiding an armed home.

This map gets rid of that. Instead it concentrates the advantages of licence-holders by making sure that local criminals know for sure there’s a firearms licence in their home, and simultaneously providing a comprehensive list of easier pickings. Thank goodness Americans don’t licence dogs.

Whilst entirely against the wishes of the journalists who compiled it, this map (and the threat of more risks like it) seems to me to be an incentive to get a licenced firearm, rather than the opposite. I for one would rather a few authoritarian wackos know where to send their scary calls than potential criminals know my house is less defended than those of my neighbours. After all, such wackos will, on principle, only call me if I’m better-armed than they.

Local gun shops and firearms defenders should, if they’ve any sense, be all over this. 

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