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Armed Homes Are Safe Homes

By Doug Patton

Recently, three young criminals in Omaha were looking for a home to rob. Their criteria included an interesting condition. Pointing to a particular target, a townhouse in the northwest part of town, one person told them, “That house has no guns.”

And since Nebraska has no concealed carry law, they could be fairly certain that none of the residents would have one on their person, either.

Shortly before noon last November 11, the three punks (all of whom did have guns, of course) broke into the townhouse, demanded money and order residents to the floor. During a struggle in the hallway, all three intruders fired their guns, killing Trevor Lee, a 23-year-old aspiring stock market analyst.

The only person arrested in the case so far, 20-year-old Ryan Poe, has said that he and his buddies went to the townhouse with the intention of committing a robbery, and fired their weapons at a man who fought back. Apparently, Trevor Lee was that brave man. Brave, but unarmed.

Dr. John Lott, Jr., an economist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, is perhaps the foremost expert on the utter failure of gun control. In his two comprehensive books, “More Guns, Less Crime” and “The Bias Against Guns, Why Almost Everything You’ve Heard About Gun Control Is Wrong,” Lott explodes the myths liberals love to perpetuate about guns.

Citing survey data and news reports, Lott argues that the fear of armed victims deters criminals. This is one of the strongest arguments in favor of concealed carry laws: the bad guys never know who’s armed and who isn’t. Apparently, Ryan Poe and his punk friends were concerned enough to inquire as to whether the residents of the townhouse they intended to rob might be able to shoot back.

Lott also writes that guns are used in self-defense or to ward off criminal threats more than two million times each year, and that right-to-carry laws lower crime and help prevent terrorist attacks and so-called “rampage” shootings.

And radical as it may sound, Lott points to hard statistics showing that even well-intended laws meant to keep guns away from children do more harm than good. Lott cites cases where children as young as 11 have used guns to thwart criminal activity.

In his best-selling book, “Arrogance,” retired veteran CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg, provides an eye-opening example of the media bias involved in the gun control issue. Goldberg points to a shooting three years ago at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Virginia. A 42-year-old student from Nigeria went on a killing spree with a handgun. Before he was subdued by other students, he had killed the school’s dean, a professor and a fellow student.

What was totally left out of the story when it was reported by virtually every news outlet in the country was the fact that the students who subdued him did so with guns of their own, which they had retrieved from their cars. As Goldberg points out, this was an inconvenient fact that did not fit the agenda of those who want to perpetuate the myth that guns are inherently dangerous and gun control is the solution.

John Lott is correct about guns and about gun control. Contrary to the hysteria put forth by the Left, including the so-called mainstream national media, it is absolutely true that more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens equals less violent crime. The tragedy in Omaha is a perfect example. If Trevor Lee had been in possession of a firearm when he courageously tried to fight back, one or more of the criminals involved, rather than an innocent victim, might be in an early grave. Or perhaps the confrontation would have ended with the criminals being apprehended, which is what frequently happens when a law-abiding citizen is in possession of a firearm at the time of an attack.

Either way, Trevor Lee would be alive and society would be safer.

Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a speechwriter, policy advisor and communications director for federal, state and local candidates, elected officials and public policy organizations. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country and on selected Internet websites. Readers can e-mail him at dpatton@neonramp.com.



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