Thursday, May 23, 2013

An Experiment in Crime Control & Social Engineering – One Free Shotgun at a Time

Southern California --( In the past I wrote about social engineering by politicians and the media.

Private citizens perform experiments in social engineering as well.  In this case some private citizens will give peace a chance, one free shotgun at a time.  They think firearms will reduce crime.

The debate about violent crime is long running.  To find out if guns will make us safer, we have to go talk to likely victims, and crime is anything but uniform.  There are dangerous cities and violent areas within those cities.  The Armed Citizen Project  reaches out to the needy in our violent and crime ridden neighborhoods.  They teach single moms in high crime areas about self-defense.  Like all proper experiments, these potential victims, training and firearms are mixed under carefully controlled conditions.

The participants in the Armed Citizen Project are vetted.  They are screened for criminal convictions, drug use, and must also pass a firearms background check.  Then they are given instruction on home security, firearms storage and the legal and ethical use of deadly force.  All this happens before they receive firearms instruction, including hands-on time at the range.  They must pass each class before they are given a free gun and gun lock.  Applicants are selected and trained in a several block area at one time.  The first class from Houston, Texas graduated a few weeks ago.  Classes are being organized in Tucson, Chicago and Detroit.

Now those targeted trained blocks, near Jester Park on Houston’s north side, are posted and publicized as an armed self-defense zones.  What do you think will happen to the crime rate in those areas?  Few criminals want to die in a stranger’s hallway. I think criminals will think twice about a burglary when the apartment could be occupied and the occupant might be armed and trained.  Burglars will spend more time making sure the house is empty, and that takes time.  Maybe a burglar will decide to rob apartments in some other part of town.  We will see, because the Armed Citizen Project is collecting crime statistics in these areas and comparing the results against pre-selected control areas.  Good experiments have a control group.

The armed citizen project predicts that the crime rate will drop.  I think they’re right.  Time will tell, and soon we will have another enduring truth to add to our SlowFacts.  I met Kyle Coplen and the Armed Citizen’s Project in Houston.  They have instructors lined up, but their rate of growth is limited by donations.

They have my money.  You can donate here.


About Rob Morse:
By day, Rob Morse works in Southern California as a mild mannered engineer for a defense contractor. By night he writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Gun Rights Magazine, and writes the SlowFacts blog. .

He also loves the M1911 and shoots combat handgun on the weekends.

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