An Experiment in Crime Control and Social Engineering.. One Free Shotgun at a Time
In a simple experiment you change one variable and look for a different result.
I wrote about social engineering by politicians and the media. Well, private citizens can also perform experiments in social engineering too. In this case, 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, the 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 they must also pass a firearms background check. Then the volunteers learn about home security, firearms storage and the legal and ethical use of deadly force. All this happens before they receive basic firearms instruction, including hands-on time at the range. They must pass each class before they receive a free gun and gun lock.
Those several blocks near Jester Park on Houston’s north side are posted and publicized as an armed self-defense zone. What do you think will happen to the crime rate in that area? 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.
Rob the giver