More Guns=Less Crime?

People advocate we should all be “strapped”–with more guns in our homes. Will that reduce crime?

There’s a passionate and thoughtful blog on, entitled, “Want Less Crime? Add More Guns” by pyle_mountain. He advocates more guns in our homes. If we had more, criminals would think twice about commiting crime against innocent people.

He could be right but I disagree. After 30 years working as a proseucor and defense lawyer, I know that more guns=more tragedy. As for reducing crime, I’m not sure about that either.

Here are 5 reasons why:

1. Never once in my representation of hundreds of home burglars, has one evey told me they broke-in because they knew the homeowner wasn’t armed. Never. They have lots of other reasons: is the house easy to get into? Anything worth stealing in there? Is the home unoccupied? Whether the homeowner had a weapon or not was never an issue.

2. Almost all the shootings I’ve been involved in–as a lawyer!–have occured in homes with guns…sounds obvious, huh? Here’s how it comes down: two or more people get arguing. (These aren’t necessarily criminals/gangsters but people like you and me) Alcohol or other drugs come into the mixture at some point. The argument escalates to violence. The first one who manages to get to the gun, ends up shooting the other. As a prosecutor, I recall dozens of cases where either party could’ve become the victim–depending on who grabbed the gun first. It’s smple to figure out that if the gun hadn’t been there, maybe they would’ve punched each other but at far less damage and tragedy.

3. No one uses a rifle, shotgun, knife, or exotic weapon. There’s something about a handgun that makes it easy, quick, and impersonal. (Stabbing someone with a knife means getting up close and personal in order to accomplish the damage–something most people can’t do) The weapon used has always been a handgun.

4. Besdies the tragedy of death or permanent injury, the shocking thing for me was that so often, after the shooting, all parties said–when they sobered-up– they didn’t mean it. It was unexpected and almost accidental.

5. And how about the incidents where the kids in the home pick-up the loaded handguns left around by irresponsible but legal parents and shoot each other?

Will spreading handgun ownership decrease or increase crime? Dozens of experts have given their opinions and I can’t compete with their knowledge. But in my experience, the addition of handguns in homes has only added to the tragedies I see everyday.

What’s your experience?

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About Colin Nelson

Colin T. Nelson worked for 40 years as a prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis. He tried everything from speeding tickets to first degree murder. His writing about the courtroom and the legal system give the reader a "back door" view of what goes on, what's funny, and what's a good story. He has also traveled extensively and includes those locations in his mysteries. Some are set in Southeast Asia, Ecuador,Peru, and South Africa. Readers get a suspenseful tale while learning about new places on the planet. Colin is married, has two adult children, and plays the saxophone in various bands.

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