The United States has always enjoyed a very low rate of “hot” burglary, an intrusion during the night hours when people are likely to be home. The reason is simple. There have always been more homes in America with a gun in them than in most other countries, Switzerland perhaps an exception. The prevalence of guns in the home has long allowed Americans to sleep soundly without much worry of facing an intruder in the night.
In the past, however, there weren’t near as many homes with guns as there are now. It didn’t matter so long as criminals had no way of knowing which homes had guns and which did not. Neither Sarah Brady nor even Tom Mauser are willing to put a sign in their yards saying there is no gun inside. Criminals were and are deterred from breaking into homes after working hours simply out of fear of being shot, something that is of little concern to most burglars in the rest of the world.
A recent Gallup poll is even worse news for burglars. Now 63% of those say a gun in the home is a great idea, up from just 47% as recently as 2006. A 47% chance of being shot has gone up to a 63% of having a bad day, or night, for a criminal. A burglar contemplating an intrusion into any home now, even in the daytime, must be hearing the words of Dirty Harry, “You feeling lucky today, punk?”
Republicans (81%) are about twice as likely as Democrats (41%) to believe having a gun improves home safety. About half of Democrats say having a gun makes a home a more dangerous place to be. Well, that figures.
There is also a much smaller gender gap; 58% of women and 67% of men agree that a gun in the home makes it safer. Oh boy, I bet that frosts some Democrats.