But, I Live in a Nice Neighborhood.

Crime can (and does) happen anywhere.  I’m amused when people rest easy and say, “I’m in a good neighborhood.”  Ummmm…  That’s where criminals go, because it’s where the GOOD stuff is!

break inI talked to my dad last night.  He called to let me know he and my stepmother had returned home after a cross-country trip.  They live in a rural area that would certainly be considered a “nice neighborhood.”  Their next door neighbor is an elderly widow.  At 2pm (a few days ago while my parents were out of town), the widow heard noise at her front door.  She peered through the window in the door and saw two men unknown to her.  She went to retrieve a pistol left by her late husband (though she didn’t know how to use it).  By the time she returned to the front door, the men had broken the window, reached in to unlock the deadbolt, and begun to enter her home.  She pointed the pistol at the men, and they fled.

Another neighbor has reportedly shown her how to use the gun since the incident.

“When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

A pithy observation, perhaps.  But, it rings true.  What might have happened, if my parents’ neighbor wasn’t able to scare the bad guys away?  Would she have even been able to dial 911?  Even if she had time to dial 911, would help have arrived in time to save her?  The obvious answer is, “No.”

Many of us have smoke detectors and own fire extinguishers, even though the probability of a fire is very small.  We take many measures (life insurance, flood insurance, seat belts, helmets, etc.) to mitigate injuries or losses that are typically remote.  While the chances of any of them happening is small, the consequences are significant.  Why wouldn’t you take similar measures to protect yourself in the case of a home invasion?

My dad is experienced and proficient with firearms (and owns several).   My stepmother has no experience.  They are signing up for a firearms class together.  Good idea.

Edited to add this link.  If you watch the video, you’ll see that this happened in a VERY nice neighborhood.  It’s where the NICE STUFF is!
Residents in Boca Raton Neighborhood on Edge after Terrifying Home Invasion.

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19 Responses to But, I Live in a Nice Neighborhood.

  1. Desmond Yiu says:

    I recently had the unpleasant experience of a stranger trying to force open my front door at 2AM. I live in Australia, where civilian ownership of firearms was effectively outlawed in the 1990s. It is terrible how helpless one feels, trying to keep calm and calling the police with a violent threat on the otherside of the door. It is no exaggeration that you feel that you, and your family, are in mortal danger. Luckily, the creep lost interest and moved on, maybe just a drunkard or vagrant, and without any means of self defence, that was the best I could hope for. If you’ve never been terrorised in your home, you just don’t realise how long it takes for police to arrive.

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Hi Desmond. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. I feel for the fine people of Australia who have been disarmed and made into ready victims. Very sad.

      • John says:

        That’s how I feel every day I commute into NYC. My recommendation for Desmond, buy the brightest flashlight you can find. Some go up to around 5000 lumens. That’s quite a shock coming from a darkened room. AFAIK you can get a firearm permit for hunting or target purposes in Australia. You’d want to spend some time at the range for your own good anyway once you get approval. If all else fails go primitive with edged weapons.

  2. Ken says:

    Crime can and does happen anywhere. Just this past summer I myself had my car stolen (it was parked outside), one of my employees had her identity stolen and her husbands car was stolen, and another employee had two intruders break in while they were at home waking them at ~ 3 a.m. (Just a few weeks ago). We literally have a “gang” shooting and burglary every single day. The news is almost not worth watching as it’s almost predictable what will be on. A man robbed a jewelry store killing the owner (who was unarmed and fully cooperating with the burglar) and ran across the parking lot where my wife works and parks her car. Thank God she wasn’t going or coming to work when this occurred.

    I have no stats to back this up but my own feeling is crime is significantly on the rise. Be prepared, have a plan, and consider that nowhere is safe or immune from crime (heck one of my friends had his room safe broken into at Walt Disney World of all places!).

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Hi Ken,

      The good news is that violent crime is not only down… It’s down a LOT. In the last 20 years, it’s down nearly 50%. With the internet and instant news coverage, we have the “fallacy of misleading vividness.” The media covers everything and anything, so it SEEMS like there’s more. But, the FBI stats show that we’ve had a drop in violent crime to about half of what it was 20 years ago.

      • Ken says:

        Thanks Mike and good to know. I guess when crime touches you like it has me this past year it’s easy to think negatively.

        Still I think it wise to be alert and prepared as crime can happen anywhere as you point out.

        • The Dental Warrior says:

          Of course. I always like to say, “If it only happens 5% of the time, but you fall into that 5%, it’s 100% for YOU.”

  3. Lanker Clark says:

    Interesting observations. All I would add is that fire extinguishers and smoke detectors don’t make it more likely for a member of your family to die due to a fire, while guns (even “responsible use”, which I advocate wholly) do increase the likelihood that you will die due to a gun. I believe the stats are for every 1 home invasion on a home with a gun there are 4 gun related accidents. The stats are pretty clear that you are in fact making your family less safe for peace of mind. Interesting.

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Hi Lanker,

      I’d ask you to back up your assertions with data and sources. It’s a rhetorical request, as I know that you can’t back them up. You’re simply repeating what you’ve heard over and over. Of course, repetition of a fallacy doesn’t render it true, even over time.

      The fact is that 60% of gun related deaths are suicide (Source: CDC click here), which is the basis for the oft-repeated, “you’re more likely to be killed by your own gun.” So, unless I’m suicidal (I’m not), my guns will not increase the likelihood of my death being caused by a gun… unless the inanimate guns suddenly spring to life and fire at me autonomously.

      A quick search tells me that between 2003 and 2007 there was an average of 207,200 home invasions PER YEAR. Source: U.S. Department of Justice (click link for report). So, according to your assertion (multiplying by a factor of 4), there should be 828,800 gun-related accidents PER YEAR. Of course, that’s preposterous and not even close to reality.

      The TRUE number of gun-related deaths in the U.S. hovers around 30,000 per year. Again, about 60% of those are suicides. The number of murders with guns hovers around 11,000 per year. The remainder includes justifiable homicides (self-defense, law enforcement encounters, etc.)

      In 2007 there were 613 ACCIDENTAL firearms deaths (which comes to 0.5% of all accidental deaths in that same year). Source: Center for Disease Control (CDC)

  4. Lanker Clark says:

    You didn’t actually read what I said. I encourage you to do so.

    The reality is that the science is clear. Search “gun ownership and safety” on any database and just read. You add your suicide remarks as if they were not related to gun violence. I’m on my phone, so linking to evidence is pretty tough. Just type “gun ownership and firearm related deaths” into google scholar or pubmed. Maybe virtually every study linking the two is wrong, and America does not have a gun problem.

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Ah… “the science is clear” bit. LOL! That’s the mantra of people and politicians who don’t understand what science is. If you have sources that refute the CDC and DOJ reports, then bring it on. Suggesting that I do another search to support your position is weak. I’m supporting MY side with cold, hard stats from the CDC and DOJ. You support YOUR argument (with credible sources / references). I’ll wait.

      You said that there are four times as many gun accidents as there are home invasions. You must have some source for that, right? Bring it. I believe the DOJ and CDC have credibility when it comes to those statistics.

      Please define the “gun problem.” Millions of Americans own guns, which function perfectly, legally, and effectively. What’s the “problem?”

    • John says:

      You go ahead and keep your family safe by being unarmed. If you have a situation call the police. (When they show up they will be more than willing to tape off the area, collect the evidence and notify your next of kin). Just don’t tell me how I should protect my own family. Statistics… from what supposedly unbiased source?
      My only dilemma is whether to grab the 870 12 gauge or the CZ97?

  5. Bruce Howell says:

    Years ago my office was in a strip center. I had a solid door with no glass with a deadbolt from the outside but inside it could be locked by hand without a key. Obviously by someone who had been in my office and knowing this, they used portable power tools and drilled a hole in the door big enough to put their hand through and reached in to unlock it from the inside. Took my PC and anything else of value.

    • John says:

      That’s a very common set up…. more so in residential doors but plenty even here in NYC have it. Good in an emergency so you don’t have to look for a key under stress. I’m guessing the door was wood. Tempered glass is pricey. Hopefully they didn’t steal any lab cases.

      • The Dental Warrior says:

        It’s required by law / fire code here in Florida.

        • John says:

          I’m in a Manhattan office building built around 1930. They just installed a sprinkler system less than 2 years ago. Most of the office suites in the building have a wood entrance door. BTW, remember that massive power outage affecting the NE a bunch of years ago? None of the building emergency lights worked. It seems I was the only one in the building with a flashlight so I escorted other tenants down the windowless unlit stairwell. Be prepared.

          • The Dental Warrior says:

            Yep. Part of my “EDC” (every day carry) is a flashlight. It’s always on me. It comes in very handy at the oddest times (not emergencies). Same goes with carrying a knife.

            • John says:

              My latest flashlight is a Fenix PD35.
              But alas any knife worth carrying is verboten in NYC. So I carry my Dad’s old (80 yrs?) Kutmaster wood sided folder. I figure if I get stopped the NYPD will most likely tear off a fingernail trying to open it. Outside NYC it’s a Benchmade Stryker (disc.).

              • The Dental Warrior says:

                I carry a Streamlight ProTac 1L. It’s a great little light that runs on a single CR123 lithium battery and drops into a pocket.

                My favorite folder for carry now is a Spyderco Domino. I also carry a Swiss Army Super Tinker (I like it for the tools and smaller cutting tasks).
                Spyderco Domino

                Swiss Army Super Tinker

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