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Trigger Locks and "Project HomeSafe"

by Christopher B. Ayres

I am really upset over all this "feel good" action in relation to trigger locks, and a group that I found on the Internet prompted me to speak out -- to set the record straight.

Click to View Misguided Organization Who Wants to Make Your Home Safe For Criminals I am sure the group has all the good intentions in the world, but they are putting good people in danger. "Project Home Safe" has more than 500 cities and counties that have signed on to become partners with them; they are calling themselves "the nation's most comprehensive and far-reaching firearms safety education program".

Project HomeSafe partners distribute, free of charge, safety kits that include a GUN LOCKING DEVICE to firearms owners in their communities, encouraging the use of the GUN LOCKING DEVICE is what I have a real problem with.

You might as well just toss that hunk of metal out the window, because you have effectively turned a $550.00 handgun into a worthless paperweight. The problem is that the law-abiding citizens who tend to obey these laws and take part in these programs are not the ones who are high-risk.

John Lott, author of the book "More Guns, Less Crime" states that According to U.S. Department of Justice data, having a gun is by far the safest course of action when one is attacked by a criminal.  Gun locks defeat advantage this and give the criminal the upper hand.

Recent research that John Lott has done by examining juvenile accidental gun deaths or suicides -- for all the states in the United States from 1977 to 1996 -- found that safe storage laws had NO IMPACT on either type of death. However, what did happen was that law-abiding citizens were less able to DEFEND themselves against crime.

Trigger Locks Cost Lives -- Train Your Children Instead !! The 15 states with such "safe storage" laws during this period recorded 300 additional murders and 3,860 additional rapes per year than they otherwise would have because of the law. Burglaries and robberies were also increased dramatically. And why not? Why should criminals be afraid of your gun if there is a steel cable and lock running through it? You think the criminal will have to fumble with a key?

In addition these locking programs are aimed at the rarest form of gun misuse: accidents involving small children, as I will point out below. Why all this effort on Firearms accidents anyway? If these people were really doing it "for the children" would they not concentrate on the bigger killers of our children? According to the National Safety Council there were almost 8 times as many drownings as there were unintentional deaths due to firearms for children 0-14 years old. For 15-24 year olds there were more than 2 times as many drownings than unintentional deaths due to firearms.

Unintentional deaths due to firearms ranked number 8 in the 10 causes of death from 0-14 year olds, and ranked number 6 for 15-24 year olds due to Unintentional deaths due to firearms. (These figures are for 1998.)  But still the news media tells you about these less-common accidental deaths in every day's edition. 

A Toronto study found that 48% of burglaries were against occupied homes. A British survey found that 59% of burglaries were against occupied homes. But only 13% of American burglaries were against occupied homes -- and that all goes down the tubes if we start rendering our firearms useless.

What happened to responsibility? What happened to working to keep your house safe AND accident free? Go ahead and make it easy, just run that steel wire into your gun and stuff it up in the closet and forget about it, but then don't count on it to be ready to protect you or your family.

Respectfully yours,
Christopher B. Ayres

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