Carry Habits Affected by Population?


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rhubarb
January 20, 2006, 11:22 PM
I growed up in a sparsely populated area back in the hills. I remember reading once in the local weekly that there hadn't been a murder in something like 30 years. Concealed carry meant buttoning up the side of your overalls to hide your gut in polite company.

I now live in a more urban area. Time between murders is measured in days, not decades. In my research, the crime rate for every single type of crime is in multiples of what it was in my hometown. Of course I have a concealed handgun license and carry all the time. No, I don't wear overalls anymore. They don't sell 'em here.

It seems to me that the more dense the population, the more likely you are to run into a bad guy. That would be the case even if all humans were behaviorally the same. To wit, if a certain percentage are violent criminals, the crime rate would be the same everywhere. Of course, it is obvious that this isn't the case and that the more tightly we are packed together, the more violent we become.

The question I would like to pose concerns your personal experience related to carrying a gun for defense. If you travel between country and city, do you only carry in one or the other? If you live in the city and carry, do you think you would still carry if you lived in the country? Vice versa, if you live in the country, do you feel a need to carry?

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Farnham
January 20, 2006, 11:28 PM
I live in the country, but work in the city.

In the country, I can carry a rifle. In the city, I'm forced to limit myself to a pistol. Rather be in the country, myself.

S/F

Farnham

springmom
January 20, 2006, 11:34 PM
....in the '50s. My best friend and I used to ride the bus downtown, go to a movie, go to the Woolworth's counter for lunch, go say hi to her mom who worked at Sears and my dad who worked for the telephone company, then ride the bus back home. Nobody worried about us, least of all us!

Now? I do not go unarmed. Period. Well, not unless I'm going to my son's school for more than to pick him up. I live in a relatively nice, relatively safe area of Harris County, Texas, now; and our murder rate in Harris County is measured in bodies per day. Emphasis on the plural. I am armed as I write this, sitting in my office; I will be armed if I go to the store or anywhere else.

But Springfield, my home town, was in the news last weekend for a shootout at a hotel, so I guess home isn't like it used to be :( When I got out hunting, obviously I'm armed (can't scare the deer to death, LOL) but if I go out scouting or photographing I am armed too.

Paranoid? No. But I have come to understand that I have a duty to defend myself and my family; and that LEOs, as much as I like all the ones I know (in person and on the internet) cannot protect me...the Founding Fathers knew this and enshrined the right for me to do this myself in the Constitution.

Springmom

Atticus
January 21, 2006, 12:16 AM
Depends. Personally, I feel safer in crowded areas. The mass shootings and such that make the headlines a few times a year are very rare. Most criminals prefer to carry out their evil deeds in privacy. The small town I grew up in has a far higher per capita crime rate than the burb where I now live. To answer your question, I'm armed 90% of the time in the country and 10% in the city. But that is mostly due to the fact that I can't legally carry in many urban settings and situations.

Standing Wolf
January 21, 2006, 12:33 AM
It seems to me that the more dense the population, the more likely you are to run into a bad guy. That would be the case even if all humans were behaviorally the same. To wit, if a certain percentage are violent criminals, the crime rate would be the same everywhere. Of course, it is obvious that this isn't the case and that the more tightly we are packed together, the more violent we become.

I believe you're right. I suspect part of the reason population density brings out the worst in Homo sapiens is increased tension and noise.

That saidô, I have a hunch criminals gravitate toward large cities because a.) that's where they can blend in; b.) that's where the most victims are, and c.) non-urban people are more likely to be both armed and willing to call an abupt halt to criminal careers.

cslinger
January 21, 2006, 12:37 AM
Could just be simple statistics combined with being in the right "market" so to speak. More people per capita means a higher statistical chance you will run into criminals combined with the fact that criminals tend to go where the the best market for their crime is, be it drugs, muggings, break ins etc. basically where there are more people there will be more criminals.

Crhis

Atticus
January 21, 2006, 12:56 AM
This would have been an easier question to answer a decade ago. With unemployment, crank production/addiction, and prescription pain med abuse, rural areas aren't what they used to be. A buddy of mine who has a farm in southern Ohio was also recently suprised to learn of a number of child molesters who now live in his little piece of country heaven. Another friend of mine couldn't even keep toilet paper or light bulbs in his place without the local yocals breaking in and taking them.

f4t9r
January 21, 2006, 01:21 AM
24/7 is the way to go.

phoglund
January 21, 2006, 01:28 AM
As has been touched on above. The two major factors in what you noticed are "per capita crimes" and the fact that high density populations tend to create antisocial behaviors. I remember reading an experiment with rats where they increased the crowding in a cage until the rats were regularly attacking each other and eventually killing each other once things became extremely crowded.

Remember the per capita effect. If you have a million people and a murder rate of .0001 annually you get 100 murders per year or nearly 2 murders a week. If you take that same rate and apply it to a population of 10,000 you get one murder a year. It would seem the populated area has a horrible rate of 2 murders per week and the less populated area a much lower rate of one murder per year when in fact it's the same rate applied to different population densities.

cslinger
January 21, 2006, 01:30 AM
That is the gist of statistics. They can be spun to say what you like. Remember, somebody I consider a very smart man, once said there are three types of lies. "Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics."

pax
January 21, 2006, 01:33 AM
Grew up in the city, live in the country. And I carry everywhere* I go, including inside my own home.

I don't carry because I think I'll attacked on any given day. I carry because the odds are that I will be attacked sometime in my lifetime. It would sure suck for my personal lightning to strike on a day I wasn't armed.

If you are attacked in the country, you know no one is going to come to your aid. Kitty Genovese surely expected someone to hear her ~ but a country person can't fool herself like that. Country folks know that they've got to solve their own problems, or at least hold out for considerably longer than a city person would. It's like when the electricity goes out; country folks are used to the power going out, and know that we're lowest on the priority list for repairing it when it does. Just the way things are. Be a foolish person who wasn't prepared to cope for a week, if they lived in the country. City folks start whining after 12 hours though.

In the city, your odds of coming across a bad guy are somewhat higher, but you've also got better options for getting away. You know, the old, "just head for lights and people." Lots more lights and people in the city.

As a kid, I remember my Dad pulling up at the end of a long, empty dirt road, and shutting off the car. He'd roll down the windows and say, "Listen to that!" There wouldn't be anything to listen to -- just the howling of a lonesome wind, and maybe the cry of a bird. Dad would grin and say, "Great place for an axe murder, isn't it?" (I've always wondered where I got my sense of humor. Surely not from him.)

Of course, the per-capita assault rate is lots higher in the city. But someone else might step in and stop the assault, there.

pax

* void where prohibited

Mark in California
January 21, 2006, 05:45 AM
In town, I carry almost always unless I am working at job that prevents it. The weapon goes on with my wallet, business cards, keys and phone and usually comes off last just before bed. About the only times I am not carrying is when going into County, State of Federal buildings, and some job sites.

At the summer property I almost never carry, but I have a loaded Glock, and my carry PPK in the bedroom if needed. I also have a rifle with the magizine loaded for any stray bears. Anytime I leave the property I am carrying at least the PPK.

birddog
January 21, 2006, 11:02 AM
I carry all the time, except for work. I really feel the need to carry when venturing places like Niagara Falls or Buffalo (our two biggest cities in this area). I also like to carry when out hiking/hunting/photographing in the woods which is 2-5 times/week for me. When I visit our local stores (I live in a small town) I don't feel the need.....BUT, I do it anyway.

TallPine
January 21, 2006, 11:54 AM
I live in the country, and carry from the time I get up to the time I go to bed every day, because:

1) a gun in a "handy place" in the house does no good if I am away from the house somewhere on our land

2) it's simpler just to wear it all the time than remember to put it on when I go outside - last thing I want to do is have to reach for a gun that isn't there

3) while in general this should be a safe are (except see #4), if we did have a problem the sheriff response is likely to take at least 30 minutes

4) we have had problems with our next door neighbor, and even though he is in prison now and has sold the property, the new owner still lives out of state and some of the old owner's "buddies" still come around from time to time while the place is vacant


I also keep a loaded rifle under the bed at night, and I bring it downstairs to a lean in a handy corner during the day.

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