There are a lot of guns in some small towns


PDA






Desertdog
July 13, 2004, 03:51 PM
A good illustration of where more guns DO NOT mean more, but less, crime.
The BGs would probably be on the losing end it the areas mentioned.

There are a lot of guns in some small towns
Many residents learn to shoot at young age and say the right to own and carry weapons is the American way.


An Indianapolis Star review found that there are 395 gun permit owners in Coatesville -- a town of a little more than 500 people. That gives the town the second highest firearms permit rate of all Indiana towns. -- Mike Fender / The Star

By Richard D. Walton
richard.walton@indystar.com
July 11, 2004


Wilbur Jones can hardly remember a time when he wasn't shooting guns.

"As soon as I was 12, 14 years old," the 84-year-old Coatesville man said, "I was learning to carry a gun and how to use it."

Today, Jones keeps a Ruger .22 semi-automatic handgun in his Dodge Ram truck. He says it's partly for protection -- and partly for pesky creatures.

"We try to take care of not letting the coyotes get so thick. They're pretty thick out in the country."

In this Hendricks County community, the right to bear arms is passed on from generation to generation, as it is in Morgan County, where Jones grew up.

An Indianapolis Star review of gun permit data found that 395 permit holders listed Coatesville -- a town of slightly more than 500 people -- as their place of residence.

Measuring the number of permits against the town's population, Coatesville has the second highest firearms permit rate of all Indiana cities and towns. The ranking is approximate because it is not known how many who gave Coatesville as their address live in or outside the town limits.

ZIP code 46151 in the Martinsville area has the highest number of active gun permits -- 2,605 -- of any ZIP code in Indiana.

Lying in a rural stretch of the state between Indianapolis and Bloomington, Martinsville has more than 20 times the population of Coatesville. But the two communities are linked by a heritage where learning to shoot is a rite of passage and gun ownership, a God-given right.

"That shows we live in a free country," Jones says.

"Second Amendment," says Lester Sichting, of rural Martinsville.

Sichting is an uncle of former Purdue University basketball star Jerry Sichting. No fewer than seven members of his Morgan County family have gun permits, the data show.

Lester Sichting, 74, first fired a gun when he was 5 or 6. He keeps a semiautomatic handgun in his truck. There's not a lot of crime in the area where he lives, he says. "But you never know. Stop at a stoplight and somebody might come up and jump on your car or something."

For all the gun permits in Coatesville, violent crime is virtually unheard of.

It was a big event a few years ago when somebody splashed paint on the library. And there remains a small hole in one of its windows that vandals put there about five years ago.

Town Marshal David Gunn says he serves a lot of restraining orders, responds to the occasional domestic dispute and deals with traffic accidents. In his 12 years on the job, the most serious crime he's handled was a break-in.

So, Gunn says, it's not like some crime wave is pushing people to go out and buy protection.

There's a slow-paced feel to Coatesville. The joke here is that when the only doctor in town closes his office each Wednesday, Coatesville shuts down.

Last Wednesday, the streets were virtually deserted except for children riding their bikes. Some shops were dark.

Not Pam's Place, however. The proprietor, Pamela Gibson, was open for business. And she wasn't talking up guns.

Gibson, in fact, won't have a gun in her home -- ever.

In August 1970, her father was gunned down and her uncle wounded during a robbery of their store in nearby Belleville. Edward Gibson took a fatal shot to the abdomen.

Pam Gibson was almost 14. She painfully recalls the trip to the hospital and then back home, and how the streets were full of police cars.

"I don't need a gun," Gibson said the other day. "If you want something from me: Here, I'll give it to you."

But Gibson, too, learned as a youth how to shoot weapons.

Her father, a hunter, taught her.

Marian Gouker, 64, says she owns no real guns, just a BB gun she inherited from her mother.

Sitting on her porch swing, her front door flanked by the American and Confederate flags, she sees no need for a weapon.

"We're not hunters," Gouker says. "And we don't have, as far as I know, drug gangs and whatever around here."

She expressed surprise so many local folks had firearms permits. "They don't carry 'em on their hips like they used to," she said. "So it's hard to tell who's got one and who don't."

Guns, says Tim Smith, a Coatesville mechanic, are part of the local landscape.

"We were raised around them," he said. "Raised with them."

Love of guns is hardly restricted to one or two areas of the state.

According to the gun permit data, ZIP code 46102, which includes Advance in Boone County, has 32 permits. Just 40 people live in that region.

ZIP code 47123, which contains Grantsburg in southern Indiana, has 30 people and 21 permits.

Smith, who used to pack a handgun and still owns rifles, speaks for many Hoosiers in his passion for guns.

"As long as a weapon is used in the correct manner," Smith says, "there is nothing wrong with having a house full of 'em, as far as I'm concerned."

Staff writer John R. O'Neill contributed to this report.

Call Star reporter Richard D. Walton at (317) 444-6289.

If you enjoyed reading about "There are a lot of guns in some small towns" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
geekWithA.45
July 13, 2004, 06:09 PM
Yup.

I grew up in Woodstock, CT, in the 70's.

Humans: 5000
Guns: 10,000
Cows: 20,000

(I guess we needed the guns to keep the cows in line :neener: )

Fulltime police officers: 0
Ceremonial Constables: 1 (80+ years old, marshall for 4th of July parade)
Murders: 0
Rapes: 0
Home Invasions: 0
Injuries from gun accidents: 0
Accidental gun deaths: 0
Intentional gun deaths: 0
Toddlers slain by guns: 0

Any questions?

Bartholomew Roberts
July 13, 2004, 06:20 PM
How about a link to the article so we can show them that positive gun stories = readers = ad revenue?

cordex
July 13, 2004, 07:30 PM
Some recent Indianapolis Star articles on guns:

There are a lot of guns in some small towns (http://www.indystar.com/articles/6/161596-9976-009.html)
Article on gun permits (http://www.indystar.com/articles/1/161649-4651-009.html)
Another article on gun permits (http://www.indystar.com/articles/9/161670-7449-127.html)

lee n. field
July 13, 2004, 07:56 PM
there are 395 gun permit owners in Coatesville -- a town of a little more than 500 people.

Just shy of 80% of the residents have a CCW. And there's a town with more!

Desertdog
July 13, 2004, 11:49 PM
Sorry, I forgot to put the link in.
The link is http://www.indystar.com/articles/6/161596-9976-092.html

patentmike
July 14, 2004, 07:16 AM
In Texas, you know you are in a small town when the cigaratette case next to the checkout at the grocery store has both cigarettes and ammo.

Matt1911
July 14, 2004, 08:07 AM
:D :D :D :D :D

Langenator
July 14, 2004, 08:09 AM
395 out of 500 have permits...now, how many of those 105 who don't are under 21?

Matt1911
July 14, 2004, 08:17 AM
In Indiana you can get you'r carry permit at 18. I doubt that is the reason for the 105 that do not have guns,we do have a few anti's here,as the article pointed out.
Question, the lady in the article,who's father was kill in a robbery,how would you try to convert her?

45 ACP
July 14, 2004, 10:15 AM
Matt1911 said:
Question, the lady in the article,who's father was kill in a robbery,how would you try to convert her?

Simple, I wouldn't. If she's willing to give up whatever some bad guy wants (money, jewelry, dignity) that's her problem.

The state has "graciously" afforded her a proper and effective way to defend herself from attack but she has chosen to simply give up whatever the bad guy wants. As she puts it....

If you want something from me: Here, I'll give it to you

That's her decision. I would hope she lives long enough to never regret it.

armoredman
July 14, 2004, 10:38 AM
The quote of "free country" and "gun permits" in the same sentance gives me the willies.....
I got my CCW permit in AZ because I was a little tired of the comments and lookks from the tourists when carrying open. That is the ONLY permit around here, and you DON'T have to have one to own, shoot, or carry a firearm.

burbanite
July 14, 2004, 11:41 AM
My town stats, nothing like Coatesville but this place is fast becoming a place for the rich folk so I'm not surprised. In Indiana a permit is required to carry, not to own.

City: ZIONSVILLE
County: Boone
Firearms Permits: 755
Adult (over 18 yrs) population: 5994
Permits per 100 adult population: 12.5959

AZRickD
July 15, 2004, 12:21 AM
"I don't need a gun," Gibson said the other day. "If you want something from me: Here, I'll give it to you."

What if the perp wants more than her money? What if he wants her life? What if rape is on his mind? Will she be as willing to "give it to" him?

Also, no where in the article does the reporter define the nature of the "gun permit." Many reporters bias their writing to make it seem like most jurisdictions require permits to own guns. This is not correct.

What he was describing was a permit to carry a firearm. He should have been more clear.

Skibane
July 15, 2004, 12:34 AM
The Indianapolis Star has a preoccupation with citizens owning guns that truly borders on the neurotic - one of the first newspapers to publish the names of every CCW holder in the county...

rangerbill
July 15, 2004, 04:49 PM
i guess i am a pesimist. i hate to kill your joy fella's but i gotta say that this article could be taken as a sad commentary on our society. there has got to be something wrong with a society where such high percentages of people are so afraid of crime that 70 to 80 percent of the citizens go out and spend the money to buy the gun and equipment, take the training and pay the fees to be able to carry a gun. what does that say about the state of society and the trust in the police and the system?

that being said i applaude all that did. i wish them well. we need more of us CCW people. and even though the dark commentary, i am glad to see such numbers of people getting the permits.

Desertdog
July 15, 2004, 05:49 PM
It really should be like the good old days where you ordered the firearm from the Sears catalog or went to the nearest local merchant that had them on display and you could walk out with your firearm.
Ahh, the good old days.

45 ACP
July 15, 2004, 09:01 PM
what does that say about the state of society and the trust in the police and the system?

OK, allow me to parse:

The state of society:

There will always be people who are willing to use force to take what you have. Until such time you (or anyone for that matter) can promise me that none of these types of individuals will come after me, I'll do whatever it takes to keep them from harming me or my family. Furthermore, until such time that some sort of "Star Trek" forcefield can be used to keep thugs away from me and my family, I'll resort to using the most efficient method I know: Firearms

Trust in the police:

I trust the police to come when I call in an emergency. I trust the police to protect me if they are around in a time of need. Our own government has recognized that the police have NO specific obligation to protect individuals. Therefore, I'll resort to using the most efficient method I know: Firearms

Trust in the system:

I trust the system to put away thugs and criminals AFTER they commit a crime. Until the system can prevent such individuals from harming me or my family BEFORE a crime is commited (which will never happen in a truly free society), I'll resort to using the most efficient method I know: Firearms

See a pattern developing? Take some responsibility for your own safety. Perhaps you already are as referenced by your own statement, "...we need more of us CCW people." Your post is very contradictory in the best of terms.

I get real teed off when others proclaim, "What does firearms ownership say about...."

What does HER statement say about HER willingness to protect what is important?

"I don't need a gun," Gibson said the other day. "If you want something from me: Here, I'll give it to you."

cordex
July 15, 2004, 09:37 PM
there has got to be something wrong with a society where such high percentages of people are so afraid of crime that 70 to 80 percent of the citizens go out and spend the money to buy the gun and equipment, take the training and pay the fees to be able to carry a gun.
I don't see it so much like that.

Around here, most people already have a gun or ten. Might be one that has been passed down a generation or two, or it might be a newer part of a collection. Formal training isn't required to get a permit in Indiana (though I personally suggest it), and the permit process is all of $25 for 4 years for adults over 18 with a clear criminal record. I don't think this is some huge catastrophe that people are looking at the old .38 in their sock drawer and thinking to themselves "Y'know, it might not be a bad thing to be able to get to this if'n I need it."

I'm typing this from my office in Avon. Believe me when I say that there's not a huge culture of fear out here.

In fact, one might be inclined to examine your statement and conclude that we live in sad times when someone would see a well armed community and think it a bad thing. ;)

ducktapehero
July 16, 2004, 09:47 PM
We have a couple guns here in the Ozarks too. :D

Art Eatman
July 16, 2004, 10:10 PM
rangerbill, you don't have to cause a car wreck or leave roller skates on your sidewalk or have cancer in order that you carry insurance against the liabilities from these problems.

My local constable when queried about response time answered, "Well, about 20 to 30 minute, if all the gates are open."

There are forms of insurance beyond some piece of paper for which you pay out some money each month...

And, "there has got to be something wrong with a society where such high percentages of people are so afraid of crime..." is absolutely incorrect. You are assuming fear. Sorry, but when one is armed there is no need to be afraid.

"Yea, tho' I walk through the Valley of the Shadow..."

:D, Art

fix
July 16, 2004, 10:23 PM
In Texas, you know you are in a small town when the cigaratette case next to the checkout at the grocery store has both cigarettes and ammo.

Hehe. Down heah in Jawja, you can buy a shotgun at the gas station.

El Tejon
July 16, 2004, 10:55 PM
cordex, by Vishnu, man--Avon--the horror! There's plenty to fear in Avon. Why you could get run over by a soccermom in her SUV, you could get the wrong order at the latte shoppe, you could speed and be slapped with a ticket for 46 in a 45, you could wander out into a field and a housing development or office park could be built on top of you!!!:what:

You kids, you think you're immortal. Just look at all the danger down there.:D

ranger,
1. It's Indiana, we already have our guns, no need to buy them;
2. No training is required, but a mighty fine idear;
3. What the heck is there to be afraid of--I carry a gun, why should I be afraid?:confused: I would really be afraid if I had to walk around unarmed like some sort of Eloi.

We carry guns as a declaration of capacity. An armed man can cope. That's what men do, they fix the problem, not sit around and bleat and moan (well, unless you write for the Indianapolis Star). No fear here, just everyday me--armed, trained, frosty, and full of sushi.:D

If you enjoyed reading about "There are a lot of guns in some small towns" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!