Sheriff Mike Jolley of Harris County, Georgia put up a sign years ago that is now going viral for obvious reasons. I suspect it’s one of the reasons his county has a low crime rate. Cities, counties, and states are always looking for ways to drive the crime rate down and often the simplest answers are the best ones.
The crime rate in Harris County is about half the average rate for the state of Georgia, which is a remarkable feat.
“Every morning the children of Harris County gather around the welcome sign to recite the county pledge.”
Sheriff Jolley said:
“I think the sign speaks for itself. Citizens here have weapons and that’s legal.”
“The citizens have a legal right to protect themselves and their property. If you come into our county and kill someone, you might get killed back. Weapons are a tool. They’re not intended for someone to use in a criminal act.”
“It’s a way to say people in this county have a Second Amendment right and if someone uses a weapon, they’re likely in danger. Don’t do anything crazy. We’re likely to shoot back.”
Do guns really matter to criminals? Consider these examples. Let’s take James Holmes the Aurora movie house killer:
So why did the killer pick the Cinemark theater? You might think that it was the one closest to the killer’s apartment. Or, that it was the one with the largest audience.
Yet, neither explanation is right. Instead, out of all the movie theaters within 20 minutes of his apartment showing the new Batman movie that night, it was the only one where guns were banned. In Colorado, individuals with permits can carry a concealed handgun in most malls, stores, movie theaters, and restaurants. But private businesses can determine whether permit holders can carry guns on their private property.
How about the Columbine shootings?
And remember the 1999 Columbine attack in Colorado. Few appreciate that Dylan Klebold, one of the two Columbine killers, was following Colorado legislation that would have let citizens carry a concealed handgun. Presumably, he feared being stopped during his attack by someone with a weapon.
In fact, the Columbine attack occurred the very day that final passage was scheduled.
Now consider this. Since the 1950s only three mass shootings took place where guns are allowed to be carried. Coincidence? I think not.