, Derry, New Hampshire


June 19, 2014

Editorial: Use alarms before arms

The report of two Derry burglaries when residents were home alarmed many readers. A Facebook post about them, intended to alert people to be more careful, was seen by more than 17,000 people.

On Tuesday morning, Derry police reported they are investigating a reported home invasion.

Police across Southern New Hampshire report an increase in burglaries over the past several years and they blame many of those crimes on people desperate for drug money.

When thieves are willing to risk a burglary when homeowners are present, it speaks to their desperation level.

The response to the news was varied, but an alarming number of people seem to believe guns are the answer.

Some of the responses were downright frightening. While it’s likely some comments were made in jest or with an overconfident air of bravado, it speaks to an increasingly common position that guns are the answer.

Some readers were more reasonable — lock your doors and windows, install exterior lighting, buy an alarm system, talk to neighbors and keep a watchful eye out, report suspicious activity to police.

This is Derry, not Dodge.

Daily police logs are overflowing with reports of car “break-ins” that cost the owners loose change, cellphones, GPS units, cameras and more. Read the reports more carefully and a majority of those cars were left unlocked.

There are very basic steps everyone should take to protect themselves, their family, their property, steps that should be taken long before deciding a gun is the answer.

What if that’s also the most popular solution to aggressive or inexperienced drivers? Would more people pack heat in the car and draw a weapon when someone cuts them off, fails to signal or follows too closely?

There are stories every day of road rage turned fatal, innocent people killed by trigger-happy homeowners, children dead from a bullet fired from a family firearm.

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