One of the best ways of reducing crime is to make anti-social behavior more expensive. Simply stated, the goal is to alter the cost-benefit analysis of criminals.
This doesn’t mean, by the way, that I’m assuming that bad guys are geniuses who put together spreadsheets or engage in elaborate calculations. Instead, I’m simply suggesting that crime becomes less attractive if thugs have a feeling that they’ll be more likely to get caught and/or more likely to get harsh punishment.
And, as I explained in my IQ test for liberals and criminals, bad guys also will be less likely to commit crimes if they know there’s a non-trivial chance that they may get shot. I know that would change my cost-benefit analysis if I was a crook.
Unfortunately, an army base is one place where bad guys can feel confident that they’ll find unarmed victims.
This is worth discussing since, for the second time, we have a sad example of innocent – and disarmed – people getting killed at Fort Hood.
Glenn McCoy has a cartoon that aptly summarizes this issue.