Poll - Shotgun decal on door - deterrent or attractor for burglars?

Discussion in 'Firearms and Hunting' started by CenterField, May 2, 2023.

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Is a door decal signaling that the homeowner owns a gun, a deterrent or an attractor for burglars?

  1. Deterrent

  2. Attractor

  3. It could be both; it depends (please post to explain why)

  4. Neither; it makes no difference

  5. I don't know

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  1. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Hi; I have a question for the gun owners here. I own a Mossberg shotgun for home defense. The box came with two decals saying "Mossberg." I'm considering if I should put one on my front door, and the other one on the backdoor to the backyard.

    This would signal that the homeowner owns a gun, and whoever tries to break in could get shot. On the other hand, I read somewhere (I don't remember where) that signaling that one owns a gun can actually attract burglars because guns are expensive items that are attractive for stealing.

    By the way, I don't own a safe to put the gun in. I'm aware that some of the advice here would likely be, "get a safe for the gun, then use the decals." Thanks but I do not intend to buy a safe at this time, and my question is rather one related to "deterrent versus attractor" regardless of whether or not a burglar would get to my shotgun. What I want is to prevent a break-in to start with, and I wonder if the decal is a good idea, or, pun intended, if it could backfire. Also, I already own an alarm system which includes cameras, and I do display decals for it. Let's focus on the preventive properties of the gun decal, please, regardless of other deterrents.

    Thanks in advance for expressing an opinion and voting.
     
  2. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Prolly depends. Most 'burglars' will case the joint and break in when (they think) no one is home. Now, criminals being criminals, they may not do a very good job, and that's when you find yourself confronted with a 'burglar' making the split second decision whether to try to run or try to finish the job after neutralizing you. Its also impossible to tell the difference between the 'burglar' (the vast majority) and the 'home invader' (the tiny percentage of break-ins interested in finding habitants for a host of variable and unpleasant reasons).

    For most, if they're confident in their 'casing' skills, they would likely view a home with guns as a benefit. At least if they can't find jewerly or cash, they can find some guns. An armed resident is likely to deter the latter (and more rare) home invader looking for people, because armed people are less fun.

    The sticker is probably more of a deterant against your neighbors getting robbed than you getting robbed. Civilian gun ownership is really more of a collective deterant against theft than an individual one. While its not terribly difficult to figure out when a homeoner is likely gone, trying to find a whole street of folks out of town isn't really an attainable goal. The worry that the burglary might be thwarted by nosy neighbors is gonna be on the mind of any criminal that is even halfway trying to plan out a job. If you live in an area where people are known to be armed, and/or where others have such a sticker, I'd say put it up and beef up the perceptions that your area isn't safe for crime. But if you're gonna be the only one on your street advertising that you have guns, prolly best to keep it on the down low.

    But either way is playing some odds.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2023
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  3. CenterField

    CenterField Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Good answer; thanks. I don't know if my neighbors have these stickers up or own guns (next time I walk around, I will have a look). I don't interact with too many neighbors; the ones I do interact with, I don't remember seeing any stickers. As for "casing" my house, I am retired and I stay home most of the time. I'm not sure if the potential bad guys would know that I'm home; I tend to quietly read a book or browse the internet in a room that isn't visible from the outside, and my car is parked inside a garage that doesn't have a window. So I worry about someone breaking in thinking that nobody is home, creating a situation of confrontation.
     
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  4. modernpaladin

    modernpaladin Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    If I was always home, I'd put the sticker up. With a light on, or maybe one of those 'tv simulator' lamps. In that case, you're trying to prevent a home invasion more than a burglarly. And in my mind, its admirable to advertize to your would-be enemies the liklihood of their demise. If the worst happens, at least you wont be left consternating about whether they knew what they were getting into or not. Advertize that you'll defend yourself, is my advise. The rest is on them.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2023
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  5. AARguy

    AARguy Banned

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    When I lived in San Diego we had a sign up with an arrow pointing to a neighbor's house that said something like "We're armed here. My neighbor is a liberal and isn't"... seemed to work... we were never burglarized. We have since retired to Texas. There is almost no violent crime here in our town at all. I'm sure the fact that there are more gun owners here than non-owners is a factor.

    Mossberg is a good choice. We have two, an autoloader and a pump... great fun to shoot. Putting a sticker like that on your door here would be redundant. Its Texas.

    TEXAS!!! WHERE FREEDOM LIVES!!!
     
  6. 557

    557 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting question.

    I would let the alarm system and alarm decals be the first line of defense and deterrent. The shotgun I would keep as a surprise second line. Nobody needs to know…

    I don’t own a safe. When I need a firearm I need it quickly more often than not. Also safes are very easy to breach by thieves.

    Our circumstances are probably quite different though. Anyone with an IQ over 75 would expect firearms to be present in my home, decals or no decals. A thief/ intruder of any intelligence level in your community would be hard pressed to know with any certainty if guns are in a home or not if it isn’t advertised. I would leverage that unknown because if God forbid you have to use your shotgun for defense it’s best if the perpetrator doesn’t know you are armed.

    On the specific deterrence vs. attraction question I have no idea. People swear both ways. I would make a wild ass guess that it evens out. It may deter some criminals and it may motivate others. That’s why I’d base my decision on tactical advantage if the worst does happen.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2023
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  7. FatBack

    FatBack Well-Known Member

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    I think it could do both. Serve as a deterrent for some but an advertisement for others.

    I used to have a sticker on my front door that was small and you had to walk up to the door to actually see it but it had a picture of a silhouette Target and it also said that nothing inside is worth dying for.
     
  8. Texan

    Texan Well-Known Member

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    I'm about to build a house on 6.6 acres in East Texas. Any gun stickers will go on the locked gate next to the big dog signs and "video in use" signs. Good fences make good neighbors.
     
  9. Texan

    Texan Well-Known Member

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    Duplicate.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2023

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