are a lot of times when the police issue advice and people would do
well to listen. For example, once upon a time, people didn’t lock their
doors, but they started to in part because the police advised it. We
still do this and consider it pretty smart.
But the police in Oakland have kind of a bizarre suggestion.
the city sees more and more crime, law enforcement there recognizes
they can’t be everywhere, so the department offered some tips meant to
help keep people safe.
One was to put bars on your window to deter would-be home invaders. This isn’t a happy suggestion, but it’s still a solid one.
Yet that wasn’t it. They also said people should get air horns, of all things.
60-year-old retiree David Schneider was shot and killed here while
trimming a tree in his yard, his neighbor, Toni Bird, said she retreated
aren’t feeling safe out of their house,” she said. “It makes sense that
you would want to protect your house then, right? You would barricade
Amid a surge in crime in Oakland, California,
police have advised residents to use air horns to alert neighbors to
intruders and add security bars to their doors and windows.
who moved to Oakland 2 1/2 years ago, said she took their advice to
heart. She now has three air horns and five security cameras around her
Yes, very good. That way the police can identify her murderer by the hearing loss.
That’s because that’s exactly what you’re looking at here.
air horn is very loud and all that, but it’s not a terrible deterrent. I
get the idea is that the blast of an air horn might cause the intruder
to run away out of fear the police will soon be there, but that’s the
best-case scenario. The worst case is that the air horn pisses the bad
guy off and they brutally murder the resident, particularly in
neighborhoods not known for calling the police.
irony is that there is something residents could get that would
actually keep them safe. It’s even louder than an air horn, generally
speaking, and while it might anger the bad guy, it’ll also either stop
them dead in their tracks or scare them enough that they’ll actually run
I’m talking, of course, about a firearm.
gun is a more proactive tool. It doesn’t just assume someone will come
in to rescue you but is a tool that allows you to handle the situation
yourself. As such, it’s far more immediate than a neighbor calling the
An air horn is little more than a rape whistle for a home invasion. Here’s what AWARE.org has to say on the subject of personal alarms like this:
that someone will come to your rescue when you blow a whistle or set
off a siren is a wonderful fairy tale. Don’t fall for it. Not only are
noise-makers and rape whistles ineffective at deterring crime, they are
likely to do more harm than good, for several reasons.
on an alarm to summon aid means that you are depending on someone else
to come forth to rescue you. That is, you are betting your life on the
hope that someone will hear the alarm, and will respond, and will be
capable of stopping the attack. That’s a lot of ‘ifs’ that are out of
act of activating the alarm or blowing a whistle can take anywhere from
2 to 20 seconds, but the outcome of an attack is usually decided within
the first 8 to 10 seconds. So, if the noise doesn’t work, you may be
out of time, the loser, before you can try other options.
And yes, all of that applies to using an air horn as well.
difference is that an air horn blasting in a confined space is kind of
painful, which means it may well rile up a potential attacker even more,
making a violent assault even more likely.
gun, on the other hand, may cause discomfort too, but since it can be
used to kill the bad guy, it’s much more effective than something that
might make it harder to hear the TV.
police, however, can’t make that suggestion because of the politics
there. It’s a damn shame, too, because a gun is really the best option
in cases like this.