LA Times Writer Wants Gun Ownership Reported on Real Estate Listings, but for the Opposite Reason as You

AP Photo/Michael Conroy

When you’re considering moving to a new area, what are the pluses that matter most?

Low crime? Good schools? Trash pickup?

A writer for The Los Angeles Times has another metric that may be worth consideration.


On Tuesday, opinion columnist Virginia Heffernan took to Twitter with an idea:

“Real-estate listings should include prevalence of gun-ownership in a 50-mile radius…”

She’d also like info on the “number of annual mass shootings in the region.”

“Time to change what a ‘bad neighborhood’ is,” she announced.

What if someone owns a modern sporting rifle, also known as the best-selling hunting rifle in America?

She believes that’d constitute a bad place for children:

“[A]nd introduce a meaningful tax on guns and gun violence. No one should say, ‘This is a great place to raise kids’ about neighborhoods where even one person has an assault rifle.”

Stop all the racializing:

“The metric would be simple. Example: Staten Island (pop 474k) has 4x the gun ownership per capita of the Bronx (pop 1.4m). If that reads as safer or more [free] to some people, Staten Island is for them. If not, maybe time for the Bronx. Take race, class, politics out of the real-estate equation.”


There’d definitely be a lot of items to track.

In 2018, Switzerland’s Small Arms Survey reported there were nearly 400,000,000 guns in the United States.

That was, obviously, two years before 2020’s gun-buying surge.

As for “assault rifles,” the AR-15’s certainly been vilified courtesy of impressive, dedicated effort by some on the Left side of the aisle.

Meanwhile, of course, ownership of any firearm doesn’t equal impending murder, and the lightweight modern rifle isn’t employed in most gun crimes.

The vast majority of such are, as you know, committed with handguns.

According to the Pew Research Center, of the FBI data available, handhelds were used in 64% of America’s 10,982 gun murders and non-negligent manslaughters in 2017.

That same year, only 4% involved a rifle — that’s any rifle, not just the AR-15.

As for mass shootings, long guns aren’t necessary. The deadliest as of 2007 — Virginia Tech’s 32-fatality assault — was accomplished via one Glock 19 handgun and one Walther P22 handgun.

That crime spree remains the most lethal school shooting in history (1927’s attack on Michigan’s Bath Consolidated School saw 44 perish, but by way of a bomb).


Back to Virginia Heffernan, she made the news in February over the kindness of her neighbors — who may or may not own an AR-15.

At the time, she reported they’d plowed her snow-covered driveway and done “a great job.”

Unfortunately, those folks weren’t too dissimilar from Nazis — they supported Trump.

She wrote, “My neighbors supported a man who showed near-murderous contempt for the majority of Americans. They kept him in business with their support. … I…can’t give my neighbors absolution; it’s not mine to give.”

But their generosity made things tough:

When someone helps you when you’re down, or snowed in, it’s almost impossible to regard them as a blight on the world. In fact, you’re more likely to be overwhelmed with gratitude and convinced of the person’s inherent goodness.

She recalled a French family once saying of Nazi occupation during WWII, “We were happy because Nazis were very [polite].”

Additionally, she compared the weirdos next door to Hezbollah:

The favors Hezbollah does for people in the cities Tyre and Sidon probably don’t involve snowplows, but, like other mafias, Hezbollah tends to its own — the Shiite sick, elderly and hungry. They offer protection and hospitality and win loyalty that way. And they also demand devotion to their brutal, us-versus-them anti-Sunni cause. Some of us are family, the favors say; the rest are infidels.


As for Virginia’s real estate revolution regarding the number of folks’ firearms, the guns would — of course — have to be registered. Hence, the count wouldn’t necessary include those possessed for criminal use.

Having said that, if not for the registration component, I’d guess most conservatives would love the idea.

They’d assume, very possibly, that an armed neighborhood would mean a safer one.

Furthermore, if the information was made known to criminals, many would bet they’d target other, more defenseless areas.

And that, my friends, is what you call a great cultural divide.

We’re headed toward a point where polar-opposite sides want the same things for polar-opposite reasons.

The split was once nowhere near so severe.

And there used to not be such an aversion to guns.

In the 1950’s, a rifle in the home wasn’t an incendiary idea.

Neither was it, largely, in the 80’s.

Virginia’s concerned about a “bad” America.


The one to which she refers — one in which houses host guns — was previously known to both Republicans and Democrats as just “America.”



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