GUIZERIX: Locking your car could prevent more gun violence

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Vicksburg Police Department reported five automobile burglaries over the weekend, including four thefts from unlocked cars and three firearms being stolen.

All but one of the reported auto burglaries took place in broad daylight.

Long gone are the days when people didn’t have to lock their back doors, when you could trust a passerby on the street. We must be vigilant about locking our cars, not only for the sake of our personal belongings but also in the name of keeping weapons out of the hands of people who intend to do harm.

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According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the number of auto thefts in 2020 totaled 873,080. That equals nearly $7 billion in stolen goods.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police asserts that 50 percent of automotive burglaries are due to unlocked cars. Drivers leave a wallet or purse in plain sight 25 percent of the time.

The organization Behind the Badge reported in a recent survey that anywhere from 237,000 to 380,000 firearms are stolen every year from gun owners. If the person who stole the gun isn’t using it for violent crime, there’s a strong likelihood that they’re selling the stolen guns to people who will commit violent crimes.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the majority of stolen guns are handguns. The FBI also reported that the majority of violent offenders have either stolen weapons or trafficked them.

The simple task of remembering to lock your car before walking away — or better yet, leaving your guns locked in a safe place at home or concealed in your vehicle — can be a small step toward reducing gun violence.

It’s happening in our backyard, a block or two from parks where our children play, where we go to church. And it has to come to an end.

Guns don’t fire themselves, and they don’t kill people. The problem is simple: guns are winding up in the wrong hands in Vicksburg, leading to the destruction of families, of entire neighborhoods.