10:32pm | “With the weather starting to warm up,” reads the first line of the Long Beach Police Department media release, “the Long Beach Police Department would like to remind residents about the importance of properly securing their homes.”
It’s a stupid thing for the police to be press-releasing, right? Alas, we live in a world where it’s perfectly sound advice.
On the safety spectrum I probably fall somewhere halfway between paranoid and carefree, but locking my door is something I do every time I get home. I always have and always will, even though my life has never been lived in high-crime areas.
The reason for such relative rigor is that I view the question not as “Why should I lock my door?” but “Why shouldn’t I?”
However rarely, home-invasion robberies (as well as the more common, garden-variety type) do occur. And they can happen just about anywhere. Let’s say it happens only to one out of every million people. That statistic will be cold comfort if you’re the bad-lucky one.
Locking your door when you get home takes almost literally zero effort. You close the door, you turn the knob — no time lost, no calories burnt, no money spent.
I don’t do it because I’m particularly worried about being the one in a million. I do it partly because I feel that doing next to nothing is a negligible price to pay for reducing, however slightly, the chance that I will be victimized.
But it’s also because if I don’t and then turn out to be the poor bastard looking down the barrel of a pistol, I will never, never forgive my negligence (presuming I live through the ordeal), knowing that, since most home robberies are crimes of opportunity, my reasonless refusal to twist the deadbolt into place left the door open to my misfortune.
You’ve got nothing to gain by not locking the door behind you. But there is a small possibility that you might lose much if you don’t. So why not do it?
Yeah, it’s kind of a stupid thing to suggest or to feel the need to do. But in some ways we live in a stupid, stupid world.
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