The Best Thing This Week: Finally, a Fresh Reason to Oppose Gun Violence!

Appealing to basic human decency doesn’t seem to be working. A new study suggests a different approach.

Photo by Matt Slocum/AP

We continue to be astonished at this country’s slavish adoration of the ethically (and soon, pray God, actually) bankrupt NRA and firepower in general. No other nation in the world loves guns the way Americans do. We like to shoot up elementary schools! NightclubsCountry-music concertsWalmarts! Movie theaters! Churches and synagogues! We blow away babies in their mothers’ arms! WHAT IF SOMEBODY BREAKS INTO MY HOUSE, HUH? WHAT THEN? And never mind if you’re much more likely to use that gun on yourself than on anybody else.

But a new study by Philadelphia City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart shines a possible gleam of light into the dark, fetid pit of American gun ownership. Concerned about property values in your neighborhood? A single murder, Rhynhart says, can drive down property values within three quarters of a mile of the site of the killing by an average of 2.3 percent. That means losing one of your neighbors to gun crime slashes an average of $3,400 off your home’s potential sale price — and new kitchen cabinets aren’t gonna help one bit. Hey, if appealing to human decency to get guns off America’s streets isn’t working, maybe aiming at folks’ pocketbooks will work instead.