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“I recognize that we live in a scary world full of scary people. Realtors, real estate agents, brokers, and others have every right, duty, and responsibility to protect themselves. But count me among those who think that the answer to gun violence is not introducing more guns into the equation. That argument has never made any sense to me. It’s like saying we can defeat heart disease by eating more cheeseburgers. The real answer is making sure we live in a safer world. I’ve often said that the world would be a better place if guns didn’t exist at all. Maybe that’s naïve or narrow-minded, but it’s what I believe.” – Ben Lane, Against: Real estate agents should not carry guns [via housingwire.com]

103 Responses to Quote of the Day: Real Estate Agents Should Not Carry a Gun Edition

  1. Oh that’s so wonderful, Ben. Another pie-in-the-sky, in-a-perfect-world, academic postulation. You must be a Liberal.

    No… back down here on Earth…. there’s a thing called reality. It doesn’t exist in a book, or in a liberal dream where we’re all holding hands singing. If you want a little dose, go take a trip down to your nearest City and maybe then we can start talking the same language and drop the ‘in a perfect world’ opining crap.

  2. My CPL instructor was a real estate agent for his day job. One of my coworkers moonlights as an inspector for foreclosed homes. Clearly Benny here does not work in the Detroit area because both my CPL instructor and my coworker have had to clear leather in the past. Be it angry squatters, angry neighbors, angry former homeowners, and even angry burglars stealing copper pipe. I feel anybody whose job it is to go up to/in supposedly empty houses have a greater duty to themselve to carry than I do.

    • “greater duty to themselve to carry than I do.”

      Agree with your points except this last.

      I’d argue your life is just as valuable as theis. Plus, if you have a family, your duty to them makes your life important by definition.

      Don’t sell yourself short. 😉

      • I agree, I was mostly commenting on the risk factor. I dont have to wander up to newly foreclosed homes in the ghetto and take pictures. Half of the time the former owners havent even been evicted yet and they are less than friendly. Merely being in a stupid place is sometimes enough to win a stupid prize.

      • Agreed.

        Equal duty and possibly greater *need*…but need doesn’t factor into rights, so while it’s a discussion point, that’s about all it is.

  3. It’s probably tough selling homes to those who purchase million dollar homes, who in are in secluded areas, and who aren’t going to hurt you…

  4. “Heart disease?” Oh, for heavens sake! Carrying a gun hardens the arteries, now! I work with a bunch of realtors down here in TX. Whenever one of their properties gets vandalized (stripped for copper, etc.) the first thing they do is call the police to clear the property. So naturally when a disgruntled renter figured out their lockbox codes and threatened their agents, they all tooled up. Cant call the cops every time you show a house.

    • ” It’s like saying we can defeat heart disease by eating more cheeseburgers”

      This is a classic straw man argument, the last refuge for those that can’t logically defend their argument and know it. Take an unrelated situation then apply a black and white false comparison and act like it supports your argument and make logical sense. The causes and solutions to heart disease and gun violence are two very different animals and this rose colored glasses wearer know it. But he feels, therefore he believes he is right because he feels.

      • Actually, given the latest data on fat and heart disease, you probably can cure heart disease by eating more cheeseburgers. As long as you leave off the buns.

      • When a doctor can’t convince a patient to sufficiently edit their diet, they prescribe medication to combat things like heart disease. So when you can’t convince criminals to give up their criminal ways and be good citizens (something we’ve been apparently getting better at judging by the crime rates falling, but not something we’ve exactly figured out perfectly yet), you’re forced to prescribe something to protect yourself from them (i.e. a gun and the knowledge on how to use it). And just like some people will edit their diet to get off medication, some criminals will give up their line of “work” when they think too many targets are armed.

        Also, Ben Lane looks enough like Saul from Breaking Bad that I can’t say I’d trust him (and that was before he open his mouth).

      • Actually, it is an inapt analogy. He is suggesting that more guns equals more crime (a common but incorrect assumption), just as more cheeseburgers means more heart disease. His error is that you don’t fight heart disease with a cheeseburger, but you do fight crime and criminals with a gun. More cheeseburgers means more heart disease; more guns means less crime.

  5. I’m reminded of the case out west where a thug with a knife made appointments to tour houses so he could assault/rob female real estate agents. He didn’t get one woman because she sensed something was weird and brought her husband. He then robbed and murdered a second woman because she was there in the model all by herself. Anybody who thinks a female of any profession should be vulnerable ‘for principle’ is one of the principal idiots in our country.

      • Hey, juliesa, saw your comment at the linked article–well done! (I’m assuming it was you, surely there isn’t another “juliesa” out there).

    • Exactly. He is deciding that since he is not a target for rape in his real estate job, female real estate agents should give up their most effective means of self-defense. They are showing empty houses to people they do not know, while alone, and he wants them disarmed so he FEELS safe. The guy is an inhabitant of the back side of the bell curve.

  6. The real answer is a broad fanciful statement? Derp.
    The real answer to death is making sure people don’t die.
    The real answer to poverty is making sure people arent poor.
    The real answer to not being a dumbass is not being a dumbass.
    Things are a little more complex than that.
    No reassemble Johnny-5. No reassemble.

  7. There is so much fail here. The answer for him is to not allow good people to arm themselves. Actually, that’s not even true because he doesn’t ever even hint at an answer. All he has done is attempt to run from the problem and then take an obviously impossible and self-stated naieve position that if the problem didn’t exist it wouldn’t exist. Using his logic in order to end heart disease we need to stop exercising and cease producing medications, although it’s obviously a shaky comparison in the first place. But just as there is a difference between heart medication and exercise and guns there is a difference between guns in the hands of good people and guns in the hands of criminals.

    On every point his comment does not follow and only reinforces his closing statement that he holds a naieve and narrow-minded position which does not reflect really at all.

    • A better expansion of his heart disease comparison would be the following.

      People use money to buy cheeseburgers and get heart disease.
      No more money = no more cheeseburgers and thus no more heart disease!
      (nevermind those people that have genetic heart disease and can now no longer buy medicine with no money)

    • You’re both absolutely right, his argument is a complete non sequitur. A truer statement would have been: “It’s like saying we can defeat heart disease by eliminating Lipitor.”

  8. That was just a terrible analogy. Informative, as it shows his belief that firearms, like heart disease, are a plague only with no positive purpose. That one mistake is what makes it such a poor comparison.

    Such a predictable and poorly thought out position…..

  9. The suggested 10 steps to protect yourself are priceless: http://www.housingwire.com/articles/30984-fatal-tragedy-after-open-house-reminds-realtors-of-dangers

    2) Check your cell signal.
    Calling for help lets the perp know he only has 10 or 15 minutes to do what he wants to you and should hurry it along or take you to another location.

    5) Have open house guests sign in.
    So the cops can look for Rapey McMurder on Assault Street when they see your corpse and the sign-in sheet that obviously has complete and accurate information on it.

    7) Avoid basements.
    Because that’s where Chudd lives?

    Most of the “tips” seem designed around making it quicker to find your body because I guess a house is harder to sell with the stench of six week old carcass in the air.

    • OK, I admit, I didn’t read that list. But I’ll bet they forgot “pee on yourself before you show a house”.

  10. yea, he’s certainly entitled to run around pre-victimized if he so chooses, but he doesn’t get to make that choice for everyone else.

  11. I started carrying when I started working as a residential realtor. No way in hell was I going to tour strange homes with clients or host open houses where any person could show up and cause havoc. I never talked about carrying with my colleagues, but I don’t think the majority ever really thought about arming themselves.

    Hey, some people are too stupid to wear seat belts in the car or helmets on motorcycles.

  12. Five years ago my mother walked into her real estate office one morning to find the bloody evidence of another real estate agent’s murder by a delinquent (and disturbed) tenant that they were about to evict. My mother helped the police track down the guy and immediately got her carry permit. My wife earned her real estate license this summer and had her permit to carry within a month.

    You go ahead and be a victim Mr. Lane; my wife will be coming home to our family every night.

  13. Let’s all print the word “SAFE” on a piece of paper and send it to Mr. Lane. Then when his panties get in a bunch, he can hold the papers and “feel” safe…

      • No snakes in New Zealand! But I have asthma, low energy, and sore knees, so walking will be a low priority today. This guy Ben must have been having a low blood sugar episode when he burst into print, so I suggest he grab a cheeseburger and wait until the blood has returned to his brain, before blessing us again with his incomparable wisdom.

        Unfortunately, we are also forced to go unarmed in this country. But as property is beyond the reach of the poor criminal classes, there is little hazard in real estate activity. Crime here has fallen dramatically since the economy tanked, probably because the crims can’t afford petrol to go a-robbing. Also because we’re all too broke to have anything worth stealing anyway. But rich Americans and Chinese people can buy anything they want. Our Prime Minister has changed our flag to a “For Sale” sign, and his golfing buddy Obama keeps the links with the global intelligence network up and running. Not our country any more. At least it’s not Australia.

  14. It’s just like when I go to a concert in Detroit, I leave my car unlocked with the key in the ignition for the five or six hours I’m leaving it unattended, because securing it doesn’t do anything to treat the underlying societal and economic problems that would lead to someone wanting to unlawfully take it or any valuables that might be contained therein.

    No, wait, I don’t do that, because getting home after the show is of more immediate importance to me than “fixing the world.” If Mr. Lane were to fall ill with a serious disease, would he also eschew any pain relievers because they treat a symptom without affecting the underlying cause? Or, for an example more analogous to his statement, does he oppose treating heroin addicts with methadone?

  15. If heart disease was inflicted on one as a form of assault, then yes, a defensive cheeseburger would be a thing…and a good band name.

  16. I guess he has not recognized peace through superior firepower is the law of the world since the beginning of time. Short of tweakers no instigators thinks let me go mess with an armed citizen, they go for societies lambs.

    • The problem is that peoples memories are very short. When they have never had to fight for peace or freedom in their lifetime, they forget the necessity. All they have ever known is peace, so they believe that peace is something that exists in the absence of violence, not from the appropriate application of it.

      Peace is earned. Peace has to be maintained and enforced by deterrent. Anyone that says otherwise speaks from a place of ignorance.

    • Exactly right. Then it was the biggest baddest guy or the best guy with a sword or other device that could maim or kill. The weaker folks without the strength, training or resources had no protection from those brutes. Now they do.Guns can be great equalizers in the right hands.

  17. “The real answer is making sure we live in a safer world. I’ve often said that the world would be a better place if guns didn’t exist at all. Maybe that’s naïve or narrow-minded, but it’s what I believe.”

    There were no guns in the 10th century. Yuppers. It was MUCH safer back then. Kumbaya!

    • Well he is right about one thing: He is naive and narrow minded. He can believe whatever he wants but I don’t want him forcing his naive beliefs on me or my loved ones and helping to make laws that put them in harm’s way. What an idiot!

  18. I worked as a real estate agent for 3 years some time ago. Several instances during that time of agents being molested or killed while on duty at open houses in remote areas. If I were doing that job today I would definitely be carrying. Same for showing homes to someone you don’t know. Real estate agents take risks every day and many of them don’t even know it. I am all for concealed carry for real estate agents. If my son, daughter or wife did that job today I would encourage them to do the same. Who is this guy and why does he think he has the right to make those kind of decisions for others? Put him in a remote home out in the boonies and let him sit there for hours wondering if the next person that drives in is normal or a nut case that wants to hurt him, kill him and steal his car, wallet, etc.. People like this guy make me sick. No guns at all? Get real. After we get rid of all of the guns lets get rid of all the knives, shovels, bats, bricks and anything else that might be used to hurt someone. Crazy talk.

    • Yep. Is it just me or does this guy have a really creepy vibe…

      the kind of very last person I’d want my girlfriend, wife, or daughter visiting an empty house alone with…

      “Oh, trust me, I know whats best for you.”

  19. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, no matter how wrong it is. If you read the article, you will see a link to a counter point from his colleague, Trey Garrison. Trey has a lot of influence and makes some great points in favor of carry by realtors and any one connected to real estate. The article can be found at

    http://www.housingwire.com/blogs/1-rewired/post/31275-for-real-estate-agents-should-take-up-arms.

    You ought to check it out.

    Disclosure: I know Trey personally. Former ranger, stand up guy, arch supporter of the 2nd Amendment.

  20. Do not attack the ignoramus for being ignorant without first trying to educate him…

    Instead of reacting emotionally, I say let’s run with his analogy:

    1a. Main facilitators of death from heart disease may be bad diet coupled with poor exercise habits.

    1b. Main prevention and treatment for heart disease is good diet coupled with proper exercise.

    1c. At least until the heart stops beating and we assume room temperature, we do not eliminate ALL food, or stop exercising, simply because eating the wrong foods and bad exercise might make the problem worse.

    ———————-

    2a. Main facilitators of crime by bad people may be having weapons available for offense coupled with an “I’m a victim” attitude in the targets.

    2b. Main deterrence of crime by bad people is having weapons available for defense coupled with an “I’ll not be a victim” attitude in the targets.

    2c. At least until the urge to do wrong entirely disappears from all Human society, we do not eliminate ALL weapons, or stop cultivating the correct attitude, simply because weapons in the wrong hands and having a weak attitude make the problem worse.

    =====================

    Yeah, his is not the best of analogies; but, if Mr. Lane wants to think of crime and violence as similar to heart disease, I CAN work with that…

    Can he?

    • His analogy is pathetically bad. The first step should be teaching him how to reason before we teach him how to seek the truth.

      • The problem is, analogies are used for “explication” not for “reasoning.” I can give you the long, convoluted logical proof of that; but, suffice to say, you use an analogy to make your underlying argument comprehensible to your argument, not to advance your argument.

        If Mr. Lang’s analogy seems “bad,” it is because his underlying argument is bad. In point of fact, I think it illuminates his [wrong headed] position quite well:

        1. Guns *cause* crime.

        2. More guns = more crime.

        3. We should not add more guns to an already bad situation.

        As such, his argument is essentially the same as we have heard many times from other gun-control-ignoramuses. From that point of view, the “heart disease” analogy is also a good obfuscatory technique…

        My argument is:

        1. Guns are tools that can be used for Good or Bad.

        2a. Bad things happen when we have too many tools in Bad Hands.
        2b. Bad things are stopped when we have enough tools in Good Hands.

        3. Let’s put MORE guns (and attitude) into Good Hands.

        ===========================

        I recycled Mr. Lang’s analogy not as an “argument,” but as a counter-point explanation.

        Personally, I detest people who “argue by analogy” (especially when they are on “my side”) because they start, ipso facto, with bad premises and build from there — making any “conclusions” drawn unsound by definition.

        Remember: analogies are for explanation, not argumentation!

    • I use my gun to fend off a lethal attack. I do not eat cheeseburgers to fend off a heart attack, and I don’t think anybody else does either. His analogy is a crock.

  21. That is his right to believe that. It was my agents right not to believe that and she did carry. When I saw that she was carrying I knew I had the right real estate agent and she didn’t bat an eye when I said “I am looking for a place with property where I can set up a small range for myself”. We signed on a place about a month after telling her that.

  22. That is what I’d call the view from the ivory tower where theories always work and just stating what ought to be is sufficient to make it so. I would agree that there ought not to be violence, crime, whatever. But in the real world those things exist whether we like it or not.

    The question is will we take or duck responsibility for our personal safety?

  23. His analogy is wrong in the first place, which is why he chose it for his straw man argument.

    blaming the gun for violence is like blaming heart disease on the fork. no doctor ever tells you to stop using a fork to keep from having a heart attack.

    • His analogy is good; his underlying argument is bad. His analogy does an excellent job of exposing his [flawed] argument…

      By the same analysis, your analogy is good; and, thankfully, your underlying argument is good. As with Mr. Lane’s, your analogy does an excellent job of exposing your [sound] argument.

      Attack his argument, not his analogy…

  24. His analogy makes absolutely zero sense and gives away the fact he has no reasoning skills. Very simply, if you are attacked by someone who does not care to play by societal rules, would you rather have the tools to defend yourself or be a victim? Because those literally would be the only two options. Unfortunately, I think this guy would rather be a victim than to even think about having to fight for his life/that of his loved ones, which makes him pathetic and he and his ilk wish the same inability to be able to act and defend oneself on the rest of us.

  25. The first thing that we learned in our real estate training class was horror stories about a couple agents who were abducted and shot after being lured to a showing. The author of the article an do what he wants but I still carry when showing homes in any area of town.

    Choose life. Carry every waking moment. The life you save may be your own.

  26. Ayup. So disarm the Army. Because more guns only cause more violence.

    Like Chris Matthews said: bombing ISIS will only lead to more violence. Of course he said that before his “thrill up my leg” Obama decided to bomb ISIS, so it shouldn’t be too long before he claims he was taken out of context.

    [And if you can’t smell the reek of sarcasm in this comment, you probably also agree with Ben Lane’s thesis.]

  27. ‘It’s like saying we can defeat heart disease by eating more cheeseburgers.’

    I was thinking more like ‘It’s like saying we can put out oil well fires with dynamite.’

    • Actually, that’s exactly HOW they do it. The explosive deprives the fire of oxygen and it goes out. Or, at least it did when John Wayne was in charge.

  28. “The answer to violence isn’t to defend yourself, it’s to cry like a little girl while you’re assaulted or murdered.”

  29. Apparently Ben hasn’t been been paying attention to dropping crime rates in areas where firearms are allowed to be kept and carried by the public.
    Sounds like another poor soul lost in an analogy. Bummer.

  30. He says, “the world would be a better place if guns didn’t exist at all.” How was the time before guns less violent? I have a rapier in the other room, and trust me, it was not designed for carving turkey. I am part Native-American, and my ancestors did not do too bad killing without guns. Geez.

    • Yes, I’m sure life was so much better when there were no equalizers, and physical strength decided the outcome of any encounter. I’m sure it was just a paradise on earth, and nobody was raped, robbed, or killed by a bigger stronger assailant.

  31. The gunpowder genie is out of the bottle, man. You can’t stop the creation of firearms or 100% prevent them from falling into the hands of criminals. A better analogy to your line of thinking would be “We stop getting sick by not washing your hands anymore.” That’s ludicrous.

  32. Suit yourself, sparky. I respect anybody willing to be robbed/raped/beaten/killed just so they can say they took a stand against “gun violence.” How very noble of you.
    Just stay clear of me and mine, please. Your victim-in-waiting stench could get on my stuff, and I’d hate to perforate a poor, misunderstood young criminal because he thought he smelled fear on me.

  33. “I’ve often said that the world would be a better place if guns didn’t exist at all.”
    Right. I LOOONG for a return to a time of swords, when the elite could more easily control their subject by virtue of the fact that swords favor the highly trained. One knight could ride rough-shod over a village of uppity peasants. That’s why the Japanese tried so hard to ban gun-powder weapons. They equalized their highly stratified society.

    Technology makes things better: the printing press and guns are major benefactors of human kind. Yes, both get abused. I’m not abusing any guns (other than, maybe, by neglecting some of mine). Mr Lane should set and example by stopping his abuse of the press.

  34. he’s even behind on the science. The sat fat = heart disease theory was debunked years ago, although many nutrition scientists bitterly cling to it.

  35. Speaking as a real estate broker in California who was first licensed as an agent in 1988, I would like to use my over 20 years of experience as a real estate professional to inform this gentleman that a) he is an idiot and b) the right to defend yourself as you see fit should be exercised by anyone willing to do so – including folks in real estate.

    While real estate people do not take the same kind of risks as some, we do tend to find ourselves going into vacant homes, foreclosed homes or homes in dicey areas. So we do get exposed to slightly higher level of risk than the average person. To suggest it is a better idea to be unprepared to defend yourself is just plain stupid.

  36. That’s all fine and dandy, but since we all must live in reality, best we counter the threats with equal or greater force.

  37. I detest the conflating of self-defense with “gun violence”. Equating a woman defending herself against rape and murder and a gangbanger gunning down a rival in the street is despicable and anyone who would do so, even implicitly, is the lowest of the low.

  38. “I’ve often said that the world would be a better place if guns didn’t exist at all. ”

    Ok, fair enough. Once everyone, including governments and criminals, turn in their guns, then I will too.

  39. I try not to click on the links but wow. What a doofus. Yep several female realestate agents attacked near Chicago. Heck I’m even opposed to having a stranger come over from Craigslist. Lots of foreclosed property in my neighborhood south of Chicago. I’m surprised there isn’t MORE violence as bad as things are. BTW my brother is a real estate agent in Florida(near Orlando). He’s also an anti and stated he moved back to the US to “vote for Obama”. I think I’ll mess with him and find out his opinion on this LOL

  40. No, Mr. Lane, arming yourself against violence is not like eating more cheeseburgers to prevent heart disease. It is prudent and a logical choice, not to mention an unalienable right, that many respectable Americans choose to partake in every day. Protecting yourself and those you love is in no way akin to gluttony. Gun violence however may be likened to pursuing heart deisease through poor self control and bad habits. It is something that is arrived at after a series of choices, ones that those who participate in such things ought to have know better than to make, and eventually leads to harm, either to oneself or to those around them. Please do not compare my responsible enactment of my right to protect myself and others to slobbery. A metaphor does not a good argument make.
    Sincerely,
    PG

  41. “But count me among those who think that the answer to gun violence is not introducing more guns into the equation.”

    First off, it’s not an equation. It’s an inequality. You have some very bad people out there who have more strength, greater numbers, and unlimited malice, who are bent on hurting peaceful people, taking their things and destroying their lives.

    It’s only firearms, those great, not equalizers, but inequality reversers, which can turn the tables on evil doers.

    Second, all of those unequal advantages are in the service of very bad people. It is those people who are the source of misery among the civilized, not any inanimate objects.

    This fellow is wrong both about the nature of the relationships, as well as being wrong about all of the variables involved. It isn’t that more guns meaning less crime doesn’t add up. It’s that this fellow just can’t do the math.

  42. http://iowacoldcases.org/case-summaries/ashley-okland/

    I went to High School with this beautiful, highly intelligent, extremely compassionate young woman. She was a Real Estate Agent in West Des Moines who was murdered while working at one of the townhouses open for a showing.

    I truly wish she had a defensive firearm that day. It might have allowed her to protect herself, perhaps not. But at least she might have had a fighting chance.

  43. Well, Mr Lane wants to improve the world by removing violence. The only effective way to do this is to immediately execute all those convicted of any violent offense, no matter how severe or trivial. Mr Lane is now happy he doesn’t have to gird his loins and take responsibility for his own personal safety and that of his family.

    Then one day he stops suddenly in a crowded street, turns quickly as he remembers he has appointment elsewhere. As he turns, he accidentally slaps a woman looking at her cell phone. Now he is before the Courts. He is convicted of violence against a woman, and is led out to the execution yard. His last thought will be “I only wanted a better world!”

  44. “But count me among those who think that the answer to gun violence is not introducing more guns into the equation.”

    OK. That puts you among the ranks of the wrong.

    “That argument has never made any sense to me.”

    Probably because you have none.

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