Is an armed society a polite society? A small town in Idaho sure seems to think so. According to NBC 4, the town of Greenleaf, Idaho recently put up five signs at its borders, proudly proclaiming that the area is “Not a gun free zone.” According to the city council, which raised money to install the signs through private donations, the signs are there to warn criminals that residents are armed.
“There’s a right place for guns,” Kelly McBride, who has lived in the town for about 10 years, told KBOI. “A place that they can be used. We should have the right to protect ourselves from criminals and hopefully these kind of signs deter crime in the long run.”
The city council said that citizen approval for the signs was overwhelming. That was not surprising, especially since the vast majority of the town’s 900 residents already own firearms. In fact, in 2006 the city council passed an ordnance that encouraged residents to own a firearm and necessary ammunition. It should be noted that the city ordinance did not mandate gun ownership if residents opposed it for religious reasons or on other grounds. There was some opposition to that ordinance, but most of the negative attention came from outside the community after it was reported on by national media.
Founded by Quakers and named in honor of the abolitionist and poet John Greenleaf Whittier, the town prides itself on its self reliance. Greenleaf has no police force and crime is low enough to where minor vandalism is considered big news. Its residents want to keep it that way, and the booming populations of nearby suburbs have some worried that crime may soon come to Greenleaf.
They hope the signs will make criminals think twice before driving into the town. You can watch an interview with residents below: