Routine Activities Theory
Routine Activities Theory is a criminological theory that posits that for crime to occur, there must be an offender, a target and an opportunity due to the lack of a competent guardian (Akers & Sellers, 2009). The question becomes, what is a competent guardian? For all practical purposes, this guardian does not need to be armed, a licensed security officer or even a living being. The only requirement is that they effectively overcome the determination of the offender (Akers & Sellers, 2009).
The Armed Citizen
The armed citizen affects crime rates through being that competent guardian. Armed citizens are usually more situationally aware than unarmed citizens due to their training and decision to carry a weapon. It is this conscious effort that causes the armed to be more mindful of the happenings around them. This mindfulness causes them to observe the world around them with more clarity than they might otherwise have. It is this observation that the motivated criminal first notices. It is only at some point later they determine whether the competent guardian is also an armed citizen.
How many crimes are prevented because the competent guardian was enough to overcome the motivation of the offender?
Akers, Ronald L., & Sellers, Christine Sharon. (2009). Criminological Theories: Introduction, Evaluation, and Application (5th ed.). New York: Oxford University Press.