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Two-Thirds Of Americans Would Literally Die For Their Computers (And Other Fun Facts)

In the event of a burglary, people would rather die for their computers than their pets. And a shocking number of people think they could take on an intruder and win.

Question of the day: Would you die for your computer?

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If your answer is, “What? No,” then quite frankly you’re un-American. Because 63.5% of Americans would. That’s according to a new study from Safe Home, a professional review site “dedicated to making communities safer.” The company recently asked more than 2,000 people across the United States to imagine their house being broken into, then took record of their primary responses.

“Considering the advent of a digital age where so many memories are stored and saved digitally, protecting their computers seemed to be at the front of our survey takers’ minds,” the researchers wrote. “According to another study, 39% of the U.S. population fails to back up their computers at all, and only 19% back up their computers once a year. Thus, computers, which may have the only pictures of your children’s births or the video copies of your wedding, may be worth fighting–and possibly dying–for.”

The next most invaluable possessions were pets (59.1%), vehicles (56.6%), and cash (40.3%), which together says so much about Americans in 2017. More than a third (38.7%) say they’d die for their cellphone, 31.8% would die for their firearms, and less than a fifth would die for wedding items or jewelry.

Presumably, personal computers would have come after family and loved ones, had they been deemed eligible for saving in the survey, but given how little has made sense in the last year and a half, perhaps not.

Safe Home also asked respondents how they would handle a break-in, given a burglary occurs every 18 seconds, per a 2014 FBI report. That is, would they run and hide or stand and fight?

Overall, 36% of people said they would call the police while either hiding or sneaking out of their home. Almost a quarter (24%) of respondents said they would attack the home invader with fisticuffs or a weapon, even at great risk of personal harm; 18% would try to kill the burglar with a weapon, even if said weapon could be used against them; and another 9% would just scream and hope for the best.

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Respondents in Wyoming were the most likely to say they would “take matters into their own hands than wait for law enforcement to arrive,” followed by brave residents in Montana, Oklahoma, Maine, and Kansas. Meanwhile, people in Delaware and, curiously, Arizona were tied as most likely to trust the police to protect and serve, followed by cowardly “coastal elites” in New York and Massachusetts.

The survey found that 61.6% of respondents said they kept a weapon at home, and 26% keep a weapon in their car, which is interesting given that half of the country’s 265 million firearms are owned by just 3% of Americans. This suggests that either Safe Home surveyed a disproportionate amount of gun owners or that Americans are prepared to wield a kitchen knife, katana, bedpost, pepper spray, coffee thermos, or something else as a weapon when confronted with one of those “bad dudes” we hear so much about these days.

You can see the full survey here.

Before you go, remember that no matter how practiced you are with a gun, you’re no John Wayne or John Wick. And that for every time a gun is used in self-defense, there are four unintentional shootings and 11 attempted or completed suicides. Or, as the Harvard Political Review put it, “you’re far more likely to die at the hands of your own gun than you are to protect your family by shooting somebody else.”

[Images: via Safehome.org]

About the author

John Converse Townsend covers smart solutions to social problems, as a writer and social media producer for Fast Company. He likes: black coffee, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and long runs.

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