Is Billings a less safe place to be than it was five years ago? I ask because of the increase in the number of shootings here, most recently the few we read about from this weekend.

And another question for you: Have you taken additional precautions for yourself and your family due to the increase in gun violence?

I've got a home security system and an unbelievably good neighborhood watch program. In fact, if you should find yourself on my street, you should be smiling because you are on a whole bunch of cameras. You are also "in range"... Just thought you should know.

I know that years ago a lot of folks around here didn't even lock the front doors of their houses at night. That's not the case anymore.

READ MORE: Violent Montana Weekend Leads to Three Homicides

Things are just different here now. Just last year, law enforcement asked us to not leave our vehicles running during the cold weather, due to all of the vehicle thefts.

I have talked to friends who won't leave their garage doors open anymore, even when they are home because criminals have gone in and stolen chain saws, gas cans, and other stuff that you can easily pawn.

I feel that we are not as "small-town America" as we were even five years ago. And for us at Cat Country, that's one of the reasons why we decided to buy metal detectors for area schools. If we deter even ONE knife or gun from getting into the schools, then it's completely worth it.

READ MORE: Keep Montana Out of the News, Use Metal Detectors

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So, folks, have you increased your personal security, added cameras, alarms, or even bought a big ol' vicious dog to wake up the neighborhood when the criminals come calling?

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