Thankfully, through the smart choices of my parents and myself over the years, I have never had to face the particular challenges of living in a “rough” part of town… To be certain, Eastern Tennessee as a whole does have something of a significant drug problem, and Southern California was replete with gangs, illegal immigrants, and Lord alone knows what else, and southern Mississippi had an eclectic combination of all of the above, but I never feared for my life when leaving my apartment, and I never frequented anywhere that I felt inordinately unsafe.
Unfortunately, not all people are so lucky, and some folks do have to live in places where they literally cannot step outside of their homes or businesses without being attacked… and 80,000 of those American citizens live in Camden, NJ, where the police force has just been reduced by over 40%:
Since the city laid off nearly half its police force in January, the mayor and police chief have tried to stay positive, with the police chief even suggesting that his leaner force will be a model for others facing similar circumstances.
But after the layoffs of 163 police officers, Camden is feeling the impact. Callers to 911 who report things like home burglaries or car break-ins are asked to file a report over the phone or at police headquarters; officers rarely respond in person. “If it doesn’t need a gun and a badge at that location,” officers are not sent, the city’s police chief, J. Scott Thomson, said last week.
Yes, you read that right – unless the police department thinks your 911 call is important enough, they are not going to bother sending a law enforcement officer to your location. For the time being, their gauge by which something is “important” is listed above, but how long will it be until, “Oh, your rapist has already left the scene? Well, come on down to the precinct, and we will take your statement.”?
Of course, in free(r) America, this would pretty much be something of a non-event as the members of the community procured and carried whatever tools and implements they felt necessary to defend themselves and make up for their own individual risks associated with the decreased police presence. Unfortunately, New Jersey is not part of free(r) America, and thus the residents are left to this:
Residents have taken their own precautionary measures. One homeowner, Randolph Norfleet, has used the heavy snow this winter as a deterrent to local drug dealers, shoveling each storm’s accumulation onto the footpath where the dealers lurked alongside his home.
Mr. Norfleet, a 76-year-old retiree, knows that his strategy of using snow to deter drug dealers has its limitations, most obviously as the weather warms. Still, he recalled his shoveling with some satisfaction, filling the paths that most homeowners strive to make clear.
“I loaded it up,” he said. “I tried to make it impassable.”
Yes, you read that right – an elderly retiree is reduced to attempting to make his house’s paths and alleys impassable (and thus additionally unsafe for him) in order to make up for the fewer number of police officers on the street, and the fact that his state is completely unwilling to allow him to take appropriate steps to ensure his own safety and security. He is using snow to try to stave of drug dealers.
Does anyone see a problem with this?
As a small-government kind of person, I have absolutely no problems with cutting back any governmental agency to the absolute bare minimum, but when it comes to the police force, those reductions are only acceptable if the residents of their jurisdiction are permitted to protect themselves, as is their right. In New Jersey, where firearm ownership is encumbered by draconian laws, and bearing arms is effectively impossible, law-abiding citizens are forcibly rendered defenseless, while criminals – who are going to break laws anywise – carry whatever weapons they so desire. In situations where a government denies the right of self-defense to its citizens under the color of law, there is no escaping the responsibility that government then shoulders for ensuring the individual members’ of the public safety, regardless of court cases to the contrary.
And now that government is shirking its duty, and leaving 76-year-old men to fight off drug dealers with snow.
Make no mistake, this is the world the anti-rights nuts would have us live in. Budget cuts are going to be an unavoidable part of government at all levels for the coming decade, at least, and when combined with the patently anti-rights legislation “gun control” supporters propose, you will get situations like Mr. Norfleet in Camden, NJ. Though I have asked this countless times, and never gotten a satisfactory answer, why do anti-rights nuts aid and abet criminals?
(Courtesy of reader Chris T.)