Can you imagine turning your car onto a seemingly peaceful neighborhood street and seeing this sign: THIS IS A GLOCK BLOCK. WE DON'T CALL 911.
An ominous warning, but a necessary one according to the people who live in Clackamas County, Oregon. They say their town is plagued with crime and the police haven't been able to curb it. Their solution? Become vigilantes. When something goes down, they don't call the cops. True to the sign, they pick up their glocks and handle the criminals on their own. This takes the notion of neighborhood watch to a new and scary level.
They say petty crime, theft, and vandalism are at an all-time high. "I will defend myself -- and my home," said one woman who had watched as a man stole a lawn statue from her yard and unsuccessfully tried to stop him. At that point, she decided to get a permit for a concealed weapon. Her reasoning for the drastic move? "If he got in the house, what then?"
Can you really blame them for wanting to take matters into their own hands? I personally am not a fan of guns. I think they are dangerous, especially if you have kids around. But more and more of our communities are being taken over by violence and crime. With all the cuts to police departments, so many people are left afraid and often forced to fend for themselves.
Take Detroit, for instance. Budget problems have forced the city to close police stations from 4 p.m. to 8 a.m. Instead, if there is an emergency, you make a report to a call center that will alert patrolmen if necessary. They call it "virtual police precincts." Problem is, there is nothing "virtual" about assaults, murders, and other violent crimes plaguing that city every hour -- especially at night.
So what are good, law-abiding people to do if the police don't help make their neighborhood safer? I certainly see their point -- they want to defend themselves and it's their right to do just that. But I can't help but worry about the additional problems this could cause. Just look at the case of Trayvon Martin. This kid was shot by a gun-toting neighbor who thought he was defending his neighborhood too.
Do you think these residents are doing the right thing or will they ultimately cause more problems?
Image via Bob n Renee/Flickr