California likes to consider itself on the cutting edge of social programs and celebrates when policies implemented there are duplicated in other parts of the country. Sometimes these programs see wide acceptance, as with legalized medical marijuana. Other times, it serves as a warning to the rest of us, a guide to what NOT to do.
California is imploding under the weight of its leftist policies. Homelessness has reached epidemic proportions despite state and local aid programs that cost taxpayers millions. Tent cities scar what were once scenic views and safe walkways. Drug use is rampant. Crime is skyrocketing. People are leaving the state in droves. Why? Progressive prosecutors, bail reform, and emptying the prisons are three big reasons. Leftist policies that make many property crimes misdemeanors instead of felonies is another.
Hopefully, other states are learning from the catastrophe in California and won’t repeat their mistakes.
Murders and robberies, once inner city problems, are encroaching on the suburbs and moving into wealthier neighborhoods. Crimes like the flash mob smash-and-grabs, covered here last week, attract media attention and make people feel unsafe. Law Enforcement’s inability to stop them and the justice system’s refusal to detain and jail those arrested for these crimes contribute to the problem.
The Beverly Hills Police Department is adding five new officers to fight crime, but it won’t do any good if prosecutors keep releasing the criminals. “Literally, we’re arresting the same people again and again and letting them right out to commit more crime,” he told KCAL-TV. Blame the legislators and prosecutors who prefer to “reform” criminals rather than incarcerate them. If reforming them worked, they would have been reformed as juveniles.
Two Future Paths
As I said last week, the rise in crime is just another step on the path towards the U.S. becoming more like a third-world country. There are two obvious paths for the country: Continue to follow the lead of liberal states like California and New York or treat criminals like Sheriff Joe did in Arizona back when he was in charge. Don’t arrest or prosecute people who steal less than $950 worth of goods in California or implement Rudy Giuliani’s “Broken Windows” approach, which showed stopping the minor crimes prevents the larger crimes. Continue to allow gangs to indiscriminately shoot each other, often killing innocent bystanders, or restart the anti-crime units that many mayors pulled to appease the Defund the Police movement.
What happens in your city may depend on your elected officials. If you elect leftists, expect socialist programs.
Today, many police are almost powerless to stop crime. For example, there are cities where the police may not engage in high-speed pursuits because of the potential danger to the criminal or to an innocent third party. (They city’s liberal leadership ignores the potential danger of a criminal that remains at large.) As a result, criminals often get away. Then they go out the next day or the next week, steal another car and commit another crime.
Many Cities have Peaked
Cities have a cycle, they go from high to low and then experience and renaissance and build back up again. The cycle takes at least 50 years. Most cities have peaked and are on their way down the curve. COVID and the work-from-home movement may have accelerated their decay. Fentanyl may cause as many problems in the near future as crack did during the last downswing. Expect inflation and the economy to have further negative effect.
I suggest you leave while you can still sell your home at a profit and before they curtail city services as the tax base shrinks.
Several days ago, I discussed the use of firearms to fend off a home invasion. Today, we’re focused instead on living where the home invaders don’t. If you can’t see using a firearm to keep from being victimized, then your safest course may be to move to a safer area.
Where to Go?
I don’t care if you live in a gated community patrolled by former Army Rangers, you cannot stay perpetually safe in an unsafe area. You will have to leave your protected enclave occasionally. If you are concerned that you or your family may be victims of crime, move to a safer area. That may be a conservative city with a low crime rate and an active police department. It may be a small town.
If you have liberal leanings and don’t want to live in a small town or rural America, consider a college town. Many college towns are relatively safe because the township has a vested interest in keeping crime down so as not to scare away the tuition dollars. They also have high professor salaries that keep the tax income flowing. Universities often sponsor cultural attractions unavailable in some small towns, from music and art to sports. Just don’t buy property near Fraternity Row or the strip of bars that often serve college students.
Personally, I prefer country living. In my little corner of rural America, there are still consequences for criminal. When two young men drove out of the city and robbed a store, they were quickly arrested. Their bond was between $75,000 and $100,000. You can bet neither of them slept in their own bed that night. They probably assumed the country rubes would be easy targets, not knowing that most folks out here are armed.
Walls and Gates
If you insist upon living in a liberal city with a rising crime rate, then I hope you can afford either a walled compound or a gated community.
We think of manor houses with walls as a medieval construct or the domain of the Hollywood elite, but anyone who has deployed to the Middle East will tell you that gated compounds are quite common in some countries. If our long slide to becoming a third world country continues, staying safe is going to require more than a steel door and a few security cameras. You’re going to need a robust masonry wall with razor wire along the top. The rich have them already, plus private security. The Secret Service also endorsed walls. Just look at the $457,000 wall built around Biden’s beach house in Delaware at tax-payer expense.
If you can’t afford your own walled compound, a gated community is a few steps down but offers a buffer against crime and may deter criminals. Gated communities with automated gats are not as secure as those with manned guard shacks that check IDs.
If you move, pick your new home with an eye towards deterring criminals and defending it against aggressors. If you can’t have a wall or a fence, then other obstacles such as trees, a ditch, or a stream can make it difficult for vehicles to approach your home. A gated driveway will provide a layer of protection as well and make robbers think twice, especially automated gates that close behind them.