The sensationalism by the media against George Zimmerman for the shooting of Trayvon Martin, clouds the real reason a shooting occurred in the first place.
The pundits, the community organizers, the pot stirrers, are all trying to find a scapegoat and the convenient one to blame is George Zimmerman. George Zimmerman is but the symptom of a government failing in its prime function: To provide protection and security for its citizens. If government does not provide protection for its citizens, then the citizens will provide it for themselves…and what the citizens provide will not be as professional and polished as a trained police force.
The gated community that George Zimmerman is a resident, has been the repeated target of crime. Zimmerman himself had made repeated phone calls to the local police to report suspicious behavior/crime as had been requested by that department. Other members of the community had made calls as well. As far as the cops were concerned, that wasn’t excessive in a neighborhood fighting petty crime.
The neighborhood was on edge, particularly since they had suffered 8 burglaries in the past 14 months. Including the terrifying experience of resident Olivia Bertalan:
21 year old Bertalan was home alone with her infant son one morning last August when a man came to her door, knocked, and rang the bell. She peered out the window and didn’t recognize the man. But then called police when another man came to her back door.
She ran upstairs clutching her son and locked herself in a bedroom as the second man entered her home. Terrified, both she and her son cried as the man tried to enter through the locked door of the bedroom. Both men ran when police arrived, but not before stealing a laptop and digital camera.
After the crime she was afraid to come home. She and her husband got a dog, as advised by police. “It was terrible,” said Bertalan, who moved from the neighborhood last month because of this and other burglaries.
“There was definitely a sense of fear in the neighborhood after all of this started happening, and it just kept on happening. It wasn’t just a one time thing. It was every week,” she said. “Our next-door neighbor actually said if someone came into his yard or house he would shoot him. Everyone felt afraid and scared.”
For years, Twin Lakes has been beset by crime which finally lead them to start a neighborhood-watch organization last September. The burglary of Olivia Bertalan’s home in August seems to have been a catalyst
There was a large sign post at the entrance of this gated community saying it had neighborhood watch and suspicious people would be reported to 911. This should give someone new in the neighborhood fair warning as to why they may be followed or watched and should invoke a sense of cooperation and understanding from those visiting.
As state and local governments drown in debt, they are cutting back. The California town of Vallejo went bankrupt due to spiraling costs. As a result city managers asked for concessions from public employee unions to help get the city back on sound fiscal footing. The unions wouldn’t give up benefits or wages, as a result the town had to lay off police and fire forces and is now skeleton staffed with less, but more expensive personnel.
Oakland California, a financial basket case, did not have enough police officers last fall to respond to a violent beating which resulted in a death of one of its citizens in their own front yard. Police forces were busy patrolling the Occupy Oakland gathering.
These stories will be repeated around the country as budgets get tightened. Critical numbers of law enforcement will be reduced and response times to crimes will be lengthened. Some juristictions will no longer respond to certain types of crime because they just can’t afford to hire enough police to respond. Revenue enhancement policing will be increased as municipalities struggle to bring in more money to their coffers. Speed traps are on the increase and traffic violations are watched for with an eagle eye as they bring in fines.
Communities are having to come to grips with the costs involved of protecting their citizens. Some communities are trying to cut costs by having non police dept technicians collect evidence at crime scenes. There is also talk of privatizing some segments of police work, such as traffic enforcement and other non violent crime areas.
Some communites are getting rid of their local departments of police and fire altogether, finding them too expensive to maintain, they are sub contracting with regional sheriff and fire depts to serve their needs. Many communities are now using private fire fighting services and considering using private security companies to proivide basic protections.
All of this doesn’t bode well to the citizen that think instant help will be there with a 911 call. In many cases when danger is seconds away, the police are just minutes away and the difference between you living to be able to defend yourself in court, or dying and being carried away in a casket….is your right to bear fire arms.
There will be calls for tighter gun controls because of the Trayvon Martin shooting, but more restrictions only give the criminals a bigger advantage. Look at the cities with the tightest gun controls, it doesn’t put a dent in the criminals owning guns. As a result citizens feel the need to enhance their security with more neighborhood watches and by purchasing fire arms for their personal protection.