Recently a family friend who is active on Facebook posted an article about a horrible situation.
Click here to read. It's not a very pleasant story but no one gets physically hurt in the end.
This was my response. Apologies for blogger.com making it stupidly difficult to make cut and pasted text look normal.
Jenny, this story really struck a chord with me, as I and most everyone I know has had similar (if not as severe) experiences with homelessness over the last decade. If you'll permit me, I'd like to offer my views on the subject, which as you can probably guess, come from a conservative viewpoint. Please feel free to delete this if you are in sharp disagreement. I plan to put it on my personal blog, but I don't want to impose on your wall if it is too confrontational.
Well this is horrible. And it two big issues to light. First and foremost it calls attention to our collective decision as Americans to allow the mentally ill to live among us. By permitting a "street culture" many people view this as compassion, the reality is that it's just the opposite.
All major cities in this country run by progressives are now overwhelmed by unmedicated and dangerous inviduals like this. San Francisco is right now a toilet. Santa Monica, a place i used to enjoy very much is an absolute no go zone. Westwood in L.A. is an open air asylum. New York city, now under liberal leadership after two decades of conservative mayors has seen it's crime rate skyrocket as homelessness is once again permitted to reign.
There is no excuse for the apathy and the misguided notion that we can give people like this the same rights and freedoms that rational people enjoy.
It seems there is an utter lack of common sense in liberal leadership, fueled by a lethal mixture of political correctness and fear. Fear of being seen as uncaring or cold. The truth is, we need to be grown ups about this issue - tough love is 100% more caring and compassionate than permitting this incredibly obvious danger of homelessness to exist on our streets. This problem will only grow, with more and more violence and mayhem until we decide to wipe it out, by taking the hard step of recognizing that it cannot be tolerated.
Incarceration is not the answer, but humane containment and treatment must be made mandatory. This is going to be very difficult for some people to swallow, but I am not on board with subjecting myself or my family to people like this on a regular basis. To do so is not only the epitome of idiocy but it is also the cruelest thing we can do. Ignoring the mentally ill is absolutely inhumane, as is giving them self-determination. I am not sure what the precise machinations of ending homelessness should be, but it must include humane, mandatory and long lasting, if not permanent, separation of people like this from our communities.
The other issue that this incident brings into sharp relief is the over reliance of people on the state to protect them. Now I confess, I am a bit skeptical of this woman's description of the officer in question. I am familiar with the Portland PD and this is not in any way shape or form their M.O. They have a very tough job dealing with the mentally ill, as city leadership refuses to deal with the homeless in any appreciable way other than soup kitchens and various hand-outs. Basically the cops hands are tied in terms of removing people like this man from the streets.
But if we are to take this woman's word, that this officer indeed acted this way, then she has a ton of resources at her disposal to go after him, and I hope she does. His behavior is atypical and entirely unacceptable.
Beyond this, and getting back to the fairy tale that people have in their heads that the state will always be there for them, I would like to posit that this is Exhibit A as to why most, though not all, communities with open carry laws have substantially lower crime rates. When citizens are allowed to defend themselves as they deem necessary, there are far fewer incidents of this nature. Statistically, this truth is hard to measure, because often the mere revelation of the presence of a firearm will diffuse a situation and nothing is reported to police. But beyond that, I would also posit that the right to carry removes most of the fear from a potential victim, and puts it where it belongs - on the potential perpetrator.
For a period of three years at my job, I worked directly with law enforcement in communities across the country. From Detroit, to Memphis, to Orlando. Different officers had different views on the subject of concealed carry, but they all agreed on one thing - you cannot rely on police to stop a crime, only to help with the aftermath.
If we look to our leadership to provide absolute protection, we are doomed to be disappointed. They are simply human beings with limited time and resources, especially when a problem as large as homelessness is ineffectively placated, and - as this story illustrates, they are also human beings who can be flawed and even occasionally as malicious as the bad guys.
When I see a story like this, it makes me more determined than ever to not be a victim - and it strengthens my belief in the absolutle sacredness of the sovereignty of the individual. We cannot submit our fate to the state, we must be pro-active in our defense of ourselves and our family. All of the manipulated statistics in the world cannot alter the peace of mind that self-determination brings.
I know of two women, one of which is a long time friend, who at different points in their lives were stalked. Both of these women are good, honest liberals, who found themselves confronted with real world evil, and both had to come around to the realization that the only way to fight back was the purchase of a firearm.
My friend never had to bring her gun into use, thank God, but when she was carrying she felt a great weight lifted off her shoulders because she had at least taken some control of the situation and didn't have to rely on help coming that she knew would likely be too late. Her stalker eventually moved on, probably to another target, but she knows that should he return or someone else of evil intent should enter her life, that she has recourse beyond the flimsy hope of police intervention.
The second woman, who was a friend of a friend, but shared her story with the television show I was editing at the time, actually was confronted by her stalker to the point where she had to draw down on him. The revelation of the firearm quickly doused the flames of her potential attackers anger, and she never saw or heard from him again. As is often the case, even though the incident was reported to the police, this is not a statistic which is kept on record in any appreciable way, and it is something that happens far more frequently than the comparatively rare incident of an attacker taking and using a victims gun on the victim - which is 100% always recorded as a statistic and used as loudly as possible by anti-gun groups.
My point here is not to covert you or anyone to my view, which is that the right to bear arms is an essential component of liberty - but illuminate the fundamental truth that there can be recourse to this kind of attack.
Portland of course, like most liberal cities including Los Angeles, makes it incredibly difficult to carry a concealed weapon. So this woman, faced with the two pronged absurdity of living in a city that permits sick people to freely interact with healthy people and then doesn't allow people to defend themselves against this, is put into a place of mandatory victimhood, and has no recourse or exit from this horrible circumstance.
It is a sad and inexcusable situation, and it happens every day in this country, and will continue to happen until we wake up and understand that treating sick people like they are perfectly healthy is not rational. Nor is denying law abiding citizens the right to protect themselves.