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March 03, 2015


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My first thought when I read your second paragraph was George Zimmerman. Legalizing types like him. That's a scary thought.

I suspect the media drive much of our concern about our "dangerous society." It's hard to ignore the daily glut of headlines and stories about murder, racism, shootings, muggings, riots, etc. (Soccer moms and glee clubs don't make exciting headlines.) They permeate everything and people gradually become more and more fearful, consciously or unconsciously. Yet if I dismiss all the outside input and focus only on my community, the areas where I spend most of my time, things are generally very peaceful. An occasional car accident or maybe a robbery in one of the commercial strips. As a nation, though, it appears we're working hard to turn a warped perception into reality.


Agree, a lot has to do with the effect of the constant media focus on the bad and the ugly.

The Zimmerman case occurred to me, too. There are always those who can behave soberly and responsibly in such roles (be it SCoP or neighborhood watchstander) - but also always some like Zimmerman who will get out of line.

As for "special conservators," I have to ask myself, what would be my reaction if I were passing through a neighborhood and pulled over by one of these pseudocops, or worse, if my wife were, after dark when she's headed home from her teaching? She'd be legitimately scared out of her wits, and wondering whether to obey this guy or not.

The last time I passed through one major shopping mall in this area, I noticed a large booth selling all sorts of police and law enforcement paraphernalia to all comers --- hats, badges, shoulder patches, and the like, some with the logos/symbols of actual police departments. This seems beyond the pale to me, but (apparently) it's legal. And ridiculous. But it means caution, even when somebody has a badge to flash at you. Which is why these SCoPs should have some very well defined restrictions, and perhaps a prescribed uniformity of garb.

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