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Gated communities killed Trayvon
The Los Angeles Daily News ^ | March 30, 2012 | Rich Benjamin

Posted on 03/30/2012 4:44:59 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

AS a black man who has been mugged at gunpoint by a black teenager late at night, I am not naive: I know firsthand the awkward conundrums surrounding race, fear and crime. Trayvon Martin's killing at the hands of George Zimmerman baffles this nation. While the youth's supporters declare in solidarity "We are all Trayvon," the question is raised, to what extent is the United States also all George Zimmerman?

Under assault, I didn't dream of harming my teenage assailant, let alone taking his life.

Zimmerman reacted very differently, taking out his handgun and shooting the youth in cold blood.

What gives?

Welcome to gate-minded America.

From 2007 to 2009, I traveled 27,000 miles, living in predominantly white gated communities across this country to research a book. I threw myself into these communities with gusto - no Howard Johnson or Motel 6 for me. I borrowed or rented residents' homes. From the red-rock canyons of southern Utah to the Waffle-House-pocked exurbs of north Georgia, I lived in gated communities as a black man, with a youthful style and face, to interview and observe residents.

The perverse, pervasive real-estate speak I heard in these communities champions a bunker mentality. Residents often expressed a fear of crime that was exaggerated beyond the actual criminal threat, as documented by their police department's statistics. Since you can say "gated community" only so many times, developers hatched an array of Orwellian euphemisms to appease residents' anxieties: "master-planned community," "landscaped resort community," "secluded intimate neighborhood." No matter the label, the product is the same: self-contained, conservative and overzealous in its demands for "safety." Gated communities churn a vicious cycle by attracting like-minded residents who seek shelter from outsiders and whose physical seclusion then worsens paranoid groupthink against outsiders. These bunker communities remind me of those Matryoshka wooden dolls. A similar-object-within-a-similar-object serves as shelter; from community to subdivision to house, each unit relies on staggered forms of security and comfort, including town authorities, zoning practices, private security systems and personal firearms.

Residents' palpable satisfaction with their communities' virtue and their evident readiness to trumpet alarm at any given "threat" create a peculiar atmosphere - an unholy alliance of smugness and insecurity. In this us-versus-them mental landscape, them refers to new immigrants, blacks, young people, renters, non-property-owners and people perceived to be poor.

Zimmerman's gated community, a 260-unit housing complex, sits in a racially mixed suburb of Orlando, Fla. Mr. Martin's "suspicious" profile amounted to more than his black skin. He was profiled as young, loitering, non-property-owning and poor. Based on their actions, police officers clearly assumed Zimmerman was the private property owner and Martin the dangerous interloper. After all, why did the police treat Martin like a criminal, instead of Zimmerman, his assailant? Why was the black corpse tested for drugs and alcohol, but the living perpetrator wasn't?

Across the United States, more than 10 million housing units are in gated communities, where access is "secured with walls or fences," according to 2009 Census Bureau data. Roughly 10 percent of the occupied homes in this country are in gated communities, though that figure is misleadingly low because it doesn't include temporarily vacant homes or second homes. Between 2001 and 2009, the United States saw a 53 percent growth in occupied housing units nestled in gated communities.

Another related trend contributed to this shooting: our increasingly privatized criminal justice system. The United States is becoming even more enamored with private ownership and decision making around policing, prisons and probation. Private companies champion private "security" services, alongside the private building and managing of prisons.

"Stand Your Ground" or "Shoot First" laws like Florida's expand the so-called castle doctrine, which permits the use of deadly force for self-defense in one's home, as long as the homeowner can prove deadly force was reasonable. Thirty-two states now permit expanded rights to self-defense.

In essence, laws nationwide sanction reckless vigilantism in the form of self-defense claims. A bunker mentality is codified by law.

Those reducing this tragedy to racism miss a more accurate and painful picture. Why is a child dead? The rise of "secure," gated communities, private cops, private roads, private parks, private schools, private playgrounds - private, private, private - exacerbates biased treatment against the young, the colored and the presumably poor.

******

Rich Benjamin is the author of "Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America" and a senior fellow at Demos, a nonpartisan research center.


TOPICS: Conspiracy; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: gatedcommunities; georgezimmerman; racism; richbenjamin; selfdefense; trayvon; trayvonmartin; zimmerman
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To: goseminoles
"To be fair, people can’t have guests?"

No guests! Socialize at the outlet mall.. or a bus stop.

(TY)


51 posted on 03/30/2012 5:38:21 PM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: muawiyah

Trayvon’s dad lived there.
__________________________________

No he didnt

It was the girlfriend of Dad who lived there...

Dad lived elsewhere and so did Mom...


52 posted on 03/30/2012 5:39:03 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana (Why should I vote for Bishop Romney when he hates me because I am a Christian)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I thought the gun walked up to Trayvon and killed him.


53 posted on 03/30/2012 5:41:05 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: presently no screen name
Wonder what happened that gated communities are needed/wanted.

Widespread protection of the criminal class and instant victimization of the productive class.

54 posted on 03/30/2012 5:42:57 PM PDT by Greysard
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To: I see my hands

Not so much. Now you are telling people where to congregate? #fail


55 posted on 03/30/2012 5:45:09 PM PDT by goseminoles
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
taking out his handgun and shooting the youth in cold blood....

When one who is under physical attack shoots the assailant it is not in any way "in cold blood."

56 posted on 03/30/2012 5:46:00 PM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: Greysard

These were alts/townhomes with a fence. Screw “gated communities”. I doubt Sanford has one.


57 posted on 03/30/2012 5:47:21 PM PDT by goseminoles
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To: BykrBayb
Thanks. Might be worth discussing the case in terms of this drawing published 3/29. This is the first full layout that begins to make sense. SEE: >http://www.wagist.com/2012/dan-linehan/evidence-that-trayvon-martin-doubled-back

Although I'd have to dispute the idea that Trayvon "doubled back" after reaching Brandi's apartment the picture here certainly shows that Trayvon didn't cold-cock Zimmerman at the truck which is a block away on a different street! That act had to have taken place as Zimmerman was walking (map's) South toward Brandi's apartment rather than (map's) East toward what is described in that drawing as "The back gate" (which is mentioned in passing only by Zimmerman in one of his 911 calls ~ it's identified as a place where Martin might be headed, not that he nor Martin actually went there.)

The fact that "It was a dark and stormy night" probably explains what Zimmerman sees as erratic behavior on Martin's part as he makes his way through the rain trying to avoid getting totally drenched. Hoodies aren't that good eh ~ at least mine isn't, yo!

The rain also explains why Zimmerman's back was wet ~ he'd been wet with or without a trip to the lawn in a fight.

The latest factoid from Nancy Grace's show is this took about 5 minutes from the time George saw Trayvon until the cops were present overlooking Trayvon's dead body.

58 posted on 03/30/2012 5:48:38 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: biggredd1

I posted the ref to the story where somebody visited that store. No doubt the security system had a picture of Trayvon ~ and your guess is as good as my own that the video will be coming out eventually.


59 posted on 03/30/2012 5:52:55 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: omega4179

Only noodle brained Communists hate private property.


60 posted on 03/30/2012 5:53:16 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (3 little children murdered by islam, Toulouse March 2012 . Time for the Final Crusade!!!!!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Look at the picture, read the narrative...’Nuff said...


61 posted on 03/30/2012 5:54:43 PM PDT by majormaturity
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To: Tennessee Nana

Picky, picky ~ he was there, and Trayvon, still a minor, was also there. That appears to have been lawful behavior.


62 posted on 03/30/2012 5:55:26 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: MissMagnolia

Trayvon...Trayvon?!! as in “Now Trayvon, have you finished the heat balance calculations for that new back pressure turbine that we’re considering for the co-gen plant?”

Yeah, Trayvon.


63 posted on 03/30/2012 5:56:23 PM PDT by technically right
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To: Mr. K
I THINK ZIMMERMAN SHOULD HIRE A LAWYER AND IMMEDIATLE SUE THESE MEDIA WHORENALISTS OUT OF BUSINESS

THEY ARE COMPLICIT IN INCITING VIOLENCE AGAINST HIM

Absolutely. Sue every news outlet that reports the “bounty” on Zimmerman without calling for prosecution of the organizers of it, and most especially sue the AP if they have a feed of it.

64 posted on 03/30/2012 5:57:44 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Which came first? Crime or gated communities?


65 posted on 03/30/2012 6:01:34 PM PDT by lonestar (It takes a village of idiots to elect a village idiot.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Private companies champion private “security” services, alongside the private building and managing of prisons.”

Big whoop. Private security and a few privately-owned police departments have been around for over a century, if not longer. They’re ultimately accountable to the very same laws as the public ones. And neither organization has very much to do with a neighborhood watch in any case.


66 posted on 03/30/2012 6:03:37 PM PDT by DemforBush (A Repo man is *always* intense!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

[[Trayvon Martin’s killing at the hands of George Zimmerman baffles this nation.]]

There’s nothign baffling about it- The ONLY ones ‘baffled’ are those who REFUSE to admit the TRUTH abotu what went down and those who want to fuel a race hate war- Folks liek Rich Benjamin-

Trevon initiated an ASSAULT (A CRIME BTW) on George Zimmerman, (Hey Rich- can ya at the very least admit that trevon Commited a CRIME on George first? No? Didn’t think so)- they wrestled some, Trevon bashed George’s head agaisnt the sidewalk, Trevon spotted George’s holstered gun, went for it, George got it first and defended himself-

Had Trevon been white, there woukld be absolutely NO outcry over a man defending himself and having to end up using deadly force as a LAST result in order to save his own life

Well done Rich- Way to keep hate and race issues alive and in the forefront bty making up facts and inuendo. Tell ya what Rich- IF you have evidence that George, the kid that witnessed the fight, and the fella that witnessed the fight are all lying, then present it- Until then the rest of the nation is goign to go on the facts- unlike you apparently


67 posted on 03/30/2012 6:13:35 PM PDT by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
This man lives on a different planet, he is so wrong.

He says he had no thought of harming the ARMED mugger who robbed him. Gee, I guess not, with a gun in your face. But I suspect his thought process would have been different if he had the gun & the mugger unarmed.

The idea that gated communities are somehow at fault here is just bizarre. Freedom of speech is fine, but I don't give credence to idiots.

I haven't visited many crime ridden countries, but I did visit Costa Rica. It has a bad theft problem. As you travel the country, you will notice that EVERY home & business is surrounded by some combination of high walls, barbed wire, broken glass, & iron bars. I saw carports enclosed in iron bars, behind a concrete wall topped with glass surrounding the entire property. Often, the enclosure seemed more expensive than the house being protected. Even in the smallest villages of only a few houses, all were equally protected.

Oh yeah, my wallet was stolen with $100, drivers license, & credit cards, from my luggage, either at the hotel or in transit to the Pacific coast.

Clearly, fortifying your home is the only resort when crime overwhelms the justice system. Even the immoral understand this.

Benjamin would have us all live in crime ridden ghettos as his people have chosen to live. He doesn't want people to be safer. He wants us to all to live in fear & danger. Honest people living in relative safety is secondary to the needs of thieves, rapists, & murderers.

Sorry Bub, but I'm not biting your rotten apple.

68 posted on 03/30/2012 6:26:10 PM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: goseminoles
You're right. Thanks for setting me straight. To atone and by way of thanks I'll show you a nice pic of my dinner.

69 posted on 03/30/2012 6:28:55 PM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: Mister Da

I always heard Costa Rica was an ideal retirement haven for American expats.


70 posted on 03/30/2012 7:00:16 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: omega4179

He doesn’t like the gated communities because it it makes it harder for homies to make a living.


71 posted on 03/30/2012 7:06:36 PM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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To: BykrBayb
If we’d just tear down their gates the problem would go away? LOL

Well the problems for the folks this fellow cares about would be somewhat reduced. It would make their professionss less dangerous.

72 posted on 03/30/2012 7:08:52 PM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's "Economics In One Lesson.")
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>> RB: Zimmerman reacted very differently, taking out his handgun and shooting the youth in cold blood.

As an eyewitness, Rich Benjamin should probably contact the prosecutor.


73 posted on 03/30/2012 8:28:33 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Newt/Sarah 2012)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Two black journalist's points of view are here, one from Rich Benjamin on this topic above:

*********

AS a black man who has been mugged at gunpoint by a black teenager late at night, I am not naive: I know firsthand the awkward conundrums surrounding race, fear and crime. Trayvon Martin's killing at the hands of George Zimmerman baffles this nation. While the youth's supporters declare in solidarity "We are all Trayvon," the question is raised, to what extent is the United States also all George Zimmerman?

Under assault, I didn't dream of harming my teenage assailant, let alone taking his life.

Zimmerman reacted very differently, taking out his handgun and shooting the youth in cold blood.

*********

Compare this to the completely opposed example of Thomas Sowell:

*********

Much has been made of the fact that the teenager was unarmed. The only time I have ever pointed a loaded gun at a human being, I had no idea whether he was armed or not. All I knew was that I could hear his footsteps sneaking up behind me at night.

Fortunately for both of us, he froze in his tracks when I pointed a gun at him. If he had made a false move, I would have shot him. And if it had turned out later that he was unarmed, I would not have lost a moment's sleep over it.

You know that someone was unarmed only after it is all over. If he attacks, you have to shoot, if only to keep the attacker from getting your gun.

From Geraldo's Point (Thomas Sowell)

*********

Now, which of these seems to be realistic, eh?

(The underlining above was inserted by myself for emphasis)

Benjamin's pretensions are supremely both naive and asinine. And dangerous.

Sowell's reaction was quintessentially pragmatic, and saved the life of the right person -- himself. Trayvon's death is not at all baffling. Death by misadventure, I think.

74 posted on 03/30/2012 8:53:13 PM PDT by imardmd1 (An armed society is a polite society, but dangerous for a fool.)
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To: muawiyah

I am not interested in details of this story. What I am really interested in is why THOUSANDS of young black men are murdered EVERY year by other black people. Why Sharpton & co. never makes that a big issue. Magnitude of anything happening is more important to me than a single incident.

Even more concern to me is why US has a much bigger murder rate than other G-20 countries.


75 posted on 03/30/2012 8:59:39 PM PDT by entropy12 (Every tax payer now owes $150,000 towards the national debt. We will follow Greece soon.)
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To: entropy12; muawiyah
I am not interested in details of this story. What I am really interested in is why THOUSANDS of young black men are murdered EVERY year by other black people. Why Sharpton & co. never makes that a big issue. Magnitude of anything happening is more important to me than a single incident.

Because there's no money in it.

76 posted on 03/30/2012 9:04:58 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

“Under assault, I didn’t dream of harming my teenage assailant”

...who then had no incentive to not assault many others.

...and the author wonders why some subcultures favor the “bunker” mentality.


77 posted on 03/30/2012 9:19:30 PM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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I lived in a gated community for a year.

One night, around 3am, I happened to glance outside to see two guys emerge from the forest and hop over the tall spiked iron fence with little effort. My faith in “gated communities” evaporated.


78 posted on 03/30/2012 9:24:58 PM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: Ciexyz
I had heard the same thing. I changed my mind after visiting CR. Theft is a MAJOR problem there. So is poverty.

Since then, I read there are road holdups, where the thieves block the road & rob people passing by. An elderly American might be in jeopardy - easy pickings for thieves. If you do not speak Spanish, you will be at a great disadvantage. I cannot help but think that poor Costa Ricans may not appreciate “rich” Americans as residents of that country. Certainly, everyone we encountered were friendly, but that may have had more to do with our wallets rather than a genuine welcome.

The roads are horrible, BTW. Huge potholes on major highways are marked by sticking a board or log upright in the hole. Approaching one of these things in the dark will scare the pants off you. If you hit one at speed, you are dead, for sure. We bounced so violently on one dirt road to a restaurant that the car constantly fishtailed for 2+ miles. The driver frequently had to stop to regain control of the car. I needed a kidney transplant later that night. - :)

A 4x4, high clearance vehicle is a requirement if you live in a rural area, ie., anywhere but San Jose, the capital city of CR. Leave your Lexus in the States. That little car you have is gonna bounce like a rubber ball on many CR roads.

Most rural bridges are one-way, even on the major roads. Long lines form on either side of the bridge as one side crosses while the other side basically has a social gathering. Food & drink stands are usually on both sides of the bridge to take advantage of idling cars & buses. My wife bought a very nice beach towel from a vendor at one of the bridges. Homemade Chicherones (sp?) - pork rinds - are very popular in CR & are sold at every bridge. Watching the crocs below the bridge is also a popular way to pass the time.

There are certainly many reasons to retire in CR. Prices (in 2003) were very low. A steak dinner with all the trimmings & drinks, served in a fancy restaurant on white tablecloths & a full silver service, costs $20 a person. Food service was excellent. Everything was cheap to buy, even obviously imported goods.

The country itself is a gardener's dream. The plants you buy at Lowe's grow wild along the roadside in CR. Fences are made by jamming green sticks into the ground in a row, which grows into an impenetrable wall for cattle. Beef is plentiful.

All this fertility is a result of the numerous volcanoes in CR, many active, & the almost daily rain. It rains buckets in CR, even in the “dry” season. No wonder the roads are roller-coasters, especially the many dirt roads. Most rural homes had awesome gardens & numerous fruit trees. It would seem impossible to starve in CR.

If you are thinking of living in the jungle, be aware, it truly is a jungle. There are many deadly, creepy things in the jungle, & most are not afraid of humans. Some of the deadliest creatures in the world live in CR. The jungle goes right up to the edge of the ocean in most places.

Costa Rica is a beautiful place, but it has its problems. I would say that if you plan to move there, be prepared to protect yourself & your property. That might not be easy for the elderly.

79 posted on 03/31/2012 5:32:26 AM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: entropy12
An even bigger story to me is why the African-American murder rate is LESS THAN the murder rate of every African country, and of every other country with a majority African origin country.

Ethnic group by ethnic group, Americans have lower murder rates than their cousins back in the old homeland, and lifespans equal to or greater than those same cousins.

I say that just in case you thought this country wasn't the greatest place on Earth.

80 posted on 03/31/2012 5:53:42 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: lonestar
In Columbus' day EVERY village and town in the Americas was, so to speak, gated and had a large stockade around it.

In Medieval Europe they built stockades and stone walls around anything they could.

It's normal to have gated communities. It's abnormal to have open communities.

81 posted on 03/31/2012 6:03:54 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
"Why is a child dead?"

Because the black community is arching into chaos; and it's not happening in a vacuum.

I feel terrible about a 17 year old kid getting killed, this is a tragedy.

However, when thugs are celebrated as cultural icons that can take whatever they want from whomever they want there's a problem. And where there's a problem there's going to be pushback.

Perhaps the black community should look in a mirror at themselves and ask; why are all these different people afraid of young blacks?

Instead of blaming other people ALL THE F*CKING TIME they could take responsibility for the chaos and distruction they're causing and understand that's why rational people don't want to live anywhere near them.

I'll be frank, I moved out of the city to get away from those idiots. I read the paper and shake my head at the utter stupidity.

Just today 14 people shot and 2 killed at a funeral in Chicago. How'd the "white man" cause that Mr Benjamin?

White people ain't your enemy Mr Benjamin; other blacks, the thugs and gangstas are. If you can't see that you're only lieing to yourself .

82 posted on 03/31/2012 8:40:08 AM PDT by Pietro
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To: muawiyah

Really! And then it behooves even more for Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to carry on more push in those countries instead of focusing on the Trayvon killing. The rewards will be so much greater in preventing murders if they succeed.


83 posted on 03/31/2012 9:38:57 AM PDT by entropy12 (Every tax payer now owes $150,000 towards the national debt. We will follow Greece soon.)
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To: PapaBear3625

You see.. That’s the point! You white folk keep making yourselves a hard target: moving to the burbs; gated communities, guards etc....
All that security and stuff force the brothers to prey on their own. That’s messed up. Brothers having to put their lives on the line to earn their high.
Life in the hood ain’t going to get better until we get rid of these gated communities and ban this self defense crap.


84 posted on 03/31/2012 10:11:13 AM PDT by CoastWatcher
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To: ctdonath2
One night, around 3am, I happened to glance outside to see two guys emerge from the forest and hop over the tall spiked iron fence with little effort. My faith in “gated communities” evaporated.

Static defenses serve only to annoy the enemy, unless covered by observation and direct fire.

The fence jumpers would have thought twice if Castle Doctrine was extended to cover the perimeter of the gated community, and trespassers such as you observed were subject to being shot on sight.

85 posted on 03/31/2012 1:34:15 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Zimmerman reacted very differently, taking out his handgun and shooting the youth in cold blood.

What gives?


You're jumping to conclusions in the absence of facts for purpose of pimping things in a racist manner?
86 posted on 04/02/2012 3:55:00 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: andyk

“So it’s an apartment complex with a gate? Ritzy.”

Exactly! “Gated” community does NOT mean “rich” community. Effin’ MSM Marxists trying to have a go at creating class warfare...


87 posted on 04/05/2012 9:13:03 PM PDT by Frank_2001
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