Skip to comments.Barbarians are within the gate
Posted on 03/30/2008 7:18:08 AM PDT by BenLurkin
Los Angeles - Deep inside the bunker. Your erstwhile war correspondent clacks out another column on life as lived in America's second-largest city. That popping sound you hear in the background isn't the Orville Redenbacher or my stiff joints snapping as I stretch for one more M&M. That's the sound of sporadic small-arms fire, incoming rounds pinging off the new armor plating I have recently installed around my writing compound. It's called "defensive architecture," but I won't object if you find it offensive.
Big Bill Bratton, the politician's favorite cop, tells us crime is down; race has nothing to do with gang murders, and we can't "arrest our way out of the problem." So L.A. keeps stacking bodies like cordwood and sullying its name internationally with horrific headlines that sound more Karbala than Compton, Fallujah than Alhambra, Baghdad than Baldwin Park.
In desperation, urban planers have begun to incorporate ammo-resistant designs into new housing and public buildings. It's both pragmatic and pathetic.
If you're around my age, you may remember aluminum siding.
Instead of painting the house, you'd just hose it off once or twice a year. It looked great until one too many tennis balls thwapped into it, or dents from the extension ladder the old man used to clean the gutters left their dimples. After a while, your house looked like it had a bad case of cellulite.
Aluminum siding is a relic of the pre-Glock,
Mac 9, AK-47 San Fernando Valley of orange groves, sock hops, slingshots and BB guns. Today's L.A. is more interactive. Your home needs something tougher, Kevlar siding, something that can stand the onslaught of an army of domestic terrorists: Crips, Bloods, Avenues 43, MS-13, Latin Kings, Vineland Boys, 18th Street, whatever. Drive-by shootings have actually spawned a new school of urban planning, "defensive architecture." So move over Post-Modern, make room for Post-Moral. L.A. went from Bauhaus to crack house. From Art Deco to Art Ducko, as in hit the deck before a stray bullet hits you.
City Councilman Ed Reyes represents one of the most densely populated districts in the city, with as many as 66,000 residents per tract. He correctly asks, "What do we have to do so every time there's a backfire from a bad muffler they don't have to hit the floor...? How do we bring the parks back for families and kids?"
Part of the solution is Reyes' "defensive" designs for housing, pubic buildings and parks.
It's hard not to see the pragmatism. It's also hard not to puke. How pathetic that we've allowed gunfire to become so commonplace, we have to make buildings drive-by proof.
The Rio de Los Angeles State Park is a 40-acre oasis surrounded by the concrete and power-line sprawl of a city that's been guided by Darwinian planning. Reyes points to a 5-foot dirt hill lined with fencing, shrubs and trees for the explicit purpose of absorbing incoming rounds from San Fernando Road. While Los Angeles talks a big game about being the 21st century city, we're essentially reverting to moats and castles with a dot-com face-lift.
How does the clich go? "If you build a better mousetrap, someone builds a smarter mouse?" We're playing a game of cat and mouse with amoral killers.
The latest atrocity was the slaughter of 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw Jr., a star footballer who caught the eye of top college recruiters. Tragically, he also caught the eye of an illegal-alien gangbanger who gunned him down while Jamiel's mother served in Iraq.
You can't make this up. The irony of fighting a war against terrorism half a world away while a generation of Angelenos is shot to pieces by local terrorists, while your own son is cut down at home.... Wow.
Smart people and good people may argue over the way out of this mess, but we'll continue to bury kids and wring our hands impotently until we agree on the basics: We have to salvage the next generation of gangbangers while crushing the current generation.
In the six months past, libraries have been shot up, Garfield High School torched, the copper wire stripped from hundreds of streetlights and a landmark Mid City statue was cut in two with a blowtorch and sold for scrap by scavengers. The barbarians are literally pillaging Los Angeles around the edges while we cheer on Eli Broad and the Grand Avenue boys. We've come so far we've circled back on ourselves. Back to the Middle Ages.
Meanwhile, child after child, young adult after young adult is quietly buried with an all-too-familiar chorus of tears.
Doug McIntyre hosts the "McIntyre in the Morning" program on Talk Radio 790 KABC, weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m.
Travis - what an amazing, why-didn’t-I-think-of-that, eye-opener.
Kelly, we have miles and miles of Jersey highway lined with those walls. Noise abatement barriers. If we can build those just so people who bought into developements backing on the highway can have some decibel reduction, then h-— yes, we can afford to build them along the border.
Make them smooth instead of textured, and top them with razor wire. Invest in some ground sensors.
The flexibility in noise abatement decision-making is reflected by data indicating that some States have built many noise barriers and some have built none. Through the end of 2004, forty-five State DOTs and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have constructed over 2,205 linear miles of barriers at a cost of over $2.7 billion ($3.4 billion in 2004 dollars).
We have built the border wall already - just in the wrong places.
>>So L.A. keeps stacking bodies like cordwood and sullying its name internationally with horrific headlines that sound more Karbala than Compton, Fallujah than Alhambra, Baghdad than Baldwin Park.<<
This is news? As far as I know, Compton has always been considered hellish.
You mean like a bounty (n$ for ________, Dead or Alive)?
Sounds good to me!
>Declare open season on any known gang member or drug dealer and put a $1,000 bounty on their heads.<
Do you have any idea the consequences of such an idea? You would bankrupt the entire state! Would you take an IOU from the Gov?
“We have built the border wall already - just in the wrong places.”
There you go! Last week the LA city council decided to build walls around their parks and public places because of all the gang banger drive by shootings of innocent kids. Never occurred to them to do something about the millions of illegal aliens in their sanctuary city.
The US has never been stable or peaceful, except for a brief period after WWII. There has always been conflict and war; we're merely coming back full circle.
Perhaps our troops should train in LA and along the border.
The worst gangs in L.A. today are illegals from Mexico and Central America.
Yes, and they are spreading out in all directions as fast as they can and recruiting vicious young wannabes wherever they can.
Another reason I’m glad I don’t live in California.
And another tick on the “sliding towards third world status” clock.
Mandatory kevlar on the kiddies or face fines and jail for child endangerment ???
A new 'code enforcement' beuracracy that demands leveling your house/business and reinforcing the structure to Ft Knox standards ???
SHOOT BACK ???...
Declare open war on the current generation of gangbangers and the lure wont be there for the next generation...ie risk/reward...
I lived in N. Long Beach in 1986, and me and the roomie would sit on the balcony just to listen for the gunfire. We were fairly much broke with just enough cash for some cheap beer and watermelon to munch on while we seperated the gunfire from the backfires.
Walls really suck if you don’t have the pair to tell the “we come in peace” types where they will end up.
We’re all holding our breath waiting to hear what *you’re* doing about the situation, other than complainign on here.
I have spent **many** years being a youth leader, and youth Sunday school teacher for our church. Although I haven't specifically worked with youth for about 8 years, I have had other responsibilities with the adults in our congregation.
My husband and I also give 1% of our yearly income to our church scholarship fund. This is in addition to tithing.
My parents are 96, but when they pass on, our goal is to be full-time missionaries for our church.
What are you doing?
Consider the law enforcement and justice system budgets that could be slashed. We could make it 5K a head and still make out.
I posted the photo of the noise barrier just to make the point that we can build thousands of miles of big walls with lightning speed, anytime we want to. Including on the border.
But in reality, except for in urban border situations, a multiple fence system is better, because the enemy invaders can’t hide their movements behind a wire fence.