Case in point: Citizen patrol groups such as the new one in Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood are healthy and helpful. They extend the eyes of police in neighborhoods, and can do a lot of good. But when the citizens on patrol strap on weapons, as some in that new group will, things change. Their efforts walk a precarious line between fighting crime and vigilantism. New Haven, Conn. has confronted the issue, too.
It’s natural to want to protect yourself against potential danger. But a citizen with a gun can, in a split second, make a mistake with permanent consequences.
Besides, citizens shouldn’t have to strap on weapons and walk the streets to feel as though their neighborhood is secure. Hear that, members of City Council, the arbiters of local priorities?
Charlotte's police and City Council should actively oppose armed citizens on organized patrols. It's a recipe for tragedy and an invitation to lawlessness.
What do you think?