Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Citizen patrols, yes. Guns, no.

Guns change everything. That’s not to condemn guns, but it is a simple statement of fact.

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?


David said...

I think the citizens can decide for themselves whether to carry guns and the City of Charlotte has no legal standing to tell them they can't...

You, me or anyone else can walk around with a gun on their hip as long as they don't violate any laws or enter any establishment that prohibits weapons.

Graham said...

I agree with David. You have a legal right to carry a gun. It doesn't matter if they are vol. patrol or paid police officers. There is no law against open carry.

Anonymous said...

Being part of a "watch group" may make a few of them more reckless if they carry a gun. I'd hate for all watch groups to get damaged reputations when one irresponsible citizen shoots someone by mistake.

Truth Detector said...

what about charlotte cops shooting citizens in the back? does that make you feel safe?

Anonymous said...

If the guy is running away and pulling a gun out of his waistband at the same time, I'd have shot him too.

Cast of Characters said...

In typical delusional Observer fashion, a single voice has arisen from the editorial page.

The new-age utopia version of how society should be and never has been.

Those suffering from an Orwellian lobotomy posed after losing all sense of connection to the ephemeral world while immersed in study under a Carolina Blue tutelage.

As my ancestors found upon a bloody ground the person to trust most is your neighbor who knows you best.

The idea of a "well-armed" citizen militia was the cornerstone of our democracy. Perhaps after having lost that characteristic, its reappearance is startling but an active citizenry has been a hallmark of our law enforcement equation.

Henceforth, I shall term them "Posses".