Thursday, September 4, 2008

Seattle Weekly Article About Armed Citizen Patrol Group on Beacon Hill

See the article here.

I haven't contributed much to the discussion about all this on the neighborhood mailing list. I understand people's frustration about lack of police response to neighborhood crime, though I worry that an armed citizen patrol may do more harm than good. And I suspect that's how most people on the mailing list feel -- few others have said much about it either.

OK, this part of the article makes me laugh.

"When asked about police response on Beacon Hill, Officer Kappel points to 2007 numbers that show crime citywide at a 40-year low."

Because those 2007 numbers are totally screwy and everyone knows it and still no one has done anything about it.


The General said...

Yeah, I agree that the armed citizen patrol is bound to do more harm than good. I guess I could just stay home, and stay away for the inevitable shoot outs. But, I wonder how bullet-proof the walls of my house are?

Like I said in another response on this blog, I just can't imagine being so fearful that I'd actually think that carrying a gun would make me feel safer.

Anonymous said...

Lock your doors and let the police take care of you!

Anonymous said...

I think the first questions are how we can help make the unwelcome element feel unwelcome and how we can expedite the police picking them up when they step out of line. Getting to know your neighbors and keeping the phone handy in case you see something amiss are probably the most important things you do.

If your street is out in force gardening, working on the house, or just chatting on the porch you make it a lot less attractive for criminal activities.

Myself, I'm trained, permitted, and own a handgun but I really don't feel a need to carry on my part of the hill.

Adamitalia said...

The Seattle Weekly article mischaracterizes the "patrols". The description is very misleading.

This article is getting more traction than I thought it would. And honestly I'm a little dissapointed that the "armed patrol aspect" is being bandied about so freely.

Not that I can blame anyone, the article states just that. But Aimee somewhat misrepresented these "patrols".

The person quoted in the article extensively and the person supposedly responsible for these armed patrols Mike Cheney, have been walking the streets of Beacon Hill together. I carry nothing but a flashlight and a cell phone. Additionally, others in the groups don't carry fire arms.

Admittedly, Mike does but carry a permitted gun on the walks BUT he always carrys a gun. I don't think it should be all that surprising that one who thinks it necessary to carry a gun because of local crime would also be motivated to go on neighborhoods walks.

These neighborhood walks are NOT armed patrols.

The General said...

I completely see what you are saying, Adam, but I think the problem lies with the fact that Cheney is so closely tied with his 2nd Amendment Group that having him be the defacto spokesperson for the neighborhood patrols makes it hard it many peoples minds to seperate the two.

When he talks about the issue of neighborhood patrols, it shift the debate from "walking the neighborhood" to "walking the neighborhood with guns." Whether that is because of a misunderstnading or because it's part of his personal agenda is obviously debatable; but I think that's where a lot of people on the Slumberland mailing list and elsewhere (including the writer of the article) are getting hung up. And, as long as he's the main voice people here on the matter of neighborhood patrols, I tihnk that will continue to be a problem.

Adamitalia said...

I see we're just having a conversation between ourselves here, but I'll continue anyways.

Your argument is basically that it's ok for people to make judgements and stereotypes about people and things they are involved with. Should Mike Cheney not be allowed to be near other children? Should he not be allowed to voice his opinion about neighborhood watches?

On the Beaconhill listserve, where he got the idea of gathering people up, he saw a rash of crime reports and a rash of people of saying we should do this, we should do that, and yet, nothing was, nor has, been done. He was the only one. It had nothing to do with the fact that he has a gun and he felt he could combat violence by himself. It was merely a step to get community members together and actively participating in an activity that many communities use to combat neighborhood crime.

Your argument that its ok for people to make these judgements about Mike because he is the president of the 2nd Amendment Club is bogus man. I completely agree with you that it is the reason why people are making these assumptions (that and the misleading article written about him that I commented on last time). But this doesn't make it ok. He has no record of using his gun in his ten plus years of having it and he walks every night.

Look man, you can think what you want. Its doubtful this type of debate actually changes anyone's minds anways. Usually it just infuriates the other person, they get defensive and dig deep to find reasons why you're right. Maybe all of this is for some neutral outsider to stumble upon and decide for themself.

Anways, with this said, where are the posts? I'd love to come here and get news on my neighborhood but I don't see anything recent. (This isn't a knock by the way.) I even bookmarked this site to good info.

The General said...

Adam, I'm not claiming that it's morally right or wrong for people to draw those sort of associations, I'm just saying that people do draw those sorts of associations. You can't be a loudly outspoken proponent for one politically charged issue and organizer for a group supporting one cause (in this case 2nd Amendment Rights) and then start a second group (in this case a neighborhood watch) without people thinking "the handgun guy is starting a neighborhood watch." I'm not saying that it is right for people to do so... but it's what people will do.

You take a person like Tim Eyman. Maybe tomorrow Tim starts a movement to, I don't know, give every kid in Seattle a free ice cream cone. Now, it might be a good idea to give every kid in Seattle an ice cream cone, but there are going to be a certain number of people who are opposed to the idea. Why? Because it's Tim Eyman who is organizing it.

Now, in that example, is it fair to be against the plan just because its Tim Eyman? No. Probably not. But the reality is that there a are some people who know who Tim Eyman is, and are opposed to his politics. So, those people will probably oppose the ice cream.

It's unfair that people do so. It's, as you said, bogus. But it's also reality.

And, I'm just saying (fair or not) that as long as the guy who organized a vocal 2nd Amendment Rights group is also the person organizing the Neighborhood Watch, there will be some people who will have issue with one because they have issue with the other and can't seperate the two fully in their mind.

Anonymous said...

How do I get in touch with Mike Cheney to join this armed citizen patrol? There wasn't any info in last year's WEEKLY article.