condemn citizen "militias" monitoring illegal immigration in Arizona as
"vigilantes" but laud comparable anti-crime activism in urban or suburban settings as "Neighborhood Watch."
of the citizen "militias" monitoring illegal immigration in Arizona label them as
"vigilantes," yet when citizens in crime-ridden urban or suburban settings band
together to monitor their neighborhood to deter (and report) crime, the same critics laud civic
activism as a "Neighborhood Watch." What's the difference? In both
situations, civic activism by law-abiding citizens fills the gap law-enforcement authorities can't
(or haven't) filled. Have there been (and will there be) occasions when overzealous
participants in a Neighborhood Watch break the law? Of course. Does that lead us to
condemn Neighborhood Watch activities as "vigilantism"? Of course not.
Most critics residing in areas far from the U.S.-Mexican border would quickly demand, or even join,
Neighborhood Watches, if they were to find their neighborhoods being constantly invaded by criminal
trespassers. What neighborhood would passively tolerate such risks to the safety, well-being
and property-rights of residents? Why should the case for such activism by law-abiding
citizens be deemed less compelling when the criminal activity is greater -- i.e.,
criminal trespass coupled with criminal violation of an international border-- as well as the
dangers posed to a passive citizenry being greater by virtue of the fact that a significant
percentage of those crossing the U.S.-Mexican border do so for additional criminal purposes such as
illegal-drug activities and/or terrorist activities?
Wrenn, Editor at PoliSat.Com.
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20, 2005 #01 Daily Update at PoliSat.Com,
where satire is always
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