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This diary is an invitation to have a frank talk about risk. Local risk. The kinds of daily risk you face where you live as you come and go from work, errands and social engagements. It's about the people you may encounter as you go about your daily life.

Palmdale, California is a small city of ~160,000 in northern Los Angeles County just north of the San Gabriel mountain range. Incorporated in 1962, their town motto is: "A Place To Call Home."

Over the last 25 years this city has consistently been ranked in the top 25 fastest growing cities in the United States (based on percentage change).[...]

The city is known as a family-oriented community with a high quality of life. Palmdale Regional Medical Center, a first class medical facility opened in 2010, includes an emergency department, a helipad, medical office towers, and a senior housing complex. A new multimodal transportation center, serving local and commuter bus and train services, opened in 2005. A voter-initiated and approved tax has funded major park and recreation expansions, including the Palmdale Amphitheater (capacity 10,000), two new pools, other recreation buildings, satellite library and Dry Town Water Park. Downtown revitalization includes hundreds of new senior housing units, a new senior center, and expanded open space. A new 48,000 sq ft (4,500 m2). Sheriff station opened in July 2006, the largest in Los Angeles County. Two additional fire stations have been built, one on the east side and one on the west side. [Wikipedia - Palmdale, California]

Four guns were reported stolen from a storage unit in Palmdale last month, December 2013. The investigation lead Deputy James Moser to three men in Little Rock, CA, a town to the north of Palmdale, and to a surprising cache of arms. "Investigators found six pistols, 11 rifles, a WWII machine gun, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, more than 100 magazines, and several items of White Supremacist paraphernalia." They also found an unlicensed 25-yard firing range 10-feet under ground in a sound proofed bunker.

We've being hearing the increasingly violent right wing rhetoric ever since we elected the nation's first black President. Reports of robust gun sales and ammunition shortages have continued for several years now. A private arsenal like the one found in Palmdale is hardly even surprising any more.

Have you asked yourself lately, how well do you really know your neighbors?

Join me below the fold to walk in someone else's shoes for awhile.  


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We have adopted Wee Mama's and akadjian's guidance on communicating.  But most important, be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Sources

Wikipedia - Palmdale, California

Video: Bunker Stash Included Stolen Guns, Nazi Memorabilia
by John Cádiz Klemack, for NBC4 News, Jan 9, 2014

A day after sheriff's deputies raided a secret bunker outside of Palmdale, NBC4 News got an exclusive look into underground area on Wednesday, which contained everything from a firing range to a cache of stolen and illegal weapons. John Cádiz Klemack reports from Little Rock for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014.

Secret Stash of Illegal Weapons, White Supremacist Paraphernelia Found in Palmdale
"I wasn't quite expecting what we discovered," Deputy James Moser said.
by Samia Khan and John Cádiz Klemack on Thursday, Jan 9, 2014

[...] "He had some Nazi flags and rebel flag, some other photos of himself wearing Nazi attire and giving the straight arm salute, stuff like that," Vezina said.

Deputies arrested 54-year-old Todd Hunt, 33-year-old Royce Gresham, and 62-year-old Larry Finnell, all residents of Littlerock.

"Larry was a survivalist, he's concerned about the direction our government is going now," neighbor Dale Snide said of one of the suspects. "He was a good neighbor, never caused anyone any trouble out here as far as I know." [...]

...Continue reading Secret Stash of Illegal Weapons, White Supremacist Paraphernelia Found in Palmdale

Deputies Discover Secret White Supremacist Bunker, Shooting Range, in California
By Ryan Lenz for Southern Poverty Law Center, on January 10, 2014

[...] Inside the soundproof underground bunker, investigators found a 25-yard shooting range, six pistols, 11 rifles, a World War II-era machine gun, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, over 100 magazines (some high-capacity), Nazi flags and pictures of at least one of the men posing in Nazi attire. Some of the weapons, like the machine gun, were illegal, and others were stolen, authorities said.

“It’s not something that anybody we’ve ever worked with has seen in their careers in law enforcement,” Sheriff’s Det. Julia Vezina told an NBC affiliate in Los Angeles. “When you open up the hatch, you look down and about 10 feet down, all concrete reinforced walls, soundproof with bars.”

Police took three men into custody after the Jan. 8 discovery: Royce Gresham, 33, Todd Hunt, 54, and Larry Finnell, 62, who lived in the house where the bunker was discovered. The men were charged with weapons violations and were to be arraigned at the Antelope Valley courthouse.[...]

...Continue reading Deputies Discover Secret White Supremacist Bunker, Shooting Range, in California.

Discussion

Have you asked yourself lately, how well do you really know your neighbors?

  • Do you live in a place "where everyone knows your name"?
  • Do you live in a place where criminals in your neighborhood have intimidated witnesses into silence when the police ask questions?
  • Do you live in a place where you could be targeted, personally, because of your political activism?
  • Do you live in a place where someone nearby you could build an underground shooting range without anyone noticing?



Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 12:21 PM PT:


Thanks, everybody, for collaborating in this discussion. I'll check in later to respond to late arrivals.

Breaking news is expected later today involving prosecution of Jonathan Ferrell's shooter; a hearing is underway involving the DA's intent to resubmit the case to another Grand Jury. To add Steelergrrl's diaries to your stream click on the ♥ or the word "Follow" next to Steelergrrl's name.




Originally posted to Firearms Law and Policy on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 03:43 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for talk and good neighbors (27+ / 0-)

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 03:24:23 PM PST

  •  I live in a place with a lot of guns (10+ / 0-)

    in a suburban neighborhood.  I know one kid with a license and a gun, and an unstable home life with open access to "his" gun.  Yikes.  My son doesn't hang out with that kid anymore.

    I worry a lot, but I can't live in fear, so I just hope for the best a lot of times.

    I figure the chances of the kids getting hit by a car are probably about the chances of them having an accident involving a gun--low.

    Doesn't mean it doesn't keep me up at night, though.

    I blog about my daughter with autism at her website

    by coquiero on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 03:53:01 PM PST

  •  Answered in order: (10+ / 0-)

    Not very well.
    Quite a few people, though not all.
    I have no idea. There was a crackhouse across the street that doesn't seem to be in business anymore but I'm not sure exactly what happened.
    Yes. It's one of the reasons why I go armed. I'm more wary of right wingers than I am normal criminals.
    Yes. Probably not in 'town' but it's not much of a town anyway. Within a 5 minute drive, definitely.

    •  since it appears to some folks, (6+ / 0-)

      having a large number of guns, participating in reenactments and having Nazi memorabilia in your possession, and possibly having a bunker of some sort on your property could be red flags, the idle thought occurred to me to wonder if a safe room in your home would raise the same sort of red flag that a bunker would?

    •  My former neighbor, a retired veteran (8+ / 0-)

      told me a story from quit a few years before I lived there, when the neighborhood was much rougher.

      He said some drug dealers had set up in an apartment across the street and the neighborhood was pretty upset about it, but too scared to report anything, officially. People didn't know what to do.

      So he went to second hand shop and bought an old video camera which he mounted in his front window pointing at the front door. He had no tapes for it. But that didn't matter. A short time later the dealers had moved on, and the block was back to normal.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 04:50:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My answer was yes to all, and why I DON'T (8+ / 0-)

      Go armed. If you appear to be harmless, then you are less likely to be harmed.



      Women create the entire labor force.
      ---------------------------------------------
      Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 04:52:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was alwasy taught the oposite (7+ / 0-)

        Look like you are supposed to be were you are, look like you know what you are doing and where you are going.  Have some situational awareness.  

        If you don't look like a target, you won't be treated like one.  As for carrying a gun, if you are concealed carrying correctly, no one will know.  

        I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

        by DavidMS on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 05:04:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting (5+ / 0-)

          that you read Splashy's approach as the opposite of your own approach.

          I read Splashy's comment to embody the same principles that you describe in your comment.

          Appearing harmless does not mean being clueless. There are many ways to be very aware while appearing harmless.

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 05:15:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I did not read what you read (9+ / 0-)

            "Appearing harmless" I read as appearing defenseless.  I like to appear to be not worth the trouble to an attacker.  

            I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

            by DavidMS on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 05:20:12 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  and right there is unconscious male privilege (8+ / 0-)

              screaming its ability to be safe on the streets ... "look harmless". "Look not worth the trouble."

              Not the same thing at all.

              How do you "look not worth the trouble" if you're a woman? That's an invitation to some pervert to think you're easy prey.

              I do the situational awareness thing. I walk like a predator, too. I don't have a CCL -- my one firearm is a rifle. But I am never not armed, although I seldom carry a firearm (see above: I take it to the range). I live by Gibbs' rules. I also carry the knowledge that if I need to, I can strike, kick, bite, scream -- or get to my keys, which if they're all I've got, are a pair of 2'' serrated blades.

              If I've got more time than the keys 'binered on a belt-loop, I've got a knife and a couple multi-tools -- and if I've really got all the time in the world, I've got a cell phone. With a camera.

              LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

              by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 10:03:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Keys in the hand, with one key positioned to (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Joy of Fishes, BlackSheep1

                stick out between the first & second fingers. I assume the first punch might be my only punch.

                "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 05:58:35 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  stand up straight, walk with a purpose, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LilithGardener, blackhand

                  don't look at the ground -- and for the love of Ceiling Cat don't go 'round with earphones stopping up half your senses and all your attention. If you're behind a wheel ...

                  or not: We're starting to see cell-phone / texting pedestrians wandering into harm's way, totally oblivious to oncoming traffic.

                  Good on you with the keys.

                  LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

                  by BlackSheep1 on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 11:28:46 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This is great, basic urban situational awareness (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    blackhand

                    It's very easy to do. PS I don't often walk with keys in hand that way, just when I'm walking or running alone somewhere relatively deserted.

                    E.g. Pedestrian 101:

                    • If you need to take a call, or check directions, stop walking place your back against a building or a wall and then take time attend to your need. You've closed off a surprise attack from behind while your attention is on the conversation or the call.
                    • Do keep a spare $20 in your front pocket or in the pocket of your coat. If someone desperate tries to mug you, just give them the money.  They will be shocked it was that easy and it will throw them off their game (whatever it was), during their moment of cognitive dissonance you escape, just walk or run away.


                    E.g. Safe transit 101:

                    • Don't stand next to the platform where you could be pushed. Keep your bag(s) or packages in front of you when you board a bus.
                    • If you are going to read a book, work on your computer, or play a game on your smart phone while on the subway, don't sit next to a door that opens/closes every 2 minutes. Instead, sit in the very ends or in the middle of the car, where it's much harder for someone to just grab your bag and get off the train in one step.

                    But I'm starting to think is should be taught in schools, starting in middle school. Adults are just setting too many bad examples for their kids. By the time they are teens, bad habits are hard to break.

                    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                    by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 11:48:48 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Here are two more (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      LilithGardener

                      When standing in a checkout line, don't stand facing the the person waiting in front of you.  Step slightly to the side and turn 90 degrees so that you can see what is happening up and down the checkout line.  Even better is to turn so that you can see the door.

                      When you go to the "stop and rob" (they are called that for a reason), aka gas station, do a quick drive by and make sure that nothing bad is happening in the store.  Then choose an outside lane pump if available, stand such that you're not blocked in by the pump, car, and hose, and keep watching for anyone approaching.

                      Always remember what devices you have on you and what can be used defensively.  One does not need a gun to be armed sufficiently to stop a fight and get away.

                      "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

                      by blackhand on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 11:54:20 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Nope, didn't mean it that way (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener

              As when dealing with a large skittish animal, you appear harmless so you don't trigger the fight-flight reflex so they are calm around you. You are less likely to be attacked.

              In my experience, most that carry all the time are on edge, looking for possible danger. If you don't make them afraid, you are less likely to be shot at and you can "wander" off without attracting their attention.



              Women create the entire labor force.
              ---------------------------------------------
              Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

              by splashy on Thu Jan 30, 2014 at 10:50:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  It is a moral choice.... (4+ / 0-)

            to go unarmed in a violent society.  Like Gandhi.  Like Martin Luther King.  Not everyone needs to be bristling with firearms to have a peaceful society.  Doesn't mean you shouldn't walk to your car alertly at night or pick the safest route home.  

            You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

            by murrayewv on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 06:05:49 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  This has been part of my life long habit (6+ / 0-)

        Be aware of your surroundings. Don't be an easy target. Once when I was travelling, I became aware that i was being followed. The person had made several of the same transit changes I had. So I studied the person, just obviously enough, without making a scene... through the next transit change, which was an obvious circle back...

        By taking time to collect a full description, in case I needed one, and subtly letting them know I was aware they were following me... I became a poor choice of target.

        "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

        by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 05:12:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Homeland Security Still Watching The Quakers? (12+ / 0-)

    Sneaky little pacifists

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 04:15:13 PM PST

  •  we have lots of guns around here but your diary (10+ / 0-)

    needs more information. For example, many people collect Nazi memorabilia and it is a staple of many auction companies.  Right now, authenticated Nazi items with a clear provenance sell at a premium but so do Japanese Imperial items.  Simply owning WWII era materials does not necessarily mean a certain political affiliation, though it may.

    Second there are several Waffen reenactment  groups nationally, the same as there are Civil War groups.  These reenactors may be neo Nazis or not but I note that they claim they are no more neo Nazis than Civil War reenactors are neo Confederates.

    Finally, some people collect guns for various reasons.  The ownership of twenty guns is not an extreme collection in many cases as these people frequently sell, trade or buy guns as they rotate weapons in and out of their collections.

    The money phrase in the news report was that the guns confiscated were either stolen or else illegally acquired.  The news reports mentions a WWII era machine gun in the cache of weapons confiscated without noting that ownership of such a weapon is legal.

    Here are some upcoming auctions by one auction house:
    http://www.rockislandauction.com/  

  •  yes, no, possible, no (5+ / 0-)

    Realistically, the risk of gun violence is still low.  On the other hand, it could be even lower with some incredibly simple, sane, and reasonable regulations.

  •  Annelli has posed a few good questions (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Marti, WakeUpNeo, LinSea

    "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

    by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 04:35:59 PM PST

  •  For me (6+ / 0-)

    I know some of my neighbors.  We don't have a crime problem, nor a witness intimation problem.  I am unlikely to be targeted for political reasons.  Its entirely possible that someone could build a underground range in one of the near by detached homes.  I think its a zoning/permitting issue and pretty low on my give a shit list.  

    These questions are not good ones.  If you are looking to evaluate risk, start here:  http://www.ted.com/...

    The feeling of security and the reality of security don't always match, says computer-security expert Bruce Schneier. In his talk, he explains why we spend billions addressing news story risks, like the "security theater" now playing at your local airport, while neglecting more probable risks -- and how we can break this pattern.
    Being safe and feeling safe are two very different things.  Last 4th of July I was in Boston and there was an excessive law enforcement presence over fears remaining from the marathon bombing.  I did not feel safer.  Well thought out security without police state levels of militarization is a good thing.  

    I'm a 4 Freedoms Democrat.

    by DavidMS on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 04:38:11 PM PST

  •  Answers: (4+ / 0-)

    "Know neighbors" Well enough
    "Everybody know your name" More or less
    "intimidated witnesses" LOL No.
    "could be targeted for political beliefs" The word 'could' invites a lot of possibilities no matter the implausibility. (I 'could' win the lotto, or slightly more likely; be kidnapped by aliens led by Elvis to meet up with JFK to learn the secrets of the Illuminati's macrame techniques)....but nothing I have ever seen would lead me to believe so.
    "underground shooting range" Yes....but why would he/she do that when above ground would be so much easier & why not invite others over?

    Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

    by FrankRose on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 04:41:31 PM PST

  •  Yes, to all the questions asked (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, The Marti, coquiero

    It's been that way here for decades now, as far as I can tell.

    That being said, most keep to themselves and their friends. We have a mixed group of people in this area, all living separate lives pretty much.

    It helps that it's sparsely populated, which is why many move here, so they can keep to themselves.



    Women create the entire labor force.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 04:51:02 PM PST

    •  With only a slight edit, you could be writing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coquiero, murrayewv

      about my neighborhood in NYC.

      It's been that way here for decades now, as far as I can tell.

      That being said, most keep to themselves and their friends. We have a mixed group of people in this area, all living separate lives pretty much.

      It helps that it's sparsely populated, [in the crowded neighborhood, people get to know the faces and habits of those who come and go crossing paths with their daily rhythms] which is why many move here, so they can keep to themselves.

      It may be counter intuitive but city life allows for plenty of anonymity, and where I live people respect each others' privacy to a great degree. Yet there are plenty of eyes and ears to notice anything out of the ordinary, e.g. if criminal activity moved in. Most residential apartment buildings in NYC have a doorman or a building supervisor who lives on site.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 05:04:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Regarding the neighbors: (10+ / 0-)

    Everybody knows your name? Some may know each others' names, most of them probably don't. Lots of "nodding to say hi" relationships.

    Witness intimidation? Nobody would be that stupid. It's very rural here, an area with many farms, and most folks have shotguns and hunting rifles. The only time we see police in the area is when the Sheriff's office is responding to an auto accident or the like.

    Targeted due to activism? Well, somebody did steal our Obama 2012 lawn sign. OTOH, the several dozen other Obama signs in the area weren't bothered.

    Underground shooting range? Possibly, but that's a hell of a lot of money to spend when (a) most of the properties hereabouts run into the dozens of acres, and (b) there are a couple of very good ranges just a short drive away.

    •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IndieGuy
      Targeted due to activism? Well, somebody did steal our Obama 2012 lawn sign.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 05:27:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Heh. (5+ / 0-)

        I knew where you were coming from, but this is Northern Virginia. It's deep red, teabaggery country where I live, but just a few miles up the road is deep blue Fairfax County. Most folks got used to the mix a long time ago. Not counting the normal partisan political "discussions" what passes for activism hereabouts revolves around the old urban vs. rural discussion: How much growth is too much? The reasons probably differ, but each side of the political spectrum generally agrees with the other.

        As an example, a Baha'i group has bought up a lot of local acreage. They've submitted plans to build a temple on the property, and the county zoning board has given preliminary approval. Leading the charge against it is the local Democratic Party apparatus, with the Republican Party not far behind. Out here, the activism is pretty tame when compared to folks trying to clean up their neighborhoods out of fear for their children's wellbeing.

  •  What a great set of questions ... to prod thought! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheFern, LilithGardener, coquiero, LinSea

    My wife and I live on a busy street on the near north side of a large city. We know almost all of our neighbors and recognize a large number of everyday passers-by by face. I have no doubt that anyone we have the slightest acquaintance with would stop to help or call for aid if they thought we were in any kind of trouble. And we, for them. But ...

    ... people pass by our house 24/7, a great urban diversity. Within, say, four or five square blocks are restaurants, bars, fast food shops, alcohol sellers, an occasionally obvious drug dealer (come on, you know some if 'em when you see 'em). And on any weather-tolerable night (especially on weekends, which are three days long), a lot of happy partiers with varying degrees of self-awareness and control pass by.

    Let me put it this way. If that 71 year-old Florida sheriff came up here for a few nights, he might have issues with some of the folks "just having a good time" and enjoying their voices echoing off nearby high rises at 2 or 3am as they return to their cars to drive home.

    We like a police presence. Minimal, but "present". Budgetary cut backs have pretty much eliminated neighborhood beat cops but 911 responds, we believe, fairly promptly.

    I am leery of concealed carry as recently legislated. I do not think bouncers can adequately enforce a no-gun sign on the front doors of bars. We would not trust some of the patrons to control themselves if goaded and they had a weapon at hand.

    We used to have a German Shepherd. We now have a sensitive alarm. I will not say whether we have a handgun in the house for self defense as permitting gets more routine. As for witness intimidation ... nope! As for being targeted for political activism ... HAH! As for a UG shooting range, in my 'hood, it would have to be vertical.

    That's why so much of the gunslinging macho firearms rhetoric and visible displays of big ugly guns at rallies and meetings of Mothers Against Guns are a turnoff. It's not that there is no danger now, but I worry as much about well-intentioned NRA Good Guys as I do about bad guys.

    2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 05:13:06 PM PST

    •  Your neighborhood sounds very similar to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TRPChicago, buddabelly, coquiero

      mine, except that in NYC weekends are 7 days a week. The difference on the weekends, which you accurately note are always 3-day weekends, the outdoor noise is louder.

      In a mixed residential/commercial New York neighborhood like mine, there are 2 different times of note. 10pm is the residential noise ordinance, aka "quiet" time for people with kids and who have to get up the next day for work. That is when apartment parties, outdoor parties, back terrace barbeques, and restaurants that have outdoor space have to turn down the noise, significantly. But people still carry on drinking/eating until 2-3 AM or later. That's when the night-time hush arrives. Some bars stay open as long as there are customers.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 05:44:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ghu that would be hell, I grew up in L.A. so a (6+ / 0-)

        big city boy but a very different big city.  Moved to Tucson at about 21 and 10 years later moved to 5 acres out in the desert.

        Maybe 10 cars a day down my street, no noise most of the time but none at night...except the yotes singing and the owls
        hooting...

        .....The quail calling each other to their covey's own hackberry bush, the kestrels hunting my porch lights.  rabbits and javalina, bobcat and deer, mountain lion and coatimund......

        I could not live in the city happily again for any reason.  I've grown much too fond of the silence and clean air.....

        Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
        I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
        Emiliano Zapata

        by buddabelly on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 07:15:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, we have had raccoons, coyotes, two deer... (3+ / 0-)

          ... marching down the street in daylight, rabbits galore and some fairly exotic birds. Raptors, we think, but not owls.

          And some darned mean dogs.

          2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 07:49:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  my area gets a lot of dumped dogs from the city (8+ / 0-)

            some scumbag dumped a mamma and her babies in my driveway and she was an older dog with a well worn collar and looked well fed...I just don't understand how someone can do something like that to their friend, their dog.  They either go feral and become a threat to everyone until someone shoots them for raiding their chicken coop, or they slowly die from lack of water and food, or fast death in the teeth of the local predators or under the wheels of a car trying to find their people...fuck
            I hate those ....ggrrrrr...

            Mine are usually born with me and die with me, have for the last 40 years or so anyway...no more to be born for a long time, I'm at the young end of a cycle with a herd of terriers this time....man they are fun but can flat run me nuts sometimes...

            I meant no insult to city dwellers, just to me, honestly it would be the worst possible thing that could be....I just have grown to love the peace and tranquility of the rural life...can't even sleep in town any more, too noisy....when I first moved out here I couldn't sleep...too quiet...heh...

            Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
            I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
            Emiliano Zapata

            by buddabelly on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 08:51:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, well, city life is not for the tranquil. And (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LilithGardener, buddabelly

              ... in my city, you gotta like cold and wind. It builds character ... like rooting for the Cubs.

              2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

              by TRPChicago on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 12:57:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hey, we have cold and wind. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LilithGardener, buddabelly

                The city (and the Cubs)...not so much. -12 without windchill this morning.

                I still find it fascinating how people go for certain (different) things. My sister and I were raised in basically the same places (with the exception of some time after I went to college and the family moved to Wisconsin). She lives by the airport in Milwaukee. I live in a 'city' of less than 8,000 people (metropolitan area of around 13k). She loves it there. I'm trying to move to an area with LESS people. Five acres, middle of nowhere, nearest neighbor a mile or two away...building character: shoveling the snow for a 1/4 mile to clear your driveway uphill (both ways!).

                ;-)

                •  building character (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  buddabelly, KVoimakas

                  Chopping/splitting wood by hand to heat the yurt, in Maine, in winter, so you can melt the water to wash the dishes. =)

                  "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                  by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 01:46:36 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I wish I still could, but sadly it's to chainsaw (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    KVoimakas, LilithGardener

                    and a hydraulic splitter...can't swing a maul any more though I have a sweet steel handled 16lber that will split seasoned wood one swing most cases......

                    Being extreme dude as a kid pays you back later in the pain in the back.....

                    Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                    I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                    Emiliano Zapata

                    by buddabelly on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 02:32:35 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  heh, cold is a no go for me, I just installed a (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KVoimakas, LilithGardener

                new wood stove here on the Southern Border in the desert...As I get older, cold is the one thing that flat hurts bad...any other weather including searing heat, finestkind....Cold is hell.  Our days for all of Jan so far have been low 70's day and as high as mid 50's at night to low of just below freezing one night.  I think I scared the cold away...just hope the rains start soon, I'm recoating the roof this week but even if it rains first I'll take one more leaky day for some water from the sky.

                First real heat in my place since I moved in though...I've just suffered through as winter is 2, max 3 months of cold followed and preceded by wonderful fall and spring weather.

                No more suffering for me though I have to carry the wood in a couple sticks at a time, this new epa approved, high efficiency and low emission stove is very frugal with the wood and seriously pumps some fan forced heat...it rocks to put it mildly

                And when the Inevitable Zombie Apocalypse takes out the grid, I have the land to cut mesquite for the winters...the water harvesting will have to kick into full gear then though.....

                Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
                I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
                Emiliano Zapata

                by buddabelly on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 02:30:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Self-selection (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buddabelly, KVoimakas

          There is a phrase: You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl. (or boy)

          Both cities and rural places are self selecting. Lots of young people come to New York, and tire of it after a few years, unless they really, really love it. My trajectory was exactly the opposite. Country, to college town, to small university city, to big city. In the city we pay premium $$ for proximity to what we love. And in the country we recover premium time for proximity to what we love.

          Urban wildlife in NYC is more diverse than many people realize. We have lots of small species, racoons, snakes, turtles, etc, and a few years ago we had a coyote in Central Park for awhile. By virtue of its range of habitats, wetlands, tree diversity, and location along the eastern migratory route, the 5 boroughs of NYC are considered a bird sanctuary, with one of the most diverse bird population anywhere in the country. New Yorkers especially enjoy our urban raptors, e.g. falcons that nest in the bridges. There are about 30 nesting pairs of red-tailed hawks that people monitor through out the city, and for 3 years running, we get a front row seat, via hawk cam, as baby raptors are hatched and raised, on goumet-fed NYC rat meat.

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 11:30:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  No to all of the questions, depending upon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, LinSea

    how you define "near". Within a mile or so in certain directions, secretly building an underground range would be easy. Closer, it would not be so easy to keep it secret, except that all you would have to do is call it something else, like an emergency shelter/survival bunker, and get it permitted.

    When I was a kid, they often found arms caches, grenades, bazookas, recoilless rifles, machine guns, tommy guns, etc. in Southern California out on the eastern edge of things. The area was full of extreme Birchers, Minutemen and other RWNJs, CA attracts them, and I am not at all surprised if I hear reports even today regarding such out in the rural edges and/or the desert or mountain areas.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 05:57:40 PM PST

    •  Yeah! We have a winner! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris, coquiero, WakeUpNeo

      I was hoping someone would point out that getting a permit to build an underground shelter was very easy in the 70s and is probably still easy many places.

      It might have even been originally built as a nuclear survival shelter. 10 feet underground is pretty deep. That makes sense to me, but I thought it was too speculative to include in the diary.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 06:25:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I believe that my neighbor (6+ / 0-)

    has a substantial number of arms.  Not in "prepper" quantities, nor have I ever seen them or asked him directly.  I think my impression came from conversations with another long-time neighbor.

    Still, the guy is a helluva nice guy and good neighbor and I don't fear him or worry he's going to "go off".  My only concern is that he is afraid of my large dog, so I take great pains to ensure the dog doesn't threaten him in any way to the extent he'd feel the need to use deadly force.

    You can't spell CRAZY without R-AZ.

    by rb608 on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 06:00:09 PM PST

  •  My neighbor is a gun nut with a bunker. (4+ / 0-)

    He's my nephew.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 06:08:11 PM PST

    •  Hey, you'll have someplace to go when that zombie (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buddabelly, gerrilea, theatre goon, ER Doc

      apocalypse comes. ;-)

    •  Is the bunker a repurpose "fall out shelter"? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David54, coquiero

      Or was it built recently.

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 06:27:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You treat whacko as normal, and when you go (0+ / 0-)

      down, so be it!

      There can be no protection locally if we're content to ignore the fact that there are no controls globally.

      by oldpotsmuggler on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 07:31:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't treat whacko as normal. As a matter of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LilithGardener

        fact, my nephew is the archetype of the gun whack that gives all gun enthusiasts a bad name. If If KvoinMas knew him, he'd know where my opinion about gunwhack/conspiracy theorist/prowler/peeping tom/ creep come from.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 04:15:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm assuming you meant me? nt (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc
          •  Sorry, got your name wrong. Didn't mean to. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LilithGardener, KVoimakas

            I really do think responsible gun owners should be more concerned with the gun nuts than they are with people who are fed up with the insane level of gun violence in this country.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 06:44:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I disagree...but then again, I'm a 'gun nut' (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FrankRose, ER Doc

              according to some.

              •  Of course, implied in David54's response (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FrankRose, ER Doc

                is being more accepting of restrictions upon your rights.  Restrictions that even the so called experts agree won't address the problem.

                "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

                by blackhand on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 07:53:12 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Instead of sincere dialogue (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  David54, Shamash

                  Ad hominem?

                  The diary is about risks and concerns of daily life, not about restrictions on anyone's right to own, use, or enjoy guns. Sniping and complaining is the fastest way to convince people you have nothing to offer.

                  YMMV

                  "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

                  by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 09:06:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Replies in line (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ER Doc, Shamash
                    Ad hominem?
                    No.
                    Ad hominem: "claim or argument is rejected on the basis of some irrelevant fact about the author of or the person presenting the claim or argument"

                    Not what I was (pardon deliberate the pun) shooting for.   Implicit in the statement, "responsible gun owners should be more concerned with the gun nuts" is that the RGO is responsible, even if only by association, for the actions of the "gun nut"  Regardless of the statement validity or not, it is certainly inflammatory (as is "2nd amendment rights" koolaid.") and I am certain that David54 knew that it would be categorically rejected.  Which it was, kv:

                    I disagree...but then again, I'm a 'gun nut'
                    You then say:
                    The diary is not about restrictions on anyone's right to own, use, or enjoy guns.
                    You  may not have meant the diary to be, but the comment most certainly was.  Yet, in the context of the diary, being about risk in daily life, David54's comment did take the diary in this direction.   A position exemplified by the following statement:
                    However, I think responsible gun owners have a right to own guns.
                    Everybody else has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that shouldn't be infringed by gun fanatics.
                    So these things have to be balanced.
                    I was taught in civics class that rights came with responsibilities.
                    followed by references to Australia, which has adopted a position on gun control that would be wholly unacceptable in the USA.  
                    Sniping and complaining ...
                    My comment was neither.  I was bringing attention to a tacit implication that is (meant to be) a conversation stopper.

                    "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

                    by blackhand on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 10:43:34 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Well, I'm not one who has drunk the (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LilithGardener

                  "2nd amendment rights" koolaid.
                  However, I think responsible gun owners have a right to own guns.
                  Everybody else has a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that shouldn't be infringed by gun fanatics.
                  So these things have to be balanced.
                  I was taught in civics class that rights came with responsibilities. I realize that's oldfashioned.
                  What I believe is that in reality, (Australia) they have shown that reducing gun ownership and the number of guns out there does indeed reduce gun deaths.
                  I think some reforms could reduce gun deaths.
                  If a particular reform doesn't work, then it could be repealed.
                  I think these reforms could be done without restricting a responsible gun owner's basic right to own a gun.

                  What I most importantly believe is that responsible gun owners should be in common cause with everyone else in seeing to it that our collective attitude toward guns becomes more serious. I think that would reduce a lot of the needless death and destruction.
                  I don't think we can even have gun reform until we have that change in attitude.

                  I do believe the NRA and similar groups need to vanish off the face of the earth, for the good of the country. I'd like to see responsible gun owners come together in a new organization that wouldn't be a shill for the gun manufacturers and would focus on gun responsibility and safety. Replace the NRA.

                  You can't make this stuff up.

                  by David54 on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 09:09:55 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Curious; where do you draw the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ER Doc

              gun nut/responsible gun owner line?

    •  Real AR Bunker robbed today--50 secs, $70k in guns (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, WakeUpNeo, coquiero

      ARs for the taking!: Back Up, Grab, and Go…no background checks!

      Are there may be no meaningful requirements for gun dealers to keep their guns secure from theft. Just keep the paperwork inventory, don't worry about the physical security.

      ATF (BATFE, actually) rules have all kinds of paperwork requirements for tracking wholesale supplier-to store-to "background check approved" buyers. No wait state in most states for handing over the gun(s) if OK'd by the "phone-in" background check.

      But what if you have hundreds of guns and have such a poorly constructed building as your commercial gun store premises that a stolen Honda Accord can be backed right through your front door, and $70,000 worth of guns--many of them AR-15s--grabbed and gone in under 50 seconds? That's a lawful gun dealer in Georgia. Is this allowed nationwide by our ATF?

      Yes, this happened today, at the "AR Bunker" no less. Some bunker! But, they have spent their Lord's Day fortifying the storefront with two sheets of plywood. Though they weren't planning to be open, since they had to be there with the ATF and all, they were open today, and plan to be open tomorrow. All this is in the local paper, here:

      AR Bunker Robbed But Undeterred

      http://www.times-herald.com/....

      Note that in gun permissive Georgia, the owner figures these guns are going "up North".

      There's more:

      Georgia GOP-TP Congressman Paul Broun, who is seeking Saxby Chambliss's senate seat, is raffling off a Bushmaster AR, like Adam Lanza used, firing 154 rounds in a few minutes, firing for effect.

      The AR Bunker theft of ARs this morning is in GOP-TP Congressman Lynn Westmoreland's district. A few miles from Westmoreland's Grantville home, in Meriwether County, federal investigators led an armed raid on a commercial dog fight last week, arresting 34 people at the scene. The gathering was so big, it had a catering van present. One of the several guns recovered in the arrest was a stolen gun belonging to the Manchester (GA) police department. Do police agencies have any rules for locking up guns? Or are they above the law, like cops are with texting while driving, carrying their guns anywhere, on and off duty, sober or not, and domestic abuse?

      Georgia's biggest AR manufacturer, and supplier to armies and others worldwide, Daniel Defense, this week announced a $20 million expansion to make lots and lots more ARs. Their expansion comes with lots of subsidy for the plant expansion, and their sales.

      With possibly 100 million AK variants worldwide (from The Gun, a Pulitzer winning book), and only about 16 million AR variants, the US is way behind in the global domination of shoulder fired assault rifles. Georgia is doing it's part to speed up the spread of America's also-ran, the AR, in the street battles for AK dominance. Price is still a handicap. But, making access easier to these weapons, whether by legal or casual means, is moving the AR up in local and regional popularity.

      Can it get any easier to stock up on ARs than just back up, grab, and go? Why wait for a call-in approval, have to register you purchase, and why pay retail, anyway?

  •  What do the third & fourth questions (6+ / 0-)

    have to do with the diary? Did you edit something out that I missed?
         As far as the fearsome arsenal in the story, I could pretty much match it at my house, (except for the WWII machine gun.) I enjoy collecting.

    -7.25, -6.26

    We are men of action; lies do not become us.

    by ER Doc on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 06:28:05 PM PST

    •  Let's apply Occam's Razor (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      coquiero, Glen The Plumber

      They were just open question "prompts" as possible places to start the discussion, rather than yes/no questions. I didn't want the discussion to get hung up on the particulars of the story, which I think was probably a re-purposed nuclear fall out shelter. (enhydra lutris, is the first reader that mentioned that probability, just before your comment.)

      Let's apply Occam's Razor:

      1. The illegal guns are criminal matter. And they were discovered because stolen guns were reported to law enforcement.

      2. The White Supremacist paraphernalia is not exactly clear, but the nazi salute photos take that "collection" to the creepy level.

      3. The sound-proofed unlicensed underground gun range was probably nothing more than an opportunistic re-purposing of a former property owner's fear of nuclear winter.

      So I don't see much to be concerned about.

      OTOH, if a White supremacists/militia was holding meetings in my neighborhood and extreme right wingers were coming and going with arms, and reinforcing their own/each other's fear/hatred, I'd be keeping a close eye on them and would want to know which among my neighbors shared their views.  

      "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

      by LilithGardener on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 06:48:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Witness intimidation and targeting of Kossacks (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theatre goon, FrankRose

        for their political activities don't seem to have anything to do with any activities mentioned in the diary or the links.  Did you toss those in because you wanted to increase the "fear factor?" Because "scary gun people" are obviously inclined to do such things? Or did I overlook something else?

        -7.25, -6.26

        We are men of action; lies do not become us.

        by ER Doc on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 11:06:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, apparently (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber
          Or did I overlook something
          The answers to your questions are found in the first paragraph of the diary, up thread in reply to Entlord, and again in my reply to you.

          The diary is not about me, or my reasons for extending the invitation to talk about risk in our daily lives. My motives for writing can't possible be more interesting than your own life. The invitation stands.

          "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

          by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:37:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, the answers to my questions are (0+ / 0-)

            most emphatically not in those places. Based on the first paragraph, you should have been asking about crime rates in our communities, or maybe, the conditions of our local roads. What your response tells me is that you are indeed interested in pandering to some people's fears about gun owners.
                 Given that you are discussing the discovery of an underground gun range and some illegal guns in the possession of several white supremacists, you appear to be suggesting, by asking those questions, that people should be worried about witness intimidation and attacks based on political activism when dealing with gun owners.

            This dairy makes no assumptions about anyone's neighbors
                I think it does, if those neighbors are gun owners.

            -7.25, -6.26

            We are men of action; lies do not become us.

            by ER Doc on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 09:26:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

              for 'splainin' me the unconscious secrets of my wandering pandering heart. I'm pretty sure I don't live in your neighborhood; if some anonymous blogger at the GOS is your biggest daily risk, just lean in, reach forward, and find the off button.

              You have a "first world" problem.

              "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward

              by LilithGardener on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 10:41:07 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  If you lived in MT, eastern WA, OR, ID, WYO, etc (6+ / 0-)

    in a rural area, more than half your neighbors would have a shooting range somewhere on their property.  Around here it isn't a big deal. No crack houses or gangs shooting up neighborhoods, and I never heard of any white supremicist groups or militias, either.

    I do know that the Aryan Brotherhood used to have some property in Hayden ID (north ID), but they made the mistake of harassing a young Native American woman on the road and her and her very good attorney took it all, much to the amusement of the neighbors.  And there is an apocalypse-fearing group that has some property in ID near the MT border, too, but there's been no info on them in quite some time so their safe-haven dreams may have been pie-in-the-sky.

  •  I know the neighbor to the right has a gun. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gerrilea, LilithGardener, ER Doc

    It is his second gun since I have lived here. His first one was stolen by a skinny, agile person who climbed in through the high bathroom window. We both suspected the young teenager down the block.

    My neighbor said there was a shooting in front of my house. The cops did come and  there was blood in the street the next morning.  I was home and I live in an alley right on the street. I don't know how I didn't hear a gunshot 10 feet from my house or why my dog didn't go crazy. But, maybe she did and I ignored her. My neighbor said he saw it from his window where he was standing with his gun. Fortunately, he didn't fire his gun into a group of people illuminated with only a street light. He said 3 men in masks mugged and shot the guy as he was going to or leaving the bar on the corner. I didn't see anything about the incident in the paper or hear it on the news, but that same night there was a home invasion a few blocks over, 3 men in masks with guns, but they used a knife on the occupant and they didn't kill him.

    I live in a downtown area where the fairly affluent in renovated mansions live smack dab up against the homeless and the poverty stricken both black and white. When I first moved here in 1999, the rundown houses to the left of me were occupied by drug users, drug dealers, prostitutes and thieves. They might have had guns, but I didn't worry about it too much. Now, those houses have been torn down replaced by upscale townhouses. The alley connects 2 main streets and there is a lot of foot traffic and sometimes people ask for food or money and one time in the middle of the night or early in the morning these 2 guys knocked on the door and asked me if I wanted to get high. I said, No, thank you,  and they left. My dog was acting pretty vicious.  I'm cautious, but I've never felt the need for a gun.

  •  No... (7+ / 0-)
    Have you asked yourself lately, how well do you really know your neighbors?

    Do you live in a place "where everyone knows your name"?
    Do you live in a place where criminals in your neighborhood have intimidated witnesses into silence when the police ask questions?
    Do you live in a place where you could be targeted, personally, because of your political activism?
    Do you live in a place where someone nearby you could build an underground shooting range without anyone noticing?

    But I live in a place where I know my neighbors have firearms. I know this because of a couple of robberies (attempts at burglaries that happened with the owners home!) went very wrong for the thugs. Honestly, that makes me feel a little safer.

    To be first in the soil, which erupts in the coil, of trees veins and grasses all brought to a boil. -- The Maxx

    by notrouble on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 07:32:27 PM PST

  •  I know people have firearms in my neighborhood (3+ / 0-)

    They posted things like "good thing he didn't come into my backyard" on the Facebook page when a carjacker crashed the vehicle he stole and the cops were searching on foot and with a helicopter.  

    I knew people had them before--I mean, it's Houston, Texas--but the people who I knew had them didn't broadcast it publicly like that.  I worry that if their judgment is poor enough to let everyone on the internet know, then it's not going to be that great if a situation comes up that may or may not benefit from the introduction of a gun into the mix.

  •  One thing I have found (7+ / 0-)

    from many, many diaries here at Kos is that people who have little or no personal experience with firearms are likely the ones with the most unrealistic and emotionally charged beliefs about their risk. Since a higher percentage of urban people are Democrats and simultaneously a lower percentage of gun owners and whose only experience with the subject may be urban gun crime with illegally acquired weapons, the bias is self-reinforcing.

    I suspect this is probably true for just about any subject in which people are uninformed. Soft racism from people who seldom encounter non-whites, "reefer madness" phobias, fear of scary muslims from those whose religious depth involves driving past a Methodist church on the way to their Baptist church, my mother's fear of hackers that leads her to have a 13 character lower case/upper case/numeric/punctuation password to turn on her phone, that sort of thing.

    This is not to say it is the only problem. We have people who do have experience who still have unrealistic beliefs about risk, and that goes both ways (those who presume too much risk and those not realizing the actual degree of risk).

    I think in all of these cases, guns or otherwise, education and familiarity would go a long way to bridging the divide. At least for those for those open-minded enough to want to.

    Take Gabrielle Giffords. She has more experience with gun violence than any of us ever want to. But she is still a gun owner, she still owns the exact same type of gun she was nearly killed with (a Glock 9mm), it still has a "high capacity" 17-round magazine, and if I claimed that one of those was fun for me go out target shooting with, I'd have Kossacks like...well I won't name names...talking about "kill rates" and "kinderkiller clips" and how bragging about owning such a weapon should make me liable for its misuse if it was stolen.

    Which of these two people (Giffords or the Kos commenter) would you say has the more realistic view of the risks involved? And then ask a) which of those points of view gets more recs from the Kossack gun control community and b) is that a good thing?

    •  Rec for raising some good points (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener

      Now, in answer to the questions, which I do realize are meant to stimulate discussion, not be the missive of the diary:

      -->Do you live in a place "where everyone knows your name"?

      No, I don't, but I used to.  Growing up, I knew the name of 90% of the families in the whole neighborhood and associated with their children.  Now, I know the names of my adjacent neighbors and perhaps a few others.  I think that this is a cultural change.  My parents, who still live in house I grew up in only know a limited number of the people now too.

      -->Do you live in a place where criminals in your neighborhood have intimidated witnesses into silence when the police ask questions?

      No, statistically, I live in one of the safer neighborhoods in my city.  While there are occassional problems in the neighborhood, including drugs, DV, minor crime, law and order are the rule rather than the exception.

      -->Do you live in a place where you could be targeted, personally, because of your political activism?

      This is a maybe.  Political or religious activism.  I've known families who had to leave their church because of a pregnant daughter.  

      -->Do you live in a place where someone nearby you could build an underground shooting range without anyone noticing?

      Probably not, at least directly in my neighborhood.  I wouldn't have to travel too far for this to be the case though.  Go 10 miles outside of the city and it gets rural fast.

      There are certainly parts of the city that I wouldn't go to either.  The rates of crime and violence are just too high.  These parts of the city are also full of urban blight and it has gotten worse in the years of economic down turn.  

      Do I feel the need for a bunker in my home or on my property?  No, but I wouldn't mind one for reasons other than crime and violence.  Weather in particular.

      "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

      by blackhand on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 06:23:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I should have replied to the "daily risk" as well (6+ / 0-)

        I currently live in a rural, very "red" area where I would wager most of my neighbors own pistols, rifles, muzzle-loading rifles and bows or crossbows (to make the most of every possible hunting season, naturally). Judging by my junk mail, literally "Marlboro country".

        The violent crime and robbery rate is lower than the national average. I will not say there is a causal link as I really don't know. It could just be a cultural difference.

        Everyone knows someone where they can go shooting, so even if you have a small house on a quarter-acre, finding a spot to shoot does not require a shooting range.

        Open carry is uncommon but nothing worth remarking on if you see it, concealed carry is "shall issue" and requires a background check and safety course.

        I did spend over ten years in "the big city" where the situation was just about the opposite, where we had a shooting incident in my apartment complex (a guy got swarmed by roaches in his sleep and took a .357 Magnum to them), you stayed out of certain areas after dark, you would go six blocks out of your way rather than walk through a certain neighborhood, open or concealed carry was more or less non-existent (legally, anyway) and the only place you could shoot was a shooting range. A group of miscreants tried to shove me off an overpass once.

        You can guess which of these two places I am happier living in and feel a lesser degree of daily risk.

  •  I have a couple of neighbors with bump fire stocks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener, ban nock, ER Doc

    At least that's what I assume it is when I am working on the farm and hear what sounds like automatic weapons fire. It's outside the city limits of any town, in the "county" which means things like I don;t have to pull a permit to build pretty much anything I want and they can fire their weapons on their own property if they feel like it.

    Pretty much not a day goes by without at least some gunfire heard.

  •  Most people here probably have guns. No parents (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, LilithGardener, ER Doc, Shamash

    have ever mentioned it when kids come to play with my kids. Obsessing over firearms is more a thing in the upscale developments that surround us. The gun stash in your story could be any one of my neighbors except for the machine gun. I never have much ammo and I'm sure I have half that mentioned in your piece. There are tons of nutty right wingers here, so what. I certainly don't fear them. They don't complain about my obvious support for President Obama, I don't complain about them thinking everything is a UN plot. Works out just fine when we need each other's help in the flood.

    Do you live in a place "where everyone knows your name"?
    yup

    Do you live in a place where criminals in your neighborhood have intimidated witnesses into silence when the police ask questions?
    Nope. Police wave when they drive by. We like the police just fine.

    Do you live in a place where you could be targeted, personally, because of your political activism?
    I walk my neighborhood, clipboard in hand, making sure Dems have registered for mail in ballot, then again making sure they mail them in. Pretty peaceful for a county where some wanted to secede  over guns.

    Do you live in a place where someone nearby you could build an underground shooting range without anyone noticing? I wouldn't think this hard to do anywhere, just convert a basement.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 07:57:02 AM PST

  •  Thanks for having this conversation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    While I'm not entirely comfortable participating (as I tend to go into heavy lurk mode whenever I've put my typing foot in my mouth) I think it's too important to ignore. Background--I support the right to reasonably regulated private gun ownership. I don't support the right to threaten people with them, to get as many as you like without so much as a background check, to bully other people by sauntering about openly carrying weapons designed to kill. I don't support stand your ground laws.

    Locally, we have a gun problem. I live on the border of Richmond county and hear gunfire every night. Here: Richmond County Gun Violence I rather strongly advise against delving far into the comments past the first page.

    I don't like to let the kids go to play at other kids' houses because so many of their friends have guns, often in their rooms. That, I thought at first , had to be illegal, but it's not. The youngest kid I've heard of talking about guns in his room was 8.  Yes, seriously.

    None of that bothers me, however, nearly as much as the increasing venom of the local far right (so, most of the population) as it screams about gun rights. I hear conversations about stockpiling guns and ammo at the grocery store, the consignment shop where we get the kids' cloths, the halls at my work. The hatred with which these conversations are uttered scares me.

    My teacher husband is shocked at the conversations he hears in his classes when the topic comes up, as it often does. My 11 year old daughter came home the other day to report that one of her classmates speculated to the class in all seriousness that the lead story in CNN morning news would be the poor man who President Obama "forced" to set his house on fire because... gun control. Or something like that. I actually found was it was based on and will try to post it. The rest of the class hissed and called for his impeachment for .... I guess, being Obama. It's ugly, and it's tied to guns. I know I didn't explain it well, and it was anecdote rather than analysis, but that's my charming local situation.

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