Friday, February 12, 2010

Private Public Safety Gone Too Far


I don't use the word stupid very often. I have no problem with other words which indicate stupidity, such as moron (my personal favorite) and, on occasion, idiotic. I'm also a big fan of the word ridiculous. But for some reason, stupid just seems a little harsh to me. That being said, I have just read what might be one of the stupidest ideas that has ever popped into the head of a human being (or animal, for that matter, and animals have been known to eat their own feces, so that should give you a measuring stick for how stupid I think this really it).

Let's hop on over across the pond to Macclesfield, Cheshire (that's in England). It is there that the fine folks at Mail Online bring us the tale of "...an initiative called Operation Golden which aims to slash burglary rates." Now, I don't know what the burglary rates are in Macclesfield, but I highly doubt that they're high enough to implement something this stupid. And that's because it's very difficult to justify stupidity to begin with.

Here's how Operation Golden works: Officers have begun testing windows and doors at night as part of a campaign to increase home security." Hmm. Now, I admit I find that concept odd. I understand wanting to increase home security. That seems like a reasonable idea. But I don't know how the window and door testing is going to help. What's that? There's more? Oh, yeah. There is.

"If they find one open, they are under orders to knock on the door and drag sleepy residents from their beds and lecture them." Um, what now?

I am admittedly completely unfamiliar with the gun laws in England. I know y'all are a bit knife-y over there, but I don't know how shoot-y things get. See, over here in the US, there are quite a few of us who exercise our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. And if my door gets knocked on in the middle of the night or I hear someone messing with my windows in the middle of the night, I'm going to exercise that 2nd Amendment right faster than anyone is going to be able to explain to me that they're the police and they're just doing a little safety check.

According to a one Inspector Gareth Woods (he's the chap who is in charge of this lunacy), "He admitted that some residents will not be happy about the wake-up call, but said: 'If we're told to get lost then that's a risk we take." It's not so much the getting told off that would be the risk I'd be worried about if I were you folks. It's the getting shot part that would concern me.

"Police say their actions are necessary as almost 40 per cent of all burglars gain access through an unsecured window or door." I can imagine. But I'm here to tell you that although only 40 percent of burglars gain their access through the windows or doors that are unsecured, 100 percent of that 40 percent would be shot at here at here at my walled off compound.

Here's my question (well, aside from the one about why anyone would think that this is a good idea): How is this not trespassing? If you're wandering about the perimeter of my home and you're trying to open my doors and trying to open my windows, how are you not trespassing? Is trespassing only something that exists in the United States? I don't think that it is. So how is this justified? Sadly, the article does not say. But it does say that "Most reasonable people will say thanks for letting them know and be grateful." Ummm, I don't think that they will. That, of course, is provided that they are, in fact, "reasonable people". Reasonable people are not going to be grateful that someone is sneaking around outside of their house and seeing if they can get in. No, if the doorbell is rang at 2 in the morning and it's a cop standing there who begins to lecture them on the safety of their own home, reasonable people are going to flip out! That's what reasonable people are going to do. It's the numb nuts who are going to thank these officers for attempting to break into their home. What is wrong with people?

While I can appreciate the whole wanting to educate the public on keeping their home safe, I'm thinking this goes a bit too far. After all, what ever happened to personal responsibility? If you leave your home unlocked, it's reasonable to think that a burglar might try to get in and steal your stuff. A reasonable person (see the paragraph above) would realize this and would lock their home. If your home is unlocked and someone steals your stuff, hey, live and learn, I suppose.

Yeah, what could possibly go wrong with this plan? I'm thinking plenty. Plenty could go wrong. It's only a matter of time before an officer is shot or stabbed or whatever it is that you folks over there in England do to protect your family and your belongings from an uninvited and intrusive stranger in the middle of the night. It won't end well. It won't end well because it's stupid.

If you're reading this and you happen to live over there, please tell me what in the world is going on. I'm so confused that something so idiotic would ever be implemented that I feel as if I must be missing part of the story. I'm terrified that I'm not, but I'm hoping that I am.

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