Well it almost happened again yesterday. Sort of a rant; leave your -2die or whatever.Submitted by skrapmetal at 2013-03-13 19:48:30 EDT
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I am beginning to lose hope for urban America. Seriously, actually, RLY. I no longer think that the alleged coolness of having the clubs, cafes, and arty shoppes or whatever all within walking distance of where I park my vehicle is worth the predatory environment that exists in the social zone after midninght and in the surrounding neighborhoods all the time. All the fucking time.
I have to go to people's houses in the course of my work sometimes, and sometimes I have to take a lot of expensive gear like thermal imaging cameras and laser 3D mapping scanners. When I go to people's houses with all that gear, I keep it in the locked box in the bed of the truck so it's not visible or readily accessible, because it's expensive. It's also all outfitted with Snagg chips and individual serial numbers, but theives don't care about that until later. When I have to carry gear, I drive a big grey GMC 4WD pickup with a box in the bed and a huge stainless steel pushbar on the front with off-road lights installed. I am a fat white guy with a ponytail, and I live in Florida. These details will be relevant later.
Yesterday, after I was finished looking at a water-damaged house in an older and run-down neighborhood in North Tampa, I was loading all the gear back into the truck. I had almost finished and was leaning into the passenger side of the truck putting some paperwork into the center console when I hear someone approaching me. A kid says, "Gimme y' wallet. And all y' cash." I looked around and there's this black kid maybe 17yo, with his hand in the pocket of his hoodie. Shit.
Picture the truck. Picture me. OK? What would make this kid think that a fat white guy with a ponytail driving a big grey pickup truck with a stainless steel pushbar with lights on it and a truck box in the bed sitting in a driveway in an older and run-down neighborhood in Florida is not going to have a gun? Nothing, exactly. Congratulations; you, dear reader, are smarter than the kid. As ever, in the center console of my truck was a large and imposing .45 cal handgun. I have been the victim of an attempted robbery before, and that one went badly in the overall. While I was certainly scared of what might happen this time, I was not intimidated. I picked up the gun and swung around to point it at the kid. Didn't get the chance - as soon as he saw the thing coming that way he bolted like he was escaping death. Best possible outcome right there.
I don't know if he had a gun of his own or was just posing. I do know he was stupid or at least foolish. I do know that I am wary and vigilant when I go to people's houses in any neighborhood for just this sort of reason, but this type of thing has only ever happened to me in urban areas.
What is it about some people that makes them think that risking death while robbing someone justifies the reward they get if they don't die and get somne cash and credit cards? Why do they seem to congregate in urban areas? I'm not talking about economic issues. I'm so tired of hearing about how they can't find a job so they have to steal. Fuck that. It's just easier to spend one minute robbing someone for $200 than it is to work for 20 hours at the Quick-Mart to get the same $200 before the government gets their bite. Quick-Mart is hiring, so don't give me that shit. Is it drugs? Maybe. But that's not an excuse; it's just the reason they use. Nobody made crackheads start smoking crack. I don't feel sorry for them at all. Fuck them for their weakness, in fact. Is it for social status among their peers? Robbing gives them status, and they think that's good? They're the reason the urban crime stereotype exists so they're not allowed to compain about it, and when one of them gets killed while trying to rob someone it may be a tragedy to their family and to the person that kills them but nobody else cares. To society it's just a natural result of their behavior.
It's because of experiences like this that I tend to avoid urban areas when I can and especially at night. Sometimes it's necessary to head downtown at night in order to see the concert or visit the friend or cheer the home team or whatever. Is it borderline paranoia or simple preparedness that I never go alone at night and always have some sort of supplemental protection? Preparedness is what it is. If this sort of thing had never happened to me I might call it borderline paranoia, but honestly it'd really be learning from the experiences of others. How many of you have or know someone who has been a victim of a crime? Did you change how you do things because of it?
I dunno. It seems that urban areas tend to concentrate cultures, both positive and negative. For now, I'm glad that museums open early and robbers tend to sleep in.
I had posted this earlier today for a few minutes I took it back down after I got a call and then a visit from the local constabulary. Seems that the kid told someone I threatened him without reason (maybe to explain some poo in his drawers? I dunno), and that someone called someone else, and that person got my license plate number. So, I got to show them the .45 (still loaded and unfired) and the expensive gear in the truck box, and my CCWP, and explain what really happened. The local constabulary talked to the North Tampa constabulary while they were at my house and they compared notes, and after all of that I've still got my freedom and my .45 so I guess they're OK with me. The kid, it seems, is apparently not unknown to the North Tampa constabulary.