“’It’s gotten to a point where residents feel insecure even going from their door to their car,’ said resident Shirley Reitman. ‘A lot of residents are applying for a concealed carry weapon permit, even though that’s a great challenge in LA County.’”
Nope. Ms. Reitman lives in tony Beverly Hills. She says she’s “always been anti-gun,” but she also has eyes and is able to discern what’s happening around her, even from the sometimes carefully curated media accounts of the crime spike in Los Angeles and how it’s now encroaching on even her wealthy neighborhood.
Last week, an 81-year-old Beverly Hills resident was shot and killed during a home invasion. Unlike yet another drive-by in Inglewood, news like that tends to get people’s attention. When one of Oprah’s friends is victimized, the crime problem suddenly becomes real.
Jacqueline Avant 🕊🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/fMyCmmmgj9
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) December 2, 2021
That’s what prompted Soros-backed “prosecutor” George Gascon to get himself in front of reporters earlier this week to try to tell LA residents to calm down. His soft-on-crime approach to criminal justice is working out spectacularly well, he said. Really. Everything is just fine.
Somehow, though, Gascon’s reassurances haven’t made much of an impression on Ms. Reitman or her neighbors. As the New York Post reports, in may-issue California, the LA County Sheriff — who really doesn’t like to approve carry permit applications — has been busy lately.
According to LA County Sheriff Alejandro Villanueva, the department has received 8,105 concealed carry weapon applications and approved 2,102 of them since he took office in December 2018, compared to his predecessor having issued 194 permits in four years.
“Even hardcore leftist Democrats who said to me in the past, ‘I’ll never own a gun’ are calling me asking about firearms,” said Joel Glucksman, a private security executive. “I’d say there has been an increase of 80 percent in the number of requests I’m getting this year.”
It seems that voting for he same people, time and again, and hoping that their policies of eliminating cash bail, defunding the police, and declining to enforce large swaths of the criminal code eventually comes home to roost.
“What you’re seeing is the spillover into these communities of crime and violence,” explained LA police officer Steve Robinson. “Before, you would never hear of a robbery or a shooting [In Beverly Hills], or if you did, it was once or twice a year. In 2020, the Beverly Hills Police Department pulled 18 guns off Rodeo Drive. You go back any year before that, and it may have been zero to one or two.”
Hence Ms. Reitman’s newfound interest in gun ownership. She’s having to deal with problems that once only concerned Los Angeles’s poor and middle class.
“It’s like we’ve been taken over by gang members and criminals because they know that Gascón is going to make sure he doesn’t prosecute them,” said one woman, a writer in the entertainment industry, who did not want to be identified. “He’s saying, ‘Hey, go out and rob someone for $900 worth. Get arrested, go back out on the street.”
This is otherwise known as being mugged by reality.
A California ballot initiative, passed in 2014, allows the theft of items up to $950 before the crime counts as a felony, as well as the possession of three grams of hard drugs including meth. The combination, say law enforcement, has been toxic.
How is that working out?
Good morning. The free market always defeats Communism. pic.twitter.com/UnT0Rv9CZY
— Wendy Rogers (@WendyRogersAZ) December 8, 2021
Somehow supporting the same people who espouse the same tired, failed policies over and over again never seemed to be a problem. Until now.
Beverly Hills and surrounding neighborhoods like Brentwood and Bel-Air are famously home to liberal celebrities. People interviewed on Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive wanted me to know that they are very concerned about racism and police brutality.
But the killing of [Jacqueline] Avant was a wake-up call. “My industry is filled with progressives who have the luxury of being idealists and espousing philosophies they they thought would never come back and bite them,” said the entertainment writer, who is in her early 60s. “There’s a shift now that it’s become so much more dangerous.”
Ms. Reitman and her newly-concerned friends probably don’t have to worry too much about navigating the intentionally arduous gun acquisition process in LA County. While Sheriff Villanueva is still turning down 75% of the applications he receives, Reitman and her well-to-do friends probably have the clout, connections, and cash needed to ensure their applications are approved forthwith.
And now that the city’s pathologies are intruding on even these rarified neighborhoods, it’s time to do something besides arming up.
There is now a bipartisan recall campaign underway that could remove Gascón from office, and all of the fearful Beverly Hill residents interviewed by The Post said they supported it.
Shazam. It sounds like what these formerly insulated Los Angelenos are experiencing is changing hearts and minds. But not too much.
“I think I’m still radical,” said [former 60s radical Vera] Markowitz, “but I’m radical in the middle. I’m just not on the extreme of anything. I’ve always believed that when you believe in something, you fight for whatever it is.”