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Thread: Florida & Texas Team Up & Take Up Arms To Create "Locked & Loaded" Community

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    Leaders in neighborhood are preparing to take up arms in crime-plagued area and become a "locked and loaded" community
    By Ihosvani Rodriguez | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    August 23, 2008
    Hollywood - Leaders of a crime-plagued neighborhood near downtown are tired of talk and task forces. Instead, they're taking up arms and preparing to become a "lock and loaded" community.

    Members of the Royal Poinciana Civic Association say they want to start working with a Texas-based gun-rights organization and a local weapons-training academy to verse residents on gun laws and self-protection.

    "It is unfortunate, but it really has come down to this," said the association's president, Jack David, whose neighborhood is surrounded by cheap motels, slum apartment buildings and a large cluster of social service agencies.

    In April, shortly after a Sun Sentinel article detailed the community's woes, city officials created a task force to look at the problems in Royal Poinciana and nearby Park Side, south of Young Circle.


    City officials say the task force has led to some progress, but at its most recent meeting Wednesday, residents' frustration boiled over.

    First, residents distributed a flier with the picture of a badly beaten Robin Mejias, 37, who told Hollywood police she was mugged while walking through the neighborhood on Sunday morning. The flier read "All-American Victim," mocking the city's recent All-America City award.

    Then group leaders reiterated a controversial demand to combine all the area's agencies — including the COSAC Foundation homeless shelter, several drug rehab centers and a soup kitchen — into a locked compound near the edge of the neighborhood.

    "It's your people that are walking around our neighborhood committing all these crimes," yelled one resident at homeless shelter director Sean Cononie, who was in attendance.

    "What you are suggesting is putting people behind walls and that's un-Christian-like, it's un-Jewish like, it's completely inhuman and unacceptable," Cononie fired back.

    The tense exchange ended with Commissioner Beam Furr saying he'll schedule another meeting to seek common ground and positive solutions. Among other things, the task force has discussed placing tighter regulations on the motels, offering incentives to motel and apartment owners to fix up their places and expanding a police street crimes unit that has already made 653 arrests in Royal Poinciana since January.

    But city and police officials have rejected the notion of stopping people from walking around the neighborhood and forming a walled-in complex.

    After the meeting, Royal Poinciana leaders said they're moving ahead with plans to become an armed community. If members give formal approval on Sept. 4, the group will apply for grants to help pay for weapons training and to purchase warning signs, said activist Norm Berube, who bought a Glock a month ago.

    "Almost all of us are already armed," he said. "It's now a matter of letting everyone know we're ready to do what we have to do to protect ourselves."

    A number of residents have already signed up for courses at the 911 Store in Hollywood, a weapons shop and training center. The group has also been in contact with the Texas-based Second Amendment Sisters to teach them about gun laws, said David.

    Police Chief Chad Wagner, a task force member, said the neighborhood has the right to arm itself, but he's concerned about creating a dangerous situation.

    "I am strong advocate of the Second Amendment, but you can go from being a victim to someone being prosecuted very easily," he said. "My fear is that someone is going to get into trouble, or hurt."

    Ivy Rivello, 46, has lived in the neighborhood for three years. She said she's no longer waiting for the city or police to solve problems. A waitress who lives alone, Rivello recently purchased a handgun so she could feel safe.

    "I never imagined I would be a grandmother with a gun," she said.

    Ihosvani Rodriguez can be reached at ijrodriguez@sunsentinel.com or 954-385-7908.


    The turf
    The Texans
    The turf
    Royal Poinciana, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, is bordered by Federal Highway, North Dixie Highway, Sheridan Street and Hollywood Boulevard and covers only .5 square miles.



    The Texans
    Second Amendment Sisters is an advocacy group dedicated to preserving the right to self-defense, as recognized by the Second Amendment, according to the group's Web site: www.2asisters.org. It provides individuals and communities with instructors to teach gun rights and safety.

    Video on site

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/loc...,4867186.story


    Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

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    Police Chief Chad Wagner, a task force member, said the neighborhood has the right to arm itself, but he's concerned about creating a dangerous situation.

    "I am strong advocate of the Second Amendment, but you can go from being a victim to someone being prosecuted very easily," he said. "My fear is that someone is going to get into trouble, or hurt."
    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/loc...,4867186.story
    Thank you Chief Wagner for your concern about creating a dangerous situation but you've had your chance to correct the problem. Apparently the citizens believe they can have a more direct effect on crime, and I, for one support and applaude them. As far as your fear that someone is going to get into trouble or hurt, your own statistics show that there is already trouble there ( 653 arrests in Royal Poinciana since January.)

    Why is it that the powers that be do not trust the people to know what is right and to do what is right? As if I don't already know. Perhaps the people may just be right. Oh my god... now what.

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    Why is it that the powers that be do not trust the people to know what is right and to do what is right? As if I don't already know. Perhaps the people may just be right. Oh my god... now what.
    The defining Ideology between conservatism and Liberalism.

    I hope they go through with it. I have all faith that should they do so, their crime stats will plummet.

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    DopaVash wrote:
    I hope they go through with it. I have all faith that should they do so, their crime stats will plummet.
    I agree with you. And wouldn't that be a great testimonyto the fact that the RKBA actually does serve to reduce crime, as we believe it does.

    But you'll only here it on Fox news.

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