I notice that on the CBS News website, the most popular security story isn’t the latest development in the Edward Snowden case.
It’s this: “Gunfire has become so common on the streets of Oakland, Calif., that even in neighborhoods that once seemed immune to the city’s violence, residents are no longer shocked,” reports CBS’s John Blackstone.
Blackstone went to Oakland to talk with residents about all the murders lately.
“A car came down the street. Three guys came out with a gun. There was a gun battle, three blocks over, and I did hear, actually, that a bullet went in someone’s house,” says Jan Hetherington.
She says she loves her neighborhood – she just wishes the gunfire would stop. “Our neighbor Judy, who lives in the next block from me, was shot and killed.”
Shot and killed driving home from work.
Then there’s Pastor Greg Brown who was threatened at gunpoint for power-washing the sidewalk outside his church.
“And a guy with a gun tells you (Brown,) you stop, or I’ll shoot you?” asks Blackstone.
“Yes, that’s how close the crime is,” says Brown.
And yet the City of Oakland has to cut its police force by a third for lack of money. So the neighborhood is having to pay to hire its own security force.
“This is the most wonderful neighborhood I’ve ever lived in,” says Hetherington.
“And yet you have to bring in private security to feel safe?” asks Blackstone.
Is it not strange that with all the billions spent tracking conversations and e-mails, Oakland can’t afford cops?
If only Oakland’s bad guys were al Qaeda. They’d be arrested the moment they picked up the phone.