In recent years I have watched three separate motorists blow through red lights. In 2013 I was almost broadsided by a motorist who blew through a red light without stopping.
I've watched countless others gun their car engines through yellow lights. We've all seen it as the driver blatantly accelerates because all be damned if he/she is going to wait with the rest of us peons who obey the law and apply our brakes. I mean, their time is far more important than ours. They have places to be and no light is going to stop them - even if it jeopardizes our lives and our safety.
Should we be concerned about this law-breaking as something minor or symptomatic of how lawless people are becoming?
About two years about I watched two young punks run out of a store with beer they didn't pay for. It's almost enough to make you wish for them to choke on the bottle caps.
But when your own house is compromised and ransacked, that just adds a whole different aspect to your view of how low the human race can go. That happened to me in July 2014. Months later checks stolen from my house were traded for drug commodities. One ended up in the hands of squatter who entered a Ceres home and used my check to pay the city of Ceres $1,200 to turn on the utilities. My bank flagged the check as the account had been closed. I called the city of Ceres and Ceres Police and they arrested the squatters.
Then you hear about the likes of Randy Salazar and Krysta LaFrancis - the couple that was accused of robbing one man in Ceres after sicking their pit bull on him to commit a robbery and then stab him. When you hear of such crimes you realize just how utterly evil people can become. If that doesn't make you rise up and want to buy a gun yesterday, then think of how they sauntered out into the road and placed their dog in jeopardy of being hit - and it was - and stabbed a kind motorist who pulled over to apologize.
As brazen as that was, think about the daytime assassination that occurred outside the McDonald's restaurant at Whitmore and Morgan on Jan. 11, 2010. The victim was shot as a payback to someone else who was allegedly committing crimes against members of the assassin's family.
I don't think it's unreasonable to have the means to protect one's self given how the state is releasing more thieves and criminals into our neighborhoods. Since Gov. Brown has put us all in jeopardy of career criminals who know nothing but how to steal, and since voters passed Prop 57 that will lead to more offenders being released, it might be a good time to think about buying a gun for protection and learning how to use one. Those who are concerned about protecting themselves while they are out and about might also want to think about applying for a conceal and carry weapons permit. In this county, Sheriff Adam Christianson has stated that desire to protect one's life and property is cause enough to seek one.
We're all tired of hearing about the bad people winning. There have been some notable exceptions where the intended victim was the winner. There was the time in December 2010 when Surreno gang suspects invaded a house on Merriam Road in Hickman and were shot and fled ... only to have one die six miles north on the Oakdale-Waterford Highway on their failed escape.
In November 2013, an Oakdale man shot intruder and car thief Albert Liberini, 27, after he entered the house and refused to leave.
A few years back a Ceres man shot a garage intruder square in the rear quarter. Police found the suspect from the yelping he did in the next yard.
Having a gun in the hands of a good person at the right place can mean victory over evil. Consider Feb. 12, 2007 when off-duty officer Kenneth Hammond of the Ogden City Police Department heard shots fired inside the Trolley Square mall in Salt Lake City. He rose to the occasion and shot it out with lone gunman Sulejman Talovi who had already killed five and wounded four others.
It's too bad that popular Ceres coach Luis Malagon wasn't able to defend himself when he was confronted by gunman Rigoberto Cisneros in the Latino Bar last August. He might be alive today had he been armed with a concealed weapon.
Imagine if somebody would have had a concealed weapon inside the San Ysidro McDonald's 30 years ago this Friday when mentally ill James Huberty, 41, shot and killed 21 persons. They could have perhaps dropped him before Huberty shot one of his victims 48 times with an Uzi.
Of course, there are people out there who are sadly mistaken that guns are bad. The left's drumbeat about guns being the source of evil acts is working on some. It's getting to the point of ridiculousness when on July 4, 2014 a police chief in uniform was asked to leave a Takoma Park IKEA store-it has signs posted on the front door that read "Weapons Free Environment" - because he had a gun on his hip.
The internet is rife with stories about how ordinary citizens used guns to protect themselves during robberies of home and business. After the city of Kennesaw, Ga. Passed a 1982 law requiring heads of households to keep at least one firearm in the house, the residential burglary rate subsequently dropped 89 percent there, compared to the 10.4 percent drop in Georgia as a whole. As of 1991, the residential burglary rate in Kennesaw was still 72 percent lower than it had been in 1981, before the law was passed.
Of the 2.5 million times citizens use their guns to defend themselves every year, the overwhelming majority merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off their attackers. Less than 8 percent of the time, a citizen will kill or wound his/her attacker. And if you think it can't happen to you, consider that 394 burglaries, 55 robberies and 15 rapes occurred in Ceres in 2014.
With tragedies occurring at an alarming rate - Aurora, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Santa Barbara, Washington Navy Yard and Virginia Tech come to mind - it seems prudent for law-abiding citizens to consider the means to protect themselves and do so in a lawful manner.