Safe Neighborhoods

As a Realtor, I have the chance to meet many people seeking a new home. I am fortunate in that they come to me from many sources. Some are referred by clients, some walk in the door of the office, some have read this blog and others come from various lead generation programs that I use.

The size and price of the home they are seeking varies. The ethnicity of the clients vary. The age of the clients spans the spectrum. One thing remains constant. It doesn’t vary. Everyone includes the feeling, and I will paraphrase here, I want a safe neighborhood.

As a Realtor, I am bound by a code of ethics. I am old enough to remember a country much more divided than today. As a young man I witnessed the changes in our laws that were brought about by the various legislation created following the work of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Those changes began almost thirty years ago.

Our code of ethics dictates that we show homes in the price range and style that our clients request. These guidelines are proper and necessary to ensure our country continues in the direction of equality.

If the issue of schools comes up, we are directed to advise clients that they can check with the local school board for any information. If the issue of crime comes up, we are directed to advise clients that they can check with the local police station for that information. If the issue of zoning or changes in the master plan come up, we are directed to advise our clients that they can check the local planning office for that information. Each of these agencies has the facts and a consumer should have the facts when making a decision about where they choose to live.

Many clients respond to the reply “you have to go to ……(fill in the appropriate agency) and check on that” with a quizzical look that reads “what am I paying you for?????”. To those that share that look, I am doing my job and making sure that you make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life based on the facts. My website does have links that provide either on-line information or how one can obtain the information.

I mentioned Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. I don’t know what else they could have accomplished. No one does. They were both taken from us and our possible future was stolen by men with guns. The Civil Rights bills were passed by Lyndon Johnson with the emotional support of a congress on the heels of the assasination of John Kennedy. In my lifetime, I have lived through the loss of our best and our brightest to guns and violence. They are only the tip of the iceberg, we have lost hundreds of thousands of tomorrows to violence.

I have heard both sides of the debate regarding gun control. I am so tired of the propoganda that supports the thought that James Madison wrote the Bill of Rights so that sociopaths, crazy people, angry people and racists could open fire and slaughter innocent men, women and children with handguns, assault rifles, uzi’s, mak-10’s, etc , is one of the most despicable theories ever crammed down the throat of it’s potential victims.

The statement that, if citizens can no longer own guns then only criminals will have guns is emotionally charged rhetoric. The same paraphrasing can be put on any law. Is this any different, if citizens can no longer kill one another then only criminals will kill. Laws are written to dictate behavior and identify those that do not comply and in the end laws are used to prosecute those that do not conform.

Safe neighborhoods are everywhere and they are nowhere. There is a huge difference between a well armed militia and gun toting neighbors. We seem to acquiesce to the notion put forth by the NRA that the consititution guarantees our right to be armed. If the NRA and the rest of the gun lobby is allowed to buy and secure votes on a national level, the change must come locally. It must begin with you.

A change in gun laws will not guarantee all neighborhoods will be safe. Such a law will just remove one of the tools we currently use against one another.

I can still remember a time when children played in neighborhoods and the worst thing a child might face in school was the reprimand following “my dog ate my homework.”

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