The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Thunderdome in California?

Things are getting worse in San Bernardino. The city filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, but its financial situation has continued to deteriorate. And now with what promises to be a heated court battle over payments to the state pension fund in the offing, further cuts are likely.

Things are getting so bad that at a recent city council meeting, the city attorney advised residents to “lock their doors and load their guns” because the city could no longer afford to keep up a strong enough police force. CBS News reports:

[City Attorney Jim] Penman said the city is dealing with bankruptcy, which has forced officials to cut its police force by about 80 officers. Consequently, there’s been growing criticism about the police department’s response time.

“Let’s be honest, we don’t have enough police officers. We have too many criminals living in this city. We have had 45 murders this year … that’s far too high for a city of this size,” Penman said.

The city attorney said it’s important for people to be smart about protecting themselves and their family.

“I’m not advocating that people go out, who don’t have any training, and buy firearms. I certainly strongly caution anyone who has children at home not to have a loaded gun in the house,” Penman said.

“We need to take our streets back, we need to take our neighborhoods back and we need to protect our homes, and that’s what I think Jim was trying to say,” [Councilwoman Wendy] McCommack said.

This is the dystopia where blue ultimately leads. As money gets tight, cities have to choose between paying pensioners or paying for vital services. If California’s courts rule for the pensioners, they’ll be forcing a harsh reality on San Bernardino’s residents. Fighting for scraps in the ruins of a higher civilization?

Published on December 2, 2012 12:30 pm