Public Safety an Issue? Get a Gun! You'll Feel a Whole Lot Safer!
One relatively new hire at Needham's public housing agency observed that residents seamed to be afraid, or fearful, anxious, something like that. I asked, "What are they afraid of?"
She was as puzzled, as I. Fear? In Needham? What would a person be afraid of, in Needham? She said, "People are afraid of losing their homes."
Isn't that curious? Maybe a person in public housing has something in common with a homeowner in Needham after all - real estate insecurity. The NHA "Request For Proposal" to find a consultant to do future planning, might explain why one might think that, yes, the residents have something to worry about --- their future.
But a big fear can be fueled by little tensions and persistent stress, starting with the small size of the units (18x24=432SF) In the 1970s the renting of Chambers Street was difficult, the units were so small. The reduced light (25% of any norm) is unhealthy, as is, no private outdoor space, and no private egress. Btw, the Linden Street cluster housing is successful. It works, whereas, Chambers does not, but those apartment buildings are salvageable, as was Bromley-Heath on Mission Hill - similar brick, saved and rehabilitated in the 1980s. But that's another matter.
This article is about a response to the fears and anxieties of the people in housing. What to do? What to do? It is obviously NOT enough to spend $200,000.- on surveillance cameras. No! That will not stop criminals determined to peep in the windows. Oh, yes, this is the latest: the peeping Tom is back. Also, the mail is being stolen, the doors are not secure, the neighbors are crazy, and one new tenant is confusing Chambers Street with the Ritz. There WAS a murder four years ago. But now there's more fear-mongering than ever, e.g. "cracking down on parking problems" when there are no parking problems. Stranger danger, drug overdoses, the meth lab (what? yeah, I know, huh?) the State investigations, the Feds, etc.
With all the stories, and all the insecurities, we, nevertheless, have the solution!! It is a Modest Proposal, but the housing staff is heavy with law enforcement and criminal justice types, so they will get this, right away, and that is, to provide each resident, in each apartment, with a weapon.
The program - called "Guns for the Poor" - is a logical extension on other housing policies of punishment, harassment and intimidation. With a gun, an occupant feels safe and secure. You must go through the Gun Club. There are no guns now, but they have a great motto: "Please, let me speak. I have a gun."
The program will operate under the Housing Authority and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife.