I rent a row house in the eclectic Stations North neighborhood in Baltimore. The neighborhood homeowners voted to erect a blue light on my corner to eliminate nearby transvestite prostitution.
Dear Homeowners, you're pissing on a hornet's nest. You conceded the territory as soon as you put up that light. Sure, up the street and down the way there were prostitutes but not on this corner. So yeah, sometimes at 4AM someone walked and yelled down the street in dramatic fashion. But you put up a light, everyone knows that corner is for sale and now you got manifest destiny. Every pusher, thug and junkie knows there’s action nearby. Good citizens passing through ain’t stopping here, ain’t buying here, ain’t renting here. All you’ve done is lower your property's value. You have to think like a criminal. You’re thinking like a man who has something to lose.
I’m not saying I’m a thief or drug addict, but I’m not saint. And I know that there’s a difference in a man that does and doesn’t consider breaking the law every day. You wake up, breaking the law doesn’t even cross your mind. Sure, maybe you run a yellow light but when you’re at the grocery store you’re not considering stealing, starting an argument, raising any attention to yourself. You just want everyone to smile back at you so you can return home safely. Someone that has it bad, right and wrong is relevant. A means to an ends is nothing to sweat. They see a fence, they jump it. They see a window, they break it. And so what if they do. They’ve been beat up and broken down and made to feel worthless. Society tells the criminal, “Fuck you." Why should they care about war or the economy? Or you? They don’t care about yesterday or tomorrow. They care about now. And putting up a blue light is tapping them on the shoulder and giving them the finger. Now you’ve challenged them. You made a game of it. Given them a platform to say “Fuck you” back.
It used to be the prostitutes rarely showed their faces around here. Now they stand on the corner opposite the blue light for fun. Fuck you. Don’t forget the thrill of the heist. There is a reason you misbehaved when you were young. It’s fun. The risk of getting caught only makes it more exciting. Those are the times you remember. This blue light is making crime more exciting. The longer they go without getting caught the more bold they get. You only feed their egos with that light. Now my friends witness sex in cars parked under that light on a regular basis. And drug dealers are making themselves known at all hours of the day.
If blue lights were kryptonite, they wouldn't still need one three blocks away next to the police department three years later. A predator’s only predator is himself. You don’t stand a chance. Better not to provoke him. That’s pre-emptive shit, like in the middle east. Don’t try and scare them unless you’re prepared to go all the way, and beat them at their game. You don’t strike me as that kind of gangster. Your playing a different game with different rules. This isn’t a courthouse. You don’t bring a firm handshake to a gun fight.