Debbie Mizrahie, one of the residents, said there is an increasing need to defend and secure the safety of herself and her family. "I’ve always been anti-gun," said Mizrahie. "But right now, I am in the process of getting myself shooting lessons because I now understand that there may be a need for me to know how to defend myself and my family."
Mizrahie said her neighbor's home was firebombed with Molotov cocktails during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest. She remembered that her kids were outside and saw a huge explosion.
Many other Beverly Hills residents have decided to buy weapons amid violent demonstrations that usually ended in riots and lootings. The situation reached a point where residents feel unsafe even going from their door to their car, said resident Shirley Reitman.
She noted that a lot of residents are applying for permits to carry a concealed weapon, which is proving to be a great challenge in Los Angeles County that has received 8,105 such applications.
L.A. Country Sheriff Alejandro Villanueva said 2,102 applications have been approved since he took office in December 2018. His predecessor only issued 194 permits in a span of four years.
Private security expert Joel Glucksman said even hardcore leftist Democrats who told him in the past that they will not own a gun are calling about having firearms. (Related: "AOC" mindlessly denies crime is spiking around country via "smash-and-grab" robberies, even as wealthy LA residents are forced to hire private security.)
"I'd say there has been an increase of 80 percent in the number of requests I'm getting this year," said Glucksman.
LA police officer Steve Robinson said what's happening is the spillover into communities of crime and violence. "Before, you would never hear of a robbery or a shooting [in Beverly Hills], or if you did, it was once or twice a year. In 2020, the Beverly Hills Police Department pulled 18 guns off Rodeo Drive. You go back any year before that, and it may have been zero to one or two."
In a strange twist, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon is seeking to eliminate additional prison time for using a gun during a crime. Gascon is being blamed for releasing many violent offenders with few restrictions. Last year, he eliminated cash bail for many offenses.
One woman, a writer in the entertainment industry who declined to be identified, said that gang members and criminals are taking over Beverly Hills because Gascon isn’t prosecuting them.
"He's saying, 'Hey, go out and rob someone for $900 worth. Get arrested, go back out on the street."
In 2014, a California ballot initiative was passed allowing the theft of items up to $950 before the crime counts as a felony, as well as the possession of three grams of hard drugs including meth.
More than 1,800 people had been shot in L.A. in 2021, up from 1,530 in 2020, while homicides rose nearly 50 percent from 161 to 236.
"I don't ever remember crime being so high," the entertainment writer said, noting that they can leave their doors unlocked before. "Not anymore. We're seeing not just burglaries but also robberies. We are seeing emboldened gang members and criminals holding guns to people's heads."
Two armed robbers invaded a holiday party at a house in Pacific Palisades last week. The robbers took watches, jewelries and phones from guests.
"Everyone I know is anxious about going out to dinner," said the entertainment writer. "People are afraid to wear their wedding band. They're afraid to wear a watch. They're afraid to carry not just an expensive bag but any name-brand bag. I keep wondering, are people going to get used to this level of crime?"
Gluksman described some criminals as sober and deliberate but many are addicts and more reckless as they break into cars randomly.
"Some are carrying around bats with them," Glucksman said. "Three or four years ago my guys would see something like that once every couple of months but now we are now dealing with it on a daily basis, multiple times a day."
Watch the video below showing how BLM protesters are supporting street violence.
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