My mother still lives in San Diego, and my uncle is retiring just outside of Tijuana. Thousands cross the border everyday, including some of my extended family and friends, for a number of day-to-day reasons. Yes there is violence. There are the random kidnappings and car jackings. Everyone in an enviroment like that should be on the defensive.
I’m can’t stress enough how much of a non issue it is on the larger scale. My oldest friend lives in the mountains in San Diego near Tecate border crossing. The nearest gas, groceries, restraunts, etc.. are all on the Mexico side of the border. My friend and his family are blue eyed, blonde haired, German looking folk. They basically live in Petrero, CA and shop in Tecate, Mexico. Drug cartels have a major presence, but it isn’t mainstream. Those getting caught up in the violence are primarily a part of the culture that profits from it.
Now I could tell some horror stories that hit pretty close to home. Death amoung them. Those incidents get media attention for sure. I would suggest to you that there is more violence in Downtown San Diego on Saturday night when the bars let out. I went to Tijuana almost every Saturday from age 18 to 20. All the stories that could happen did happen. Revolution Avenue is the street where all the bars were. The taxi stand over the bridge is where all the violence happened. Federalies (spelling?) walking the streets with M16s just waiting for some drunken kid to piss on the street so they could arrest them. Eight year old native american children selling gum on the streets, trying to pick your pockets. Chop shops for cool car parts, bribing cops to get out of trumped up j walking charges, and real deal thugs and gangsters weaving in and out of the clubs. All true. All not worth worrying about for the 9 to 5 average joe.
The thread is about a cultural shift. If we head toward a global Tijuana, Singapore, East LA, South East San Diego, Riverside, or any of the other crime infested urban disasters, than disaster avoided IMHO. If that is the worst? than I’m not concerned.
P.S. Street tacos at 3 a.m. after $5 cover all you can drink, priceless!!!! (circa 1996)
In terms of what could be a worse scenario. I hear what you’re saying. I am very, very familiar with gangs. They want nothing to do with civilians as a key function of their operations. It is part of the overall culture. Imagine they are vampires, and 9 to 5 average Joe is sunshine. The two don’t mix. The innocent bystander, not directly targeted, horror stories? I have lost friends to that needless violence. I think parts of PA, Baltimore, etc.. are really bad spots for the innocent getting caught up in the drug war. I find it hard to imagine how you could prepare for the entire nation falling into that kind of violent culture. It’s easier for me to imagine a nuclear winter. It’s just not feasible (to me) that intelligent, sober, socially conscious people wouldn’t prevail over those geared toward senseless violence.
Not going back to edit this. Hope it makes some kind of narrative sense.