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Why is there so much hate in the SCV?

Posted: November 2, 2008 4:55 p.m.
Updated: January 4, 2009 5:00 a.m.
The other evening, I was leaving Vincenzo's Pizza with my son after the traditional Tuesday Hart Football Feedbag. As we were getting ready to turn right on Lyons out of the parking lot, I saw it.

A scruffy dude grabbed a McCain/Palin sign off the lawn of the Chevron station. Pilfered it right in broad daylight. Well, it was dark and the streetlights were on. But there was no mistaking it.

This person (black shirt, brown pants, blond hair, glasses, ugly little pudgy face) stole a sign.

We followed him in the green Honda, headlights off. He rounded the corner behind the Shell station and proceeded to shred the sign and bend up the wire frame. He unceremoniously dumped his evening's work over the wall next to the car wash.

I pulled up to him and informed him that I saw him steal the sign. He responded, "It's just litter."

I was pleased to inform him that he had just committed a misdemeanor, since the sign was on private property.

I wasn't really sure of that, but I thought it sounded good. He turned on his heel and quickly strode away.

I couldn't believe what just happened. My son and I just witnessed an attack on the First Amendment and free speech.

And this was not an isolated incident. My neighbor, Dave, a rough-and-ready LAPD officer with a heart of gold, caught a punk carrying "Yes on 8" signs. The perp (that's cop-speak for perpetrator) had apparently gone through the neighborhood stealing the signs.

When confronted regarding the theft, the kid screamed, "I'm gay. You can't take away my rights." Dave replied simply that taking the signs was a crime.

The kid did not get it. He believed that preserving his "rights" was justification for trampling of someone else's rights.

Legal sidebar: Stealing the signs is a petty theft (misdemeanor). However, being in possession of stolen property is a felony. Go figure that one out.

The cops are helpless to press charges unless there is a victim. But in the case of the gas station theft, the charge could have been vandalism if the gas station owner wished to press the issue.

And this is not all. My neighbors and I had all of our signs stolen off our lawns. Another friend from church, Vicky, had her McCain sign stolen too. The second time she put it out, she placed a note on it to discourage would-be thieves.

I put a sign on my replacement sign as well. It reads: "Take this sign and start running. The spray pattern from my 12-gauge gets wider at longer distances. Fewer pieces of rock salt will be lodged in your butt."

My sister-in-law keeps a supply of "Yes on 8" signs in her trunk to replace the ones that are routinely stolen from her Chino neighborhood.

Of course, my esteemed colleague Brian Koegle, in a recent "Right Here, Right Now" piece, related his
problem of keeping McCain bumper stickers on his car.

How did it come to this? Why is there so much hate?

I find it ironic that the same peace-loving, free-spirit, I'm-OK, you're-OK types are the same ones attacking my rights and threatening me and my friends.

My son asked me why I confronted the guy in the parking lot. I told him the answer was simple.
"When good people let bad people get away with things, we put the bad people in charge. We must stand up to evil so that we preserve our beliefs and our way of life."

We cannot let this go. We cannot allow the scum of the SCV to dictate terms to the good people of our valley.

If you see someone defacing, destroying or stealing a campaign sign, get on the cell phone and call the Sheriff's Department. If possible, get a license plate number or other form of identification.

I would expect that from a Republican or a Democrat. In the end we are all Americans, and we must respect each other's right to express our opinions.

I believe that the good folks who write "Right About Now," "Right Here, Right Now," "Full Speed to Port," "Democratic Voices" and "Environmentally Speaking" can all agree on that point.

Unfortunately, there are some who feel that not all rights need protecting. To those I say, "Come take my signs. And wear two pairs of pants."

Steve Lunetta is a Santa Clarita resident. His column reflects his own views, not necessarily those of The Signal. "Right Here, Right Now" runs Mondays in The Signal and rotates among local Republican writers.


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