Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tagging (You Pick he Subject)

Comrade Ambassador Ken is dealing with the problem of graffiti in his community.

These vandals, many of whom fancy themselves as artists, regularly deface and destroy public and private property using spray paint, markers, and sometimes even carving tools. Very often, their vandalism comes in the form of tagging, which is a stylized way of writing their names or of symbolically identifying themselves.

Graffiti has been around as long as humans have had the idea of communicating with symbols, and later, with letters.... graffiti has probably been a pain in the ass since that time, too.

When I first came to Washington, DC in May of 1986 (21 years ago, last week!), there was a tagger, known as Cool "Disco" Dan who was not only prolific, but he achieved a degree of fame... or notoriety throughout the 80's and 90's.

There are many who believe that graffiti is a victimless crime, but they are dead wrong. Graffiti is vandalism... the willful destruction/defacement of property that is not owned by the perpetrator. Graffiti costs millions of dollars per year in cities across the nation to clean up.

Great. Now I've given you a lecture about what it is. Now, what can be done about it?

When it comes to cities and municipalities, painting over graffiti or using solvents to get rid of it are used as measures to keep graffiti "artists" from hanging around in a particular area... in local communities the problem gets a little more difficult. What do you do to get rid of a vandal, or crew of vandals that goes about tagging your cars, mailboxes, fences, et cetera?

The first thing you do is call the cops.

The second thing you do is call the cops again.

Next, call the cops, until they start patrolling your neighborhood more frequently.

After that, get on the hook to your local politicians, and tell them (this really works when you and your neighbors go as a group) that you will all diligently work, and financially support his/her opponent in the next election if they don't get a handle the situation.

You might also want to start a neighborhood watch during the peak hours when your local vandals operate.

Of course there is also another way. That way is to catch one of those bas@#&*s in the act, and beat him without mercy.

You'll only have to do that once... but in the spirit of being a law abiding citizen, you'll probably want to stick to the other methods.


soccer mom in denial said...

Hmmmm.... calling the cops. That would assume there are cops to be called - right Ambassador? Or that they would/could care.

Terri said...

"Tagging" is a huge problem here in Las Vegas as well.


Our Mayor got himself in a bit of trouble a while back by saying that if taggers are caught ... they should get their thumbs cut off....

Our police officers are stretched to the limit here... we need more.

Ambassador said...

GF, thanks for tackling this one. We have reported this repeatedly - and actually been thanked by the local authorities for doing so. This kind of documentation allows them go after more resources to help fight this problem.

It's so frustrating to see newly rebuilt homes blighted overnight by arrogant punks with complete disregard for property or community. But before I get off my soapbox, one of the worst instances we saw was animal rights group (ALF) had thrown acid of some variety on the huge tempered glass windows of a local boutique...because they had fur trimmed coats in the windows.

No one was ever caught. But I do lean toward the beating suggestion. Am I allowed to pack a taser? Thanks again for a well crafted post. Ken

Gunfighter said...


Check the laws in Louisiana, dude... you might be able to pack the TASER. Zapping one of those punks would be almost as much fun as turning his whole head into a massive bruise.

Melanie said...

Hey Ambassador- From what I was just able to find on the web... In most states cicilians are able to pack tasers with training done by police or Taser expert of some sort.... Though its all very vague!

Jenn in Holland said...

There is loads of graffiti all over the country here, but not so much of the neighborhood tagging as we were plagued with in AZ. Though I think it's catching up. I find the whole movement quite disturbing and appreciate your thoughts on the matter, GF.

cathouse teri said...

Um... I don't call the cops... I hate the cops.

Gunfighter said...


Where is the love, baby?

I'm a cop, remember?

Generally speaking, we're the good guys, remember?

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

cathouse teri!
oh my heck.. you hate cops? no way!

my husband is a copper copper crime stopper and he deals with the worst of the worst here in LV... it's a pretty thankless job.. that's for sure.

cathouse teri said...

Well of course I love YOU, Guntoter! And I probably would love Terri's copper, as well. In fact, I've given a lotta cops a lotta lovin! :)

However, I was married to a cop and saw the bad, bad side of many things.

I say I hate cops mostly in jest. And it's true, I don't think of them as being someone to call on. I generally spend most of my time trying to dodge them! Why would I call them!? Hehehe.

But individually speaking, there is often a man, who happens to be a cop, who is a lovely person. So I might like a cop or two, but I still don't like THE cops!

cathouse teri said...

I want to add a comment to your quote by Luther. When he says that there is no point in arguing with the devil, as he has a WEALTH of experience over us, I totally agree. The only reason we can rely on the fact that he has no ability to control us is the fact that he has been defeated. Plain and simple. And it wasn't by us!