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Life's Just Better Behind the Gates

June 02, 2002

Re "Communities Say Keep Out--by Bluffing," May 28:

We moved into a gated community after I stared a burglar in the eye. We were also tired of beer cans and liquor bottles being thrown on our lawn, and cars roaring by with mufflers blaring at all times of night. The constant stream of peddlers pounding on our door wore us down. We get none of that now.

It is tomb-quiet behind our gates, and we love it. Our neighbors came here for the same reasons. People seem to think that they have a right to bother anybody anywhere. People seem to think we are trying to discriminate against others. But people ought to have a right to be left alone in their homes. Our only remaining annoyances are peddlers on the telephone. But voice mail has trimmed that to nil.

Regarding the burglar: We opened our garage door and found our utility door open. I had goofed and, for the first time in years, left the doors unlocked. I could see our VCR sitting on the washing machine. We had interrupted a burglary in progress. Thinking the burglar had escaped, we violated all the advice and entered the home. I went to a bedroom and dialed 911. While talking to the dispatcher, I glanced at the closet and saw the reflection from an eye gleaming in the light. It was the burglar.

This person was a professional and managed to escape just as the police arrived. The growing lack of respect for others is the reason more folks are moving behind gates.

Skillman Hunter

Mission Viejo

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