To the defence of fences

By Jason Publack

Editor, the Gauntlet,

Re: "Good gates make good neighbours," Feb. 28, 2002,

Perhaps I do not fully understand the point of the aforementioned article, but it appears to me that it is simply a rant against the successful middle class worker who has made the choice to live in a way fit for him/herself and their family.

If a family should choose to live within a gated community, what right do we have to admonish them as elitist and aristocratic? Humans have erected fences around their properties for hundreds of years, why do we now attack those who put that fence around their community?

Ira Wells makes reference to a situation in which "people became enraged when they were denied access to a public space." He continues to say that, as yet, we "don’t seem to realize that [we’ve] lost access to other public spaces under the guise of ‘gated communities.’"

What Wells seems to forget is that a gated community is not public property. That land is bought and paid for by its residents and without beginning any massive debate on the rights to public property I do not understand the difference between not wishing your neighbour into your backyard and not wishing your neighbour from Community X onto your private street corner.

I am not trying to be condescending to those who live in other communities such as Community X-I spent the first 20 years of my life there. What I am saying is that any family should have the right to keep whomever they want off their private property.

I’d also like to mention that crime within gated communities is far less than that without. This fact itself makes Wells’ assertions of teenage idleness as a cause of crime irrelevant.

Finally, I do not fully understand Jordan Petty’s statement that, quite possibly, "gated communities [are] a transparent attempt at re-establishing a concrete class division."

This indicates to me Petty’s obvious wish to be rid of the gated community, the expensive housing projects, the clothing brand, car brands and types and the whole idea of one’s right to own and operate as much private property he or she wishes in a manner that he or she wishes.

Was the article an attack on gated communities, capitalism or private property?

The only way this assessment of gated communities can be rationally accepted is from a socialist/Marxist/communist viewpoint, which I doubt was the intention.

Jason Publack

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