I’m old enough to remember when Democrats lectured us about how concerns over illegal immigrants coming into the country and joining up with MS-13 was mostly hype, an unfair characterization of immigrants, a “political tool” of Donald Trump (NY Times), mostly a myth (WaPo) and any number of other denigrating statements. Of course, if you’ve been awake for just the past year you’re probably old enough to remember that also. But not even everyone in the liberal community buys these claims.
Some of biggest strongholds of Democratic donors (with deep pockets) in the northeastern reaches of the country have chosen to take the issue seriously. And they’re putting their money where their mouths are… lots of it. As the New York Post reports this week, out on Long Island, some of the wealthier residents are upgrading their homes at tremendous expense, but it’s not for a new art collection or a second yacht. They’re putting in panic rooms, bulletproof glass, arsenals of weapons and top line security systems. And they’re doing it to hide from MS-13 raids.
There is a specter haunting the Hamptons — one that’s turning some of the priciest properties in the country into fortresses equipped with bulletproof glass, weaponry and panic rooms.
“I sleep with a gun underneath my pillow: a Walther PPK/S, the same one James Bond carried,” said John Catsimatidis, owner of Red Apple Group and Gristedes Foods, who has a vacation property in East Quogue. “[My wife] Margo prefers a shotgun. Although, once, she thought she heard something, got the shotgun out and shot through the door.”
The billionaire and his family, like others in the Hamptons, are shaken up over concerns that the vicious Salvadorian gang MS-13 is too close for comfort. In April, members of the gang massacred four young men behind a soccer field in Central Islip. Three months later, a Hampton Bays brothel raided by police was found to be tagged with an MS-13 sign. And in 2016, a man with MS-13 connections broke into a Southampton home and sexually assaulted a woman.
This isn’t just a handful of nervous Nellies. The Post was able to find plenty who were willing to talk (mostly on background) who keep an eye on the local news and they don’t feel safe. Gang attacks have been escalating, even as other forms of crime have been declining, and gang members have been hitting affluent neighborhoods, probably because that’s where the money is.
Speaking of money, there’s another way to measure how many people are responding to the increased threat. The reporters in this story checked with manufacturers of specialized defense systems and bulletproof windows and they found that business is booming. Armored Entry, a company that installs bullet-proof, super-secure windows and doors, is keeping very busy in that region and they charge up to $6,000 for a single window. Covert Interiors is a company that specializes in “Luxury Panic Rooms” and they’re also keeping their calendar full. With their services, you can have a panic closet for as “little” as $20K or you can drop up to a quarter million and have a place to wait out the apocalypse in style.
So you tell me. It’s easy enough to find people to talk about a threat or challenge to add some political weight to the national conversation. But who is going to be flushing that kind of money into home security unless they are reacting to a legitimate threat? People who want to deny that we have a problem with violent illegal aliens should take a tour of the Hamptons and speak to some of the residents. (Assuming you can get past the guards.) See how much of a “myth” it looks like to them.