UD has never gotten gated communities. She was interviewed years ago for a job at William and Mary and was quite put off when in order to attend a faculty dinner near campus she had to get past two guards at a highly secured gate.

She was also baffled. Suburban Williamsburg? Surely this couldn’t be about crime.

Then what? Why would you choose to live – pay a premium to be – gated off from the world?


Anyway, now maybe that very same gated community gracious enough to have allowed UD in for the evening after interrogating her is facing the sort of quandary that seems to UD, er, endemic to such places. The quandary is based on a simple principle: Gated communities are, for way obvious reasons, attractive to criminals. White collar criminals (hell, any kind of criminal if he can afford it) are people who don’t want to be found. At least they’d like to make it as hard as possible to find them. What better place to live than a location where guards (armed?) make it really hard to get in?

(Urban Dictionary: Gated Community: “An amiable term describing a prison for white collar criminals.”)

So chances are that the gated community you’ve paid through the nose for because you only want to be among the best people, the most affluent people, houses more than a few folk currently being pursued by the Justice Department or creditors or tax collectors or whatever.

I guess they might be classy people. Bernie Madoff (who – I wonder why? – lived in a cozy community “hidden behind 20-foot-tall ficus hedges and steel gates“) was certainly presentable.


Anyway. If you were John Hinckley, who comes from a very affluent family and has just been released from prison, where would you go? You’d rather not be bothered by reporters and sundry gawkers, and you’d like to live in the style to which you had become accustomed before you destroyed the life of James Brady and almost killed the president. Hinckley’s mother – presumably no more eager to deal with the curious – has lived in gated Kingsmill for years. And now, as a resident of this snug little enclave, you get to be thrown in with John Hinckley in a very special intimate way – in the way of small village life.

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