Thieves and Guns (Demo)

People are stealing.  Nationally, locally, hyperlocally, it’s all crazy and scary.  If you’re on the Metro train, you have to almost ball up in a distant corner to keep from having your smartphone stolen by some kid who’ll then jump off the train with your stuff.  This week WMATA reported that robberies of clothing and smartphones are up by 36%.  The Quarterly Security Report from WMATA notes that the majority of the thefts are of iPhones, “It is interesting to note that of the 144 larceny snatches, and pickpockets, 67% were specifically Apple iPhones.” Of the 121 robberies that took place between January and March of 2013, 35 of them were armed.  I know I’m probably freaking some of you out and that’s not my intention; please do ride as an aware passenger though.

The Bowie Patch reported that 2 teenagers were robbed of their smartphones and $15 over the weekend, “Bowie police arrived at the scene at around 3 p.m. on [Saturday] May 2 where they found two 15-year-old Bowie residents, a boy and a girl, who reported they been robbed at gunpoint.  The victims told police that a man approached them, brandishing a semi-automatic handgun and demanding their belongings. The teens gave the robber an iPhone, a Samsung Galaxy smartphone and $15 in cash.
 IPhoneThe robber then escaped on a bike trail near the location of the robbery, according to police. Police surrounded the area and a Prince George’s County Police Department K9 unit came to the scene to help track the suspect.  Police and the K9 unit were unable to find the suspect. Bowie police detectives have taken over the investigation.”
It’s disturbing that guns seem to be increasingly  being used for petty theft, but the Justice Department released a report stating quite the opposite, “In 2011, there were 467,300 non-fatal firearm crimes, according to the report, down from 1.5 million such crimes in 1993. The steep decline was also part of a multi-year trend.”  It would seem our area is bucking the trend.  Just think of the gun violence that has ended the lives of so many youth in Prince George’s County, along with the WMATA statistics, it’s enough to make you stay in the house, but certainly, that’s not the solution.  What is?  I can’t honestly tell you.  I’m still riding the train but I read books and own a Blackberry; no one wants to rob me.
Too many guns are making into the hands of criminals and people with mental illness.  I do believe in the right to own a gun but responsibly.  The two Bowie teenagers were robbed with a semi-automatic handgun.  I’m willing to bet this was not a legally purchased gun.  Our Senators refused to pass legislation requiring stronger background investigations prior to gun purchases, but according to the Justice Department report, we don’t need them.
The people of Sandyhook, CT and Aurora, CO might beg to differ.  I don’t have any quick answer here.  I’m just going to keep on living, voting, and being vigilant. 

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