Philly killers stick to their guns


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Tall Man
October 18, 2005, 08:32 AM
http://www.officer.com/article/article.jsp?id=26477&siteSection=1

Philly Killers Stick To Their Guns
The Associated Press
via Knight Ridder

ROBERT EDWARDS became a marked man after riding his bicycle down the wrong West Philly street.

Behind a KFC on Baltimore Avenue on Sept. 14, the 51-year-old stumbled upon the execution of alleged teen drug dealer Kevin Andrews.

The young gunmen - who allegedly killed Andrews over ownership of a drug corner - told Edwards not to snitch, according to homicide insiders.

But Edwards did the right thing.

And when the killers found out that he had talked with police, they dragged him into a back lot and shot him in the head, homicide sources said.

"I told you it would come to this," one of the thugs said.

Now a teddy bear memorial sits in the alleyway on Ellsworth Street near 57th, where Edwards' body was found. The two alleged killers - ages 17 and 23 - are behind bars.

"He seen too much and knew too much. And the young boys got him," a friend said.

This merciless killing of a harmless man who mowed neighborhood lawns is a tragic example of the city's rising tide of homicides.

With coldhearted drug dealers ruling the neighborhoods, guns available on every corner and residents too terrified to speak out, the number of bullets and bloodstains on Philly's streets climbs daily.

At the end of last week, Philadelphia's 2005 toll of homicides stood at 297 - 13 percent higher than the 263 killings logged during the same period last year. If we stay on pace, the year's body count could be the highest in five years.

The surge defies the trend in other parts of the country. New York and Baltimore have seen a dip in homicides this year compared with last, while Chicago has remained stable, according to police officials in those cities.

"Looking at overall trends, trends in most of the major cities are down and have stayed down," said Patrick Carr, assistant professor of sociology at Rutgers University. "We're running counter to the trend."

So why does Philly's death toll mount? And is there anything we can do about it?

Crime experts are quick to point out that homicides fluctuate in all big cities from year to year. And Philly's numbers are still nowhere near the 10-year high in 1995 of 431 homicides.

Still, experts blame the easy availability of guns as a significant factor in Philadelphia's bloodshed.

About 80 percent of Philadelphia's homicides are by gun - one of the nation's highest gun-homicide rates. The national average is about 70 percent, according to FBI crime statistics.

Experts say that Pennsylvania's lax gun laws mean that nearly anyone - even the most hardened criminals - can get his hands on a firearm.

"We have the most lenient gun laws in the entire nation," said Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson.

There's no waiting limit to purchase a gun, no permits necessary to own one and no limit to the number of pistols you can buy. It's easy for people to buy guns and pass them along to felons without any penalty.

It's not so easy in other cities. In New York state, for example, you need to get a permit and sit out the mandatory waiting period before you can buy a gun. Illinois also requires a permit and waiting period. And Maryland has a one-handgun-a-month restriction in addition to requiring permits and a waiting period.

"We need to somehow control the flow of weapons in the city of Philadelphia," Carr said. "There seems to be a real reticence to do that at the state level."

Edwards and Andrews both were killed by revolvers, a homicide insider said. Revolvers are popular street guns. Because revolvers hold six shots - fewer than most semiautomatic pistols - they require shooting skills. The gun culture considers them "man's guns," the homicide insider said.

Mantua activist C.B. Kimmins notes that residents should be aware of who has guns in their neighborhood.

"You all, as a community, have to get involved in looking around in your homes and in your street," he said. "Who has guns? Who uses these guns?"

Another challenge - exemplified by Edwards' slaying - is the difficulty in getting witnesses to come forward. People in many neighborhoods are scared to go to the police with information about crimes because they fear retaliation.

But Johnson stressed that if people don't step up, nothing will change.

"If you shoot one time, you'll shoot again," Johnson said. "Everybody knows who did it. They do tell, but they don't go to court."

Of course, Edwards never got the chance to go to court. He died a hero, trying to serve his neighborhood.

"He's a nice guy," Edwards' friend said. "He cut grass, he did chores. He's a very special person."

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Because revolvers hold six shots - fewer than most semiautomatic pistols - they require shooting skills.
Looks like I don't need to practice my marksmanship, since I prefer pistols over wheelguns. :rolleyes:

TM

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K-Romulus
October 18, 2005, 08:40 AM
Having my in-laws live in the Phil area lets me see the place close-up . . .there are some pretty scary places in that city, but what city with 1 million+ people doesn't have scary places?

The attempt at lumping MD in with the "good gun control" states ignores the fact that there is a murder increase this year in this "free" state, and that the murders are often committed with firearms that are NOT in the nifty state police database . . .who would have guessed? :rolleyes:

Edited to add:

Last time I checked, Chicago and NYC were also having "armed crime" problems, despite their gun control schemes . . .

Janitor
October 18, 2005, 09:05 AM
Experts say that Pennsylvania's lax gun laws mean that nearly anyone - even the most hardened criminals - can get his hands on a firearm.
Hmmm. Seems to me that the hardned criminals are the ones who will know how to get guns no matter how tough the gun laws might be. Lax laws have nothing to do with the bad guys being armed.


"We have the most lenient gun laws in the entire nation," said Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson.
Huh?


It's not so easy in other cities. In New York state, for example, you need to get a permit and sit out the mandatory waiting period before you can buy a gun. Illinois also requires a permit and waiting period. And Maryland has a one-handgun-a-month restriction in addition to requiring permits and a waiting period.
Well this is different. We all know how effective waiting periods are on reducing crime. And I can easily see how making someone wait another month to buy their 'n'th handgun will help also. After all - who want's to use the old hardware?

Crosshair
October 18, 2005, 09:15 AM
What about Police Corruption, Political Corruption, High welfare population, Racial issues, unempoloyment? Any of these factors can and will scew the results. What about the states like Texas that have a large gun owning population and relativly low crime rates dispite things like drug smuggling, illegal immigrants, and other factors.

Pilgrim
October 18, 2005, 12:07 PM
Revolvers are popular street guns. Because revolvers hold six shots - fewer than most semiautomatic pistols - they require shooting skills. The gun culture considers them "man's guns," the homicide insider said.
At first glance, this sounds like a revisit of the old 'blaster vs light saber' argument. However, I think what the homicide insider is avoiding is the fact that revolvers don't leave shell casings lying about for evidence technicians to collect.

Looks to me like the gangbangers and street thugs are watching CSI and paying attention.

Pilgrim

TheEgg
October 18, 2005, 12:25 PM
experts blame the easy availability of guns

Right out of the VPC/Brady Bunch play-book. Those evil guns, luring those peaceful drug dealers into a life of violence. Oh, Woo is me!!!!

El Tejon
October 18, 2005, 12:29 PM
Gee, it's hard to get a gun in New York City and Illinois. Wonder how that impacts NYC and Chicago's crime rate?:rolleyes:

When one could buy guns through the mail, did Philly have the murder rate it does now?;) Could it possibly have something to do with the culture of nihilism that government promotes? Nah, of course not, it's the fault of guns (oh, and George Bush's fault).

I like how revolvers are now the "weapon of choice" for criminals.:D But, but with all the "assault weapons" and "sniper rifles" flowing down the street, why use a revolver?:rolleyes:

Colt
October 18, 2005, 12:50 PM
Anyone that can flee Philly is doing so. 3% wage tax, if you live or work in the city. The mayor is too busy checking his office for FBI bugs and giving jobs to "the brothers and sisters, who are finally in charge" (his words, not mine) to seriously care about reducing crime.

Last January, there were 8 shootings in one month. What was Street's answer? "Stop issuing CCW permits in the city, and make it illegal for anyone to carry in the city but the police." Right on, brother! All 8 shootings were committed with illegally-possessed guns, but instead of enforcing the existing laws, or actually having the police and/or courts do their jobs, let's take away the law-abiding citizens' ability to defend themselves. Brilliant!

I avoid the city like the plague. But when I have to venture in for business (once in a blue moon), I am always, always, armed.

Tall Man
October 18, 2005, 12:56 PM
They run Philadelphia about as well as they run New Orleans.

TallPine
October 18, 2005, 01:00 PM
another victim of the war on some drugs

ever notice how liquour store owners aren't having shootouts with each other?

jwmoore
October 18, 2005, 02:04 PM
I think it's time to pass a bill to cede Filthydelphia to New Jersey. Then the city can have it's draconian gun laws, and Pennsylvania can become a free state again.

~W

Colt
October 18, 2005, 02:08 PM
Then the city can have it's draconian gun laws, and Pennsylvania can become a free state again.

Philly is the toilet down which most of PA's tax revenue is flushed. The only thing that bothers me more than Philly's mere existance is the fact that I'm funding the disaster, thanks to Gov Eddie Rendell, ex-Philly mayor, who can't seem to spend state funds on the city fast enough.

greyhound
October 18, 2005, 04:41 PM
"Stop issuing CCW permits in the city, and make it illegal for anyone to carry in the city but the police." Right on, brother! All 8 shootings were committed with illegally-possessed guns, but instead of enforcing the existing laws, or actually having the police and/or courts do their jobs, let's take away the law-abiding citizens' ability to defend themselves. Brilliant!


I think this nonsense comes from the lefty's "allowing people to carry guns promotes the thought that violence is the answer". Where they fail to connect the dots, I think, is the difference between law abiding folks and gang bangers.

Plus, for someone with an anti-CCW ax to grind, they might use even the flimsiest excuse to puch their agenda.

thorn726
October 18, 2005, 04:42 PM
Last January, there were 8 shootings in one month. What was Street's answer? "Stop issuing CCW permits in the city, and make it illegal for anyone to carry in the city but the police." Right on, brother! All 8 shootings were committed with illegally-possessed guns, but instead of enforcing the existing laws, or actually having the police and/or courts do their jobs, let's take away the law-abiding citizens' ability to defend themselves. Brilliant!

this seems to be the way ebveryone deals with it.

anyone else feel like maybe the police are too lazy to enforce laws so they jsut try and write laws to avoid working?

oldfart
October 18, 2005, 05:20 PM
The thing that I noticed was the double reference to "experts," who then quote the party line regarding those evil guns.
Why are they experts? Who, besides the Brady Bunch and VPC, rely on them for their "expert" opinions? I wouldn't know any of them from Adam's off ox and wouldn't recognise them if they spit out their mom's teat and ran out from under the porch to bite me.

gunsmith
October 18, 2005, 05:31 PM
you maen they're not using .50 cal sniper rifles? No AR15 "machine guns"?

revolvers don't leave evidence behind (spent shells)
thats why they use em!

Dead
October 18, 2005, 05:38 PM
Still, experts blame the easy availability of guns as a significant factor in Philadelphia's bloodshed.

If that is true there are MANY people I know what WOULD be on the news as a "mass murderer", to date not one person I know has ever committed a violent act with a gun or otherwise. The tool that is used is NOT important, but WHY the acts were committed. I wonder what made these people commit crimes? Could it be that because there is a sub-culture in the city that leads people into lives of crime, as they see no other means to earn a living than selling illegal drugs, or committing other crimes to get easy money??

Guns have nothing to do with it, prohibition had the same effect, without it the gangs, and mobsters would not have "risen to power" the way they did while engaging the manufacter/sale of illegal alcohol.

spocahp anar
October 18, 2005, 05:52 PM
experts blame the easy availability of guns as a significant factor
TM


Why is it always the availability of guns as the root cause, When people realize that crime is a social problem and agree to deal with it then they can fix it.

spocahp anar
October 18, 2005, 05:56 PM
another victim of the war on some drugs


TP can I borrow this?

Monkeyleg
October 18, 2005, 06:00 PM
"It's easy for people to buy guns and pass them along to felons without any penalty."

Really? Does this mean that there's no federal penalty in Philly for straw purchases?

Standing Wolf
October 18, 2005, 06:15 PM
Still, experts blame the easy availability of guns as a significant factor in Philadelphia's bloodshed.

It's rarely much of a challenge to find a self-declared "expert" to blame the guns and/or gun laws and call for further infringements of the Second Amendment civil rights of the law-abiding.

ever notice how liquour store owners aren't having shootouts with each other?

Very well said!

MudPuppy
October 18, 2005, 06:25 PM
residents too terrified to speak out

You get the government you vote for, you get the safety you provide for yourself.

Too scared/lazy/tired/ignorant/whatever to fix it? Well, that sucks for you, you're now the prey.

Grey54956
October 18, 2005, 06:53 PM
Just once, I want to read something like this:

"Still, experts blame the easy availability of drugs and street corners as a significant factor in Philadelphia's bloodshed."

But, noooooo, it's the guns.:confused:

Seriously, it isn't that there are too many guns; its that there aren't enough. When the guy snitched, where was his gun for defense of life and limb. Oh, that's right, he probably thought the cops were going to protect him.

Old Fuff
October 18, 2005, 07:00 PM
They have to blame the guns .... :eek:

If it isn't the gun's fault then it has to be something else. :scrutiny:

That's when the finger pointing stops and the chickens come home to roost. :banghead:

Art Eatman
October 18, 2005, 07:27 PM
thorn726 asks, "anyone else feel like maybe the police are too lazy to enforce laws so they jsut try and write laws to avoid working?"

No. First off, police don't write laws. Okay? They don't write laws, pass laws, sign laws into effect. No. They really don't.

Next: Commonly, the least-funded of all city services, or truly-needed city services, is the police department. As a society, nationwide, we don't want to pay enough taxes to have really good police departments. And, we let our local officials divert the needed tax monies to social-service purposes instead of the basics. And all the while we whine that taxes are too high, instead of electing people who will prioritize spending based upon need instead of "compassion".

And so between parades, funerals, parking tickets, burglary reports and other paperwork, there are few cops to actively patrol high-crime neighborhoods on a regular basis. And, commonly, residents of those neighborhoods will complain to the newsies of over-policing. These complaints are then followed by high-visibility press conferences by people such as Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.

Once again, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

:), Art

thorn726
October 18, 2005, 07:37 PM
no right, i should be more accurate-
the people refuse to fund proper enforcement, and when it comes down to it, we dont want it.

duh, the LE dont write the laws, but sometimes with issues of gun control, i mean the police do have an impact on what laws are written, gun control often comes with the support of the police......
and i wonder how they feel about it. its a funny thing-
in some states it seems the police partly EXpect you to defend yourself, in others they are against it.

the DEA certainly isnt a legislative branch, but does have an impact, etc...

im really curious how my local LEs feel about gun control

and i am frustrated at the way OBVIOUS drug corners are allowed to persevere because protocol calls for detectives to arrange a buy and bust rather than beat cops just jack these jerks up. they see more than enough for a stop and pat down at the least, but dont.

lack of funding or fear of BG bugging and trying to shoot them?

Art Eatman
October 18, 2005, 08:20 PM
thorn, many police chiefs (most?) are political appointees. They generally tend to follow the party line, commonly favoring gun control and speaking about the "easy acquisition of guns" and all that pap.

The street cops, mostly, seem to favor citizen ownership of firearms and their use for self-defense. They have the obvious concern that all of us do insofar as training and common sense...

As far as the "allowing" of drug corners, to some extent it's the fault of both the booking system (The dealer, varying with his lawyer, can be back on the street before the cop finishes the paperwork on the arrest.) and the prosecutorial/judicial as to charges, plea bargaining and sentencing. Some deals, from a cop's viewpoint, "Just ain't worth it."

Personal opinion: Solving a social problem can easily take as long as its creation. Most of today's serious problems got going bigtime with LBJ's Great Society and War on Poverty programs. That's forty years, now...

Yuck.

Art

Tall Man
October 19, 2005, 08:34 AM
As a society, nationwide, we don't want to pay enough taxes to have really good police departments.
The taxes that we do pay have funded some mighty impressive SWAT teams, Art. There's enough JBT threads archived on this forum to suggest that "really good police departments" (in the form of creeping militarization of our police forces) is not the solution here. I know that this isn't what you suggested, or perhaps even agree with, but it's a logical outgrowth of our discussion here.

And, for what it's worth, I don't want to pay "enough" taxes for anything.

TM

geekWithA.45
October 19, 2005, 08:55 AM
:barf: :barf:

The PHL Dem org's had it in for guns for years.

If "the easy availability of guns" is as far as they're going to look for a solution to their rampant crime, gang and drug problem, well, they're never going to fix it.

Perhaps they should step aside and let some professionals have a whack at it.

Adept
October 19, 2005, 12:03 PM
3% wage tax, if you live or work in the city.

Wait, does this mean you only pay three percent of your wage in taxes?

Heck, I'm paying somewhere between 25% and 49%, depending on who I work for. 3% would be a god-send!

jwmoore
October 19, 2005, 12:20 PM
Wait, does this mean you only pay three percent of your wage in taxes?
No, it's an extra tax for the privlidge of working in Philadelphia. Fed, state & local taxes all still apply.:banghead:

(At least as I understand it - I don't work in the city, although my wife does.)

~W

thorn726
October 19, 2005, 02:38 PM
The street cops, mostly, seem to favor citizen ownership of firearms and their use for self-defense. They have the obvious concern that all of us do insofar as training and common sense...

hmmm. i wonder how true this is around here.

i like to think you are right.

cops did once suggest i carry pepper spray here.

Art Eatman
October 19, 2005, 03:01 PM
Tall Man, I was thinking more in terms of "presence". More numbers of cops per shift, not more SWAT teams or more military gear. I still believe that where there are "beat cops" as well as patrolling by automobile, there will be less crime.

A large part of our problems in patrolling came about after WW II, with the real beginning of urban sprawl and commuting by automobile. There was a large increase in the areas to be patrolled, and yet not all that many more people. Much larger residential lots, wider streets, that sort of thing. On-foot beat cops couldn't be nearly so effective, particularly as the residential populations became more transient. Instead of residents being known quantities for many, many years, two to four years became more of a norm. So, patrol cars.

The problem was, the older, multi-story areas also came to be patrolled via automobile, which tends to cut down or slow down information flow between the police and the citizenry.

Art

Colt
October 19, 2005, 03:10 PM
Wait, does this mean you only pay three percent of your wage in taxes?

No, it's an extra tax for the privlidge of working in Philadelphia. Fed, state & local taxes all still apply.

Correct. You pay all the usual local, state, fed taxes, and then if you work or live within city limits, you get to forfeit an extra 3% of your pay.

The wage is driving away businesses, and hence, workers. Companies don't want to be in the city, because they have to over-compensate their employees to counter the wage tax. Couple that with insane traffic in and out of the city, and you have a city that businesses avoid.

I wouldn't work in the city for twice my salary, and I've been offered jobs close to that level. An extra 2 hours of daily commuting at 10 mph, dealing with the city scum, and losing the 3% just isn't worth it.

Joejojoba111
October 19, 2005, 07:06 PM
"The young gunmen - who allegedly killed Andrews over ownership of a drug corner - told Edwards not to snitch, according to homicide insiders.

But Edwards did the right thing.

And when the killers found out that he had talked with police, they dragged him into a back lot and shot him in the head, homicide sources said."

Doesn't sound like he did the right thing.

For one thing, it got him killed. For another thing, it's insulting that police would give you a pat on the head and a dog biscuit, but not allow you to carry a weapon to defend yourself. They encourage people to 'do the right thing' and snitch on violent criminals. And they forbid those same people the means to defend themselves.

It's disgusting. Honestly they're accomplices in the murder, ooh it's so revolting how they act.

griz
October 19, 2005, 07:07 PM
Mantua activist C.B. Kimmins notes that residents should be aware of who has guns in their neighborhood.


My neighbors know I have guns, and we seem to get along OK. Of course I don't shoot my neighbors either, maybe that's the difference.


PS Another round of applause for the liquour store owner line. That perfectly sums up the effect of the WODs.

Tall Man
October 20, 2005, 07:48 AM
Tall Man, I was thinking more in terms of "presence". More numbers of cops per shift, not more SWAT teams or more military gear.
Yes, that's a valid position, Art.

If only we citizens could control the expenditure of our tax dollars so that we do indeed get more presence, and not more SWAT teams or military gear, I'd be more amenable to the "enough tax" argument. However, we cannot, so I am not.

I still believe that where there are "beat cops" as well as patrolling by automobile, there will be less crime.
So do I. I've observed this very dynamic in action (just as an observer, mind you ;) )

TM

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