Affluent friends question desire for CCW in DC


PDA






ZeSpectre
October 13, 2006, 04:59 PM
(Note to Mods, if this post is too large or inappropriate please tell me and I'll modify it. Thanks.)

I have several fairly affluent friends who all have the same response to the self defense issue in DC. To wit, "well we don't live in that part of town so there is no reason I will ever have to protect myself". (Note as you read below that these people live in ... Adams Morgan, Georgetown, and Columbia Heights!)

Well folks, straight from the Washington Post!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/12/AR2006101201813.html

(for those who don't want to "enroll" with the post)

Liveliest D.C. Neighborhoods Also Jumping With Robberies

By Allison Klein and Dan Keating
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, October 13, 2006; A01

Some of Washington's most vibrant neighborhoods, destinations for suburbanites, barhoppers and urban professionals, share a lesser-known distinction: They have the highest concentrations of holdups in the city.

Criminals are striking in areas that boast of dynamic nightlife, newly minted condominiums and restaurant grand openings.

The Washington Post analyzed years of police statistics, focusing sharply on crimes this year, and found the biggest share of robberies happening at night and on sidewalks in neighborhoods north of downtown, including Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights and the U Street corridor.

Across the city, an average of 11 robberies take place each day, the analysis shows. But on Friday and Saturday nights, the city can register as many as five an hour.

Guns are involved in at least one-third of the cases. About the same percentage end with victims being beaten or slammed to the ground -- even knocked unconscious, in some cases. The other robberies can be just as chilling, involving such weapons as knives as well as sudden grabs of purses, backpacks and money.

The statistical analysis encompassed thousands of cases, including about 2,900 this year alone. The Post also examined hundreds of robbery reports and interviewed victims, police, residents and community activists.

Police said that at least 14 homicides this year stemmed from robberies, including the slaying of a British activist in Georgetown. The number of robberies jumped last year and was rising again this summer when D.C. police stepped up patrols and began putting surveillance cameras in neighborhoods. It has tapered off since the city spent about $10 million on overtime for extra police coverage. But overtime funds are running dry, raising concerns that more trouble is ahead.

Robberies have spiked in recent years in the Washington region and many other parts of the country, as the number of juvenile offenders and the availability of guns grows, police officials said. Robberies also are becoming the crime of choice for some former drug dealers, who have switched to stickups after police crackdowns on narcotics trafficking, the officials said.

Police in Alexandria and Fairfax and Montgomery counties also are dealing with more robbery cases. In Prince George's County, the total rose sharply last year but has dipped this year.

There are more robberies per capita in the District than in New York, Los Angeles and other large cities. And robbers are traveling farther from home to strike, according to police officials. During the first six months of the year, about 40 percent of juveniles arrested in robberies and other crimes in neighborhoods just north of downtown did not live there, police said.

The city's robbery core is in the 3rd Police District, which includes the neighborhoods of Columbia Heights, Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Dupont Circle and Logan Circle. It is the city's smallest, densest police district and accounts for almost 30 percent of robberies.

"It's always been a major problem," said D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), whose constituents complain daily about the crimes. "But it wasn't anywhere near as serious as it is today."

Yasmin Wei, 19, can attest to that. One night recently, a man knocked her to the ground as she was returning to her Columbia Heights apartment after an art class. He slammed his foot sharply into her ribs and yanked fiercely at her bag, dragging her along the sidewalk. Finally, he jerked the bag free and ran off. Wei had a deep gash on her elbow and a bruise the size of a grapefruit on her hip.

"It was right under a streetlight," said Wei, who works as a waitress in Adams Morgan. "And it was only 9:30."

Wei said the attack was so terrifying that she no longer feels comfortable in the neighborhood and has moved in with her parents. "I don't even want to bike there after 8 p.m.," she said.

Robbers choose streets where people are likely to have cash, bank cards and cellphones. They prey on those who appear isolated, and the less lighting, the better. Dozens of police reports describe how robbers sneak up, grab a purse or bag, and flee -- the snatch-and-run. Other victims tell of robbers approaching them at gunpoint with such lines as "Give it up" and "You know what time it is."

A 19-year-old food vendor, held up while walking home from RFK Stadium, remembers exactly what the gunman told him: "I don't want no drama." The robber ran off with the man's wallet, containing two $20 bills.

Resistance Is Risky

Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said he worries about the potential for lethal violence. "It can quickly escalate to a shooting or homicide if the victim resists or if the robber is jumpy," he said.

The chief declared a crime emergency in July, and since then, the number of robberies has tapered off and is running about the same as last year. Preliminary statistics show that there were 2,898 robberies in the city as of Sept. 30.

The situation is worse than it was two years ago but much better than in the 1980s and early 1990s, when the city was averaging almost 20 robberies a day. That's little comfort to residents. As Ramsey put it, "Robbery is a good indicator of violence on our neighborhood streets," and it "provokes a great deal of fear."

Said council member Adrian M. Fenty (D-Ward 4), who likely will succeed Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) next year: "Nothing is of greater concern to residents, and nothing makes them think twice about living in their neighborhoods more than if they don't feel safe walking around."

Police warn that trying to resist a robber is risky -- as one victim recently learned. He was stopped in the 1400 block of Morris Road SE by a robber who jabbed a gun into his side. The gun went off after the victim slapped the robber's hand. The victim, 20, was shot in the thigh.

Drugs and robberies are intertwined. Last week, Ramise Cannon was sentenced to a six-year prison term after pleading guilty to committing robberies at an ATM in Southwest Washington and on a busy street in Southeast, crimes that netted him a total of $110. Cannon, 18, told the judge that he needed help for a drug problem -- a common refrain heard at sentencing time. "I'm sorry to the victims. I know what I did was wrong," Cannon said. "I hope they have space in their hearts to forgive me."

Investigators find that robbers will go out on the streets, sometimes in groups of two or three, and rob several people in one night or on consecutive nights in the same area. The more they do, the bolder they get. They spend victims' cash quickly, run up their charge cards and use their cellphones.

More than one-third of robbery suspects arrested this year were juveniles, a pattern that Ramsey finds especially troubling. At this point last year, police had arrested 129 juveniles in robberies; this year, they've arrested 197 -- a 53 percent jump. Ramsey said the younger offenders are more apt to travel in packs and tend to get jumpy if victims resist.

Two of the five people who recently pleaded guilty to robbing tourists on the Mall were juveniles. Police said the group was bored until one suggested mugging victims there, a place long viewed as safe by residents and visitors.

The crimes on the Mall, which happened in May and July, generated a swift police response that led to the arrests. In other areas of the city, particularly the hard-hit 3rd District, D.C. police have made more than 50 arrests in robbery cases since July.

Solving robberies is not easy. Police have closed about 17 percent of their cases this year, near the national average for cities of the District's size.

Robberies happen so fast that many victims cannot identify their assailants. "Try to focus on what he looks like," Ramsey said. "Don't focus on the clothing."

That was the mistake made by a 73-year-old woman July 4 in Southeast Washington. That afternoon, she was sitting on the porch of a house in the 700 block of 51st Street near Benning Road, reading a book, when a youth walked up, his underwear peeking out from oversize pants.

"You got the time?" he asked her. She said she didn't.

The youth grabbed her purse and ran. She'd have a hard time recognizing his face, she said, adding that she "could identify the guy's lower half better than the upper half because of his drawers showing."

A Variety of Victims

Based on volume, the top location for the city's robbers is near 14th Street and Columbia Road NW, in the heart of Columbia Heights. The place jumps with activity, and luxury condos and new stores are on the way. The buzz makes it seem like a safe, lively place. But robbers pop up in the area regularly -- there is an average of five holdups a week. It comes in spurts. A few days might go by without anyone getting mugged; then two, three or four people will be held up in a single night.

Cmdr. Larry McCoy, who heads the 3rd Police District, said the victims span the economic and professional spectrum: "I've seen them all -- waitresses, lawyers, construction workers, people who work on the Hill."

Doug Bryant, 35, a technical recruiter, and his wife moved to Columbia Heights almost three years ago because it was vibrant and diverse. But after being around so much crime -- and getting attacked on the street by a young man last year -- they plan to move. "I don't like walking around here at night," he said. "And I don't mean midnight. I'm talking after 8."

In June, a construction worker walking home in Columbia Heights with $75 worth of groceries was held up by a group of juveniles. It was the third time he'd been robbed in that area.

The number of robberies there might be even higher than police statistics indicate. Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights have a heavy number of Hispanic immigrants, and some are hesitant to report crimes.

Mariela Demetrik, 21, whose mother has a restaurant in Columbia Heights, said she has seen several robberies around Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights.

"You'll see older Hispanic men being robbed by younger boys," said Demetrik, an art student who was born in Bolivia and raised in Washington. "You see other people get robbed, also, mostly at nighttime or early in the morning."

Looking Farther Out

Some pockets east of the Anacostia River -- Fairlawn, Barry Farm, Congress Heights, Benning Terrace -- also have high robbery numbers. But they have been falling, and homicides remain the biggest problem. Neighborhoods east of the river account for 52 percent of the city's killings and 24 percent of robberies.

The 1st Police District, which includes Capitol Hill and RFK Stadium, has the second-highest percentage of muggings in the city. Its commander, Diane Groomes, said criminals are turning to robbery as open-air drug markets are shut down by police or by development.

This year, officers in her district dealt with a string of about 20 robberies called "unking" -- slang for knocking victims unconscious. Police arrested 12 juveniles.

Philip Valenziano, 21, was knocked out at 3:10 a.m. July 2, when he was leaving a Capitol Hill bar to grab a cab. He remembers three big men approaching him. Before he could get a good look at them, one of them punched him in the face.

The robbers took his wallet, which contained $27. The assault left Valenziano with a cut on his face and a broken nose. A student at Catholic University, he missed weeks of summer classes because he needed to go home to New Jersey for reconstructive surgery.

"I don't recall them giving me an opportunity to give up my stuff," Valenziano said. "I'm not dumb enough to fight back against three big dudes."


==========================================================

Sooooo, someone please explain to me one more time why I'm safer as a disarmed citizen in DC? :cuss:

If you enjoyed reading about "Affluent friends question desire for CCW in DC" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
El Tejon
October 13, 2006, 05:28 PM
You are not safer disarmed, government is safer that you are disarmed.:)

Manedwolf
October 13, 2006, 05:31 PM
I suggest you suggest to your friends that they have their wills in order, since they're so determined to be victims of violent crime.

Wasn't that area where someone mugged someone and slashed their throat?

jnojr
October 13, 2006, 06:00 PM
Some of Washington's most vibrant neighborhoods, destinations for suburbanites, barhoppers and urban professionals, share a lesser-known distinction: They have the highest concentrations of holdups in the city.

Criminals are striking in areas that boast of dynamic nightlife, newly minted condominiums and restaurant grand openings.

Well, duuuhhhh!!!

If you're going to rob someone, who do you want to rob... some poor crack addict who isn't going to have anything, a welfare recipient who might have $20 left, or some rich white Yuppie? Sure, the chance of getting caught is a little higher with the Yuppie, and you're more likely to face a steeper sentence, but you're also going to score a lot more loot. And who cares anyway since you'll be back on the street in six months?

Manedwolf
October 13, 2006, 06:08 PM
And who cares anyway since you'll be back on the street in six months?

That long? Try six weeks. Or six days. Some of these lowlifes running around have rap sheets of felony assault two and three pages long.

1911Tuner
October 13, 2006, 06:20 PM
Hear that? It's the bleating of rabbits in sheep's clothing...:rolleyes:

You won't win any arguments with people like that. Once they've locked onto the Shangri-La mindset, only a headlong assault will jolt them to their senses...and sometimes not even that'll do it. Every person in America should have to run or fight for their lives one time...so that they can understand that eggs don't come from the grocery store, and safety doesn't come from policemen.

Waitone
October 13, 2006, 06:42 PM
Police Officer: "Willie, why is it you rob banks?"
Willie Sutton: "That's where the money is."

You won't successfully argue with anyone who creates Utopia in their minds. Reality will have to intrude. The best you can do is create questions in their minds and wait for someone to get mugged. Cruel comment but unfortunately linked to reality. Hopefully the injury will be non-existent or minor. Afterwards you audience will be all ears.

Tess
October 13, 2006, 06:52 PM
Send 'em a copy of Philip's VCDL Alert from today.

Turkey Creek
October 13, 2006, 06:54 PM
Some people will never learn- They think that just because they have attained a certian stature in society that they are immune to the problems of what they consider the lesser citizens- Life is a crap shoot at best and none of us are insulated against the crap hits the fan syndrome- As far as I am concerned, what they do is their business- What annoys me is when they try to tell me that their way is the only way- I have a hard enough time living my life by my own rules let alone someone else's- Consequently I don't feel a bit sorry for someone who gets mugged, robbed etc, if they think that it just can't happen to them- We all make our own beds and we have to sleep in them

Standing Wolf
October 13, 2006, 09:24 PM
The only safe neighborhoods are those criminals can't drive to in purchased, borrowed, or stolen vehicles.

Helmetcase
October 13, 2006, 09:35 PM
Perhaps we can merge this thread with the one started earlier on the same article (glad someone else saw it).

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=227683

Funny how the crooks don't need guns to rob people when they know the victims are already forcibly disarmed.

The_Shootist
October 13, 2006, 09:59 PM
I hope I don't get flamed for suggesting something illegal, but I tell ya - I think I'd take my chances (as a 40 something white guy) by packing my SP 101 in Washington. You weigh the odds you'd somehow be discovered vs the (pretty) reasonable probability you could be a victim of a crime.

Mind you, you might have to get out of Dodge quick if it came to having to wave it in some gang-bangers face - or worse.

Thats why I'd take a revolver - doesn't fling brass around. :evil:

Pilgrim
October 13, 2006, 11:05 PM
To wit, "well we don't live in that part of town so there is no reason I will ever have to protect myself".
Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" seems to be appropriate here.

Pilgrim

Autolycus
October 14, 2006, 01:55 AM
Its shameful that our country denies people their rights in the Nations capital. I would tell your friends to move to VA.

cyco668
October 14, 2006, 04:53 AM
I spent most of my life in the DC area. This story is nothing new. Even when I was a teen back in the 80's, I knew i could get mugged in Georgetown. There have been a few tourist robberies right on the Mall recently. This article is old news for the locals.
"Our" government doesn't deny the DC residents for owning/carrying firearms. The decision was made by the residents and voters in the city. They decided to enact an ordinance. The residents exercised their right to vote and that's what they came up with. Every state has it's own laws and regulations, DC is no different (although not a state). If anyone disagrees with DC's policies, all you have to do is move to DC, register to vote, and then try to make changes. I just decided to not live within the District line. (the $2000-$3000 a month rent in these neighborhoods helped in that decision)
PG County representin' !!

cassandrasdaddy
October 14, 2006, 07:03 PM
was originally inflicted by congress without the folks voting on it. dc not having representation. the 76 laws were an addendum and were a misguided example of how gun control works. and was ramrodded through by the democratic establishment at the time. easy to do given the demographics of the city where 1/3 the men can't vote

xd9fan
October 14, 2006, 07:24 PM
I hope I don't get flamed for suggesting something illegal, but I tell ya - I think I'd take my chances (as a 40 something white guy) by packing my SP 101 in Washington. You weigh the odds you'd somehow be discovered vs the (pretty) reasonable probability you could be a victim of a crime.

Mind you, you might have to get out of Dodge quick if it came to having to wave it in some gang-bangers face - or worse.

Thats why I'd take a revolver - doesn't fling brass around.

Bravo!!

"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?" Thomas jefferson

cyco668
October 14, 2006, 07:39 PM
"...passed in 1976 by the D.C. City Council requires all firearms to be registered, all owners to be licensed, and prohibits the sale of new handguns. It also prohibits anyone from bringing a handgun into the District or transporting a handgun through the city (D.C. Code 2001 ed. secs. 7-2501.01 et seq.)."
Congress regulated the purchase, possesion, and carrying of guns. The City banned them. Everyone knows that DC has very strict gun laws. Here is a synopsis:
http://www.nraila.org/GunLaws/StateLaws.aspx?ST=DC

DC- 1/3 the population can't vote, and 2/3's don't.

LightningJoe
October 14, 2006, 11:35 PM
Move the US capital to Austin. I understand it's inside a state, but if W just relocated, what could they do? And it would take the hangers on a long time to figure out where the capital went.

cyco668
October 15, 2006, 08:32 AM
My family moved to Austin over 15 yrs ago. I think Austin is more hippy and liberal than DC. I also think that alot of Texans don't believe that the Repuplic of Texas is part of the Union.
My vote is to move the Capital to South Dakota. See how long it takes the hanger on finding the capital there! Besides, if the capital was on Texas, 1/3 the population couldn't vote because they are illegal immigrants. :))
kidding, everyone, kidding! have a sense of humor!
Oh, another reason why the capital shouldn't move to TX, what about the Redskins?! Are they going to Austin too? How many Cowboys fans are going to support the 'Skins making a home in their own state?
Austin- Hook'em Horns! No one else is welcome. Make my daddy proud if he heard me saying that.

Birukun
October 15, 2006, 11:20 AM
We know you are kidding, because illegal aliens do vote!

(In California too!)

Bill in SD

ZeSpectre
October 18, 2006, 11:14 AM
Well at least one of my friends had a wake-up call. Somebody approached his daughter as she was coming home from George Washington University (she's studying to be a nurse). She was off in iPod world and admits she had no idea the guy was there until he grabbed her arm and headphones. She threw her coat into the perps face and ran and (fortunately) got away scott free.

Now my friend wants me to tell him "everything I know" about personal protection and guns. So I've been giving him the basics of situational awareness and so forth (but I refuse to talk firearms until he's a LOT less emotional than he is now).

Glad she's unhurt, but sad that it takes an event like this to wake people up to basic safety behavior.

Pilgrim
October 18, 2006, 11:44 AM
Glad she's unhurt, but sad that it takes an event like this to wake people up to basic safety behavior.
Close calls have a way of making antelope and gazelles more cautious.

Pilgrim

If you enjoyed reading about "Affluent friends question desire for CCW in DC" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!