I've lived in Westfield for 6 years, and in and around Baltimore City for the past 11, and I have never been surrounded by so much violent crime as we've had in the past couple of weeks. And before moving here, I lived in Washington, DC, so yes, I know what gunshots sound like, and I know that when lots of people live in close proximity (i.e., in the city), there will be crime, and some of it will be violent.
A couple of weeks ago we arrived home at about 9:30 Sunday night to find our street blocked off while police searched for an armed suspect who had just shot someone at the corner of Old Harford & Harford. (He was caught in the alley behind Royston and Christopher, which is apparently where the confusion about the location of the shooting stems from.)
Well, we all move on with our lives. But the violence continues. Yesterday an off-duty police officer shot an armed robber who had entered his home. I heard Ed Norris this morning gleefully saying "He messed with the wrong guy! Ha ha!" And I understand the satisfaction of a criminal getting immediate repercussion for his crime.
But I find particularly disturbing in this story the report that as the robber was running down the street, from Glenarm to White Ave., the police officer was chasing him and firing his gun. (In fact, Jayne Miller's report had an eyewitness saying the robber had dropped his gun and had his hands raised, saying "I'm sorry, man!" Will this be investigated?) Of course I understand wanting to catch the guy, but at some point isn't the public's safety more important? The report says the suspect was shot "multiple times." Wasn't once or twice enough?
And this morning we have this story:
Hopkins student kills intruder with samurai sword, police say
Which again is being met with comments of "Good for him!" and "One less criminal!"
And again, I think to myself, "What kind of world do I live in?" Have we not evolved from the gunslingers of the old west? There was no law and order, no police force, in those days, and everyone armed themselves for safety. Is that what Baltimore City is gleefully becoming? Are you happy about citizens taking the law into their own hands?