Sunday, April 20, 2008

Crime and Security Update for Passover

  • A friend called to say one of her co-workers in Anne Arundel county had her house broken into and a lot of stuff was taken. Burglars are active everywhere.
  • Buz learned that during the Friends school burglary, the alarms did work, but they were silent, so the dummies didn't get scared away from the oldest building on campus. The Facility Director, who lives on campus, arrived and saw the criminal's' flashlights inside. He called the local gendarmes, who were already responding (this is 3:30 in the morning, so some of them were awake). Apparently, about 8 Baltimore po-leece (this is Balamorese:) responded. They insisted, however, that they were going to wait for a k9 unit, before going in the building. Good move, guys, but if you're going to wait, ya gotta surround the building. The miscreants got away, and took a projector with them. Buz thinks they spotted the Director of Facilities and left right away, probably before the first officer arrived.  These burglars don't like to work normal jobs, but they always plan their escape when they break into someone else's property. Their biggest concern is getting caught!
  • A lot of people on Baltimore Crime blog ( really are into this concealed carry stuff. This is worth a whole blog post by itself, but I think the idea that somehow, on the street, you will shoot it out with street thugs is kinda ludicrous. You're more likely to shoot an unarmed street thug. Yuck for you. Remember, street thugs have nothing to lose; law-abiding citizens have everything to lose.
  • The nice neighborhoods of Bellemore Road and Poplar Hill continue to be victimized by burglars, sometimes losing a lot of stuff.
  • The Soundscape store on West Coldspring Lane was broken into by smashing the glass front door with a rock. Again, this was about 3:30 in the morning; betcha the alarm went off; betcha they didn't care; they got several pieces of electronics before the p0-leeces got there. Buz always wondered about that glass door (and doors of glass at other places too, with computers and such perfectly handy.)
  • Buz wonders if our blogger Carol Ott has witnessed Pigtown fighting Pratt Street yet this year. When I was a young officer on post in Pigtown, I saw this huge crowd of kids coming down Carey Street and over the railroad tracks. When I could get one of them to talk to me, she said oh, it's nothing, just Pigtown fighting Pratt Street: we do this every year. Oh. Buz wonders if this quaint practice is still going on each spring.
  • There will be a crime conference at Goucher this Thursday. Sanford Ungar, the President, will moderate. The panel will include Marci Brennan, creator of Baltimore crime blog, Judge John Prevas, a good, stand-up guy, a WYPR reporter, and Margaret Mead, one of Bmore's top defense attorneys.
  • There's a story about Baltimore in the Economist this week. Don't know if I agree with the writer's declaration that Baltimore has "a couple" of bad areas, but the rest of the city is nice. Yeah, Baltimore has a lot of nice areas, but more than a couple bad ones. And the picture of the officer with an M-16 was kinda weird and misleading. We don't, even here, have cops standing around with assault rifles. Clearly a high-profile bad guy was coming into the federal courthouse.


Carol Ott said...

So far no street fights with Pratt Street, but I'll definitely be on the lookout. Nothing like a good old fashioned street fight to keep you on your toes...!u

buzoncrime said...

I believe that! I couldn't believe that guy from California who said he thought that moving to Baltimore would be boring.

By the way, they're having a Tour dem Parks bike ride beginning in Carroll Park on June 8th. Even Buz thinks that would be a good time to explore the bike trail, Baltiless Blog notwithstanding.

buzoncrime said...

Carol: as a crime victim, you aare entitled to one tidbit of a security tip from Buz in commemoration of Victim of Crime week (last week). You may email me directly at Or simply ask you tidbit question on this blog.

MJB said...

I don't think a lot of people are into cc, just ppatin! i think it's a very bad idea, myself.

ppatin said...

"I don't think a lot of people are into cc, just ppatin! i think it's a very bad idea, myself."

Take a look at the state's where CCW has been implemented. Despite all the hysterical predictions of the anti-gun crowd, CC permit holders aren't dropping innocent bystanders left and right. In fact, bad shootings by them are essentially unheard of. Hell, in Vermont you don't even need a permit as long as you're not a felon, and how many crazy shootings do you hear about there? As usual it's criminals with guns who're causing the problems, and it's not like they give a shit whether concealed carry is legal or not.

buzoncrime said...

Maryland already has a handgun permit law, and a lot of people have them; however, they are hard to get.

Buz objects to the idea of carrying guns around because of the potential liabilities to the carrier, especially if he/she uses it--or tries to use it.

Yeah, we all wish Bernie Goetz was around when we need him, but the reality is that criminals generally choose their victims with all the odds in their favor: women, old ladies, single people on the street at night, several suspects to one victim, etc. And they almost always use the element of surprise with accompanying threats and profanity to shock victims into compliance. Unless you're going to profile and stick your hand in your pocket on your piece as potential thuggies approach, chances are: a.) they're not going to mess with you anyway or b.) they're gonna get the jump on you.

Unless the facts are clearly in your favor, you run the risk of getting arrested and prosecuted (certainly if your carrying illegally), or being sued by the "victim" for unnecessary force and the subsequent injuries. And of course, there's always the risk of hitting innocent people. Further, we have to just look at the Norman Stamp fiasco to see what can happen in chaotic street action.
Thus, you need to remember: the thugs have nothing to lose carrying and shooting; they lead miserable lives anyway and don't care. A decent law-abiding family and members thereof have everything to lose. I'm all for having a gun in your house if you don't have kids, but it's pretty risky carrying one and intending to use it on the street, much as Mary Ann Willin's actions a few years ago cheer us.

ppatin said...

I understand that concealed carry is no magical solution for street crime, and I don't mean to pretend that it is. I do think that there's some pretty solid real life evidence that it has some beneficial effects though.

Take a look at Florida. I believe they were one of the first states, if not the first, to liberalize their concealed carry laws in the late 1980s. After CC was legalized violent crime rose at a lower rate than the national average, and the huge numbers of shootings of innocent bystanders that many predicted simply didn't happen.

I did some digging around, and Here is the source for my claims about Florida. The paper's author has an obvious bias, but his information seems solid.

"Since Florida has been the nation's leader in licensing honest citizens to carry concealed weapons, examining Florida's experience is important to understanding the effects of concealed carry. In 1987, when Florida adopted its current concealed-weapons law, Florida's homicide rate was 11.4 persons per 100,000. In 1993, Florida's homicide rate declined to 8.7 persons per 100,000.[107] During this same period, the national homicide rate increased from 8.2 to 9.3 persons per 100,000.[108] Thus, allowing honest citizens to carry concealed weapons saves lives. During the same period (1987-93), the incidence of rape went up 14.4% while in Florida the rate went up only 2.9% and started declining in 1993.[109] Although Florida's rape rate went up somewhat, Florida women avoided the skyrocketing rape rates that the rest of the country experienced. Allowing honest women to carry concealed weapons thus prevents rapes.

Much has been made of a recent string of murders of foreign tourists in Florida. The reason Florida's crooks have been targeting foreigners is illuminating:

TV 'news magazine' programs visited juvenile detention facilities in south Florida to find out why violent juvenile predators were targeting foreign tourists. . . . With total candor, the jailed juveniles said they knew that tourists didn't have guns. Since Florida allows law-abiding people to carry guns, these young criminals were afraid to attack residents. Tourists are considered easy marks . . . they are unarmed and defenseless. . . .

From the mouths of these young criminals came the strongest reason for allowing law-abiding people to carry firearms-protection. These juveniles may be criminals but they're not stupid-they don't want to be shot and so they avoid people who may be armed and might defend themselves.[110] As another example of how an armed citizenry deters crime, the Orlando, Florida Police Department trained over 6,000 women in the use of handguns in 1966, after a series [Page 166] of brutal rapes.[111] The number of rapes in Orlando declined more than 80% in 1967.[112]"

buzoncrime said...

Ok---interesting, but the cited journal article is more than 10 years old. I wonder if anything more recent/relevant is out there.

Also, it doesn't really change my views very much as a security consultant, based on the factors in my earlier comments. And, let's face it, most common victims of crime just aren't going to carry a gun anyway.

Florida has a very different political, social, and economic climate than Maryland. So, it is interesting, and I agree on a gut level, but just wouldn't recommend it to anybody else. Most thugs are basically cowards. However, if you have a need, and feel more protected, go for the handgun permit.

ppatin said...

As I said, I'm fully aware that CC permits are no solution to crime. I also think that if the government is going to prevent people from carrying concealed firearms it should have a valid reason for doing so. Even if the benefits of CC permits are minimal they don't seem to do any harm, and IMO the government shouldn't be restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens unless there's legitimate evidence that those restrictions protect public safety.

Carol Ott said...

Really, I don't want permission to conceal anything -- I'd like permission to walk down the street carrying a loaded shotgun.

But that probably wouldn't end well, so alas...

Still no street fights, Buz. Although I did witness some rather deplorable behavior by a crowd of drunk young teenagers leaving a restaurant down the street. Hm.

ppatin said...

In Virginia you can open carry, and I think you don't even need a permit for that.

buzoncrime said...

I guess the big fight of the week was over at the Haven Place strip joint on the East Side.

Buz is still trying to confirm the rumor that the Chosen Sons, M.C. have taken up Dr. Alonso's call for volunteerism--and will be providing security at the Gay Street Juvenile "Justice" center. The sticking point is their desire to carry their brass knuckles inside because of the danger from the young offenders there.