Wednesday, March 21, 2007

What gun control has done for NYC

Last Wednesday night David Garvin, a part-time film-maker, entered a pizzeria in New York's Greenwich Village and shot one of its employees, Alfredo Romero, 15 times. He was chased by two unarmed auxiliary police officers (volunteers who might normally direct traffic or help tourists with directions). Garvin turned around and shot and killed them both. He stood over 19-year-old Eugene Marshalik as he shot him in the back of the head. Garvin was eventually shot 56 times by full-time police officers after pointing a gun at them.

The night before, a police officer was shot by a man in a Harlem restaurant. That man was eventually killed by police officers. And the previous weekend, an off-duty police officer shot a 21-year-old man after another off-duty officer was shot in the foot during a fight in a nightclub.

Crime in New York City has plummeted dramatically since the early 1990s, but for one week it seemed like a return to the dark, crime-ridden streets of Gotham City, where criminals rule the streets and police wage a losing battle against dark forces.

In the same week, a grand jury indicted three police officers for killing Sean Bell. They had fired 50 shots into his car as he was leaving a nightclub after his bucks night. He was due to be married that day. He was unarmed. The indictment of the police officers is rare for New York, even though they regularly shoot offenders. Juries have historically given police officers wide licence - some in the black community say far too wide - to shoot first and ask questions later. And given the ubiquity of guns, it's impossible not to feel for police officers who potentially put themselves in the line of fire every day.


Texas car thief caught: "A Beaumont homeowner held an attempted auto burglar at gunpoint after catching him in the act Tuesday. The homeowner allegedly caught 26-year-old Beaumont resident Brian Williams trying to burglarize his truck on Kingsley. The homeowner held Williams at gunpoint while a neighbor contacted police. Police arrived and took over, arresting Williams at the scene. His bond had been set at $500 for the auto burglary. Williams was also held for a parole violation."

Texas man grabs gun from burglar: "A man woken up by a burglar managed to get a hold of a gun, and fire back at the would-be thief, News 4 WOAI learned Tuesday. The burglar broke into the home on Banbridge on the southeast side. Two bullets tore through the family's home during the break-in. One struck the doorway of the children's bedroom. The mother in the home told News 4 WOAI's Jacqueline Ortiz what happened. The mother did not want to be identified. She told News 4 WOAI she fears the burglar will come back. "The blinds were down, and he saw the blinds were moving," the woman said of her husband. The mother said her husband was sleeping and he awoke to noise outside. She said the burglar tore a screen on one of the windows, and entered the home. "He heard the noise and saw the hand coming in," the woman said of her husband. The mother and her kids were away for Spring Break at the time of the break-in. The intruder got halfway in the window, and the husband somehow got the gun out of his hand. "He grabbed, kicked it and it fell," the mother said. "He picked it up." The woman's husband then fired once at the man who took off running through the backyard, she said".

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