General Chaos

Baltimore Bullets

If another person from out of town asks me how I'm dealing with the sniper attacks, I'll….throw up.

Two weeks ago, my boss and I were on a conference call. He and I are both cyclists, and he asked if I wasn't concerned about getting shot while I was out on my bike. I replied, “One more nut running around with a gun here in Baltimore doesn't significantly change the odds.”

Baltimore's murder rate, made famous by David Simon's book (and Barry Levinson's TV series), is back up again this year, and the sniper hasn't wandered this far northeast to add to it.
We've got bigger problems than some pansy-ass sniper–the people who kill people here in Baltimore do it on a larger, more personal scale, and don't care if anybody sees them do it. The firebombing murder of a family of seven by a local drug dealer didn't even cause a blip on the national news; the mother had called police to report the drug dealer in an effort to protect her children.

So today, as I dropped my kids off at school and saw that a County police car was parked by the entrance, standing guard, I didn't feel relieved, or nervous about the implications of why the policeman was watching over me as I dropped my sons off. I was pissed off; pissed that one nut with a gun was creating an environment where people welcome a police presence, where the violence that we live with in the city every day was being overshadowed by a suburban sniper (where's the ATF and FBI when whole families are killed?) and where the governor actually suggests that having the National Guard at polling places will make people feel that it's safer to vote.

Considering some of the weekend warriors I saw guarding the airport not too long ago, I'd rather take my chances voting without the Guard, thank you.

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