You would hope that we would be past this sort of thing by now but, disappointingly, we are not. Amidst the typical Halloween ruckus yesterday evening, four young men were shot in a drive-by shooting while standing at the corner of 14th and Harvard in Columbia Heights.
That some gangbanger would commit such a brazen and callous act is sickening and beyond the pale. No doubt there were witnesses (including the four victims, all of whom survived), but one has to wonder if the "stop snitchin'" mantra is going to go into effect here. Jim Graham has already issued a statement condemning police actions (or inaction) in preventing crimes like this, but one has to ask: What should the police be doing? If the victims themselves--much less other bystanders--or either too frightened or simply don't care enough to divulge what they saw to the police, what is to be done? There are increased calls for street cameras, shot-tracking devices, and other such initiatives . . . but they've not been widely instituted. Should they? Do you think they would make a substantial difference in preventing crimes like this -- or at least aid in the catching of criminals like this?
I, for one, am not keen on being watched on every street corner in this city. But if others here don't care enough to do their part to keep our streets safe, I suppose I'm willing to allow it in the name of catching these punks. So what do you think?
Thanks to Prince of Petworth for alerting us to this story.
Thursday, November 1, 2007