The Wild, Wild West circa 2007: Philadelphia

Recently I’ve considered packing up and leaving the city where I’ve lived, gone to school, and worked in for my entire life. I love this town and think it gets a bad rap, but have gotten bored because I am so familiar with it. It’s as if the city has become a safety blanket for me. I’ve become comfortable and content and Ive always felt those were somewhat bad feelings to have. Now it seems I have more reason to leave this city and this state.

Since Sunday 3 police officers have been shot in Philadelphia (29 officers have been shot at this year). Philadelphia police have fatally shot 14 people this year. Last year, 20 people were killed in the city in police shootings, the most since 1980, according to FBI statistics.   There have been 333 homicides in Philadelphia as of Monday.   Because of the NRA and the idiots that think taking a gun to shoot a deer is a sport, the state and more importantly the city are awash in guns. And as importantly, the city is awash in dangerous people who are willing to brazenly use these weapons.   Authorities talk about “no respect for authority” – it goes beyond that, there’s no respect for human life.   It literally has become the wild, wild west here. I have never feared for the safety of friends and family, but I now believe that to naive if not outright foolish.

I have a lot of hope for Michael Nutter as the incoming mayor – the policing strategy has got to change, but there needs to be a response from this state that does something about the guns on the street.   The fact that they don’t do anything in light of the people being killed in increasing numbers shows what they feel about the residents of this city – but I know rural Republicans support the police – let’s see if they leave the people that put their lives on the line to protect others hanging.

As for my friends and family, you can’t hide from violence, but be careful what areas of Philadelphia you visit.   Be mindful of your surroundings.   I guess this is good advice anywhere.

  • http://swedehartjournal.blogspot.com Jess

    I try not to think about the situation downtown these days. It makes me too sad. I just can’t believe that a “brotherly love” town could be so violent.

  • Spencer

    I hear what you’re saying Jess – and a lot of times I think it’s just the media sensationalizing things – but the events of this week are disturbing and can’t be overly sensationalized. It’s spreading to areas that are not usually violent – the shooting yesterday happened on North Broad street – that’s a busy thoroughfare. Tuesday’s took place downtown during the Democratic debate. It’s all so crazy and so sad.

  • http://www.kateskafe.blogspot.com Kate

    You’re blaming the NRA? Typical liberal response.

    I’m surprised you didn’t blame George Bush too.

    Illegal guns are EVERYWHERE and they are obtained easily. It’s just that simple.

  • Spencer

    Yes – I’m blaming the NRA and other whackjob conservatives like them for putting their head in the sand. Illegal guns are everywhere and the standard NRA response is that we have enough regulations. Seems to be your belief also. Did we have enough regulation before the Virginia Tech massacre? Obviously the Virginia government didn’t think so because they changed the law – and that’s my point. I’m not saying that changing the law is the only thing – if you could fucking read I also said there’s are too many people that are willing to use guns against other people violently. So it’s not just the NRA, but they definitely don’t help the matter.

    And one more thing – I’m tired of whackjob conservatives throwing around the word liberal as if it’s a bad thing. I am a liberal – I proud to be a liberal. I’m all about finding problems and fixing them. Conservatives: nothing is broken. Great attitude – I’d be a slave with that attitude and you wouldn’t be able to vote. (Don’t tell me Lincoln was of the Republican party – that party is dead and gone).

    If you don’t want the liberal response – read someone else’s fucking blog – like Ann Coulter’s. She’s probably more your speed.

  • http://abbondanza.blogspot.com kristen

    I’m punching in here as a former Republican – current independent. If believing in human rights (for all humans, not just the straight white ones) makes one liberal, then I guess that’s where I’m at too.

    I second pretty much everything Spencer said. One of the reasons I left the party was the insistence to link gun rights to the party (among several other issues). If you are doing legal things, you don’t need to purchase several automatic rifles every month. Look at the Plymouth Whitemarsh High situation. Some dumbass mom who wanted her kid to be happier bought a large arsenal for him through legal purchases. Illegal guns are going to be out there, but why make it easier for the mass-buyer to make the initial purchase? Gun nuts are really doing a disservice to police officers and citizens alike. I don’t care what you may think you need to “feel safe” – look at the statistics. The more guns out there, the more weapons to be used improperly by their owners or family members.