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DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


February 4, 2014

Baltimore 25, Washington 14, Frederick 1

Harry M. Covert

From a shopping center it's now time to return to reality and to city streets where statistics are still roaring out of control. The exception is Frederick, and that's a star in the crown. At least for the time being.

 

Lots of focus has been on moments of silence following the double murder and suicide at the Mall at Columbia. This remains a tragic event. Murders are always terrible incidents. Slowly things will return to some normality and the business of business will continue non-stop.

 

The good citizens of Frederick can gloat over the fact that crime decreased by seven percent in 2013 with only one murder. This violent crime decrease includes rape, robbery, burglary, automobile theft and aggravated assault.

 

The drop is a good thing. It's difficult to figure if this report will continue over the next 11 months. Let's keep our fingers crossed with defensive weapons at the ready.

 

Like many others the Mall incident remains high in interest for everyone. But, and the buts bring up more attention that don't have much interest for Mr. and Mrs. Maryland.

 

Here are the facts and they cause more alarm and break many hearts.

 

Baltimore City is affectionately called Charm City, a blue-collar town and fun town, home of the Babe Ruth Museum, the Inner Harbor and many fine eateries.

 

In the month of January, which just slipped by, there were 25 murders. This total is counted by police from the first through the 31st and doesn't include surrounding communities. These shootings and stabbings resulted in murders only within the city limits.

 

Just a few miles south, down I-95, and a few other roadways, is Washington, D. C., which can accept second place. The Metropolitan Police for January was busy investigating only 14 killings.

 

These murderous statistics apparently haven't reached many news editors in the Baltimore-Washington market. At least the interest isn't anywhere near Mall treachery. Why? Who knows? I don't.

 

The reminders are: Baltimore 25, Washington 14. This is not a sports score.

 

Driving down Constitution Avenue one day, Washington's Mayor for Life and recipient a federal corrections stay, was interviewed by all-news radio concerning the high crime rate.

 

Said Marion Barry: "If you don't count the murders, the crime rate is not so high."

 

I heard it. Stopped my car near a monument and wrote it down. Once he was released from jump suits, he returned to sartorial splendor and a seat on city council. Sweet, and a top vote getter.

 

There is no pride in reporting these facts. They are scary. The laws in both Maryland and the District of Columbia prevent concealed carry for "regular" citizens. The bad boys and girls seem to have cornered the market on weapons.

 

Comparing recent police reports, the low crime rates in Frederick City and county show this to be the true land of "pleasant living." Sure would be good to allow everybody to legally carry side arms similar to Virginia and West Virginia and other progressive states.

 

It can be a fearful thing to drive to see sports events sometimes, or Fells Point and the Hippodrome. Once, driving to a southeast D.C. funeral, shots broke out a few blocks from the venue and mourners were a bit shaky – and fled the place as soon as the preacher said Amen.

 

Recapping the facts that may not be as important as the Mall episode, but they certainly ought to be as newsworthy. I guess if everyone knew the crime news, there would be panic. Or have to choose between the latest inclement weather reports or fatal street crimes.

 

hmcovert@gmail.com

 



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