This is not about the second amendment.
This is not about gun control laws.
This is about drug dealers on the corner.
The problem, and it comes with every wave of new neighbors, particularly white neighbors, is the idea that the guys on the corner are harmless and have some imagined right to hang about. They are not harmless.
Where there is the business of drug dealing, there is a gun somewhere nearby. A loaded gun, ready to shoot. More than likely an illegal gun where those in possession never bothered to go through the gun safety training class or registration.
Incompetents with guns have have bad aim hitting cars, houses, bystanders, and sometimes their intended target. I remember a daytime shooting many years ago on my street, in front of my house, so this is not theoretical. The shooters shot at a bunch of guys hanging out on the corner (suspected drug dealers) in a drive by from an SUV- Suburban Ussault Vehicle. The shooters managed to hit one guy in the butt and as they traveled down my street they felt the need to shoot several rounds of bullets towards the ground. They managed to damage some cars. I didn’t have a car so, I didn’t care that much. But I do care about an errant bullet wandering into the insides of one of my neighbors or myself (and now as a mom, my family members).
The bad old days of the drug dealers are slowly creeping back into Shaw. The only difference is there are fewer baby mommas’, girlfriends’ and grandmas’ houses to hang out in front of, the plus side of gentrification. So yes, some of the guys may have lived in the neighborhood at one time (as a kid, as a boyfriend, etc) but they don’t live here now. They do not respect the neighborhood, and never did. Don’t feel obligated to make excuses for them.
I call 911 a lot.
Not everyday a lot but more than other citizens it seems. I call when the guys selling heroin on the corner contain too many guys or the odd child (bring your children to work day!). I call when I witness an accident. I call when I see domestic abuse playing itself out in public spaces. And in recent days I call when I find someone in my residential neighborhood passed out, semi-passed out or exhibiting irrational behavior on the sidewalk.
Now, I tend not to do this for people in commercial areas or in front of stores, like the gentleman in the photo. I did once for an old guy who wanted to lay down in the street at 7th & P St NW. If he stayed in the street a cabbie or someone not paying attention might have run over his feet when making a quick right on to P. People passed out or experiencing problems in less traveled areas are more unusual and deserve attention. People passed out in the usual areas, I ignore.
So you find someone passed out or not particularly lucid on the sidewalk near your townhome, nowhere near a store, church or park, what do you do? Call 911. They are going to ask a lot of questions. Figure out what address you’re closest to. Decide if the situation needs police or EMS or both. I tend to go with just EMS unless the person seems violent. Figure out if the person is breathing. If you can, stay with the person until the EMS show up.
I can’t say if I’m seeing more passed out or about to pass out people because of the opioid epidemic. They aren’t crack heads, crack heads were a little different. They aren’t drunks, that, I can smell that difference. Something is going on, but I don’t know what.
I was walking this weekend toward the Giant and I passed by my alley and was assaulted by a smell that I’ve been working to keep out of my house for the past few weeks. It’s hard to describe because I don’t spend anytime analyzing it. I try to either run away from it or mask it. It’s chemically and strong and I think it is fake weed (maybe PCP, not sure if it has the nail polish remover smell). Whatever it is, it was horribly strong, so strong I kept smelling it as I walked a block down New Jersey Avenue.
Because the smell is slowly making it’s way into my house I’ve now had to give some thought to what to do about it. At some point I will need to talk to the source, or the owner of the house who lives in Maryland (I think). I was hoping that the build up would go away as the weather got colder, because I would smell this stench when a visitor would hang out in the basement stairwell smoking or opened up the basement door when the occupants were smoking away. The occupant hosts get togethers at least once a week or several times a week where he and his friends sit out in the back. The noise was one thing, but the smell, just makes my back yard unusable.
Have I called the police? In the past we called the Fire EMS because one time the strong smell got into the house. By the time the firemen arrived, the smell had gone. There was that time when one of the occupant’s guests was dividing up pot in the back yard into smaller baggies, but by the time I could figure out what was going on the guest had a “legal” amount of marijuana (or marijuana looking like stuff) that he was mixing with an unknown white-ish pebble like substance.
Yes, I have to get around to speaking with my neighbor the occupant when I run out of candles and air fresheners.