Incompetents with guns

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.

When you find someone on the sidewalk call 911

Guy sleeping in front of Liquor StoreI 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.

Visitors Stink After a While – In Shaw – Mari in the Citi

Let me start of with a story about my mom, who I think is a wonderful person. She lives way over in Florida in the same town as my sister. My sister loves my mom as much as I do, but doesn’t think mom is as wonderful for reasons that I will explain.
On the rare occasions my mom comes up to DC I love having her visit. Mom would visit my sister almost every other day, because she could do that because they live in the same town, the grandkids want rides (to the mall/ the movies/ etc) and she has a key to the house. So it wasn’t too hard to imagine sis being annoyed after coming home from work to find mom in her house. The occasional visit is nice, the constant dropping by and hanging out (not always at the request of the grandkids) became intolerable, even though it is mom, who’s wonderful.

Corner guys
Now if someone as lovely and nice as my mother can make a nuisance of herself, the same can be said of the old guys on the corner.

The old guys claim to the area is they used to live around here. Fine, but still not a valid reason to hang behind a shuttered store under the “No Trespassing” signs almost every day. They may have friends and family in the area. Cool, they should visit them. Let those friends feel the same thing I feel coming home to see a gaggle of 5-6 or more hanging out on the corner.

They also don’t help that commercial strip. Right now there is only 1 business operating there. The corner store is closed and having a bunch of men hanging out back probably didn’t help and may have hurt. I worry about the prospects of that strip with that crowd constantly there.

I could bring up the drug dealing, and the public drinking but I will leave that for now.

The problem with mom has been semi-resolved. She comes over less often, but now finds herself with little to do, so she’s thinking of going back to work as a nurses aid. Part-time.

This page contains a single entry by Mari published on May 14, 2016 3:29 PM.

Dream On S Street – In Shaw – Mari in the Citi

I listen to a fair number of audiobooks because there are duties at work that do not always require my brain to be engaged for the task. On call, but not always engaged (ex. photocopying or scanning).
Recently I listened to two books that I highly recommend should be heard close together. Maybe not back to back as I listened to a sci-fi teen in danger book that was the last in the Divergent series in between the two. The first book is the updated Dream City: Race, Power and the Decline of Washington, DC, updated as the previous version leaves off somewhere in the early 90s. This updated edition goes up to Mayor Gray, but the bulk of it focuses on the Barry era. Marion Barry the activist, Barry the Mayor, Barry the crackhead, and Barry, Mayor for Life. It’s not about Barry, but the corrupt city he cultivated, a city that started off promising after Home Rule (1973) but rotted under the cult of personality for someone who was not a servant leader. I didn’t care much for Barry before this book, I disliked him more after learning of the alleged sexual assault in the book.
S Street Rising, is DC from the point of view of a crackhead crack reporter. Well former crack addict, now recovered and healing reporter for the Washington Post. I really enjoyed this book, I completely recommend it for any resident of the 400-800 block of S Street NW and anyone who walks or bikes through that area, as I do. The book begins around 1989 when the author Ruben Castaneda arrives from the west coast to DC. I didn’t arrive in the DC metro area as a resident (frequent visitor to family who lived in DC & MD) until 1995, and Shaw until 1999/2000, so I could see easily in my mind’s eye the Shaw Castaneda was describing. The book gave me a better appreciation for the New Communities Church on S Street, from which one of the best DC non-profits, Manna Inc, sprang. Still not a fan of ONE DC, which may have sprung from Manna, it’s like ANSWER, but a bit more housing focused. I’m not a fan of ANSWER either, but I digress.
Wonder S Street
S Street Rising also looks at the city and Barry. But this book helped show that Barry’s interest in drugs and women had a negative impact on theĀ  governance of the city. Barry threw Justice under the bus and ran her over good in the appointment of Larry Soulsby, who removed an effective person in Homicide in order to protect a Barry crony. Also Barry was too preoccupied with his passions to govern the city, leaving the governing to his handlers.
S Street, and Shaw for that matter is a different place than it was in the late 60s, or the 70s, or the 80s, or the 90s. I love learning about it’s past, but I just don’t want to live in the past. Too many drug dealers and shootings.

That horrible stench on the 400 blk of Q St NW

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.