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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Gun-crazed Philadelphia?

Are you nuts?

There are a lot of killings in Philadelphia, but not because the city is gun-crazed.  It's for the same reason that there are a lot of killings in Chicago, where guns are pretty much illegal.  

It's an article about liquor stores and why more are not being robbed. 

Inside the dingy, glass front door of Stop 'n Shop Discount Liquors on the Admiral Wilson Boulevard, a wall is plastered with alcohol ads featuring women in thong bikinis and hot pants.

Business is good, said manager Tom Prom, 32. But being open seven days a week until 10 p.m. in a scruffy section of Pennsauken, Camden County, requires precautions. Someone on staff is always armed and security cameras and monitors record just about every square foot inside and outside the store, he said.

If Pennsylvania privatizes its liquor stores later this year - as Gov. Corbett and some Republican lawmakers want - similar precautions will have to be taken in Philadelphia, Prom predicted.

"If they go that way, it will be more benefit for the consumer, but more trouble too," he said. "The crime rate is going to go higher, because the liquor stores will stay open late and people can get their hands on liquor [later] instead of the cold beer that is going on in Philly now."

Missing from the debate over the effort to privatize Pennsylvania's liquor stores is whether the change would create more gun violence and crime in and around those stores in Philadelphia.

Statistics provided to the Daily News by the Philadelphia Police Department and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board show that of the 884 robberies of businesses recorded last year, only five were in the city's 51 state liquor stores. The numbers were similar in the previous year: 901 robberies, only eight in state stores.

In gun-crazed Philadelphia, where at least 300 homicides have been recorded in each of the last 10 years, none was inside a state-run liquor store.

Camden County authorities did not provide statistics for crime at private liquor stores, but one expert says there's a reason it's so low in Philly's state stores.

"I think there's an aura around those stores. They're well-lit, they have security cameras and state-of-the-art point-of-sale systems," said Steve Schmidt, of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association in Alexandria, Va. "They have a lot of things in place that make committing crimes more difficult."

So what does this tell us about "gun crazy" Philadelphia?  Exactly nothing.  The beginning of the story is even set in New Jersey, not Pennsylvania.  Everyone is armed there and there is lots of surveillance; Pennsauken is - after all - next to Camden which is sort of a Detroit East.


Unknown said...

I just wanted to say thank you for your blog! I love your passion and desire and all that you post here! Thanks! I have also been looking in to some gun shops in Philadelphia PA and this will help a lot on that decision!

Hye said...

This is awesome!