Friday, December 28, 2012

The Thing That Should Scare You Is That This Isn't New

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles has been doing a gun buyback program for a few years now after other cities like Compton had so much success with theirs. The idea is that you show up, drop off a gun and get a gift card for things like groceries, toys, electronics, that sort of thing. All of this is no questions asked. In 2005, the year Compton started their program, they pulled in 220 guns.

The other day, L.A. did a collection and pulled in 2,037 guns, including 75 assault weapons, and...

Two rocket launchers.

Yep. A couple of light anti-tank weapons. They're "non-functioning" in the sense that they didn't have any actual rockets. Granted, getting hold of said rockets is not a simple thing. But, come on. ROCKET LAUNCHERS. This is military ordnance designed to take out a tank.

The fact that there were a couple of LAWs floating around is bad enough, but the problem I really have with this is that it's happened before.

Yep, back in May L.A. had another buyback and pulled a rocket launcher in with that one, too.

The fact that there are rocket launchers out there being turned in for groceries makes me wonder what else is out there. One is a fluke. Three in less than a year is not.

The number of guns being turned in is growing every year. Are we going to start seeing more military hardware alongside all the AK knockoffs and Saturday night specials? RPGs? Maybe a Claymore or two?

On the one hand, I hope so, because this shit needs to get off the street. On the other hand I hope not, but only if that means it isn't there to begin with.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

If The Name Fits

Los Angeles, CA

Everybody's got a schtick these days. Every comic's got their own brand of rubber chicken, every porn star's got their signature cum face, every politician has their own particular way of fucking you in the ass. But none so much as your lowly petty criminal.

Every bank robber gets a name based on some identifying characteristic. Goofy Hat, Floppy Hat, Overweight, Weather Girl, Irreconcilable Differences, Tic-Tac, Enormous Ears, WWF Shotgun, Cuecard and, my personal favorite, The Geezer.

But now we're seeing small fry getting in on the act. Seems there's a guy in the West Valley who's been hitting places with a lot less dough than your typical bank; Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Subway. Not places known for having vaults overflowing with cash.

His gimmick? He asks for a job application, pulls a gun and then walks with the contents of the register and safe. What are they calling him? The Job App Bandit, of course.

Seems an awful lot of work to me. I mean, why ask for the job application? Why give them time to memorize your face? Walk in, wave the gun around, get in, get out.
The hoodie-wearing African American man they're looking for is in his 20s, around 5 feet, 6 inches, 150 pounds, with large, dark-frame glasses, a dark backpack and a Raiders beanie.
Sure, there's no picture, but that's a better description than you usually get.  And the people giving the description are scared shitless because some asshole's shoving a gun in their faces.

Anyway, if you happen to work in a Starbucks keep an eye out for this guy and watch out if he asks you for a job. Clearly he's already got one.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Say A Prayer And Check The List - The Mass Grave of Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Today, 1,656 people will be buried in the Potter's Field at the Evergreen Cemetery in Boyle Heights. They've been sitting in morgue drawers and then as collections of ashes for the last couple of years. These are the unclaimed, the unknown. These are the people who have come to the L.A. County Coroner's office and never left. They are the homeless, the homicides, the suicides, the people who have no next of kin. They are old men found in alleys and babies in dumpsters. They are drifters and locals. Common men and women who have no families, or none who are willing to speak up for them.

As such they don't get a grave to call their own, many don't even have names. Just a hole in the ground with the ashes of their morgue-mates.

This happens every December. After lingering in the morgue for two to three years hoping for identification, the bodies are cremated and, with as much respect as is possible, placed into a single grave.

The number goes up and down but it hovers around 1,600 to 1,700 people every year. The books get closed and the only thing that remains of the people they once were is a case number and maybe a photo in the County Unidentified Person's List.

If you know, or know of, someone who has gone missing in Los Angeles County, check that list. They have records going back to 1907. People disappear here all the time. Harrowing, yes. But sometimes it's better to know than not.