Between when I came here in November to now, there has been a steady increase in gun crime. Apparently people are buying guns in pieces and putting them together themselves, or else printing them off, thus getting round any laws regarding the purchase of firearms. They call these illegal firearms Ghost Guns.
These ghost guns are untraceable, have no serial number, and can be put together in pieces which wiggles around background checks. Simply they make it easier for the bad guys to get guns which they then use to hurt and kill.
There was a 181% rise in shootings in 2020, and the rise shows no sign of abating. Police Chief Bill Scott told the San Francisco Examiner that these guns are “increasingly turned up during shootings, robberies and homicides.” He continued:
“With the technology the way it is, where people can make guns on printing machines, guns that can shoot and kill people, we have some work to do,” Scott said. “This is an emerging area where the technology has outpaced our ability to create legislation and laws to prohibit these things.”
While the politicos are debating widening the definition of firearm in order to defeat the get-around, people are getting shot. The last 24 hours in the wider Bay Area – including Oakland – was absolutely ridiculous. It was like living in a war zone. I have the Citizen app, it is basically an online police scanner, and tells you what crime is going on around you so you can avoid problems. I would rather know and be informed than wander into a situation. For instance there was a fatal shooting last night on Van Ness. Rather than worry about the amount of sirens and police activity I knew that some poor soul had got murdered. I was still worried, but at least I knew.
Gun crime is spiking. Yesterday showed alert after alert, cops shoot man in process of auto thievery, two women shot in Oakland, the Van Ness shooting. It all melds into one huge battle playing out in the city, and meanwhile, while San Francisco goes to hell, the DA doesn’t seem to believe in putting bad guys in jail. There is a disconnect in reality between his compassionate thinking, which is not compassionate to the people getting fucking shot and having to live their lives in fear in his city, but is compassionate to the wife beaters, the perpetrators of crimes which make SF an increasingly unattractive proposition. I love this city. Do I love it enough to risk getting caught in the crossfire, or be chased down streets by men who are so high they have turned into predatory dangers? Do I love it enough to turn a blind eye to the anti Asian violence which is not being prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
If people were afraid of going to jail, the 65 and 85 year old American Chinese women waiting for a bus in Upper Market (not the Tenderloin, don’t try palm it off as just being TL shit, it was RACIAL HATE CRIME) might not have been stabbed. One of these elderly women was stabbed so violently the knife broke off in her chest. Do you think I am angry? You fucking bet your ass I am.
I am angry that the man with the big education and the nice office is failing to come down hard on this deadly hate crime. I am angry that I am retraumatized every time I want to go out there to buy a loaf of gluten free bread and a bag of apples. I am angry that while the people that love SF want to bring it out of the funk it fell into due to the Pandemic, there are other people who see it as an opportunity to make beautiful San Francisco into a Grand Theft Auto server made real.
On April 8th Biden said he would start the process of requiring serial numbers to be put on gun kit guns. While processes are starting and the wheels of politics move slowly, the crime rates and shootings are increasing rapidly. How many more lives need to be lost, and what about the guns without serial numbers already on the damn streets?
Nothing that is being done is enough. The people of this city deserve so much better. Have compassion for the poor and suffering people that live in these more dangerous areas – there are good people in the Tenderloin, in Mission, who live on Polk. The violence is not contained to more traditionally gritty areas. To be frank I am starting to wonder whether those in charge of the system are fit for the job. Where is the compassion and sympathy for the Asian community which is living in terror? Where is the compassion for the victims of domestic violence – last year Boudin’s DA office only prosecuted 15 percent of DV cases brought to him. I see plenty of compassion for perps, and not much for the victims.
This is not a case of people being unreasonable in expecting a certain level of safety. It’s ok for the rich, they ride around in their cars, but increasingly cars are being shot at, so perhaps now it is starting to affect them, they might look around and wonder if their philosophical objections to prosecuting violence is actually working, and if it is, just whom is it working for? Because it is not the good, kind, hard working San Franciscans I know and love, and to be frank, it isn’t working very well for me, either. I guess it works for those so rich and privileged in the city that they can avoid danger, and it works for those that would victimize everybody else.
Something better needs to be done.