Thursday, August 16, 2007

Looking at the bright side of 258 murders

Eight more people were shot in Philadelphia Wednesday. Two of them died. That brings the murder total to 258 for the year in the City of Brotherly Love.

That's up from the 244 people murdered by the same date in 2006, but there is a bright side to all this carnage.

The ray of sunshine comes from none other than the city's beleaguered police commissioner, Sylvester Johnson.

In an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News, Johnson said overall shootings are down by 121 compared to the same time last year. Violent crime has also dropped 9 percent from last year, according to Johnson.

Now that's what we want to hear from the city's top law enforcement official.

The police commissioner blamed the violence on the "availability of guns," The Daily News reports.

Now let me see if I get this straight. There are fewer shootings, but more people turning up dead. Sounds to me like the thugs who are doing the shooting have improved their aim since last year. Pardon me if I don't see the bright side here, commissioner.

There are 138 days left in the year (and we're 138 days closer to Johnson's retirement). Unfortunately, if the trend continues, another 138 people will be shot to death in Philadelphia this year.

Mayor John Street, the Philadelphia City Council, Gov. Ed Rendell and the members of the Philadelphia delegation in the state Legislature could not be reached for comment. All are vacationing somewhere where it's safe ... somewhere away from Philadelphia.

To read more about the latest deadly day in Philadelphia, check out "More Gunfire" in the Daily News.

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