March 22, 2005
Philadelphia Daily News

By Stu Bykofsky

DEAR Mayor Street:

You wondered aloud last week why Philadelphians feel a need to carry guns - legal guns, using a city-issued "carry permit."

"For what?" you asked. "Why are they carrying? They're not hunters."

No, Mr. Mayor, but some of us feel like the hunted.

Following a single weekend that rang up 11 homicides you asked, "For what?"

The reason some of us want to carry legal guns is because some neighborhoods are swarming with criminals packing illegal guns.

We carry guns for self-defense because police can't protect us from a homicidal maniac on the street or a rapist breaking in through a bedroom window. Police respond only after a crime's reported, mostly arriving in time to draw a chalk outline around the body.

"I've always been very reluctant personally about carrying a weapon," you said. "Part of it is that I'm fortunate to have the common sense to understand that if you have a gun you might use a gun."

If you "might use a gun" to save your own life or the life of a loved one, what's wrong with that? That's why police carry guns. If you were packing, Mr. Mayor, I would not feel less safe. It's not the gun, it's whose hands the gun is in.

Of course, you don't need to carry because you are surrounded by a Mayoral Protection Detail of 12 armed officers. Assign them to protect me day and night and I'll turn in my carry permit.

Click here to read the entire op-ed in the Philadelphia Daily News.

Are YOU protecting yourself, or are you among Ohio’s hunted? The predators are out there. Click on the "Read More…" link below for examples.

This week's Hunted in Ohio

Akron: Robber ties up clerk and flees with cash
A man armed with a handgun threatened and tied up a clerk before robbing a store Wednesday afternoon. A clerk at the Best Deal Closeouts store, 736 S. Arlington St., said a man showed a handgun, threatened to kill her and then ordered her into a back room, where he tied her up with duct tape, police said. The man then took cash from the register, police said.

Ashland: Ashland station robbed
Police are looking for a man who robbed the Eagle gas station at 602 Claremont Ave. of an undetermined amount of cash Monday afternoon. Ashland police said he walked into the gas station's small carry-out at the corner of Claremont and West Walnut Street at approximately 1:50 p.m. and demanded money from the clerk while showing a knife. Detective Sgt. Tim Shreffler said witnesses reported the suspect ran south on Claremont behind the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, and put the sweatshirt and gloves into a trash bin. Witnesses said the suspect then walked to the area of the AU Convocation Center just south of the restaurant and was last seen walking across the west side of campus toward Broad Street. "It was not your typical hit-and-run robbery," Shreffler said, suggesting he may have escaped police by blending in with the students on the [“no-guns”] Ashland University campus.

Bucyrus: Defenseless taxi driver cut by robber
Police were called to the Suburban Shopping Center around 1:30 after taxi driver Tom Hildenbrand, 54, reported being cut on the hands by a man attempting to rob him. Two suspects requested a cab outside the Suburban Lanes and attempted the robbery. Hildenbrand struggled with the one man and the two fled without any cash. The men, brothers 22 and 26, were caught in the vicinity and are being held pending the filing of charges. Police recovered a steak knife.

Chillicothe: Man kidnapped, stripped, robbed of cash, cigs
The Ross County Sheriff's Office arrested John Alexander, 32, of 2885 Mingo Road, and charged him for kidnapping a 23-year-old man from a car parked in Knockemstiff. According to the report, Alexander forced the man from the driver seat into the passenger seat and then drove him to a residence near the Twin Dairy Hut early Friday morning. Alexander then forced the man into the residence, police said, and made him strip down to nothing before taking $38 cash, a lighter and three packs of cigarettes out of the man's clothing. The man, who was forced to leave the residence naked, returned to his home and called police about 4:01 a.m.

Clyde: Couple robs Clyde market
Around 9 p.m., an employee at the Southridge Market, 1397 E. McPherson Highway, was bagging donuts when he heard the buzzer to the back door go off. Turning around, he saw a man wearing a ski mask and carrying an aluminum baseball bat. The man demanded the clerk give him the cash in the register.
While opening the first register, a woman carrying what the clerk believed to be a chrome-plated handgun entered the front door. She was wearing a scarf over her face. The male then demanded the clerk turn over the cash in another register. The two suspects fled through the south door of the store on foot.

Dayton: Teenage Robber on the Run
A teenage robber is on the run. Police say he has tried robbing at least three people at gunpoint since Sunday night. Police are looking for a 14 year old boy who pulled a gun on three unsuspecting strangers within a three hour time frame Sunday night. Willard McKinley was walking home to his apartment, past the RTA bus stop when he heard someone walking behind him. “I turned around and said I don’t got nothing, and that's when he drew out a gun.” McKinley immediately called police. But the juvenile robber was already at it again. “In one instance he actually snuck in someone’s house. These were elderly people. They were surprised to find him in their house, and when they did, he accosted them with the handgun, and robbed them of whatever money they had,” said Dayton Police Sgt. Dennis Chaney. Detectives say the teen hit one more house before morning.

Fremont: Ashland station robbed
About 6 p.m., a man in the 4700 block of North Ohio 19 reported several items were missing from his residence. According to a report by the Sandusky County Sheriff's Office, the man returned home to find a door to the residence forced open and a 9 mm handgun missing. The incident is still under investigation.

Toledo: Sylvania Township police probe home robbery
Police said two armed men forced their way into the home of Houssin Moubarak, 53, after one of them said he was seeking directions to a party. Mr. Moubarak gave the men cash before he and his 14-year-old son were tied up with duct tape. Mr. Moubarak's wife also gave the men cash. While one of the men held a gun on the family, the other went upstairs and took a new Apple laptop computer, jewelry, and a digital camera. After the men fled, the family called police.

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