Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Two Senegalese Vendors Shot, Killed in Florence, Three Others Injured

A writer with extreme right-wing political views shot and killed two Senegalese vendors and injured a third in an outdoor market in Florence on December 13. He also wounded two other immigrants before shooting himself in the head as Italian police converged on him in a nearby underground parking garage. The assailant was later identified as Gianluca Casseri, 50.

COMMENT: Casseri is reported to have calmly exited his car in Dalmazia Square and opened fire, killing two Senegalese in the market, and injuring a third. As shoppers and traders fled in panic, some people tried to pursue Casseri, but he escaped in his vehicle. Later he began firing at other Senegalese traders at a market in a second square near the city's cathedral, one of the city's largest, injuring two more people.

As many of our readers are well aware, random shootings are beginning to occur worldwide with increasing regularity. Unfortunately, at a time when police seem no longer able to adequately protect law-abiding citizens from such shootings, perhaps it is time for all societies to develop new crime prevention strategies. Admittedly, the legal systems and cultures of all nations are unique and require solutions tailored to that uniqueness.

What we do know is that when all law-abiding citizens are denied the right to firearm ownership, only the criminals and governments will be armed. Such a reality potentially jeopardizes citizens and democracies everywhere.

Not that the US model should be replicated everywhere, but 49 of the 50 US states have enacted laws authorizing citizens who have been trained in the use of handguns and firearms law to carry concealed handguns in order to protect themselves and their families. Studies of such laws have revealed that criminals who carry guns illegally are increasingly wary of armed citizens who have been issued concealed pistol permits, which is an explanation as to why several Part 1 crimes [violence against persons] have declined in many US cities. Other studies have also demonstrated that the improper use of concealed-carry permit holders are rare.

At a minimum, law enforcement agencies worldwide should be considering the the large-scale use of closed circuit television surveillance in high-crime areas and sectors that have seen firearms-related offenses in the past. Additionally, plainclothes and uniformed foot and mobile patrols in high-density areas should also be considered as well as rapid deployment, small-scale SWAT teams.

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