Law enforcers in suburban Washington, D.C., tell the Washington Post that they see a trend toward what they call “wear and carry” killings: callous acts committed on little provocation, often in public settings by young men who carry guns as casually as they do pocket change. The crimes are called wear-and-carry killings based on the statute outlining the penalties for wearing and carrying a weapon, authorities said. Police statistics show that 1,739 guns were confiscated from suspects in the county last year, 407 more than five years ago. Most of the illegal-gun charges filed involve men ages 18 to 24, said one prosecutor.
Most homicide victims in Prince George’s are ages 18 to 24, as well. Of the 1,141 homicides from 1998 to 2007, 90 percent of the victims were black men, officials said, and 75 percent of those were in that age range. National crime statistics also reflect that young black men are victims and suspects in homicides more than any other demographic group. “Everybody’s got a gun,” said Joseph J. Vince Jr., former chief of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives crime gun analysis branch. “Instead of getting upset and fighting or beating each other up, they’re shooting each other.”