According to police, witnesses reported that anywhere from 40 to 60 people – believed to be minors – flooded an Oakland, California Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station Saturday night, jumped the fare gates, and basically took over a train car, injuring and robbing people.
BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said six people had been robbed on the train, and a seventh had been robbed on the platform.
“We are in the process of pulling all surveillance video and we will share with Oakland police, Oakland Unified School District and Oakland Housing Authority to see if they can help identify the minors,” she said. “We have had success with sharing images of juveniles with this group and identifying and making arrests in the past.”
According to a police report, the teens “committed multiple strong-arm robberies of bags and cell phones,” and “at least two victims suffered head/facial injuries requiring medical attention.” Victims lost a “purse, a duffel bag and five phones” during the mass robbery.
The heist lasted about 15 minutes, and when the train came to a stop, the myriad of teens vanished into the East Oakland neighborhood, before any officers could do anything about it.
While there are images of the perpetrators, they can’t be released publicly because they’re minors.
This is just one reason that people should be able to protect themselves with firearms. While BART doesn’t seem to have a policy one way or the other pertaining to firearms, California does have many restrictions, making it difficult to legally own and carry a firearm.
In the bigger cities, one must demonstrate “good cause” to the sheriff or police chief in order to carry a concealed gun. Citing the Second Amendment or appealing to self-defense is not sufficient. It has to be proven that the applicant’s life is in imminent danger. And even then, it’s still up to the sheriff or police chief.
If there had been just one passenger on that train car who was carrying a firearm, he could have used it – or at least threatened to use it – and it may have stopped the robberies. Of course, 40 to 60 raucous teens is a lot of people. One gun carrier may not have been enough.
Hopefully, these passenger victims will apply for a Carry a Concealed Weapons (CCW) license and cite this very incident as reason to be armed. This train robbery was quick, the suspects got what they wanted, and so far, they’ve have gotten away, unscathed. That means it’s very likely that this will happen again.
Even a member of BART’s board of directors John McPartland obtained a gun permit, and he cited the threat posed by Black Lives Matter as reason for his application to be renewed. Alameda County – where Oakland resides – considered that to be “good [enough] cause” and renewed his permit.
SFGate reported that “McPartland is one of 222 permit-holders in Alameda County, a roster that includes law enforcement officers, judges, prosecutors and ordinary citizens, according to data from the California Department of Justice Firearms Bureau.”
I don’t think McPartland’s life was ever actually threatened by Black Lives Matter. But these BART passengers’ lives were. They should have no trouble getting a gun permit and carrying concealed on the train to protect themselves in case these delinquents try commandeering a train car again.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com