Killing in a Gainesville garage

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By Jim Clark

One of the things that bothers me is when I read something about a random act of violence and realize that it could have been me, or you, or a family member.

Such was the case with a killing in Gainesville this past weekend.

A young man from Tallahassee was killed at a downtown Gainesville parking garage.

Some men were stopped and talking, and blocking the exit. He reportedly told the men to ?hurry up? so he could get out, and one of them walked up to the car and shot him.

Follow-up stories said that the parking garage is a hangout, and there were about 500 people in the area when he was shot.

Five hundred people in a parking garage? Were any of those 500 police officers? This parking garage was supposed to alleviate parking problems in downtown Gainesville when it was built. Has it done that, or has it just become another place for violence, this time hidden from public view? What else goes on in that garage?

Of course, a little patience on the part of the young man might have saved his life. Which of us has not grown impatient with someone impeding our progress while we are driving. My pet peeve is those who spend five minutes giving an order at a fast-food drive-in. What part of the word ?fast? don?t they understand?

We could also say a little consideration on the part of those blocking the exit would have been nice, but I doubt that people carrying a gun and willing to shoot anyone who yells at them are going to be very considerate.

I would suggest that if you?re going to Gainesville, you don?t park in the parking garage. Evidently it?s more for people to park themselves instead of their vehicles.

CREDIT CARDS: Occasionally I watch something worth watching on television. This past weekend it was ?60 Minutes.? (OK, it came on after an overtime football game).

What was intriguing was the story about credit card use, and the information that major retail stores keep in their files.

The story showed how easy it was for hackers to cruise around a department store that has wireless transmissions and pick up personal information from shoppers? credit cards.

The show even made the point that in some cases it was safer to shop online, because Web sites have better encryption methods than do the retailers.

The report focused on TJX, the parent company of TJMaxx and Marshalls, both of which have stores in Florida. But you have to assume there are other stores (and the report named a couple) that don?t have the latest encryption devices.

The moral of the story is to be sure you check your statements very carefully each month, maybe even more often by going online. If someone is stealing from you, it?s better to find out early.

Jim Clark is the editor of the Williston Pioneer Sun News. He can be reached at editor@willistonpioneer.com or at 528-3343.