Baltimore marks 211 homicides; mayor takes aim at gun control

Posted: August 21, 2015 by gamegetterII in anti-gun asshattery
Tags: , , , , , ,

BALTIMORE —Amid an unrelenting streak of violence, Baltimore’s mayor said current gun laws miss the mark.

The number of homicides in Baltimore reached 211 on Wednesday, matching the number for all of last year. The 211th homicide was recorded when police found the body of a man who was shot in a vacant house in the Penn-North neighborhood of west Baltimore, the same area hit by riots in April.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s political career may depend on getting the violence under control. She gave credit Wednesday to city police officers because arrests are back up to a normal pace. She suggested that it doesn’t matter that Maryland has some of the toughest gun laws on the books while other states don’t.

Not since the 1990s has the city seen this many homicides this soon in a given year. In 2007, the city recorded its 200th homicide on Aug. 20 and went on to 282 homicides for that year.

At City Hall on Wednesday, Rawlings-Blake said the city’s violence follows what she called four strands of rivalry and retaliation.

“There are four major strands that are impacting the homicide rate in Baltimore. We can trace it and we can trace the players,” Rawlings-Blake said. “There are known entities who are battling it out on the streets like is this is the wild, wild west, and we need help.”

The mayor implored people with information to come forward.

“If you know someone who is involved in this, who you know are either the next victim or the next perpetrator, if you don’t want to see your loved one die in the streets, we need you to help us do something, because if they are involved in these strands, it’s coming,” Rawlings-Blake said.

Citing similar increases in violence in other cities, the mayor called for a national response, including a controversial target: tougher federal gun laws. She acknowledged that Baltimore’s violence surges on despite Maryland’s gun laws, some of the toughest in the country. The problem, she said, is that laws in other states are more lax.

“What I am saying (is) the current approach, the state-by-state approach, has not been effective,” Rawlings-Blake said.

On another front, concern about a police slowdown in Baltimore seems to have eased. Between July 15-31, city officers made 1,318 arrests, nearly double the 771 arrests that officers made between May 15-31, right after charges were announced in the Freddie Gray case.

“We are seeing a lot of positive indicators that officers are engaged on every level, and the concerns that were raised, that things are turning around,” Rawlings-Blake said.

The recent arrest numbers are much closer to the level of arrests before Gray’s death.

Source

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