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July 5, 2013

Sequel, Homicide: Life on the Streets

Harry M. Covert

The Georgia cooking queen has been paying the price for using imprudent and careless adjectives of known ill-repute. A Florida murder trial is blared across the news system as the most grievous of modern times.


Yet, the "sociologists" of the airways and print have been ignoring the mass shootings under way in Charm City where sports fans and visitors are more than somewhat scared to enjoy the numerous pleasures of the Inner Harbor and Fells Point to mention just a few.


Let's put it plainly. From June 21 to June 28 a total of 35 people were shot.


David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun's television critic, called out the city's broadcast news staffs for ignoring the mass shootings. Only WBAL-TV reported the flying bullets and the chaos.


Just quoting The Baltimore Sun:


"Just after 9 p.m. Thursday (June 20), between 50 and 100 residents on Elmora Avenue in the Four by Four neighborhood of Northeast Baltimore milled around outdoors in small cliques and circles, arguing among themselves in what police would later describe as a 'community altercation.'


"Suddenly, police said, bullets were fired into the crowd, and three women were injured. One, 21-year-old Gennie Shird of Pen Lucy, was pronounced dead before 10 p.m.


"Hours later, on the city's west side, an unidentified 26-year-old Glen Burnie man was shot in the city's Harlem Park neighborhood, becoming the city's 14th homicide victim in half as many days. Officers were called at 5:22 a.m. to the 900 block of Bennett Place and found the victim suffering from gunshot wounds to his head and chest."


Among the first thing the city's police commissioner did was to actually fire the public information officer. He apparently didn't describe the events properly in public pronouncements. The mayor was in Delaware on a vacation.


Apparently I was the only one astonished by the flying bullets, the murders, lack of police quick reaction and the silence of politicians from the governor, General Assembly members and Baltimore's elected officials.


In fact the indiscriminate shootings and murders in Baltimore are more evidence that the ban on concealed carry permits for law-abiding citizens is ridiculous. Good citizens don't run around their neighborhoods pulling triggers. It's time the majority come out from under politically correct fear and call the murderous conduct exactly what it is – crime, ignorance, undisciplined.


It's not the fault of achievers, builders, educators, PIOs, journalists or government at all levels that unruly people, young and old, continue to create unsafe cities and towns.


Sheriff Chuck Jenkins of Frederick County said: "It's not at all astonishing to me. We will continue to see lawless social chaos in our cities and it will eventually bleed out of the big cities into the rural areas. No one will admit that these animals will become increasingly bold in their violent acts. All of the law enforcement buildup in the world cannot control what will happen in cities like Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Detroit and the like. There are an estimated 800,000 gang members on our streets and roughly 750,000 cops.”


He continued: "Also, my guess is that not one shooter out of the 35 is a law abiding legal firearm owner."


Many leaders feel that Maryland's Gov. Martin O'Malley will never respond to or acknowledge the fact that the vast majority, if not all of those guns, are stolen from legal gun owners."


How to curb the Baltimore grievous situation? There's no easy answer, but building more playgrounds or recreation centers is not the answer.


It may be time to declare martial law in Baltimore before the gangs get a stranglehold in Frederick County or other communities. The danger is there.


Remember the television drama about Baltimore, Homicide: Life on the Streets? Truth is better than fiction.


If the state and city governments can't control the violence, the federal government – or the courts – should step in immediately, nationalize the Maryland National Guard and clamp down on the lawless neighborhoods. The Posse Comitatus Act prevents the federal government using soldiers for police actions.


For certain, crime sprees under way in Baltimore should be taking priority on the news shows, particularly in the mid-Atlantic. The trials and tribulations of kitchen doyennes and the Florida trials may be time fillers but Maryland's big story these days is uncontrolled lawlessness.


Shame on the governor and Baltimore's elected leaders for working on their own futures instead of the citizens’ present safety.


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