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August 8, 2017

Is Ceasefire Talk Helpful?

Harry M. Covert

The business of peace on city streets continues to grab attention, as it should. The idea of a ceasefire in Baltimore was an attention-getter quite naturally.


Admittedly, along with others in the general public and the news people, anxiety was obviously at high peak. Would it be successful?


When all else failed it was almost the last resort to see if good intentions would take hold; and Baltimore's 72-hour pause in shootings and killings would be successful. Barely.


This is no time to be cynical about the situation. There is nothing short of panic and fear regarding the lawlessness.


Just like the ongoing opioid crisis endangering young people and families, community leaders, government officials, law enforcement, judges and political leaders truly are at a loss for solutions.


Who’s to blame for the indiscriminate killings? This seems an unanswerable question like no time in American and Maryland history. Let's include other areas such as Chicago and the nation's capital. There are other major cities that can be included because the killing and shootings are not limited to the above jurisdictions.


Despite the Baltimore ceasefire, three shootings, two fatal, occurred. In Chicago, three people were killed, including a 14-year-old boy, with 27 others wounded. In Washington, DC, the weekend brought two dead, six injured in shootings, including one at a Metro station.


A Frederick County man died in a car crash Saturday night and an alleged bomb maker from Washington County was arrested Friday at his Frederick work place.


Undoubtedly the continuing shootings, stabbings and other mayhem are more than troubling. Are there any solutions to these stark events? Talking points attention adhere to the usual subject – gun control, of course. But how to curb the violence? 


For certain, law enforcement isn't at fault. The police, the courts at all levels, the state's attorneys can do nothing but pick up the pieces. If shooters and killers can be found, they can be prosecuted and jailed. Then what happens?


More and more gangs run wild. Drug dealers and opioid users still keep on keeping on. How can society continue this way?


Officials can put more officers on the streets. They can try more raids for illegal weapons and drugs. They can't predict or foresee actions by young and old citizens. It's not funny in any way.


All of the slogans in the world sound nice and call attention to the horrors. Call them what they are though: criminal shootings, stabbings and killings. Unfortunately they don't result in peace, tranquility and happy lives.


Thankfully, the crime sprees are in the news segments. Reporters do their best to get the facts: who did the shootings; style of weapons, semi-automatics, revolvers; who died, the ages and neighborhoods and families.


There is no denial city streets have become almost uncontrollable. Who's to blame? There are all kinds of would-be solutions. What works? Talking tough, longer prison terms, more LEO (law enforcement officials). Not quite. Community events similar to the recent National Night Out and Coffee with Cops are nice and valuable. Family values and education are important, most probably the keys.


Answers to the continuing crime sprees seem few and far between. It is vital to keep trying.


Woodsboro - Walkersville Times
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