While there’s no real discussion about murders being bad people, the implication is that their victims are innocent souls. Of course, we know that’s not universal by any means. We know that those involved with street gangs are less likely to hit 30 than those who have no such involvement, yet our minds still think of most homicide victims as innocent.
A new study looking at homicide victims in Baltimore has some very interesting results.
Homicides in Baltimore largely involve criminals killing criminals. 82% of Victims have criminal record. The average victim had 10.8 arrests, with 4.1 of those being drug offenses. Sixty-seven percent had an arrest record for drugs. Forty-four percent had an arrest record for gun crimes. Twenty-nine percent of victims were clearly known by the police to be members of “drug crews or gang” members. Obviously, some of those 18% who didn’t have an arrest record were probably also engaging in or suspected of criminal activity.
So what gives?
Well, a while back, I wrote about how it seems most of the violence in any community is generally confined to a handful of neighborhoods. Coupled with this data above, a somewhat obvious picture emerges.
While anti-gunners use these numbers to try and justify new gun control that would impact folks like you and me, the inner city gangs are fighting wars that ignore the rules society has in place, either laws or simple social mores. They’re fighting for territory in these handfuls of neighborhoods within the cities.
Yes, some innocent people are killed, but many of them are caught in the crossfire. They’re collateral damage of this war.
Sure, some of those 82 percent may well have been killed for something that had nothing to do with their criminal history, but the vast majority were. That shows you where you should target your efforts if you wish to reduce gun violence in Baltimore and, by extension, the rest of the country.
Note that this is Baltimore, a city in Maryland whose crime rate is used to justify the state’s previous gun control laws.
Look, I get that this isn’t universally true. There will always be murders for any number of other reasons besides gang activity. That’s just how things shake out. Yet let’s assume that of the 348 homicides looked at, all 18 percent of the victims not with arrest records were innocent people. I don’t think you really can, but let’s do it for the sake of argument.
That would leave just 63 homicides in Baltimore. In a city of almost 620,000 people.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t try to do something about these murders in places like Baltimore. Far from it, actually. What I am saying is that if we know that the victim has a criminal history consistent with being part of a gang or other criminal organization, then maybe it’s better to target those groups with your efforts rather than making it harder for law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Then again, I’m not fully convinced the anti-gun Democrats that run Maryland actually care about the homicides, they just find them to be a handy excuse.