To anyone paying at least partial attention, it’s not news that Baltimore has a problem with violent crime. In truth, almost every major U.S. city has a problem with violent crime. So do many of the minor ones, too. Violence is endemic to our urban centers, which is why so many of them grasp for quick fixes like gun control.
However, it seems Baltimore announced a new initiative that seeks to combat violence without pushing gun control.
A coalition of federal, state, and local government officials today announced a new violence reduction program, I Care Baltimore. I Care Baltimore is a multi-faceted program designed to reduce violent crime by empowering community members, by highlighting programs that are making a difference in the City of Baltimore by offering alternatives to violence, and by increasing awareness of the consequences of federal prosecution for violent repeat offenders. The new initiative, funded by a $250,000 grant to the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) from the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services, builds on the U.S. Attorney’s Office Project Exile which seeks to remove guns from the hands of criminals. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the I Care program now also offers resources available to assist Baltimoreans to stay safe and healthy.
The initiative was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Executive Director Glenn Fueston of the Governor’s Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services; Director Tamika Gauvin of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and State’s Attorney for Baltimore City Marilyn J. Mosby.
“Gun violence remains a pervasive problem in too many Baltimore communities,” said United States Attorney Robert K. Hur. “Law enforcement is an important part of the solution, but we must also foster community involvement and help make citizens aware of choices they can make for the good of their own lives and their neighborhoods. The I Care Baltimore website highlights resources available to prevent young people from becoming involved in violence. If you use a gun, you could face federal time, where there is no parole—ever. Please, put down the guns and save a life—maybe even your own.”
Now, I don’t actually have an issue with the idea of trying to remind criminals that them using a gun for anything could result in more prison time, which includes just walking around with one. I don’t have any issue with that at all.
However, I can’t help but wonder how much good $250,000 is going to do in a city of almost 620,000 people. It just seems like a drop in the bucket.
Then, of course, if it doesn’t work, I expect the City of Baltimore to shrug and say, “Well, we tried to do this without passing new gun laws, but it didn’t work, so here’s the litany of new restrictions for this week, peasant scum.”
After all, anti-gunners are willing to give non-gun control efforts a try…once. Then when it doesn’t work, they’ll go right back to gun control, which is ironic considering gun control’s abysmal record of “success.”
That said, this isn’t a bad use of money. I just wish the city wouldn’t stop there.
You see, we know that these problems center on a handful of neighborhoods in pretty much every city. There are ways to target those neighborhoods in ways that use a carrot and stick approach. It might be time for Baltimore to look into that.
I doubt they will, though. That would involve actual work on their part, rather than just blaming guns.