Gun Violence in Baltimore

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How would it feel like if a loved one was shot due to gun violence? Especially if it occurred close to home. Was their someone to blame? Somewhere that significantly impacts me personally is Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore is a place that has all levels of socio-economic statuses. Specifically, when it comes to gun violence these acts typically occur in poverty-ridden areas. The issue of gun violence in this community has been ingrained into the social culture of Baltimore. Gun violence in Baltimore City is an important problem that has escalated over the past years, it can be solved by programs and laws within the city.

Gun violence has been deeply rooted in the society of Baltimore and in the United States. As early as 1875 when a Caucasian police officer shot an unarmed African American (Shufelt).

This has brought up a very important social issue. On a larger scale in the United States, gun violence accounts for 38,000 deaths a year and 85,000 injuries a year (American Public Health Association). As well as 90 mass shootings have occurred since 1982. In 2016 alone there were 11,000 homicides involving a firearm (BBC). Based on the Small Arms Survey, “the US has 120.5 guns per 100 residents in 2017 — meaning more guns than people” ( Lopez). This data is shocking to see that the amount of guns the country owns shows how easily accessible guns are to people. In Baltimore City, specifically in 2010-2016 13,981 guns were recovered in crimes committed (Freskos). A lot of the crimes in Baltimore involve the use of a gun. Therefore, leads to the high crime and homicide rates in Baltimore itself.

Furthermore, in Baltimore, the highest rate of death due to gun violence occurred in 2017. The Baltimore Sun states that “ 343 people killed in Baltimore in 2017, 88 percent were killed with a firearm, including 295 with a handgun and six with a shotgun or rifle, according to Baltimore Police data”(Rector). With the data presented the issue of gun violence in this community has gone out of control. It has also been found that 155 of the victims were shot in the head. Baltimore Sun notes that “Baltimore is known for the deadliness of its shootings”(Rector). This shows that not only is it known in Maryland it is an issue that is known across the states. The use of guns typically occurs from the afternoon and as the day moves along the more victimization occurs (Wen).

Gun violence has been increasing steadily in Baltimore but has hit its highest point in 2017. Additionally, some reasons as to why this is a problem are due to the surrounding issues such as an illegal gun, the opioid epidemic, unequal justice, and no plethora of opportunities for the community members ( CBS News). These factors listed all contribute to the rise of gun violence. As guns are easily accessible to obtain. In the community of Baltimore, gun violence impacts the whole community of Baltimore city. A mother Sharonda Rhodes lost her 19-year-old son walking to school. She stated that “I grew up here and I’ve never seen crime like this”( Williams). This shows that this issue impacts families, mothers, siblings, and officials. Many people want this issue to be in the past.

However, although it may seem impossible to solve gun violence in the community of Baltimore, many organizations and programs have formed to prevent the increase in gun violence and more so decrease it. A proposed solution to this violence is being implemented by the Baltimore Ceasefire 365; the goal of this is for no one to commit any murders. For example, in the year 2017, Ceasefire made a citywide call that urged the community members to not commit any murders the week of August 4-6 in 2017 ( The Baltimore Ceasefire 365). Ceasefire reaches out to the community and makes a personable connection to the community. Another program to reduce gun violence named Safe Streets is based on Chicago’s program “CeaseFire”.

The goal of Safe Streets is to have street outreach workers that specifically reach out to the youth. In particular, youth who are high risk to commit crimes with guns. The program implemented mentors which served as role models to high-risk youth. As a result, it seemed that the program was not successful because there was still violence. Especially in Cherry Hill and McElderry Park violence with guns remained high ( Webster, Whitehill, Vernick, and Curriero). Also, a program dealing with the reduction of gun violence that’s proven to be more effective by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School Of Public Health. The Program is called Hot spot the goal of this is to “focuses on individuals with a history of gun violence and curtailing illegal gun possession, led to significant reductions in homicides and nonfatal shootings” (Samuels). Baltimore Police Department led the program and was successful in the reduction of 18- 20 percent of shootings ( Samuels). Laws passed for gun control in Maryland is the strictest the country.

Maryland Gun Laws state that one must be at least 21 years of age and complete a safety training program. As well as “prove that you have not been convicted of any crime that would disqualify you from owning a gun, that you’re not a fugitive, that you’re not a drunk, that you’re not an addict of a controlled substance, that you have not spent more than 30 consecutive days at a mental institution or have been diagnosed of a mental disorder,… protective order against you” (Okin). These guidelines provide the basis of what it takes to own or obtain a gun. In order to change the high rates of gun violence, the police should build a good connection between the community members. They should also patrol the areas 24/7 especially neighborhoods that have high gun rates. That way they can possibly prevent the use of guns or a crime being committed.

In conclusion, gun violence occurring in Baltimore is a very grave and important issue facing a community as well as Maryland as a whole. With the above solutions presented the Ceasefire program, Safe Streets, and Hotspot program can all reduce the rates of gun violence. With the collaboration amongst people and strategizing it can decrease. This is a problem that can be eased with the help of all community members and as well building trust with officials that can aid in the prevention.

Cite this paper

Gun Violence in Baltimore. (2021, Oct 26). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/gun-violence-in-baltimore/

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