Many of our large inner-city metropolitan areas are effectively out of control when it comes to crime and violence. Some are more visibly so than others; in this case, Baltimore, where the mayor has made a public appeal that's infuriating in its futility and blatantly obvious lack of truth.
Baltimore Mayor Jack Young urged residents to put down their guns and heed orders to stay home after multiple people were shot Tuesday night amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Young said hospital beds are needed to treat positive COVID-19 patients and not for senseless violence. Seven people were shot Tuesday night in the Madison Park neighborhood, as Baltimore reported its fifth positive coronavirus case Wednesday.
“I want to reiterate how completely unacceptable the level of violence is that we have seen recently,” Young said. “We will not stand for mass shootings and an increase in crime.”
“For those of you who want to continue to shoot and kill people of this city, we’re not going to tolerate it,” Young implored. “We’re going to come after you and we’re going to get you.”
He urged people to put down their guns because “we cannot clog up our hospitals and their beds with people that are being shot senselessly because we’re going to need those beds for people infected with the coronavirus. And it could be your mother, your grandmother or one of your relatives. So take that into consideration.”
There's more at the link.
The problem is, the mayor is lying - both by omission and by commission.
- "How completely unacceptable the level of violence is" - but it is "acceptable", and has been accepted for years! The fact that nothing effective has been done about it is proof of that. Look at Baltimore's crime rate over the past few years, and see for yourself.
- "We're not going to tolerate it" - yes, they are, and criminals know it! The level of violent crime in Baltimore is completely out of control. It's been tolerated all this time thanks to a city administration that prioritizes political correctness and racial politics over effective policing.
- "We're going to come after you and we're going to get you" - no, they're not. The majority of violent crimes in Baltimore remain unsolved. Since criminals know they can - literally - get away with murder, they see no reason not to go on doing so.
- "It could be your mother, your grandmother or one of your relatives" - unlikely, when the nuclear family in such areas has been effectively and comprehensively destroyed! There are few, if any, traditional family ties among inner-city gang-bangers. Most of them grew up without a father present, to serve as a positive role model. Others, who had fathers on hand, all too often found that those same fathers were gang-bangers themselves. I know. I ran into them, and later their children (who'd learned from their example), in my work as a prison chaplain. That being the case, why should criminals spare a thought for the risk the coronavirus poses to their relatives?
In 2018 the Baltimore Sun reported:
There were 342 homicides in Baltimore last year, 56 per 100,000 people who live in the city. That’s the highest per capita in the city’s history and, according to the FBI report Monday, the highest rate of any American city with more than 500,000 people. It’s also significantly higher than the rate in other big cities.
The city's administration, and its police force, appear mired in political correctness and racial politics. Its leaders spend far too much time arguing about those factors, while ignoring sound government and law enforcement principles. As a result, they're reduced to making inane, ridiculous statements like that which opened this article. It will do nothing to solve the problem - but at least the mayor is on camera sounding tough, looking as if he's addressing the problem. In fact, of course, he's doing nothing of the kind. As Shakespeare would put it, his words are "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".
As for treating the coronavirus pandemic in neighborhoods most affected by crime and violence . . . it's not going to happen. Emergency personnel with any sense at all won't go into such neighborhoods because of the risk to their safety. Those most likely to be afflicted by the virus are the very groups - let's call them what they are: gangs - who've made their own suburbs effectively ungovernable. They won't stop their criminal behavior in the interests of public health: on the contrary, they'll seize on any disruption in administration or law enforcement, or any breakdown in law and order, to commit more crimes. They have no conception of civic duty or responsibility.
As long as Baltimore's administration ignores that reality; as long as it permits such wholesale disregard of law and order to continue; for just so long will the health care situation in Baltimore's inner city suburbs defy any practical solution, just like all other problems in the area. That's what political correctness buys you, every time.