Wednesday’s shooting homicide marked the 211th in Baltimore this year, and now Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is taking a hard look at the nation’s gun control measures.
Police discovered a man who had been fatally shot in a vacant house in the Penn-North neighborhood of west Baltimore Wednesday, just one more death in a series of what the mayor is calling “four strands of rivalry and retaliation.”
The city hasn’t seen this many homicides this early in the year since the 1990’s, and Rawlings-Blake raised her concerns during a City Hall meeting.
“There are four major strands that are impacting the homicide rate in Baltimore,” said Rawlings-Blake. “We can trace it and we can trace the players. There are known entities who are battling it out on the streets like this is the Wild West, and we need help.”
Rawlings-Blake called on the public for help, requesting that anyone with information about the next potential victim or suspect come forward.
“If you know someone who is involved in this, who you know are either the next victim or the next perpetrator, if you don’t want to see your loved on die in the streets, we need you to help us do something, because if they are involved in these strands, it’s coming,” said Rawlings-Blake.
Rawlings-Blake acknowledged that Maryland already has strict gun control laws, but in light of the near record-breaking homicide rate in the city she encouraged stricter gun laws on a national level.
“What I am saying [is] the current approach, the state-by-state approach, has not been effective,” said Rawlings-Blake.
(The following was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers)