The city of Baltimore reached a grim milestone in 2015 by racking up more homicides in one year than ever before.
Kevin Rector reported at The Baltimore Sun:
Deadliest year in Baltimore history ends with 344 homicides
Blood was shed in Baltimore at an unprecedented pace in 2015, with mostly young, black men shot to death in a near-daily crush of violence.
On a per-capita basis, the year was the deadliest ever in the city. The year’s tally of 344 homicides was second only to the record 353 in 1993, when Baltimore had about 100,000 more residents.
The killings were on pace with recent years in the early months of 2015 but skyrocketed after the unrest and rioting of late April. In five of the next eight months, killings topped 30 or 40 a month.
Nearly 90 percent of the year’s homicides were the result of shootings, renewing calls for new gun laws. Counting nonfatal shootings, gun violence was up more than 75 percent compared to last year, with more than 900 people shot.
More than 90 percent of the homicide victims this year were boys or men, more than 90 percent were black, and more than half were between the ages of 18 and 30 — reflecting an urban reality that residents and civil rights activists say is devoid of legitimate job opportunities and caught up in the often-violent drug trade.
Many victims were gunned down in the street, often in broad daylight. Others were innocent bystanders struck by bullets fired indiscriminately into crowds. Nearly two dozen were children, many of them toddlers.
While that’s sad news, there is some irony in the part about a “renewed call for new gun laws.”
Jazz Shaw makes the point perfectly at Hot Air:
Perhaps someone could ask Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake what she thinks of the current state of gun laws. Or possibly the better question would be to ask her latest Chief of Police how many of the guns they’ve managed to confiscate from the killers they’ve brought to justice were purchased legally.
I can tell you that the FBI already has a pretty good idea and on a good day it might be between six and eight percent of them. The rest were stolen or purchased on the black market by people who don’t go through background checks or stand on line at a sporting goods store to make sure that they’re law abiding citizens.
Josh Siegel of The Daily Signal provides some further analysis:
What Rising Murder Rates in US Cities Mean for 2016
The 2015 year in crime was marked by a sharp rise in murder rates in many U.S. cities, including those touched by high-profile incidents between police and citizens, such as Baltimore and Chicago.
But the rate of crime overall in America’s largest cities declined in 2015 (as of Dec. 23) compared to the year before, to a level half of what it was in 1990.
This contrast, while not abnormal, has criminologists split on its significance heading into a new year, when attention to police-community interactions, and the broader criminal justice system, promises to be especially intense.
Many in Congress are hoping early this year to act on legislation to reduce prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders.
“The policy takeaway is that there is not a national crime or murder wave, so if people are still pursuing criminal justice reforms, they should be able to do so without thinking there is evidence of a debilitating crime wave,” said Inimai Chettiar, referencing a report she oversaw conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.
Republicans would be wise to run on the promise of returning to law and order.DONATE
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