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Get The Murder Rate Under 200

Photo: Tom Chalkley, License: N/A

Tom Chalkley

Baltimore, this is ridiculous. Just a few years ago, we got the city out of the top 10 “most dangerous” list by, for the first time in three decades, killing fewer than 200 of our fellow citizens over the course of a year.

Then we went back to our murderous norm.

This is mostly not a police problem, Baltimore. Those guys (mostly) live out of town. Hell, lots of them live in Pennsylvania. And damn few of them are murdering us. (Yeah, it happens, but not that much.) This is a problem of Baltimoreans. This is a problem of Baltimore culture.

So, yeah, cops: Step it up. Patrol on foot, use the databases to go after the guys with guns who also tend to use them. And when you catch them, please, Mr. Bernstein, please, Baltimore jurors, and please, please, judges: Sentence those motherfuckers to several decades in the clink. No more of this “20 years, suspend all but two” bullshit.

But mostly this resolution is for the rest of you—the rest of us—living in Baltimore City every day. Everybody: If someone rips off your stash, don’t kill them. Obtain more shit and carry on. So what if you’re a punk? Become a rich punk with a reputation for kindliness and justice.

Also: You are dissed in the club? Let that guy live. Smile. He knows not what he does. Seriously. Life is too short already.

No more stabbing guys for being in the wrong gang or crew. You are a street soldier, not a surgeon, and you have no cause to be in the knife business until you earn that M.D.

When your chief assigns you to deliver a hotshot to some poor sap who fucked up the money? Decline, politely. Junkies make mistakes, and he knows it. He can get more money and live a better, longer life without making every hopper pay the ultimate penalty. Stand up, make the case. Nobody wants to catch a murder charge, even if the chance of catching one this way is remote.

And so on. Stick-up boys? You already know better. It’s just a matter of time before you are going to kill or be killed, and you know it, and your mother knows it, and over what? No amount of money is worth your life, or somebody else’s.

Baltimore, we can do this. BGF, Bloods, Crips, MS13, DMI, and every family in the game. Just stop killing each other. Nobody wins this way.

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