Mass shootings grab headlines. Baltimore’s gun death epidemic is climbing one fatality at a time
Baltimore was rocked this week by one of its most violent days in history, after a series of shootings that left the city searching for solutions to its deadly epidemic of gun violence.
News reports said a total of 14 people were shot in one daylong stretch that was not even 24 hours long. The casualties included five people of who died of their wounds, in a series of shootings that began at 8:30 a.m. Thursday and ended at 3 a.m. Friday.
“It’s a very violent day,” said Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, who is less than two weeks into his job protecting one of this nation’s most challenging cities.
Homicides — most of which are gun-related in Baltimore — are reported to be up 10 percent year-over-year in the city. “People are tired of the violence,” Police Chief Harrison said last week. “What happened today is totally unacceptable.”
Mass shootings at schools, concerts and businesses devastate communities throughout the country, pulling the heartstrings of Americans. Just last week, a man fired from his job in Aurora, Illinois opened fire on his former coworkers and police, killing five.
But mass shootings account for just a fraction of all shooting deaths throughout the country. And devastating gun violence doesn’t always capture national headlines, as was the case on that particularly bloody Thursday in Baltimore last week.
Neighbors of a quintuple shooting in West Baltimore that killed a 26-year-old man that day told Baltimore Sun newspaper they feared walking to the corner store.
An elderly man who lives near one of the shootings told the Baltimore Sun that the neighborhood deals with such violence by rival drug gangs “every day.”
“We raised up in this neighborhood, but we just got to move. It’s just getting too bad,” the man, who did not reveal his name, told the newspaper.
Gun violence has become a national emergency in the US as over 350,000 people have been killed by firearms over the past decade. This includes nearly 40,000 people who were killed by guns in 2017 alone, CNN reported. That marked the deadliest year for gun violence in recorded history.
Less than two months through 2019, 2,046 people have been killed and 3,565 injured by guns throughout the country, according to the nonprofit website Gun Violence Archive, which tracks U.S. gun violence. Among those killed or injured were 328 teens (ages 12 to 17) and 78 children (ages 0 to 11).
Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Trump administration’s solution to stopping mass shootings in schools is by arming teachers in schools and loosening gun laws.