How Do You Stop An Epidemic of Violence?

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I hesitate to even post this story, it is so violent, depressing, and hopeless.

At a recent cookout in East Baltimore, a dozen people were shot – which in itself is bad enough – but is part of a larger wave of violence that swept the city recently.

“The shootings on Conkling were not related to the shooting on Ashland, which might have sparked the shootings at Baltimore and Bond, which might have led to the shootings on Comet, which might have been retaliation for a shooting six months ago which was retaliation for a shooting four months before that, which was retaliation for a kidnapping two months before that,” as the Baltimore Sun explains.

And even worse, in a scenario straight out of The Wire, it seems the cops don’t have enough good intelligence on the shooters, the story reports.

I don’t know what the answer is, which is why I hate to post stories like this…How can a city even hope to overcome this kind of violence?

Thanks to Rust Wire reader and Baltimore resident Eric Noyes for bringing this story to our attention.

2 Comments

Filed under Crime, Featured, Urban Poverty

2 responses to “How Do You Stop An Epidemic of Violence?

  1. Sarah Hartley

    I was just listening to a meditation CD based in Buddhist philosophy and it made the following point. A lot of the problem stems from an “us vs. them” mentality instead of us focusing on what we have in common as humans all trying to enjoy happiness.

    This year I participated in a Challenge Day at a local high school. (It was featured on Oprah.) In a Challenge Day they put kids from all races and socio-economic levels and cliques, etc. in a room and focus on what they have in common. Kids are surprised to learn who else in the room has experienced addiction issues in their family, have relatives in prison, have been ridiculed for the size of their bodies, etc. There are tears and kids actually stand up and spontaneously apologize to other students they have wronged, gossiped about, etc. The participants are then challenged to Be The Change and keep this spirit of inclusiveness and acceptance open throughout the school year, which has actually happened at Marysville (OH) High School. There are parents in Central Ohio who are working to raise funds to hold more Challenge Days in for schools in the area. Anyway, this type of sensitivity training/experiential learning is tremendously helpful and maybe cities and local youth centers could look into it. Continued failure to vaildate each other’s common humanity will just keep the battle lines drawn.

  2. This epidemic of violence is very similar to what we’re currently experiencing in St. Louis, MO now.

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