The spate of shootings Sunday night and early Monday morning culminated a bloody weekend in which about two dozen people were shot, including four who were killed. But the violence belies police statistics that show shootings and overall gun crimes are down significantly from last year.
Like I said last time we talked about the FBI report that violent crime was down in 2008, this kind of talk, especially about Baltimore, makes me think of The Wire. Are they "juking the stats" again? That's always my question.
Baltimore recorded a 20-year low in homicides last year with 234 slayings, and could come close to that figure again.
Homicides are up 6.6 percent, with 130 people having been killed as of Monday morning, compared with 122 during the like period last year.
Shootings, however, are down markedly, with about 100 fewer people who were shot and survived. Even as at least 18 people were shot Sunday night, nonfatal shootings remain down 29.4 percent for the year, with 230 people shot as of Monday morning compared with 326 at this point last year.
Does that sound right to you? They used to have 6 murders a week, now it's only 5. What's the point, exactly? Is somebody going to divide the number of murders by the population of Baltimore to make the same point? Or better yet, why doesn't someone divide the number of murders by all the stars in the galaxy? That's what Mike W. does sometimes.
My point is 250 murders a year is unacceptable.
What's your opinion? Is Baltimore doing pretty well these days? Is the fact that they used to be doing so much worse, comforting? In addition to the 24 people who were shot with guns last weekend, four of whom died, do you think an equal number were stabbed with knives? I keep hearing so much about knives from the pro-gun folks.
Do you think anyone has thought of checking all the vacant buildings that are boarded up? What they need to do is check the nails that secure the plywood in place. Where it's a new shiny nail from a nail gun, they've got bodies inside. If it's secured with old rusty screws they can leave it alone.