The 107 people charged with murder last year had accumulated a combined 1,065 prior arrests - 380 related to guns and 99 related to drugs.
The 234 people killed last year had a combined 2,404 prior arrests - 162 related to guns and 898 related to drugs.
That's an average of 10 arrests per suspect and 10.3 arrests per victim.
The numbers, from city police logs, are virtually identical for the first nine months of this year, with suspects averaging 11.1 arrests and victims 9.6. And the numbers are virtually identical to statistics from a decade ago. That might help explain why Baltimore, even with a much-heralded 20-year low in slayings last year, is still the nation's second-deadliest city in per-capita homicides, behind only Detroit.
This perfectly supports what several commenters have pointed out, that the problem is an inner city one. It also proves what others have said, most frequently Bob S., that what's needed is to keep these dangerous people in prison. Over at Man With the Muck-Rake, uptheflag wrote a bold piece about this very subject, pulling no punches about who's committing these murders.
I agree with all that, but I also feel gun access plays a part. If so many bad boys in Baltimore didn't have access to so many guns, the bloodshed would have been less.
Since the social and cultural conditions which lead to such abominable violence in cities like Baltimore are not going to be relieved overnight, I believe stricter gun control laws, applied nationally, would cut down on gun flow into the criminal world, which would then cut down on the numbers of murders.
What's your opinion? Is there anything wrong with addressing the social issues at the same time as we address the gun control problem? Can't we do both?
Police repeatedly complain that the people they put in handcuffs only return to the streets to do more harm.
I'd bet the police also complain that as soon as they confiscate a gun from one of these people they put in handcuffs, upon release he quickly gets another gun.
What do you think? What's the solution for cities like Baltimore?
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