While continued protests in Baltimore draw national attention, a look at historical crime rates show the current rash of violence is less of an anomaly, and more of a slight upward blip. Baltimore’s homicide rate has increased by 25 percent this year, but the city has consistently ranked among the most dangerous in America. According to Police Captain Eric Kowalczyk, while the police department increased ranks due to civil unrest, some of the additional personnel have been redirected toward the ongoing deluge of unrelated crimes citywide.
Baltimore’s population has been falling since the 1960s, likely due to persistent criminal activity. But state lawmakers have turned a deaf ear to those who stay, instead passing increasingly restrictive firearms legislation. No law has ever stopped criminals from misusing firearms—so why doesn’t Maryland instead address the drug and gang issues, and allow the law-abiding sufficient means to protect themselves in the meantime?