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News Opinion Readers Respond

How many homicides does it take before city officials acknowledge we have a problem?

Anthony Guglielmi, the Baltimore City Police Department spokesperson, has outdone himself for asinine quotes in his response to the shooting spree that occurred the weekend of June 22 that left at least 18 people shot, eight of them fatally: "This is a little bit of a spike in terms of the weekend, but all in all, we're pretty satisfied with the way the city is headed, violence-wise" ("Eight killed in bloody weekend," June 24).

Who talks like that? I will ignore the use of the imperial "we" and make the bald assumption that he isn't speaking for Police Commissioner Anthony Batts, who I think might want to rein in his spokesman when it comes to commenting on gun violence in the city.

I tell you where the city is headed: it will remain in the FBI's top 10 most dangerous cities in the country unless a more imaginative attempt at preventing gun violence is tried, including prevention, not just apprehension.

Some departments have initiated handgun bounty programs where an anonymous tip about someone illegally carrying a gun can make you a few bucks. Recently published FBI data has Baltimore at number nine in the violent top 10. That dubious achievement should be enough to catch Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's attention and make her think about finding some cash to jump start a tip program that might make her push to entice families to move to Baltimore more achievable.

I would also point out to City Councilman Brandon Scott that it isn't lousy parenting that's killing Baltimoreans but guns. Before you start talking about funding "family strengthening programs," whatever they are, let's try getting guns out of the hands of the offspring of supposedly weak family environments first.

The seeming acceptance of a certain level of gun violence is baffling, especially given the department's spokesperson description of the18 shooting victims and eight deaths as "these incidents [that] are going to happen, so we want to set realistic expectations."

My response to that winner of a quote: Just what is what is a "realistic" amount of gun violence for this city? Since Mr. Guglielmi doesn't live in Baltimore his glibness about gun violence in the city where I live is appalling.

J.G. Giza

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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