Again, we get the same pap from Gov. Larry Hogan about combating violent crime in Maryland (”Maryland Gov. Hogan renews push for crime bills as lawmakers return to Annapolis,” Jan. 10). Back in October in his Re-Fund the Police Plan, he proposed that wage increases and bonuses for Maryland law enforcement officers, body cameras, more training, matching Metro Crime Stopper awards and more money for neighborhood safety grants were steps toward increasing public safety and combating violent crime. Now, it is the same horse being walked around the track along with proposed money for beautifying Maryland State Police barracks and erecting a new tactical service building.
How, I ask, are any these funded initiatives going to impact gun violence in Maryland, specifically in Baltimore? A proactive program for removing illegally carried guns and the carriers off our streets is noticeably absent and I assert the the reason being is that the governor, including his MSP superintendent, Baltimore’s mayor as well as the city’s police commissioner don’t have a clue about how to combat illegally carried guns on our streets, or they would say so in clear, understandable English, not obfuscating behind a wall of bromides about “root causes of crime,” a euphemism for gun violence and other nonsensical talk.
Other elected officials are also guilty for hiding behind ludicrous statements similar to those of Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson who is quoted as saying in a previous interview that “gun violence is out of control.” Isn’t that brilliant. His other insightful observations without any possible concrete initiatives, included: “things are broken and the trajectory that we are on is totally unsustainable,” that it’s “time to hit reset,” and that there’s “no one singular solution.” Oh, right, he does suggest that state and federal officials need to be on the proverbial “same page” and come up with a “multi-pronged plan that holds people accountable for crimes.” Gun carriers are unlikely to be running for the hills when they read this stuff.
My advice to our elected leaders is to following two pieces of advice I learned from my fellow veterans. First, “who dares, wins,” and, in more of a gamble for a good cause: “Do something even if it is wrong.” In other words, and if I may indulge in my own cliché, put up or shut up.
Jim Giza, Baltimore
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