First, get the guns off the street

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION -

Re­gard­ing the Aug. 3 ed­i­to­rial “‘No­body kill any­body’ ”:

As a re­tired sergeant with the Bal­ti­more Po­lice Depart­ment, I know that Bal­ti­more is not “a melt­ing pot of dys­func­tions.” Yes, there is some dys­func­tion, and it’s man­i­fested in the re­al­ity of who is do­ing the killing and who is dy­ing in what the ed­i­to­rial board de­scribed as “a drum­beat of car­nage.”

The re­al­ity is that most of the shoot­ing vic­tims and shoot­ers were and are ca­reer crim­i­nals. It is not my in­tent to min­i­mize the pain of the friends and rel­a­tives of the peo­ple who are killed, but homi­cides in Bal­ti­more have to be put in per­spec­tive. The fo­cus should be on the vec­tor of these killings: guns.

To in­ti­mate that bad schools, a lack of jobs and a lack of es­cape for those who “gaze” upon af­flu­ent neigh­bor­hoods long­ingly are fac­tors in the shoot­ings is lu­di­crous. There are de­cent, hard-work­ing peo­ple liv­ing in these neigh­bor­hoods who are vic­tim­ized by a core of gun-car­ry­ing crim­i­nals.

The main prob­lem is the ubiq­uity of firearms and peo­ple with lengthy crim­i­nal his­to­ries who use them with­out a care for the un­in­tended vic­tims of their vi­o­lent be­hav­ior. Get the guns, then fo­cus with­out dis­trac­tion on the so­cioe­co­nomic is­sues plagu­ing Bal­ti­more. Jim Giza, Bal­ti­more

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