There are still more people dying in Baltimore from gunshot wounds than the coronavirus pandemic, a trend that “social distancing” hasn’t slowed down very much. It’s gotten so bad that the mayor felt compelled to beg the gangs to stop shooting people so they can save hospital beds for the COVID-19 patients. That’s why it seemed vital for the state legislature to finally push through some tough new gun crime laws designed to get some of these shooters behind bars and keep them there.
Unfortunately for the residents of Maryland, Democrats in the legislature didn’t see it that way. The recent package of bills intended to reduce gun violence was once again rejected. (Free Beacon)
Maryland Democrats rejected a bill aimed at combating gun violence as Baltimore mayor Jack Young publicly begged residents to stop shooting each other so hospitals could be used to treat coronavirus patients…
[Governor Larry] Hogan’s Violent Firearms Offenders Act would make the theft of a firearm a felony and increase penalties for those who repeatedly carry illegal guns or use a gun while drug dealing. The bill passed the state Senate on March 10 following a contentious back-and-forth between lawmakers. Democrats successfully removed the legislation’s mandatory minimum sentencing increase, arguing it would punish violent criminals too severely.
The legislation was already watered down enough to make it less than useful. Democrats in the state senate wouldn’t even discuss the proposal if it included new mandatory minimum sentences for felonies involving the use of a gun. Of course, the lack of minimum sentences is what led Baltimore police to describe their current crisis as a revolving door for gang members who commit gun crimes.
Even without the mandatory minimum sentencing rules, the Democrats in the House still rejected the bill anyway. Some of their members on the Judicial Proceedings Committee put up one amendment after another, seeking to remove the new penalties for drug busts involving a gun and for the theft of a gun. They picked the bill so clean that it would have left the new gun crime penalties as pretty much the equivalent of a strongly worded letter. Also worth noting is the fact that one recent poll showed Hogan’s gun crime bill was supported by 85% of Baltimore residents and 84% of African-Americans across the state. And still, the legislature shot it down (pardon the figure of speech) in defiance of the will of the voters.
How much sympathy can we really have for the suffering citizens of Baltimore at this point? Yes, this collapse in the process was the fault of the legislators, but the people of Maryland – and Baltimore in particular – keep sending the same group of liberal Democrats back to office year after year. They really have no one to blame but themselves.
So the Baltimore PD won’t be rounding up any of the gang members doing most of the shooting for longer stretches behind bars any time soon. But do you know who they will be preparing to arrest? People who don’t comply with shutdown orders due to the pandemic. (CBS Baltimore)
Businesses and individuals who don’t comply with Gov. Hogan’s order to shut down dine-in service could be fined up to $5,000 or spend a year in jail.
The governor announced an executive order Monday restricting public gatherings and business operations due to COVID-19, and state police and local law enforcement agencies say they will be involved, when needed, to enforce the governor’s executive order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Welcome to Baltimore. It’s a city where you can literally shoot someone on the street corner and potentially be let off with a suspended sentence, but you’ll get a year in the slammer and a hefty fine for serving a cheeseburger. God bless America.