It’s no secret that gun violence is one the hottest talking points across America. Just last weekend, a longtime Virginia Beach city employee shot and killed 12 people before being gunned down by police. In places like Baltimore, which regularly ranks among the most dangerous cities in America, gun violence is front and center of every general election.
At a recent public rally ahead of National Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 7, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young gave one of the most creative responses to fixing unnecessary gun violence in his city. With a stern face and tone that sounded almost too serious, Young gave an unusual suggestion to correcting the problem: let’s bust out the gloves and have a boxing match.
“You know gun violence is something that has been plaguing [Baltimore] for 10 years, and you know the murder rate in this city and non-fatal shooting rate in this city has increased,” Young said at the rally. “I’m not happy with it and neither should the citizens of Baltimore.”
The largest city in Maryland recently invested $270,000 in an audio system called ShotSpotter, which senses loud noises like gunfire, then analyzes their location for immediate response by police and law enforcement. Pretty cool, right? Sure, it’s not a perfect solution for disputes that result in pulling out a gun, but the city’s acting mayor thinks he knows another way that could help stop shootings before they begin.
“You know, if they really want to settle [disputes], we can have them down at the Civic Center — put a boxing ring up and let them go box it out. The best man wins and the beef should be over”
Bernard C. “Jack” Young became Baltimore’s acting mayor on May 2, 2019 after Catherine Pugh resigned following a bout with pneumonia that coincided with a book deal scandal. Obviously Young is trying to win favor with the people of Baltimore, but this is a little ridiculous.
That Civic Center he’s talking about? It’s also known as Royal Farms Arena, which seats somewhere around 11,000 people and has hosted events like WWE Extreme Rules, ArenaBowl XXXI, and concerts such as Garth Brooks, The Eagles, and Stevie Wonder.
Is this what it’s come to? Are we really heading downtown to a public boxing match for a Friday night, three-round exhibition between neighbors over whose car gets the last parking spot on the street? Honestly, I wouldn’t mind going toe-to-toe with my neighbor who keeps letting his dog take dumps in my front yard, but this can’t be a serious alternative to the misuse of guns.
With a stern look, Young added that was one of “the things I’ve been thinking about” to get people to “put these guns down.”
I’m all for education surrounding proper and responsible gun use, but this is absurd. If Baltimore’s mayor is seriously considering setting up boxing matches between people, and he firmly believes these are the kinds of things that will reduce violence in his city, then I’m very concerned Jack Young has no idea what he’s doing.