To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Baltimore Dispatches from the Drug War. 19 Shot.

Over the course of 6 hours on 7/27-7/28, 19 people were shot in Baltimore City. 12 were shot during a retaliatory ambush (including a pregnant woman and a 2 year old child) at a cookout/memorial to a murder victim. About four hours later 2 more were shot during what police describe as a "running gun battle" that was most likely related to the cookout shooting. Two hours after that shooting 2 more young males were found shot in East Baltimore.

The bulk of these shootings, including the cookout mass-shooting, were directly related to an ongoing feud between rival drug gangs that stretches back over a year and brings with it kidnappings, shootings and murders.

You might have missed this news if you don't live in the Baltimore area. It would have been easy to -- I didn't see much national coverage in the few places I checked. Nor did I see anything on the spattering of libertarian and drug blogs I checked. That bothers me. It's always bothered me. This should be headline news followed up with commentary by anti-prohibitionists, but rarely do you see that.

When a Baltimore city councilman introduces a bill to decriminalize marijuana I read blog posts, articles, and op-eds about the news. When a 5 year old is shot in the middle afternoon by a stray bullet while playing in street where is the outrage from drug war critics? When 12 are shot, many of them innocent, who's condemning the drug war for the violence?

This is Mexico folks. Some parts of this city make the scariest parts of the middle east look like a campground. Kids are exposed to some of the most heinous things that me and you couldn't even imagine and we expect them to function like contributing members of society. Many have no families to rely upon, no real chance for a job or a future. It's possible for them to get out of it, but it's much harder than it should be. The drug war is responsible for this. It isn't difficult to figure out or prove. It shouldn't be difficult for people with influence to take these violent examples from our cities to the public and make the case for real reform. A pregnant woman and a 2 year old shot should invoke empathy just like a guy in wheelchair who needs medical marijuana.

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