Ralph E. Moore Jr.

By Ralph E. Moore, Jr.,
The Moore Report,
The Afro American News

If it were just a board game of gun violence, it wouldn’t hurt so badly but it is not a game. Real lives are being lost.  As the slogan would say, “you gotta play” to lose. Unfortunately, we hit 610 mass shootings in our nation in 2022, including the recent  one in Colorado Springs, Colo. and another shortly afterward in Chesapeake, Va. That’s over six hundred mass shootings in which at least four persons have been killed since the beginning of this year. And in Baltimore City, we reached 300 murders for the eighth year in row.

The violence level, unique to the U.S., is embarrassing, frustrating and depressing and the stories behind the losing numbers are appalling. Of the 39,935 persons who died from gun deaths in America this year, almost half of them were murders or accidental shootings. Another 21,714 were suicides, according to the statistics kept by law enforcement and Amnesty International. Guns are the problem:People are either shooting to kill one another or folks are killing themselves. There are simply too many guns around.

The young man who shot up Walmart’s employee break room in Chesapeake, Va. Nov. 22 was a 31-year-old night manager who had been with the company for 10 years.  He apparently didn’t get along with some of his co-workers and decided to kill six of them at 10:12 pm before killing himself.  He injured another six in his rampage.

The Colorado Springs, Colo. shooting took place at an LGBTQ bar—clearly a hate crime (maybe a self-hate crime on the part of the mass murderer).  Five persons dead and the shooter captured by two patrons of the bar out for a night of entertainment but determined to stop the killing once it started.  One captor, though unarmed, pummeled the shooter defenseless, disfiguring his face with massive Marine Corp-trained punches. The other captor took off a high heel shoe and used it as a weapon to help stop the deadly assault. When the shooter appeared at his court hearing the next day his face was massively disfigured and he was slumped over in his wheelchair. No one is feeling sorry for him, I’ll bet.

Weapons can give a false, if not an overrated, sense of security or can be an easily accessible way of acting out prejudices, anger or revenge. Perhaps if there were not so many guns around, there would not be so much death. Guns are not the answer. 

The message needs to go out to our city leaders: we need you to send the word that more guns in Baltimore City, regardless of who carries them, are not the answer.  We need deeper responses to so much violence than the JHU proposal of a private, armed police force.  We need more real change in our city, such as the guaranteed annual income program the mayor has instituted here.  We need less stress and unbridled anger derived from poverty, drug addiction, low-paying jobs, struggling schools and not enough access to physical, mental and emotional health in our town.

Above all, we need fewer guns in Baltimore City and the rest of the nation. Guns are not the answer. It’s time to spend more time on a serious redistribution of wealth.

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