The state needs to save Baltimore now

By: Sam Jones, Columnist

On the opening week of the 2020 Maryland General Assembly, former Senate president, Mike Miller addressed the floor to highlight a key issue facing Maryland: gun violence in Baltimore. 

“My point is this, we’re sitting here while Rome is burning,” Miller stated. “We really need to address it.” 

Senator Miller was at one time the longest sitting State Senate President in the country. After being diagnosed with cancer during the 2019 General Session, Miller decided to step down from his leadership role. Democratic leadership has been big talk when it comes to addressing the violence crisis in Baltimore this year; however, all they have done is support legislation that will make the state of Maryland less safe.

The most insane legislation brought forward would make the state of Maryland a sanctuary state. Democrat lawmakers wish to change the law so local law enforcement would be prohibited from questioning a detainee’s immigration status. Any offender should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Anything else does not make the state of Maryland safer, and certainly does not pour water on our burning city.

Additionally, some Maryland legislators are going after law abiding citizen’s gun rights. Instead of combating the illegal gun ownership in Baltimore, legislation has been proposed to require background checks for all rifle and shotgun sales. While the majority of the violence in Baltimore are with legally-owned handguns, Democrats would rather focus on limiting law abiding citizen’s rights to own long rifles and shotguns. Background checks are never a bad thing in my opinion, however this legislation also fails to pour water on the desperately burning Baltimore City. 

Finally, a bill similar to the AOC approved “Green New Deal” has made its way into the Maryland legislature. Similarly to AOC’s version, this bill is absolutely absurd. Senate Bill 926, the “Climate Solutions Act of 2020” would require the State of Maryland to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Additionally, this bill calls for the planting of 1 million additional trees over the previous year’s baseline. While climate change is a large issue, this legislation being pushed by many democratic lawmakers fails to produce any more safety to Baltimore City or the State of Maryland. 

While law and order should be the top focus for the Maryland General Assembly, democratic lawmakers have made it clear that their priorities lie elsewhere. Repuclian lawmakers, however, have taken the challenge and are proposing legislation that would begin to sprinkle water on burning Rome.

Senator Michael Hough from Frederick County is sponsoring several bills that would specifically target crime in Baltimore. Senate Bill 35 would remove an exemption for the use of a firearm during the act of dealing drugs, meaning that if a person is dealing drugs and draws a firearm on someone, they will receive a minimum sentence and felony charges for the firearm. One would think that this is common sense legislation, however it is not current law. 

Another Senator Hough sponsored bill would require the state to grant a concealed carry permit to an individual that complies with and passes all required background checks and safety courses. This could help so many law-abiding citizens living in Baltimore City protect themselves and their loved ones. After all, law abiding citizens are not the ones committing these violent acts. Criminals with illegal firearms commit the vast majority of these brutal acts, and democratic lawmakers should shift their focus to these individuals.

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