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Baltimore gun mayhem: Lesson for Maryland democrats

Gregory Kane | 6/28/2013, midnight

Twenty shot the weekend that started Friday, June 21 and ended Sunday, June 23, 2013.

Two more shot Monday, June 24 and five shot Tuesday, June 25. That’s 27 people shot in a five-day period in Baltimore.

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Gregory Kane

Now, a couple of questions for Maryland Democrats, especially those state legislators who voted to ban assault weapons and to require anyone buying a firearm in the state to be fingerprinted.

How many of those shootings were committed with assault weapons? And how many of the perps were law-abiding citizens that recently bought firearms who needed to be fingerprinted?

All the facts aren’t in, but my guess is that the answers are “none” and “none.”

Maryland Democrats passed the law banning assault weapons after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December. It was an emotional reaction designed to do precisely what it has done: nothing.

Those same Democratic legislators decided to add an insult to those law-abiding Marylanders that seek to buy firearms by requiring them to now be fingerprinted.

Before the law was passed, only those arrested— or those looking for specific employment required security checks— were required to be fingerprinted. Let’s be clear about the message Maryland Democrats sent by now requiring that law-abiding citizens seeking to buy firearms be fingerprinted.

Maryland Democrats fear armed, law-abiding citizens more than they do criminals.

When lawmakers fear law-abiding citizens, we’ll get legislation like the we got this past session when the Legislature met: a statute that requires people who’ve committed no crime and are engaged in otherwise legal conduct to be fingerprinted.

Neither law— not the one that requires gun owners to be fingerprinted nor the one banning assault weapons— had any impact on the violence that racked Baltimore from June 21 to June 25.

The laws didn’t prevent the death of little 16-month-old Carter Scott either, or the shooting of his father Rashaw Scott in a late May Cherry Hill incident.

In the Scott shootings, which I have previously written about in this column, at least one of the suspects has a criminal record that includes a charge of illegal possession of a handgun while a convicted felon.

How much of the June 21 to June 25 mayhem on Baltimore’s streets, was caused by people with criminal records similar to, or worse than, the suspect in the Scott shootings?

That knowledge, at this point, isn’t known. And you can bet state Democrats, be they in the Legislature or on the Baltimore City Council, have no interest in getting that knowledge.

No, they thought it would be far more effective to focus their efforts on banning assault weapons, which are rarely, if ever, used in the type of street crime we saw in Baltimore from June 21 to June 25, and busting the hump of law-abiding citizens by requiring them to be fingerprinted.

We now know just how effective both laws have been in curbing gun violence on Baltimore’s streets. Those laws have been every bit as ineffective as those draconian gun control laws in Chicago have been in curbing that city’s firearms violence.

The weekend before June 21 through June 23, 46 people were shot in Chicago, eight of them fatally. Like

Baltimore and the entire state of Maryland, Chicago, is run by Democrats who feel the problem with gun violence is the firearm, not the criminal who uses the firearm.

The weekend of June 14 through June 16 isn’t the first time the Windy City saw such mayhem. There were a couple of similar weekends in 2012.

Chicago’s gun control laws have failed. The feeble attempt of the Maryland Legislature— and the governor who signed its misguided statutes into law— has failed.

Gun violence of the kind that has occurred in Chicago and Baltimore, is caused by the criminal, not the gun. Legislators seeking to pass laws to curb such violence need to recognize that fact.