To be fair, we may have reached the point where the office of the Mayor of Baltimore is by definition filled by an incompetent official. The last one, you’ll recall, is headed to prison. Ah for those happy days when William Donald Schaefer was mayor, and acting silly while everyone knew he was competent and trustworthy! That seems like a long time ago.
Here is part of what current Baltimore Mayor Jack Young said today:
“I want to reiterate how completely unacceptable the level of violence is that we have seen recently. We will not stand for mass shootings and an increase in crime. For those of you who want to continue to shoot and kill people of this city, we’re not going to tolerate it. We’re going to come after you and we’re going to get you….we cannot clog up our hospitals and their beds with people that are being shot senselessly because we’re going to need those beds for people infected with the coronavirus. And it could be your mother, your grandmother or one of your relatives. So take that into consideration.”
- This is little different from the Struthers, Ohio, police department posting on Facebook, which I noted here,
“Due to the coronavirus, the police department is asking that all criminal activities stop until further notice. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation in the matter. We will update you when we deem it’s appropriate to proceed with yo bad selves.”
That, however, was a podunk Ohio’ town’s police department, they were talking about routine crimes, and they were plausibly joking. This is a big city mayor who is talking about murder, and he’s not joking. He’s begging.
- Futility looks weak, and is weak. This is futile. It is an admission of desperation and powerlessness.
A leader who gets to this point might as well quit.
- Do murderers really care that their victims may end up in beds that are needed by pandemic victims? Young might as well have said, “If you shoot someone, kill them. The City will be running a free marksmanship clinic as part of its pandemic control efforts.” That would be better, right? Killings don’t take up beds, just botched shootings.
The mayor is literally saying that the worst thing isn’t the shooting and killing, it’s that the violence is crowding out pandemic patients. Funny, I thought killing a human being was always the worst thing. And is it just the senseless killings that are a problem? Are the thoughtful killings, like to discourage incursions on drug dealing territories, acceptable?
- More weakness: “We will not stand for mass shootings and an increase in crime.” That’s a joke: Baltimore has stood for it, and violent crime has been increasing there for years. The Mayor should have brought along a desk to pound on—that would have scared them. “Ooh, he’s mad now; he really means it. Better not shoot anyone any more!” Then we get the posturing and the bluff:
“For those of you who want to continue to shoot and kill people of this city, we’re not going to tolerate it. We’re going to come after you and we’re going to get you.”
Sure. Mayor. Whatever you say. We didn’t really try to stop the shootings before we needed all these beds, but now, I swear, we’re finally serious. Really. I mean it. Seriously. I’m not kidding this time. Watch out.