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Thursday, January 15, 2015

The War Against Youth Homicide

The problem with youth homicides in the city of Baltimore has once again resurfaced. Although some may feel that the issue is regional, the increased number of youth homicides is one which can't be dismissed as simply a local matter.  No one needs a reminder of the importance of youth lives, especially when it's a preventable problem.

In 2014 there were 15 youth deaths in the city of Baltimore. That number is down from 26 deaths in 2008 but equals the number from 2011. In the month of August, city officials issued a curfew for youths age 16 and under.  Although the city has taken a measure to address the issue, it remains one which still needs serious attention.

There are numerous factors which play a role to this ongoing struggle.  There is a national deterioration of the nuclear family, the ever-changing American culture swiftly accepts popular beliefs; but particularly,there is a continual concern regarding gun control in the United States.  Despite the country's provisions on firearm possession, there remains a blind eye to matters pertaining to youth homicide.  One would think that there would be a stronger stance on the issue after the Virginia Tech killings in 2007, and then again after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in 2012. Obviously, the safety of today's youth is far less important than that of other national matters deemed necessary for most Americans.

Eleven-year-old Matthew Thomas was the most recent victim of youth homicide in the city of Baltimore. He was shot by his 54-year-old father in an SUV for a reason which is still being investigated. Matthew 's family said that young Matt loved chemistry sets and Spider-man posters.  He also enjoyed reading and playing Minecraft.  Matthew Thomas was a normal kid. Surely, he was no different than any of the slain others.

Brian L. Elliott, The Scarlet Journal.  Research gathered  from The Baltimore Sun.
January, 13, 2015 EDT 3:35PM