Tag: #violence

The Sadness of It All

When I was in high school, I participated in a magnet school program called Health Occupations Students of America. The program was aimed at attracting high school students who were looking for a career in, you guessed it, health occupations. Of course, most of the kids in the program wanted to be physicians or nurses. Very few of us were…

Guns and Suicide

This is going to be about suicide. Please click here to be taken to something lighter if you don’t feel like reading this today. It will always be here for you to read. I won’t get offended if you go check out puppies. I’m not really surprised when I hear that firearms are the preferred method of suicide in the…

The sad story of Mr. Greene

Back in 2016, Robert Ponsi was bicycling through a neighborhood in Baltimore when he was suddenly attacked by a group of teenagers. From WBAL: “Robert Ponsi was found with multiple stab wounds at Venable Avenue and Old York Road around 9:10 p.m., police said. He was pronounced dead at 3:51 a.m. at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Homicide detectives said someone was…

The “Militarization” of the Johns Hopkins University Campus

There’s a bill in the Maryland State Assembly that will allow Johns Hopkins University to have its own police force. From The Baltimore Sun: “The legislation already has the backing of several Baltimore lawmakers, who said it will increase safety in the city without costing taxpayer dollars. Hopkins officials said Monday in a message to university community members that they…

Is Gun Violence the Symptom or the Disease?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are about 33,500 firearm deaths each year in the United States. There are also within those about 21,300 suicides by firearm each year in the United States. That’s over 50,000 a lot of people each year whose lives are ended by firearms. (Edit: I corrected the numbers. See the comment by…

Epidemic Curves and Homicide Counts in Baltimore

One of the tools that we use in the investigation of outbreaks is the epidemic curve, or, as we say in the biz, the “epi curve.” An epidemic curve is a simple graphical representation of the number of cases per a unit of time over a span of time. For example, you could graph the number of new cases of diarrhea…

The Imbalances of Violence

There’s a theory in criminology called the “Routine Activities Theory.” The theory posits that there are three factors that figure into whether or not violence happens in a particular place and time, and how much violence happens. The three factors are targets, guardians and villains (aka “motivated offenders”). I’ll explain the factors a little more in a little bit, but…

Respect the Police, or Be Killed

Take a look at the slide being presented in this story from The Baltimore Sun: It reads: “If you are stopped, questioned, or detained by a law enforcement official: Approach him or her with respect. Retain your composure and conduct yourself in a mature manner. Avoid any action or language that might trigger a more volatile situation, possibly endangering your life…

The Parent Ren, Part IV: The Big Bad World Out There

There was a tremendous earthquake in Mexico City today, 32 years to the day of the big one in 1985. (Seriously, what are the odds?) There is also a category 5 hurricane heading to Puerto Rico. In Myanmar, the army is systematically killing Muslims as the survivors of the “cleansing” are making their way to Bangladesh by the thousands. The…

When and Where Matter in Understanding Violence in Baltimore

If you been paying attention, Baltimore has been in the grip of an epidemic of violence going on two-plus years now. If you look closely at the crime statistics, you’ll see that there was an increase in the rate of homicides per day starting around March or April of 2015. The riots/uprising/call-it-what-you-will that happened at the end of April were,…