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The US city heading for its deadliest month of shootings in 25 years

Shooting murders are on the rise in the US city of Baltimore. Photo:

You only need to spend a few hours on the streets of Baltimore during the late hours of the night, following the city's police patrol cars, and you very quickly come across victims of shootings.

On the one weekend that we filmed on the streets of the city there were 26 shootings, resulting in 11 deaths, the overwhelming majority of them; young black men.

In one crime scene that we witnessed, emergency services rushed to try to save the life of 28-year-old Marvin Coston Junior. He'd been shot multiple times in the back.

We watched as paramedics frantically tried to resuscitate him the back of the ambulance, but a few minutes later, he was dead.

He is just another victim of America's love affair with guns, a love affair that has seen a worrying spike in gun-related murders across major cities in the USA; Chicago, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New Orleans, St Louis - to name just a few.

The world has grown accustomed to the scarcely believable statistics surrounding gun violence in the USA, but this year is particularly bad. Baltimore itself is on course for its worst month of gun homicides for a quarter of a century.

The issue of gun violence and firearm controls has been an ongoing issue in America. Credit: Reuters

As of July 15th, 6,800 Americans were shot dead. Just to put that into perspective; that's almost two thousand more deaths than the US military lost in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just think about that for a moment.

Baltimore's Police Commissioner, Kevin Davis, was in no doubt what lies behind this crisis. "The accessibility to firearms in this country is unlike any other country," he told me, "and that accessibility to firearms is something our society has to figure. I venture to say it'll be in every Presidential debate every four years until we get it right."

Dr Georges Benjamin, head of the American Association of Public Health wants gun violence to be seen not just as a question of law and order, but as a public health issue; arguing that just as the US dealt with deaths from cars or food safety as a question of trying to save lives, so it should with trying to save lives from guns.