It was a dark night two years ago, and I had to head out to a prayer service just a mile away from my home outside northwest Baltimore City. The carjackings and break-ins had spread to the suburbs, and the security situation was worse than at any time in my entire life, including during the Freddie Gray riots in 2015 and during the crime wave of the early 1990s. My neighbors were scared to even take their trash to the curb at night, although there were plenty of muggings and carjackings occurring during broad daylight too. To carry my gun or not to carry – that was the question on my mind this particular night.
You see, growing up just outside northwest Baltimore City (the county is also called Baltimore) my entire life, I developed a good sense of caution mixed with a good sense of geography. I always had negative feelings associated with the direction “south,” because the further south we’d travel from home, the worse the potholes would be to maneuver and the more likely you’d get mugged … or worse. Perhaps it was ingrained in me from the day I was born in the hospital in the northwest, where there are shootings every night behind the Saini Hospital campus.
But that’s the thing about Baltimore City, or as we call it, “the City.” The criminals could carry guns all they want and rack up more homicides per capita than in any other city. Yet law-abiding citizens could never carry guns to protect themselves. The police would never be there for us if we were in a pickle, but boy would they clamp down on us if we were caught “illegally” carrying in Maryland.
This was the thought that weighed on me that summer night in 2017. For the first time in my life, I considered carrying my full-size H&K VP9 just to go out to the prayer service, which was a few blocks into the City’s northwest area. It would only be for a half-hour, and I felt I needed it just to get to my car in front of my own home in a suburb! Yet, like most law-abiding citizens, even though I knew that Maryland was violating the most inviolable natural right enshrined even before the Bill of Rights, I decided to abide by the state’s lawless law and not carry.
I knew how strict they were. You see, the police will never be there for you if you are violently attacked in one of the very common beatings that take place in the city and often wind up on Drudge’s website. Even after the fact, the “youths” who have accrued multiple felonies within a few months won’t serve a day in prison because … “criminal justice reform!” But let me tell you, if you are a peaceful citizen seeking nothing more than self-defense via a natural right enshrined in the Bill of Rights, those cops will somehow be there to catch you. And you won’t be a beneficiary of “criminal justice reform, either.