Baltimore Mayor Jack Young has suggested using a public boxing ring to help curb street violence in the city.
The mayor made the suggestion at the Baltimore United Rally Against Gun Violence on Sunday (June 2), where he was joined by hundreds from Walk By Faith Ministries.
The rally took place hours after four people, including a 23-year-old man, were shot in the city, CBS report.
Speaking at the event, the Mayor said:
You know gun violence is something that has been plaguing this city for 10 years, and you know the murder rate in this city and non-fatal shooting rate in this city has increased.
I’m not happy with it and neither should the citizens of Baltimore.
Young suggested violence could be controlled by having people channel their aggression into a fair fight.
He said the city could find other means to settle disputes, explaining:
There’s mediation. You know if they really want to settle them, we can have them down at the civic center — put a boxing ring up and let ’em go box it out.
The best man win and the beef should be over. Those are some of the things I’ve been thinking about — hoping we can get these people to put these guns down.
Baltimore City Recreations and Parks, which manages Upton Boxing Center, said their programs can provide a safe haven for youth to learn the fundamentals of boxing and wrestling, and added how the sport can be a transformative outlet for both youth and adults.
Some local residents said the idea had potential, though they admitted it wouldn’t solve the problem altogether.
Speaking to CBS, Sherlean Tarrant commented:
If they’re really interested, yes but there’s some that will fall by the waistline and you may not be able to reach them with any outlet.
Another resident, Tony Carter, added:
It would be a start but it’s not going to solve the issue.
— Baltimore City Hall (@BaltCityHall) May 31, 2019
Baltimore woman Jessica Warner was supportive of the suggestion, saying:
Anything that can kind of get rid of that aggression people have is really beneficial, granted they’re still putting their hands on each other but it’s a controlled environment they know what’s going on.
I’m sure nothing would be quite as effective as banning guns altogether in the US, but Young’s idea is definitely… an idea.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.