Maryland ‘first’ in nation to answer Biden’s call to ‘end gun violence’

Maryland’s Democrat governor has established a gun violence prevention center essentially in President Joe Biden’s honor.

Maryland became the first state in the nation to officially answer President Biden’s call,” Gov. Wes Moore told reporters last week, according to Fox News.

Dubbed the Center for Firearm Violence Prevention and Intervention, the new office will operate within the Maryland Department of Health and work to “consolidate and better coordinate Maryland’s public health approach to preventing gun violence,” according to a press release.

“The center will partner with local governments, advocates, and medical professionals engaged in violence intervention programs to build upon the critical gun violence intervention programs that were pioneered in Maryland and help ensure that they are adequately funded and informed by the best available data,” the press release continues.

Why did Moore give Biden credit for the center? Because it was Biden who established the federal Office of Gun Violence Prevention in September 2023. And now thanks to Moore, his state is the first one to adopt a similar statewide office.

This new office comes after a year and a half of Operation Respond, a Baltimore effort aimed at providing “services to those at the highest risk of community gun violence,” according to The Trace.

“A team of resource navigators, social workers, case managers, and other front-line workers provides cognitive behavioral therapy, mentoring, and more — with the goal of reducing gun violence,” The Trace notes.

The gun-related news purveyor notes that Operation Respond is one of several gun programs that would likely benefit from the creation of the new office.

“I’m hoping that this new office will be receptive to the voices on the ground so they can make investments into the real causes, the real issues, and the communities and people who have been exposed to gun violence,” Operation Respond official Dante Johnson told the paper.

Johnson also said that he hopes the new office offers sustainable funding and resources for his project.

“We’re already looking now at how we are going to continue to fund it after three years,” he said, adding that the operation is currently being funded by a three-year federal government grant.

But while he’s personally excited about the new office, many others aren’t. Especially gun owners who worry that the new office will target law-abiding gun owners instead of criminals.

Look:

Take note of the latter tweets about simply prosecuting criminals. Maryland is home to Baltimore, which itself is home to some of the nation’s most soft-on-crime prosecutors like disgraced former State’s Attorney for Baltimore Marilyn Mosby. Prior to her tenure ending last year, criminals were being released left and right.

Take the case of Deonte Walker, who was eventually convicted for murdering Justin Antonio Johnson in January of 2020.

“Less than three years before the killing, Mr. Walker was charged with at least 10 counts, and possibly more,” according to the Maryland Public Policy Institute. “The office of State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby cut him a deal in exchange for a guilty plea to two charges: robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.”

“Although Mr. Walker faced a maximum sentence of 15 years for each count, he received only two years and was freed months before he killed Johnson. He was found guilty in December 2021 of second-degree murder and firearms offenses and sentenced to 50 years in prison,” the institute notes.

Vivek Saxena

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