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Baltimore Mayor Has Unusual Idea to Curb Violence

Jack Young suggests public boxing matches
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2019 12:52 PM CDT
Baltimore Mayor Bernard "Jack" Young speaks to the crowd after been sworn in May 9.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(Newser) – Baltimore logged another violent weekend, with one stabbing and eight shootings, reports WBAL. Now Mayor Jack Young is floating an unusual idea to keep the violence in check—public boxing matches. Young mentioned the proposal while discussing ways to keep teens occupied and tempers under control. Mediation is one approach, he said. Another? “If they want to really settle them, we can have them down at the Civic Center, put a boxing ring up, let them go and box it out,” Young said. “[May] the best man win, and the beef should be over. Those are some kinds of things I’m thinking about, and hoping that we can get these people to put these guns down.”

An editorial in the Baltimore Sun assesses the idea and thinks, umm, no. "In a city where violence is too often fueled by cycles of retribution over perceived slights and disrespect, do we really think making a public spectacle of one party to an argument knocking the other to the floor is going to settle things?" The editors say the "weirdly old fashioned" idea might have worked in the old movie Boys Town, but times have changed. They do, however, like the mediation idea and hope the city expands the handful of programs now focusing on that. (Young just took over after the previous mayor resigned amid scandal.)

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