BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore Mayor Jack Young has a suggestion on how the city could help end street beefs — a public boxing ring.
“You know gun violence is something that has been plaguing this city for 10 years,” Young said at a rally against gun violence Sunday, “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 said the city can find other means to settle disputes: “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 a box it out.”
“The best man win and the beef should be over,” he added. “Those are some of the things I’ve been thinking about — hoping we can get these people to put these guns down.”
On Sunday, Mayor Young joined hundreds of people from Walk By Faith Ministries to kick off the Bmore United Rally Against Gun Violence.
His message comes just hours after four people were shot in the city– including a 23-year-old man.
Jessica Warner said a place for kids to get aggression out could work to curb the crime.
“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,” Warner said.
Baltimore City Recreations and Parks, that manages Upton Boxing Center, said their programs provide a safe haven for youth to learn the fundamentals of boxing and wrestling.
They added that boxing can be a transformative outlet for youth and adults.
But, some people said it’s going to take a lot more than boxing to stop the violence.
“It would be a start but it’s not going to solve the issue,” said Tony Carter of Baltimore.
“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,” said Sherlean Tarrant, also of Baltimore.
Friday marks National Gun Awareness Day and the City States’ Attorneys Office will have an event at the Shake and Bake Family Fun Center as part of its summer youth activities.