Maryland Attorney General to Host Feb. 4 Forum at UMB on Gun Violence
Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler will host a forum on gun
violence, A Conversation Among Law Enforcement and Community Leaders to
Consider Practical Solutions, on Monday, Feb. 4, at the University of Maryland
(UM) Francis King Carey School of Law.
The forum will be held at Westminster Hall at the intersection of West
Fayette and Greene streets on the Baltimore campus of the University of
Maryland from 9 a.m. to noon.
"We're delighted that the law school can provide a venue for such an
important discussion," said UM Carey Law Dean Phoebe A. Haddon, JD, LLM. "Gun
violence and safety touch all our lives."
Gansler and Haddon will convene two panel discussions by state and
local community leaders from several counties, law enforcement,
prosecutors, legal scholars, and experts. Attendees will be encouraged
to participate in the conversation during the panel discussions as they
explore the risks to families and neighborhoods if we do not take
action and utilize common sense solutions that will work.
Panelist Richard Boldt, JD,
professor at the UM Carey School of Law, says, "This is a good
development prompted by a truly tragic event. The Connecticut school
shooting and other similar events have stimulated renewed discussions
about the need for better treatment resources, especially
community-based resources, for people with mental disabilities."
The forum on Feb. 4 will be an extension of a recent discussion by
Gansler, currently serving as president of the National Association of
Attorneys General (NAAG), and other attorneys general from across the
nation. They joined in a discussion of gun violence with U.S. Vice
President Joe Biden and White House officials seeking to identify and
define the many legal, law enforcement, and systematic changes that
will save lives and prevent injury to Marylanders.
Gansler says, "This event is intended to further that conversation as
we continue to work with Governor O'Malley, members of the General
Assembly, my colleagues in law enforcement, community leaders, and the
people of Maryland to ensure that in 2013 our state makes progress on
"Maryland's Gun Violence Challenges" will be the first panel
discussion. Among the eight speakers will be Tony Batts, Baltimore City
police commissioner; Scott Shellenberger, Baltimore County state's
attorney; Joe Vince, MA, director of the criminal justice program at
Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg; and community activist Rev.
Lena Dennis of Eastern United Methodist Church.
A second discussion,"Reducing Gun Violence - What is Possible?"will
have seven speakers, including Boldt; Vinnie Demarco of Marylanders to
Prevent Gun Violence; Lt. Tim Frye, commander of gun enforcement for
the Maryland State Police; Thomas Manger, Montgomery County police
chief; and Thiru Vignarajah, JD, MA, Baltimore City state's attorney
and adjunct professor at the UM Carey School.
Law Professor Boldt has a special research interest in drug policy and
the legal issues surrounding drug use and drug use disorders. He has
written extensively on drug treatment courts and the problem-solving
"The connection between mental illness and violence is complex,
however," says Boldt. "Most people with mental illness, even severe
mental disease, are not more violent than other folks. The extremely
serious problem of gun violence in our communities, especially the
day-to-day incidents that do not get as much publicity as the mass
shootings at Virginia Tech or Connecticut, should prompt a policy
discussion that focuses primarily on better gun regulation and the
careful enforcement of existing provisions relating to the sale and
possession of guns. I welcome the renewed interest in this topic,
although at the same time I think we should be cautious about how
concerns over mental illness impact the broader consideration of these
|Posting Date: 02/01/2013
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