Letter to the editor: Baldwin wrongly targets group homes after homicide
There was a recent tragic event in Baldwin involving a dispute between co-workers and an ultimate homicide. It would be understandable if Baldwin leaders reacted by beginning a debate about violence and gun control. Instead, the borough took this as a time to propose a restructure of ordinances related to the existence of community group homes for individuals with disabilities (“Baldwin looks to set rules for group homes,” July 12, TribLIVE).
No disabled individual or group home resident was involved in the shooting; the violence occurred between two adult workers. Yet Baldwin is considering redefining “group home,” looking to increase inspections and even restrict the locations of these homes.
If the shooting occurred between two McDonald’s employees, would Baldwin revisit ordinances involving fast-food restaurants? If violence occurred between two individuals living together, which is far more likely to result in a domestic situation, would we debate whether individuals should be allowed to cohabitate?
Individuals with disabilities have the right to live in the community, and to be involved in community activities, as much as any other citizen. Baldwin leaders should be embarrassed and rescind their proposed actions, which have wrongly targeted disabled individuals.
Richard S. Edley