What else can be said that has not already been said?
The answer to that question is probably nothing, nothing at all. By this time, you have probably guessed I am about to rehash this community's most serious problem – crime. Yet, despite all the concern being voiced in the community nothing seems to change. It seems that almost nothing is being done. All talk, mostly hot air and absolutely no action.
If I repeat myself bear with me, it is worth noting again. The apparent lack of action against crime doesn't fall squarely and solely on the broad shoulders of our law enforcement officers and agencies. The judicial system simply doesn't work. It is broken and is in desperate need of fixing.
Occasionally, there are brief respites from crime even in this Delta hamlet. The seamier side of our society seems to disappear briefly during our festivals and a few other occasions. But once things are back to normal, so to speak, so are the criminals. Just in the past couple of weeks, I have heard reports of brazen attacks against our citizens. An older couple was beaten and robbed in their own front yard after getting off from work.
On more than one occasion, I have been told that citizens were held up at gunpoint in their own driveways and front yards. People are being beaten and robbed in their own homes. A well-respected radio station owner was shot while attempting to be a “Good Samaritan.” The list goes on and on.
Something has got to give. Most of the incidents mentioned above I have never “officially” received a report about but they have been widely circulated throughout the community that they did indeed occurred.
Just who is to blame for all of this? The answer is society in general. This country has gone soft on crime. In some instances, the criminal goes through the system and comes through it looking more like the victim than the victim of his deed.
A slap on the wrist, or “Johnny don't that again,” simply isn't getting the job done when it comes to discipline. Discipline begins in the home and it must be reinforced at schools. That means mommas and daddies need to support educators in their discipline actions and not running around threatening lawsuits.
Whether they want to admit it or not, parents are responsible for their children's actions. Too many parents want to believe that “My child wouldn't do something like that.” Well, certainly somebody's children are committing these crimes. They didn't raise themselves – or perhaps that is the problem maybe they did raise themselves.
Our society has created a generation of youngsters of entitlement – those who want something for nothing. But the hard cold fact of life is this world and nobody in it owes you a living. You have to earn and work for what you get and achieve in life.
Page 2 of 2 - The generic theme of the old crime and punishment movies was “crime does not pay.” Obviously, our judicial system has not convinced the juvenile criminals of today that is the case.
And we wonder why we can't attract new businesses and industry and why many good people are leaving our community.
Responsibility and accountability are the key words here if we are going to get our society back on the right track. Children must be taught that they are responsible for their actions and there are consequences for making “wrong choices.” Adults shouldn't numb themselves into believing that they can somehow lead their children down the straight and narrow by simply rewarding them when they do something right. Children should grow up learning that doing the right thing is the only acceptable way of doing it and without expecting to get something in return.
Accountability means accepting the “responsibility” for one's poor choices. Punishment is the consequences of making wrong and bad choices.
In the meantime, parents and our justice system must stop letting these youthful offenders off the hook every time they commit a crime. That means more severe and swift punishment.
It may sound like old west vigilante justice in that people have a right to defend themselves, their family, home and possessions from those who try to take them unlawfully. The tragic consequence of this is that usually someone gets hurt or killed. A life of crime need not be the end of the line for these “babies.”