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The Helena Arkansas Daily World - Helena, AR
  • Too many shootings

  • Shooting incidents in a town the size of Helena-West Helena are much too frequent these days. Homicides at the hands of irresponsible people with guns have reached epidemic proportions nationwide. All too often, national news headlines of the day include youngsters going on a shooting rampage at a school.
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  • Shooting incidents in a town the size of Helena-West Helena are much too frequent these days. Homicides at the hands of irresponsible people with guns have reached epidemic proportions nationwide. All too often, national news headlines of the day include youngsters going on a shooting rampage at a school.
    Some seem to think that the solution to the problem is to make it more difficult for the criminal to get their hands on a gun even if it means taking protection out of the hands of law-abiding citizens. However, the truth of the matter is that we already have strict laws on the books regarding the purchase of weapons; they simply aren’t being enforced.
    Let’s stop kidding ourselves. Criminals, professionals and amateurs, are going to get a gun one way or the other. It has become more and more increasingly obvious that law enforcement officers simply cannot protect everyone because it is humanly impossible to be in more than one place at the same time. It almost seems that owning a gun is becoming almost as much of a necessity as possessing a vehicle.
    Two things simply must change if law and order is to eventually be restored to Helena-West Helena and the entire nation for that matter. First, our judicial system simply must quit turning repeat criminals back out on the streets. I don’t have the answer to where they will all be housed but this is something that has got to be done. Way too many criminals are apprehended only to be turned loose to eventually harm someone else.
    Next, if any laws are to be changed it should be to increase the penalty for the use of a gun in the commission of any felony whether anyone is injured or not. An argument over a cell phone set off a neighborhood gun battle in Helena-West Helena last week. The argument escalated and more than 50 shots were fired – one seriously injuring an innocent bystander, a Helena woman who was struck by a stray bullet. Shots also were fired into a residence.
    There is simply no excuse for innocent people getting gunned down on our streets. Let’s stop watering down offenses to such petty issues as illegally discharging a firearm within the city limits. For Pete’s sake, a felony has been committed. No one has the right to fire a gun (I am not talking about hunting here) except in self-defense or the protection of one’s home, family and property.
    Apparently life has become very cheap to some of our young people. Violent video games as well as TV shows are partially responsible for the problem. Obviously, youngsters have a difficult time separating fantasy from reality. Without adult supervision, some youngsters seem to think that violence is the easy way of solving their problems.
    Page 2 of 2 - A major problem we are also facing is the fact that too many children are raising themselves. Too often parents provide the physical needs and material desires of their offspring but provide absolutely no companionship or advice. There simply isn’t anyone there to tell them right from wrong. Sure there was plenty of violence on TV when I was growing up but my parents quickly informed me that it was all make believe. Those actors were pretending; when they got shot they appeared on another program the following week.
    Some youngsters wielding weapons don’t realize that the people they shoot won’t get back up. In other words, they’ve produced a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
    Illegal use of guns could become a permanent problem if we don’t immediately find a way to take guns out of the hands of criminals.

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