No curfew breeding CHS? 

Word filterin’ uphill to the ol’ rockin’ chair is that we have a bunch of new wannabe baddie pie gangstas (i.e., gangsters) in town going by the handle CHS. We understand from some in the local constabulary this is acronymic for “Cold Hearted Steppas.” 

For those who don’t speak slang, steppa is loosely defined as a badman, a gangster; someone who won’t take disrespect and steps up and does something about it. Most often, as we learned from a pretty well-informed source, that “doing something” can involve gunshots or “bustin a cap” in or at somebody.

Well, swell, we might say. Another gang in our little corner of the world. Pas si vite, mon ami. This petulant passel is unique. Alleged CHS groupies reportedly run from 12 to 16 years old. That’s what local lawmen disclosed after investigating an incident where a vehicle received a couple of bullet holes for daring to drive on a city street.

We hear these wannabes have a burning desire to be like their grownup (ages 20 or so) counterparts. Wonder if these youngstas know what a low bar they’re setting for themselves. But what the heck. A trigger finger knows no age and a weapon is only as smart as the one in possession. In this case, that means both are stone steel stupid.

There’s a little question lingering. Are we more upset by the fact that some yet-to-be-formed 12-year-old brain is thinking how great it is to shoot at somebody, or should we be miffed that a 12-year-old is able to get out in the wee hours of the morning, unnoticed, unsupervised, and get his shots off?

What we really want to know is whether or not this incident is worthy of causing our city leadership, questionable as it may be, to reconsider a juvenile curfew that was proposed and poo-pooed some time ago. We are very aware that curfews are controversial, but an understaffed and overworked police department like ours needs a tool (no reference to council members intended).

We were not much amused during the long ago curfew debate when a local parent proclaimed that a curfew was a violation of civil rights both for the child and parents. Parents, the speaker claimed, had the right to let their children roam the streets at any hour if they wished, and kids should be allowed to go about their business (or nastiness) with parental permission.

At the Rocker farm, that’s called bovine splatter. Parents who don’t care how their actions and those of their kids impact others are halitosis on the breath of decency. This new kiddie group is steppin’ up and steppin’ out thanks to adults with a givvacrap quotient of minus ten. Asininic adults combined with disrespectant delinquents equals a societal problem of gargantuan proportions. 

We think the curfew issue needs to be readdressed, and opponents should weigh their options. Do our city muthas and fathas want the expected influx of HGTV-inspired visitors to be introduced to the same amenities they’d find in the big city? You know, like a drive-by shooting or two. 

Are we proud that our fair city is progressive enough to allow the youngest among us to roam freely, especially late night and early morning, without fear of being harassed by either elder or authority? We know Minden never will be Mayberry but it doesn’t have to be Chicago. Or does it? Do eyes have to close permanently before some are opened?

Civil rights are a crucial part of our way of life. But when those become avenues to civil wrongs, a little fine-tuning is in order. 

Next time: Big dollars for Quarters, or how to love a scenic drainage ditch.