Reading the local news this past week has been one of those occasions where there’s good news and bad news and both cover the same subject.
First the bad news: Looks like some of our hometown’s juveniles have decided the best way to get some exercise and prove they’re ready for adulthood is to pull triggers. And, to prove they are ready to be part of something bigger and better than themselves, these trigger pullers belong to a crude crew with the alias, “Cold Hearted Steppas.”
Two of these Steppas thought it manly to fire a few rounds toward what authorities believe may have been members of their own gang. Looks like gangstas are so gangish they can’t get along with themselves. Fortunately, this pair’s aim was as bad as their judgement.
A third locally grown juvenile, who is alleged to be steppin’ to the rhythm of the other imprudents, managed to get his hands on a handgun that was stolen from another parish. Apparently this one thinks imported goods are better than those that can be heisted in his home town.
From this we glean that some of our young people 17 and younger (some as young as 12) are cutting themselves off from society with acts of violence. Already in our hometown we’ve seen death as the consequence of ganging up. And, while there’s evidence that some gang activity has moved west, it’s still evident that ittybitties are steppin’ up to take their place.
What could possibly be the good news, you may ask. These three kids, along with others from previous offenses, have been collared by our local constabulary. The pair of shooters were nabbed quickly by any investigative standard; number three was tracked down just one day later thanks to information uncovered while police looked into the two shootings.
Chief of Police Jared McIver has said his patrol officers and detectives are working constantly to identify potential problems and troublemakers. But, as your humble observer has observed over many years of observational interaction, a police officer on every street corner 24/7 cannot prevent all crime.
In our humble opinion, there’s not a cop alive who doesn’t prefer prevention to response when it comes to crime. And the key to prevention is cooperation. As your Rocker has said boocoodle times, the eyes and ears of the public are one of, if not the most, effective crime fighting tool on an officer’s belt.
Unfortunately, when it comes to street policing, there are far too many times when “I didn’t see nothing, I don’t know nothing” rolls off the tongue much more easily than “How may I help?” In our town, there are fewer than 40 sets of police eyes and ears compared to the several thousand among the citizenry.
Our wish is that average folks will understand how important it is to assist officers. We can assist with our information and, equally as important, our involvement in nurturing our youngsters rather than turning them loose and turning a blind eye.
Somewhere along the line, societal movers and shakers determined that even small children have the right to self-determination. Parental discipline, especially spanking, is deemed assault and moral standards are passe’. Schools now seem to be slightly more interested in teaching society’s most controversial issues than any of the three R’s. With all we see and read, it’s little wonder young people come to the fork in the road, and take it.
As Andy once said, children need direction and not left to their own devices when making choices. If they choose for themselves, they’ll grab the first shiny object they see and, sometimes, there’s a hook in it. For too many youngsters, gangs are the shiny object, and a bullet is the hook.