January 26, 2012 11:01:00 AM
Just as there is no one cause for the crime in Columbus, or anywhere else, there is no one solution, either. The economy is surely one, but it is not beyond the control of "the man on the street."
To cure any ailment, the root causes must be addressed. The high rate of illegitimacy and single-parent homes is a major factor. If people REALLY love children, then they won't bring one into a world where they have little-to-no chance of getting ahead.
Everybody wants more and better jobs and job opportunities for themselves and their children. Getting prospective new businesses to locate in an area of high crime and poor education is hard to do. This means that the schools must retain and gainfully educate students. The students have to do their part also, not just the teachers. Put more control of what is taught back into the hands of local schools.
Stop electing superintendents and start appointing them. The best qualified people will be holding that position and they will be more immediately answerable to the school board, who could fire them more easily if they aren't performing. (Are you listening, area representatives and senators?)
Gangs are a problem everywhere. If children aren't getting the love and attention they want and need at home, they'll look for it on the streets. Parenting is not just having a baby and changing diapers until they are potty-trained, then turning them loose and hoping for the best. Parenting is a life-time commitment of sacrifice.
What I'm trying to say is in order to solve the crime problem, which will never be completely solved, people have to start at the roots, at home. Don't have more children than you can support. Children born into the welfare state tend to grow up and live, procreate and die in the welfare state. That puts a real and unnecessary financial burden on everybody. These children are far more likely to be involved in drugs, crimes, and illegitimacy.
Be involved in your children's lives. Children need discipline. Otherwise they grow up believing that actions don't have consequences. That's why our prisons are so full today. I've always hated the saying "It takes a village to raise (rear) a child." What I've really hated was the notion that it should be necessary for that to happen. Too many "parents" have the attitude "You don't tell MY kid what to do!", when once upon a time any mother or father in the county could correct or chastise an unruly child and the parents would 1) Thank the other adult for correcting the misbehaving child and 2) Be ashamed that somebody else had to get onto their child. There was far less crime back then.
Instead of people sitting back and waiting for somebody else to do something about this, or any other, problem, we all need to look and see just what we, as individuals or small groups, can do to help. Coordination and cooperation among various groups would definitely enhance the results of the efforts.
As for those who thumb their noses at the system, committing burglaries and other crimes, you are putting yourselves at risk. One day you'll break into a home where the owner/occupant is present and wind up a fatal case of acute lead poisoning. It'll be your fault, but then some grieving mother, who knew all along that her child was rotten and no good, will sue whoever killed "her baby." The true victim of the crime, the person who had to take a life, should then turn around and sue her for spawning such a demon and turning him loose on society.
Folks, think about what you, as a person can do to work on this or any other problem. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Pool thoughts and ideas. Pass them along to other groups and individuals. I guess the most immediate and biggest help would be to fully cooperate with the authorities when a crime occurs. These other "solutions" of mine will take years to bear fruit, so there's no time like the present to get started. Together we can do it.
2. Top sheriff's career began, ended with motorcycles LOCAL COLUMNS
3. Kayaking the Buttahatchee LOCAL COLUMNS
4. Voice of the people: J.W. Sprayberry LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
5. Voice of the people: Berry Hinds LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)