Taking The Guns Off Our Streets

By JOHN M. DERBY
Times Publisher
May 25, 2017

Federal, state and local law enforcement officers are to be commended for taking more than 50 people with criminal and/or gang backgrounds off the streets in our area.

In addition, the guns and ammunition should not be available to commit future crimes and violence.

Now the real work begins: Keeping them off the streets and not allowing them access for more guns and ammunition.

Normally our weekly community newspaper does not cover crimes and violence because we feel that the daily newspaper does that job very well.

What we want to cover is what happens to these people who have been arrested.

Are they going to do hard time? Or, will the courts allow them to go free with a pat on the hand?

We would like to follow up on each of these people who have been arrested. As of yet, all 50 have not even been named, so members of our community do not know who they are.

Is there some way to tract them through the legal system. Can we follow up on what kind of a sentence each of them receives, and how much real time they spend in prisons or county jail?

If they are given bail, how many of them skip the country only to come back under some other name and commit similar crimes?

The state Legislature is on the right track — spending money on a gang task force which will share information on known gang members and leaders. This money is also needed to track where the gangs are getting their illegal guns and drugs, as well as who is directing them. If drug lords are involved the arm of the law needs to reach across the borders, and cut off the supply, and name those drug lords who are calling the shots.

There is much too much crime and violence in our community which involves gangs, and they need to be labeled for the harm that they are doing.

Stopping them will take persistent enforcement — not just one big arrest. If more than 50 criminals and gang leaders were arrested, the chance is that there are another 50 or more who still are out there waiting to fill in the gaps.

Now that the criminal elements are aware that our gang task force has the where with all to make arrests and take guns and money off the streets, these criminals will be more careful. They will probably be harder to catch, however, the job is so important that we cannot let up.

And just to follow up: A good attorney may find a loop hole to get these criminals off without serving hard time.

We don’t want that to happen.

The message needs to go out: “Do the crime and serve the time.”


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