Natchez crime problem is serious

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Fear turned to tragedy for a Natchez family early Tuesday after worries over a rash of home invasions led to the accidental shooting death of a Natchez woman.

The incident, which authorities believe to be purely accidental in nature, underscores the fear that has been building in the neighborhoods recently.

Good people are beginning to stand up against the evil criminal element and in this case an accident occurred, plain and simple.

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Some people like to think that Natchez’s crime is mostly petty in nature, and most of the time, they’re correct. For heaven’s sake, one of the biggest crime sprees of the summer involved a BB gun toting teen.

But the recent string of home invasion burglaries has shown a different level of crime. These are not troublesome teenagers breaking car windows. This criminal is one without normal fear, entering into homes while the residents are sleeping. And, even though this burglar may not physically have been at the house where the shooting occurred, his criminal spirit was there and he or she is ultimately shares the blame for the tragedy.

Natchez’s crime problem, as Natchez Police Chief Mike Mullins has said, has deeper roots that require deeper solutions rather than simply increasing enforcement. But in this case, increased enforcement is needed, as is increased awareness of the problems.

Rather than working to brush the incidents of these crimes under the rug, Natchez needs to get the word out in all forms of media.

Knowledge and communication by honest, law-abiding citizens is the only way to shine a light into the small, dark crevices of our community and force the criminal rats to scurry away.

Until that happens, we’ll continue to be at risk when good takes a stand against evil.