Maybe old Natchez will return again

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 6, 2008

Natchez was once dubbed “where the old South still lives.” With several hundred antebellum structures, that description is certainly apt.

But sometimes, every once in a while, modern day leaps into the forefront and rears its ugly head.

Lately, that has become evident in a recent rash of crimes perpetrated throughout the area. The area has for a number of years, seen its fair share of robberies and break-ins, but lately, the style of these has become more troublesome, more frightening.

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The most terrifying of all are a growing number of home invasions in which the thieves break into the houses while occupants are inside sleeping. Fear of such a break in — by a couple that was obviously being targeted by these thugs — led to an accidental shooting death last week.

The worry is real; the fear in the neighborhoods is palpable.

Experts say we can work to reduce the threat and in some cases level the playing field with the criminals. A few of those suggestions and ideas are detailed in today’s edition.

But ultimately, what’s needed most is to catch these perpetrators and put them not in the jail, but beneath it.

Locking up this kind of criminal is the best way to handle them.

Eventually, we hope, this crime wave will pass and Natchez can get past this ugly period. Despite having lost a little of its innocence, we’d be happy if Natchez just became “the place where the old South can sleep safely at night.”