Quit whining and start snitching

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 25, 2010

Before the advent of caller ID, telephone calls were not monitored. It was possible to make obscene or harassing calls with little fear of being caught.

I remember my mother, who lived alone in the country and was nearly 80 years old at the time, got so upset with teenagers who would call her at all hours speaking obscenities. Her phone was on a “party line” and she could not simply remove the receiver because it would disrupt the service of other parties on the line. I contacted the telephone company who basically was not very interested and in essence said there was nothing they could do. However, in today’s world of predominating caller ID, only a fool would make an obscene or harassing phone call.

Back in the late 1990s, the invention dubbed as the “Invention of the Year” was a camera on a chip. When I read this I realized that digital cameras would soon appear everywhere. Today the resolution and quality of their pictures is good and becoming excellent.

All banks, most businesses, and most public buildings have surveillance cameras. Cell phones, iPods, key chains, etc., now have cameras; even video cameras. Cameras are ubiquitous. Only a fool would vandalize a building or overtly participate in other criminal activity because some camera will probably record their activity.

Some folks in the Miss-Lou seem to be slow in catching on to the fact that their actions will be caught either on camera or audio. What really elated me about the latest local incident of “caught on disc” at a local government building was how people responded to the published photos of the vandals. Because of this overwhelming response, the “wise guys” were immediately rounded up.

Now, if we could just get the public, as a whole, to report all crimes that they witness, this would then become a much better place to live for them and us. You no longer have to call the police. Just take a picture of the crime and send it anonymously to the police. If a person is outside the confines of his home, he is appearing in public and his actions may be recorded.

I saw a bumper sticker once that I would love to have. Its message — in language not appropriate for the newspaper — was quit whining and start snitching. This should be a motto for all of us to live by.

Ed Field

Natchez