Answer to crime is in the courts

Published 12:08 am Thursday, October 13, 2011

Three murders in two months put Natchez area residents on alert and politicians on the offensive.

Senseless violence has marked our community in the last few months, and residents are beginning to get fed up.

Natchez aldermen on Tuesday began calling on the community to stop the bloodshed in the city.

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“I want to ask my young African-American brothers to stop this senseless violence that’s going on in this town,” Ward 4 Alderman Earnest “Tony” Fields said Tuesday.

Fields is correct in stepping up, and we applaud him for his efforts.

But stopping violence is much easier said than done; however, solutions start with talking and end with action.

Clearly, whenever laws are broken the natural reaction is to turn eyes and fingers on law enforcement, but that would be a bit misguided.

While aggressive law enforcement is a key part of the solution, it will take more than that. Unfortunately, we’re talking about a generation of people who do not respect the lives of other human beings.

Since these criminals mostly are adults with fully formed minds and beliefs, changing those will be difficult, if not impossible.

For those people — the ones who are caught and convicted of committing violent acts — the answer is likely to remove them from society, locking them up for a long, long time, if not forever.

Getting that done begins with law enforcement and a citizenry willing to be witnesses, but ends with the judicial system.