State litter laws need to be tougher

Published 12:11 am Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Hopefully, one day the whole premise of having a “Great American Cleanup” will seem unnecessary.

Perhaps eventually all Americans will take the matters of public quality of life and personal responsibility more seriously.

Unfortunately, all too often now a small portion of society simply wasn’t reared correctly to understand that no one else wants to have to pick up trash for them.

As former Mississippi First Lady Pat Fordice famously quipped in her campaign to keep Mississippi clean, “I’m not your mama.”

The television campaign featured Fordice miraculously appearing in the front seat of a pick-up truck driven by two knuckleheads who arrogantly tossed trash out of their truck. Fordice slapped them on the head, made them turn around and then pick it all up.

That message is still needed today.

We applaud all of the volunteers who came out this weekend to help launch Natchez’s kickoff of the Keep Mississippi Beautiful campaign’s Great American Cleanup.

Ultimately, however, their efforts are simply short-term fixes to a much greater problem.

We must put more teeth in public littering laws and in public places such as the beautiful Natchez Trails, install security cameras to catch the fools who continue to toss out trash as if no one is looking.

Only with much tougher consequences and more serious enforcement can Mississippi turn the state’s dirty knuckleheads into clean citizens.