Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Death and Destruction

Five people shot. Out in front of a home. Gangs possibly involved. Right here in Tracy.

I'm waiting for the knee-jerk reactions, including gun control, increased police patrols, a renewed push for a bigger jail and "zero tolerance" laws.

I've said before that local law enforcement needs more tools to combat crime, and the county does need an expanded jail to deal with the criminals who are caught.

However, punishment alone will not prevent incidents like last night's. In fact, nothing will guarantee 100 percent safety (a reason why we shouldn't sacrifice our souls in the name of fighting terrorists, but that's another tangent).

If you're looking for a solution, look to youth groups, strong schools and involved families.

Unfortunately, there's no way to legislate these kind of things in a free society. There are, though, plenty of ways to support them, including paid maternity and paternity leave, mandatory vacation time, guaranteed sick leave, and more available affordable day care.

Yes, that will all cost more money, most likely in the form of taxes. But given incidents like last night's and the multifaceted costs of pervasive law enforcement, might it not be worth it?

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