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Living in a crime-filled, violent world

We have become residents in a world filled with everything from petty crimes to senseless murders. And those of us who call Harrison County home are not impervious from those persons in society who will not or cannot obey the laws.
I recently talked with a woman who is frustrated with having her mailbox and house identification numbers destroyed or stolen on numerous occasions. She summed it well when she asked what good her numbers were to anyone else.
Moving on up, there have been numerous homes broken into throughout the county, with hundreds of dollars of items stolen. Not only have the thieves stolen property, they’ve taken the homeowners’ sense of security.
But it doesn’t stop there.
We have people who have stolen others’ dignity and sense of self worth through acts of domestic violence. No one deserves to be abused, and this includes verbal as well as physical abuse. Unfortunately, we have seen too many of these crimes in our own county, with the victims ranging from infants to the elderly. The perpetrators have displaced their own shortcomings on their innocent victims.
Still yet we have random acts of violence. Again, it involves someone who has a problem taking it out on someone else, but often it is strangers who become the victims. Sadly, one Harrison County woman knows first-hand how devastating this can be. One of her sons was killed about a year ago by a sniper, an 18-year-old, who was angry at family members so he randomly fired shots at passing motorists.
And while law enforcement officers were still grieving the death of a Floyd County policeman, an Indiana State Trooper was killed. Master Trooper David Rich had just finished his shift and was on his way home when he stopped to help someone he believed to be a stranded motorist. The man killed Rich then turned the gun on himself. It was a similar situation that claimed the life of Floyd County Sheriff’s Deputy Frank Denzinger, who had responded to a call for help from a woman whose teenage son shot and killed the officer before killing himself.
How did we become a society that cares so little for other people and their property? How do we stop the acts of crime and violence?
I wish I had the answers. I don’t.
But I do have a suggestion.
We must get tougher on criminals, starting with those whose acts seem petty, like destroying someone’s mailbox or stealing a yard ornament. If only what amounts to a slap on the wrist is received in return for those actions, what is to prevent them from advancing to more heinous crimes?
Stiffer sentences for crimes will precipitate more people being incarcerated, which will more than likely result in us ‘ the law-abiding people ‘ paying more taxes. But aren’t we paying now for their crimes? We work hard to earn a living, saving those dollars to buy the things we want only to have them taken from us. We pay insurance on our homes and its contents and our vehicles. Then when something happens to them, we pay again, in the form of deductibles and loss of security.
And when it comes to someone’s life, you can’t put a price on that.

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