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The Newcomer

Wasted lives

My beats here at the Sun at this time are the police and fire departments. You don't have to cover those very long before you realize there are too many young people throwing away the greatest gift they've been given-their lives.

Murder and mayhem are savaging people before they see their 30s. And far too many are still in their teens. Gangs and drugs are taking a toll of our kids. While it's past time to call a halt to the violence, the deep-rooted anger and hatred may make it a Herculean task.

Every day someone in our town is breaking into a home or stealing something that doesn't belong to them. Most times it is to feed a drug habit, but sometimes it's just to acquire something that the perpetrator, for some reason, thinks is his for the taking.

It seems too easy to point a finger at the police department-to say, hey, where's the police when we need them?-but every day the police arrest people, just maybe not the people who broke into your home or car on that particular day.

Where is it going to end? Will it end? Or do we have to continue to see the sanctity of our homes violated and-more importantly, I think-our young people rampaging down a path of destruction that leads to a jail cell or a cold grave?

And, yes, they are our kids, even though we haven't met them. They're ours because they're part of the human race and deserve a chance to live a full and happy life, even if they are stupidly looking for that in the wrong places.

What can stop the gangs from making war on each other? What can stop our kids from turning to drugs for a quick fix for whatever it is that ails them at any given moment? What can be done to shake them up so they can see the bigger picture?

I don't have the answers, but I think we'd all better come up with some soon because some of our kids aren't just going to hell in a hand basket, they're headed there on a jet.

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