Eric Olson |
Recently, the letters on Minonk Talk have centered around one form of
moral and social degradation, homosexuality. I would like to raise the
topic of another form of moral degradation: vandalism. During my last
visit a few weeks ago, we went uptown and looked at the new pavilion at
the Westside Park. Sadly, rumors you had heard were true. Vandals had
kicked in a portion of one of the doors. A short survey of the property
showed more signs of damage including bushes that had been stomped,
damage to trees, litter, graffiti, names carved in the picnic tables,
etc. Luckily, I did not have to witness some of the earlier acts of
indecency that had been committed including public urination and even
Like you, my first few
instincts were to be appalled and angered. While still enraged, various
questions were raised. Questions like the obvious: "What kind of a vile
pig would urinate and defecate on the floors of a public pavilion?"
"Where were these monsters' parents?", and of course, "Where were the
police?" These are all valid questions that could potentially lead to
very controversial answers.
of the first things I did was question the current crime statistics. In
other words, is this a problem in Minonk, in Woodford County, in the
State of Illinois? For this data, I went to the Illinois State Police
website. Below is a table indicating the crime rate per 100,000 people.
(State of Il.)
| 4,349|| 2,735|
| 4,239|| 2,811|
| 3,955|| 2,744|
this data, it appeared the crime rate was lower per capita in the rural
communities compared to the entire state. One could also draw from this
that the crime rates are decreasing in both the state and in the rural
areas. The next level down involved looking at the statistics for
Woodford County. The total crime rate in Woodford County dropped from
1,194 (per 100,000 people) in 2003 to 1,114 (per 100,000 people) in
2004. Last, but not least, the next level down involved the statistics
for just Minonk. In 2003, Minonk had 3,543 crimes (per 100,000 people).
This number increased in 2004 to 3,961 crimes (per 100,000 people).
That's right - the crime rate increased in Minonk while it decreased in
the county and the state. In fact, the crime rate in Minonk was worse
than the average rural communities throughout the state and on par with
the entire state including the heavy urban areas of Chicago, Cook
County, Rockford, and East St. Louis, etc. I realize the statistics I
quoted include all crimes, domestic, property, murder, etc., but isn't
this trending still a bit alarming? I move on to my next points.
In response to the question of what types of vile pigs would commit
these acts of vandalism, the answer is children that have not been
raised properly, children that have not been taught right from wrong,
or children that have not been active in a church. Children that have
no self-respect, respect for others, other's property, their elders, or
anything for that matter. Children who have no interest in education,
and yes, children that have been raised in a home that did not provide
discipline, moral character, stability, and good examples of living. I
could most certainly quote pages of scripture that relate to this
subject, but I doubt the people to whom this is directed have ever read
the Bible or even respected the word of God.
This is a result of poor parenting, which is a product of bad parents.
So, where are these bad parents? Many of them can be found in the local
taverns, enjoying their drunken bliss while neglecting their children.
They can be found in the beer tents during certain events. They can be
found purchasing their liquor to be consumed at home. These are
probably the same parents that have had run-ins with the law
themselves. Statistics state they are probably from broken or substance
abusing families and have an inadequate education.
So enough grousing about the bad parents, vile children, and the
inability of the police to apprehend the violators - now on to
solutions. I am not a parent, so I will not give advice on how to raise
children. However, I'm pretty sure a good start may include joining a
local chapter of alcoholics anonymous, getting a better education, and
teaching your children right from wrong. It never fails to amaze me
when I speak to an alcoholic that complains about his depression and
money problems. This is a no-brainer people. Alcohol is a chemical
depressant that is not free. You want more money, cut out the vices.
As for the disgusting children, I would like to make a couple of
suggestions. The key words here are respect, fear, and punishment. The
persons who are committing these heinous acts are probably too old to
be taught respect. As I was taught as a child, the next best thing to
respect is fear. Children today have little fear of anything. They know
the liberal laws of man protect them from corporal punishment. Their
immoral acts prove they don't even have the fear of God. The only thing
they can be made to fear is their loss of freedom.
Now for the immediate solution to the problem - if the police
department can be more aggressive in the enforcement of the laws that
are already on the books, more of these immoral animals can be taken
out of society. Is anyone aware the crime rate in Minonk is on the
rise? Being a small town I understand there are budgetary restraints
which means that only one officer is on duty at a time and the entire
town is difficult for one officer to watch. However, it is their
responsibility to police the town, investigate all crimes including
vandalism, and bring to justice the vile perpetrators, regardless to
who they may be related (this is an especially important point in
Minonk and Woodford County). Maybe something like a neighborhood watch
program would help for the areas around the parks and downtown? Perhaps
surveillance cameras would help? Perhaps the police need to catch a few
of these animals and make examples of them? Perhaps the parents should
also be fined or punished?
not associated with the legal system and do not know if the parents can
be held accountable in Illinois. If not, perhaps the concerned citizens
should contact their state representatives and senators to bring these
types of laws into the books? At a minimum, the children and parents
responsible for the vandalism should be made responsible for repairing
or replacing the damaged public items.
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