Let me see if I have all this straight…
Six people get shot last Friday night while milling around Broad Street at 11:30, generally up to no good. Cops find the 9mm semiautomatic handgun believed to be used in the random attack discarded on the sidewalk, with 10 spent shell casings nearby.
This episode is just the latest in a series of ugly incidents that have piled up in the hours after First Friday, usually involving a mass of young people under the age of 21.
So far, the only concrete move announced in the wake of the mess is that the city’s little-used curfew ordinance will be enforced by the beefed-up police force that will be on hand beginning next First Friday.
Thanks a pantload.
That curfew, even if enforced with a steel hand, wouldn’t have prevented any aspect of what happened the evening of July 6. Augusta’s “official curfew” (for what it is worth) calls for those under the age of 18 to be off the streets at 11 p.m., except for Friday and Saturday nights, when the curfew is midnight.
In other words, in its current form, the city’s curfew ordinance is practically worthless.
If you want to secure an area that has gotten out of control, especially out of control because of misbehaving teenagers, start locking them up and fining their parents if they break the new curfew which should be written and ready for passage before the next commission meeting.
If you are under 18 and doing anything but walking directly between your car and a specific, enclosed business in the downtown business district between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., congratulations, you are breaking curfew.
Read that again… no loitering on sidewalks, streets or public parks within the downtown business district for those 17 and under after 9 p.m. Seven nights a week.
Border Bash? Buy a ticket; you are fine inside. Walk straight to and from your car when leaving.
Concert at the Civic Center? Buy a ticket; you are fine inside. Walk straight to and from your car when leaving.
First Friday? Buy a meal, a ticket or be working. Walk straight to and from your car when leaving.
The sheriff should declare that he will arrest a minimum of 10 curfew breakers on any given weekend night, who will be fined $1,000 for the first offense and post signs to that effect just after his press conference announcing the same.
I think a good little dose of public humiliation might help here as well. Isolate an unused storefront downtown, and put the trouble making little darlings in holding cells behind the glass for all to see. I volunteer to buy/build the first one. Have the Jail Report guy do live updates via Facebook as the evening progresses.
I admit it: For the most part I tend to be at a complete loss on how to handle this entire generation of punks who think it is a good idea to loiter on streets and play with guns. These people are as alien to me as a ship full of Klingons. Not to disparage Klingons, who tend to dress better, maintain a better command of the King’s English and a superior grasp of personal hygiene than some of these late-night street urchins.
As I have been pointing out for years, it was not that previous generations (mine, specifically) did not misbehave, we just happened to be bright enough to do most of our mischief behind closed doors., We tended to stay away from guns altogether, noting (quite accurately) that if someone our age was showing off by brandishing a firearm, he was obviously out of his damn mind and someone who needed to be completely avoided.
We were no angels, but we kept a low profile because we were scared of getting in trouble with the law and, more than that, we were scared our dads would beat us until we couldn’t grow anymore.
Too bad DFACS won’t let a few “father types” put the kind of ass whoopin’ on some of these fools that used to go on in the real world up until just a few years ago. And no, I don’t mean child abuse; I mean the kind of corrective action that is needed to get the attention of most young men (and a few young women) as their bodies outpace their brains on the growth chart.
In the meantime, could the sheriff, the mayor and the commission make decisions that actually could have an impact, rather than just complain that kids need to be like they were in the old days?
I want to see rules in place that make sensible people wince. Oh… and one more thing: enforce them.You Might Also Like: