Letter to the Editor

Your view: Stop the violence

Monday, April 10, 2006

The community of Charleston and the surrounding towns are outraged at the violence that has erupted in the Charleston area. The violence in small towns has become an ongoing problem that the law enforcement officials in this area are not addressing with vigor or speed that is appropriate for the law abiding citizens in our area.

Murder anywhere is an evil that happens everyday, an evil that we have all grown accustomed to seeing on the TV. The unbelievable horror stories that we hear about are becoming a reality here.

There have been two murders in the last week in Charleston, with no arrests being made, or it seems that there is not even a suspect in these murders, murders that should not have happened in the first place. People in Charleston and other small communities are fed up with the slow progress that the police force is making in bring these criminals to justice. Our community is not only outraged by this violence, we are also in shock and tired of being scared.

We attend the funerals, we watch as families morn their losses and we have stood by while nothing has been done to put a stop to the reckless disregard for life. Murder and most other crime seems to be connected to drugs and of course, guns. Drug trafficking and gun trafficking is an epidemic that needs to be addressed at once by the law enforcement community, the men and women that are being paid by the people to protect the people.

Citizens are terrified to leave the safety of their homes, children cannot go outside to play and no one can go out after dark. This is not the way of life anyone envisioned for this small town. If something is not done immediately about this growing problem, there will be no need for police, because the gangs, thugs and hoodlums will overtake every aspect of this town.

Fear should not be a way of life for anyone anywhere. We want back the way of life we have all worked to make for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren. How many more young men and women have to die before something is done to stop the overwhelming violence in our hometown? Our homes should not be our only safe haven. We want our streets playgrounds, schools and stores returned to us.

We hope that speaking out about this will help bring justice to our small town and return it to the safe and caring environment we have all worked so hard for.

Mary Betts

Charleston, Mo