Editorial: Fighting the gangs with power

Oct. 01, 2013 @ 11:56 PM

Businesses should be making the call immediately. It doesn’t matter if they’re small or large, corporately owned elsewhere or privately held here, in the city or around the county.

They should be fully backing the Vance Gang Awareness Partnership. No matter what kind of business, what it has to offer, every business — and we know there’s more than 400 in the Henderson-Vance Chamber of Commerce — should be pitching in.

Just a little math: If all gave just $10 to the cause to fight this criminal activity in the county, that’s more than $4,000. V-GAP’s plan is to have activities to help curb the gangs from getting to the children, presenting them with other outlets and activities.

They plan to have forums, some perhaps even specific to neighborhoods.

Does V-GAP have all the answers? Doubtful, but we’ll never know if we don’t throw as much support behind them as possible.

We’ve been to the Crime Stoppers functions, to Community Watch chats, to county commissioner and City Council meetings. We’ve been to civic clubs, agencies and entities that recommend things for youth to do, ways to keep them active and busy, and unable to keep time for gangs.

It’s a tough fight.

When a gang member thinks nothing of handing a firearm to a child less than 10 years old, perhaps one that might be his or her child, the youngster is going to take care of it as told. Go hide it, put it in the baby stroller, whatever the request is — the child is going to do it. And that’s just one “tame” example.

Gangs work hard at what they do: corrupting lives. And once in a gang, no matter whether an adult or a child, it’s difficult to get out.

Prevention is a major element in the multi-faceted fight against gangs.

A subcommittee of a group, and that’s what V-GAP is, won’t be able to carry this fight alone. Not a chance. Law enforcement is with them, as is the county public schools system. Private schools and charters — yes, all of them — should be pitching in.

Complaints, accusations and blame games are amateur hour.

An action item has arrived for our community. No excuses this time.