Ever since a co-worker got shot delivering packages, I’ve been hesitant to go out early in the morning. Normally, that’s the time I most prefer. The streets are empty and areas where parking can be tight, I can block the street because nobody else is coming down the block. 

As I was thinking about technology and the sound of gunfire, I wonder how come we can’t have updated software automatically added to our smartphones that turns them into shot-detectors? Cellphones use the public airways, thus it seems to me we could have the phones begin to report when they are within, say, 100-500 feet of gunfire. And the reporting would be automatic. Individuals who want to claim a violation of privacy, the rule would be quite simple. Don’t use a cellphone! So our criminal element that shoots would literally have their smartphones tell on them.

I know we’re in desperate times and seeking desperate measures. Many of the carjackers and shooters see the criminal justice system as a joke. Because they have no fear of it, they are quite willing to become involved in it. That has to change.

I’ve had a lot of ideas floating through my head as I think about the kind of punishment that needs to be meted out to our criminal element. Outsourcing our prisoners might not be a bad idea. If they know they’re not going to go to jail in Illinois, and might end up in the middle of Idaho for example, will that begin to make people have second thoughts about their criminal activities?

One of the first rewrites we need to the criminal justice system is for juvenile justice. Far too many young people are getting involved in carjackings with weapons, and they have been getting a slap on the wrist, at most, in response to their behavior. One of the things the juvenile system can begin to do is force them to get an education. Without a GED for example, they can’t get out of jail. They would have to go to school and earn it. All of a sudden, “three hots and a cot” would have a different meaning. 

We are currently in the beginning stages of the election cycle for the November elections. For those running to be re-elected, it is time for the voting public to really demand answers from these politicians as to what their plans are to deal with the criminal element. We can’t continue to function as a community, allowing crime at the current rate. We also can’t continue to lose our young men to street violence. If the politicians don’t offer solutions, what good are they? So as they come around asking for your vote, ask them the hard questions. Then listen carefully to their responses. 

Because the majority of us know when they’re talking manure.