Communities need to step up and say this is unacceptable. We need to look out for each other now, because if we don't, this is only going to continue and spread.
These wild groups frighten me. This isn't only going to be a Philadelphia or Chicago or Los Angeles problem. It's going to affect all of us in one way or another. It's difficult enough for businesses to operate these days. Prices will skyrocket because of the cost that stores will incur to protect their goods and their customers. We're heading toward times of nothing but online shopping or armed guards at the door.
So how do we combat such insanity? Curfews aren't the only answer, since these groups are organizing and assembling in broad daylight and are arrogant enough to walk right into places that have security cameras.
Perhaps sending technology a few steps backward could help, disabling the ability to communicate with large numbers of people from just about anywhere. Or perhaps the police should be equipped with even more advanced technology so they're automatically alerted when some sort of action like this is being organized.
These are premeditated, organized crimes and should be treated as such. They should be automatic felonies, regardless of the dollar value of the items taken.
Our country doesn't work because the police force us to behave. It works because we're a society of civilized people who have created a system to keep stability. We work in order to have. We don't take what isn't ours. We cause no harm. We punish those who do.
Personally, I'd like to see some creative punishments for those caught in the act. I'd like to see the victims of these crimes be allowed to go into the homes of the perpetrators -- maybe invite along a few dozen friends -- while they go on a spree of sorts, taking whatever they want from the criminal's home.
These bratty toddlers aren't going to recognize the ugliness of their actions until they experience the same sort of random senselessness themselves.
Reach Karin Fuller via email at karinful...@gmail.com.