Pubdate: Wed, 07 Aug 2002
Source: Tennessean, The (TN)
Copyright: 2002 The Tennessean
Author: Henry Brackin, Jr


To the Editor:

The Tennessean has published recently a timely series of articles on 
neighborhood gunfire. A map provided shows that this occurs predominately 
in poor, black and immigrant neighborhoods. Reference is made to the fact 
that gangs and drugs are frequent causative agents. I have been most 
interested in the solutions offered.

They include strengthening state penalties for gun-related offenses, 
greater cooperation between residents of troubled neighborhoods and the 
police, and making parents responsible for the safety of their children. 
However today is reminiscent of the "Roaring Twenties" with its gang wars 
and crime, much of it related to illegal traffic in whiskey.

The situation was not brought under control until Prohibition was 
abolished. It appears that history has repeated itself, but we have not 
learned from the past. We are not going to overcome our present problems as 
long as people can idle away their time, do no work and support themselves 
with the traffic of illegal drugs.

Take the drug traffic away from the shiftless by legalizing drugs and put 
it under government control. Then our enforcement agencies will have a 
chance and the gangs, the street fighting and drug kings will disappear 
like the gangs and bootleggers did in the '30s.

We have been fighting our "War on Drugs" for 35 years, spent billions on 
catching and incarcerating people and have accomplished nothing.

Henry Brackin, Jr., Nashville 37205
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MAP posted-by: Terry Liittschwager