If you were fighting a war, would you provide your enemy with all the necessary weapons to fight you? It’s like electing a pro-abortion president and Congress, then standing outside Planned Parenthood protesting abortion. Makes little sense.
We are not just fighting gangs — we are fighting well-organized and well-funded organizations.
Try and do the right thing, and you are faced with a lawsuit.
President Obama’s favorite myth is “Doing something is better than doing nothing.” The fact is that doing the wrong thing is worse than doing nothing.
Another myth: “Poverty causes crime.” Fact is, crime causes poverty. In the first 13 years of my life, the rich people in my community were poorer than the poor people living in United States.
We never had a TV, radio, newspaper, bicycle, running water, bathroom, electricity or car, but we also had no obesity, no boredom and no crime. An occasional fistfight would be the talk of the town.
Poverty does not cause crime — crime causes poverty. When you behave responsibly, get a job and take care of your family, eventually you will find prosperity. When you behave in a criminal manner, you will likely end up poor, bitter, in prison or worse, lying on the street with a bullet through your head.
So how do you prevent crime? We have for decades been going down the road to moral bankruptcy. Our lack of morals and ethics is probably the most destructive force that we face as a civilized nation.
As children, we knew who our mom and dad were and had a stable home to come to. We were never taught to put on condoms, nor were we able to get an abortion, but we were taught the difference between right and wrong, usually taught through religion. Christianity, in my case.
We were taught to honor our parents, be truthful, that we shall not murder, we shall not commit adultery, we shall not steal, we shall not covet other people’s family and possessions. Today, this would be grounds for a lawsuit from anti-Christian organizations, crying separation of church and state because the above is found in the Ten Commandments.
The teachers were not afraid of the students and were expected to keep control of the class. They either kept control or they were replaced. Today, our children are bombarded with mixed messages.
Parents who try to raise their children with Christian values face a great challenge. What do you think happens when we teach our children to obey God and outside the home they are told that God and Jesus have no place in public? Then they have to decide who is right, the parents or everyone else.
It is evident that the outside forces are winning, but with devastating results.
The no-fault divorce law is a cancer to society. The promise to stay together until death do us part has become meaningless. The out-of-control sex is responsible for sexually transmitted disease, abortion and out-of-wedlock children. Grandparents or the government have taken over their responsibilities.
Get my point? Are we naïve enough to expect different? Can’t we understand the problems that we are fighting are the same problems that we created?
Why do you think that kids join gangs? What do they have to come home to? It better be more than a broken home where Dad is 3,000 miles away living his fantasy with a new hot chick while the mother is shacking up with the first man or woman who promises comfort during the night.
For many children, joining a gang may promise a seemingly better alternative than what is waiting for them at home.
No amount of after-school programs, sex education or birth control will solve Tracy’s gang problem.
Gang activity can only be solved when our culture lives by a higher standard of values — when couples honor their wedding vows, when parents take full responsibility for their family, and children’s needs come before their own, when children are appreciated and respected and live in a stable home.
Children must be taught to obey the law and respect authority and be made accountable for their actions, and parents must refrain from the temptation of defending their children when they are obviously wrong.
There was a time when we got up from our comfortable seats and offered it to an elderly or disabled person, when “please” and “thank you,” “yes sir” and “no sir” were the norm. We need to return to that.
And yes, even if it means what some of you refer to as “living in the past.” Common courtesy must never be outdated — it must be taught and it must be lived. It sure beats the alternative.
• Joe Vieira has been a Tracy resident for 32 years, has owned several businesses with his wife and is a former Tracy Unified School District employee.