It seems to me that some years ago, New York state enacted a gun law aimed at getting illegal guns off the street. There was a mandatory five-year prison sentence for getting caught with or using an illegal handgun in commission of a crime. I don?t believe I have ever heard of anyone being given that sentence. Instead, it is plea bargained away for a quick conviction, which bloats the district attorney?s conviction rate only to let the criminal back onto the street sooner to just do it again.
If you watch the news and read the papers enough, you?ll notice a decided upswing in crime in not only Massena but most of St. Lawrence County. Maybe it?s time that our district attorney uses the law and makes sure that people are prosecuted to the full extent rather than looking for that plea and quick turnaround of offenders.
New York has seen fit to enact new laws mostly aimed at law-abiding citizens, i.e. SAFE Act. We all know this will not stop the criminals from getting the gun of their choice, but maybe, just maybe, if we ask our district attorney to close down the Dodge City reputation that is becoming the north country and give the bad guys the sentence they deserve, it will go a long ways to alleviate the problems we are now having that will only get worse if allowed to go unchecked.
Even the police chief in Massena has some concerns about crime, the district attorney?s office and light sentences for offenders. I have spoken to police officers that have some problem with the idea that a simple ammunition clip can get you more jail time under state law than actually pulling a trigger in a public place or, and God forbid, molesting a child.
Something has to change around here. People are not only leaving the state, they are leaving the north country. Let?s make this the safe place it was, and the safe place it should always be.