The recent, gang-related death of an innocent 9-year-old is yet another in a long list of senseless murders at the hands of young hoodlums. The priority now is to ensure that those responsible for her death are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
At the same time, this tragedy should serve as a catalyst for Fresno to confront the ever-present gang problem in a different manner — by seeking solutions that will help prevent the problem before it begins. Let us think proactively, and focus on providing these youngsters, particularly middle-school students, with positive, constructive activities during non-school hours. Let us find ways to prevent them from being lured into the gang culture, which invariably leads to criminal behavior and senseless tragedies.
If this city can procure a $16 million grant to demolish the Fulton Mall, which poses absolutely no risk to our citizens, surely we can seek grant monies to establish after-school programs and recreational activities for these youngsters. If we can prevent one boy or girl from joining a gang, or prevent one loss of innocent life, it will be well worth the effort.