No more tolerance

Sen. Brad Burzynski and Gov. Jim Edgar have the right idea on how to work politically with gang members—lock ‘em up and throw away the key.

Burzynski is sponsoring a bill to give judges the license to impose harsher sentences on gang offenders. The house bill was also signed by Edgar.

The recent parole hearing of ex-Black Gangster Disciples “king,” Larry Hoover comes to mind. Hoover, a convicted murderer who had supposedly changed his ways, was up for parole early this month after serving 20 years of a 90 year sentence.

A few Chicago alderman and former Mayor Eugene Sawyer offered a brilliant suggestion—release Hoover so he could serve as a role model for the African-American community to help prevent young men from joining gangs.

Luckily, many other African-American leaders like U.S. Congressman Mel Reynolds, gave an emphatic “Thanks, but no thanks” in response to the naive suggestion.

The lobbying was unsuccessful and Hoover was denied parole, but the idea of gang members working with local politicians is still spreading like the plague. There was a lot of squawking, but justice was served in the end.

Some folks, the media included, would have us patting gangbusters on the back every time they call a gang truce. We don’t need to be congratulating thugs for taking a felony sabbatical.

State’s Attorney Mike Coghlan says about 150 gang members were identified in the DeKalb area in 1992. “We have to recognize that it is definitely coming our way,” Coghlan told the Star.

Both DeKalb and NIU Police claim they do not keep statistics on gang crimes. If this is true, the police had better start because if they do not, we will be reading about gangs in the Star.

Gangs are already destroying communities in the suburbs and are already slithering out of the Cornelia’s, so to speak.

Burzynski’s bill is a great way to deter gang activity instead of giving gangs political credibility and increasing their attractiveness to young men.

We strongly support this bill and any measure that gives gangs the message that they will not be tolerated anymore.