Friday, May 25, 2007

Graffiti

Yesterday, my husband and I went for a long walk after dinner. We strolled along the trail behind our neighborhood and weaved through the sidewalks all the way to the next major block and then back along another walking/bike trail which ran between the freeway and the homes overlooking the city. We must have walked at least 4 to 5 miles by the time we were home an hour and a half and two pairs of sore feet later.

Throughout our walk, we talked about our day, we saw a white-tail rabbit, we observed the houses, and even joking about how this brick patio set we saw had not been stolen off the new development yet...it could not have been a better evening. The weather absolutely perfect and warm with a soft breeze. The best part was when we were walking along the paved trail. It was so serene and the landscaping along the path was just beautiful. Even the solar landscape lighting that lit the pathway was romantic and full of graffiti.

Wait...what?! Yes, graffiti. Now who the heck would want to graffiti some poor little lights?! That was so sad.

My husband and I were surprised that the lights have not been kicked down yet. Seeing the defaced lights innocently grounded amongst the rocks just ircked me.

True, teenagers sometimes do not know better for doing the stupid things that they do but I truly believe it is up to their parents to teach them the difference between right and wrong, and having values and respect for others and their property.

There are laws governing graffiti but they obviously do not have any effect. They only fine and sentence the offender to probation time but, in my opinion, those punishments have little effect on changing the behavior of the delinquent. I should know, not from the same personal experience, but the threat of being spanked by my parents were never enough to deter me from having done things that a normal teenager would do under a strict household.

I think that someone, such as the probation officer, should say to the delinquent that they are part of the reason why the poor stay poor. The county spent $2.5 million in 2005 and 2006 cleaning up graffiti according to the Las Vegas Sun. The only way to budget this expense is either increase taxes or cut public programs (which hurts those in need of those programs and the poor moreso than the affluent). Legislators have amended the bill to stiffen penalties for graffiti.

As I am sitting here on our couch watching some random channel on t.v., it just so happens that the 2007 Legislative Session is airing and the bill was in discussion (ways to punish convicted offenders). I guess there is no easy solution to the problem.

Graffiti originated hundreds of years ago and it seems it will be here to stay. But that won't stop us from going on long walks again and enjoying the trail. We will just have to overlook the minor imperfections and only see the beauty the surrounds us. The beautiful weather and our spirits are things that graffiti can never touch.

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