It's good to know that Fresno, California is tough on crime. If I ever visit there, I won't have to worry about getting hit on the head with a rock, like Rafael Diaz, Jr. in Atlanta or like Elijah Vang in Fresno. In April, Fresno police arrested Elijah's assailant, Maribel Cuevas, for assault with a deadly weapon. A hardened criminal despite no prior record, Maribel spent 5 days in jail for resisting arrest and scratching the arresting officer. Some America-hating, feel-good liberals would have liked to talk to Miss Cuevas, maybe see what her feelings were. Some weak on crime, "everything goes" Lefties probably wouldn't have even let her spend most of a week in jail, even though she's only 11 years old.
That's right. Eleven. (In case you, you know, needed it spelled out) But don't let her age fool you. Elijah Vang threw a water balloon at her, a harmless prank. Haha, boys will be boys, after all! To respond with a rock is criminal, however, and poor Elijah had to have stitches! Fresno's Republican mayor, Alan Autry (of Heat of the Night fame) feels the police action is appropriate. And you can't accuse Mr. Autry of being hypocritical. While he's fairly moderate, as Republicans go, he's made his reputation on being tough on crime. In 1998, he made a video for Fresnoans (?) and Californians about a new 10-20 law that sends kids 14 years and older to jail for an extra 10-20 years if a gun was involved.
What this boils down to, of course, is Zero Tolerance. Zero Tolerance has about as positive a reputation these days as "Politically Correct" and "Liberals". But zero tolerance is fundamentally a conservative, tough-on-crime concept. No exceptions - breaking the law is breaking the law. (Unless you're rich. That's different because you're valuable to society.) "Tough on Crime" is a phrase that needs to get attached to a Republican candidate to get elected. (See Willie Horton) Typically, the buzz-words and key phrases these politicians say at election time mean very little. But sometimes they're trapped by their words.
I'm a 7-month veteran of blogging. I know what most of the comments will be like, "This girl should never be sent to jail. She should have been spanked." "I agree." But this isn't about Maribel. Her arrest was a direct result of the very things Americans have been asking for during election after election. Forget the neighborhood watch. I want the people I elect to protect me from everything and everybody. And the people running for office are just as quick to promise it to a gullible public. Of course they can't really protect you from everything if you don't protect yourself. If you don't know your neighbors or help keep an eye on the neighborhood or help keep your neighborhood clean, no politician will protect you. But we keep electing people who say things that sound good. We keep electing people who make promises we know they'll never keep. And it's our children who will pay for it. Maribel Cuevas was not the first. Nor will she be the last.