Lexington county Senator Jakie Knotts will hold a press conference today about the legislation he is offering to fight gangs in the Midlands and the rest of South Carolina. According to the WIS TV, the legislation will allow for the seizure of property used in gang related activities and for the protection of gang members who want out.
Until the legislation is filed, and the details can be looked over, no one can truly know how powerful the measures will be. But, hooray to Jakie Knotts for actually doing something about the gang problem and not burying his head in the sand like so many other midlands politicians are doing on the issue.
Let there be no mistake about it. The Midlands of South Carolina has a gang problem. Just the other day, I spoke with the mother of a middle school student whose child came home telling her about another child on her bus who talked about being in a particular gang and showed the appropriate gang signs to the other children on the bus. That bus was not in some inner city district. That bus was rolling in the highly respected suburban district of Lexington-Richland District Five.
For far too long school officials and law enforcement officials have downplayed the presence and power of gangs. Hooray again for state senator Jakie Knotts in that the senator acknowledges the problem and tries to something about it.
Gangs are perhaps the most destructive force that can be unleashed upon middle and high school students. We must do something about the problem and do something about it now.