Protect our youth and tourists
I was very glad to see the Legislature take action to deter the crimes committed in schools and youth centers. But I think the bill stops short of the big picture, such as crimes against the youth and tourists. “Ice” is truly generating the side-effects of sexual crimes against our children and crimes against tourists to get money. The record of these crimes is well-documented and it seems there is no end in sight so we need to be more vigilant and tougher on these types of crimes. We must fight ice on all fronts and in every way because the use of ice is the true source of many of these crimes.
I wrote about the need for a “tourist act” on a couple occasions and still nothing is being done to add to our efforts to protect the very people who are literally bringing us money. When it comes to protecting tourists, we are still virtually operating under the same conditions that were in place two decades ago—nothing special to protect tourists. Tourists are still being subjected to the same crimes in the same places, proving that nothing has changed. I have even wrote about the need for cameras in Garapan and at tourists sites to protect and prevent crimes and even catch criminals but cameras cost money and I guess the powers-that-be don’t want to invest in protecting our tourists. Tourists are drowning and getting robbed and we don’t send any new signal that we care about our tourists and that they are also off-limits to criminals.
The House would be wise and do well to add mandatory sentences to protect our youth and our tourists. Criminals, our children and parents, and our tourists need to know that the CNMI is looking out for our children and tourists in a special way. Wisdom tells me that making a law to protect property in schools and centers is a good thing but making a law to protect people is the greater good. So don’t stop short with the bill by only protecting property. Do some good to protect the people in the neighborhood.
Ambrose M. Bennett