Local officials could use the breathing space to attempt to short-circuit the bloody cycle of crime that’s passed on from generation to generation.
Our hope is that a program involving federal and local policing authorities will give Calhoun County just that opportunity.
Representatives from Anniston, Oxford, Jacksonville, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, the local prosecutor’s office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced this week a program that will pursue offenders of federal gun laws.
Locally, residents are encouraged to report violent crimes involving firearms to a special hotline number — 205-254-7777.
In other jurisdictions these efforts have been marketed under the slogan, “Gun crime means hard time.” Translation: Federal penalties for illegally possessing or using a firearm are stiff and there is no parole from a federal prison.
If this program works here — and the evidence from other communities where it’s been tried suggests it can — then Anniston and all of Calhoun County might soon see a dramatic reduction of violent crime. That would be truly good news.