Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Teens Agree: Enough Is Enough despite Our Problems, `Never Give Up'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Teens Agree: Enough Is Enough despite Our Problems, `Never Give Up'

Article excerpt

The "Enough is Enough" forum sponsored by MTV focused on solutions to the violent crime problem that overwhelms this nation. Although the program digressed from the original discussion, it was basically very educational and well presented.

President Bill Clinton addressed the issue of violence and restated his campaign objective to defeat violence. He cited many relevant events that occurred since his inauguration, among them the caning sentence in Singapore, the passage of the Brady bill and different forms of crime prevention.

When the president was asked about the caning sentence against American Michael Fay, he denounced that form of grueling punishment. He cited the Constitution as a reference for his opinion because of the guarantee of individual freedoms. The president also accurately noted the circumstances behind the situation. Caning, a severe form of punishment, can leave permanent scars, induce shock and even lead to death. And, although this form of reprimand is certainly effective, it violates the personal rights upon which the United States was founded.

The president was especially proud of the Brady bill, which went into effect on Feb. 28 this year. The bill requires a five-day waiting period for a gun permit so that a background check can be completed on the applicant. Statistics reveal the immediate success of the bill in several states. He also stated that 200 million guns are in circulation and that America has the highest murder and crime rate in the Western world. The Brady bill, although controversial, appears to be fulfilling its function as a crime deterrent.

The president mentioned his crime bill, which contains the federal "three-strikes-you're-out" provision. This would affect only a small percentage of criminals under current statutes. Clinton stressed crime prevention through education and various types of programs that seem to be working. He also emphasized the need for functional families. Both education and the family play an influential part in the success of a child. …

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