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Our decisions and our faith are what will solve our community’s ills

Over the past few days and weeks, we have reported on murders, aggravated assaults, property crimes, and on Tuesday, a suspicious fire that destroyed both a vehicle and a home.

These crimes happened in our corner of God’s world; Vicksburg and Warren County.

Whether it is the return of hot weather, the pent-up frustrations of a society that was restricted for nearly three months, high unemployment, or a combination of those and more, the past few days and weeks have seen far too many police reports, far too many property and physical crimes, and far too many lives taken in Vicksburg and Warren County.

We can do better. Vicksburg and Warren County must do better.

As a community, we have proven that we are not capable of conducting ourselves appropriately without law and order. We are a society whose freedoms are at the core of who we are, but those freedoms, contrary to our beliefs, have limits.

Those freedoms, those rights so painfully defended in our Constitution and written in the Bill of Rights only extend until they infringe on someone else. That is where they end and sadly, in the past few days, that is a point where too many have not stopped.

Leaders at every level of government talked about how we as a society could not continue shelter-in-place for months at end. The mental stress of being restrained and the near economic disaster that took place made keeping curfews, crowd restrictions and certain businesses shut down something that could only be held in place temporarily.

Maybe that — our society’s mental stress — is what we are seeing with this recent increase in local crime.

But if that is the case, then this increase is a conscious one. It is one that is driven off choice and different choices can be made.

As a community, we must hold our families, our friends and our neighbors accountable, but we must first start with ourselves. As government loosens the reins on society and the economy, we have only ourselves to blame if things do not get better.

Much in the same way our actions can further curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus or reignite it, the same could be said for crime in our neighborhoods, in our city and in our county.

Law enforcement can only do so much. That is why what we do, the actions we take, the conscious decisions we make and the foundation of faith we must have are at the very core of solving the ills of our society.