Public Nuisances

A few weeks ago we received feedback from a viewer, Elizabeth of Jonesboro, who was frustrated with the ongoing lack of courtesy and respect she feels is evident in our community. She brought up some valid points that we feel deserved to be addressed.

Elizabeth, this week's "Consider This" is for you and the thousands of viewers who are fed up with inconsiderate people.

Here are some of her comments - "What about trucks with tinted windows, loud dual exhaust, glass packs and sub woofers that rattle the windows in my apartment when they pass or enter the nearby parking lot?

They sit on the parking lot and continue to play the radio until the song is finished. This goes on from 4 a.m. - 2 p.m. on weekends, all day.

I must ask the question, "If our city fathers want to progress and become a city instead of a country town, why don't they "consider this." How about some peace and quiet and tranquility?

I have tried to work with the police department on this since I moved here. From the patrolmen to Alderman Judy Furr to Mayor Forman and finally Chief Yates. They all tell me there is nothing they can do."

So we ask - What happened to common courtesy? When the rights of one individual encroaches on the rights of another individual, where should the line be drawn.  Ronnie Weston, who serves on our commentary committee, shared this old adage... "Your right to swing your fist ends where someone else's nose begins".  If that's the case, the same analogy applies to other rights people choose to exercise.

Some examples...

Smoking... If a person chooses to smoke, they should also respect the rights of those that choose health over habit.

Alcohol... When a person drinks to excess and becomes a nuisance to others around them, their right to drink has encroached on the rights of others to enjoy a meal, sporting event, or any other activity.

And as Elizabeth mentions... Loud Music, Loud Tailpipes... or as my family and I have had the unfortunate opportunity to experience... Loud Barking Dogs at 3 a.m.

People who choose to disrespect their fellow man, in our minds, are some of the most inconsiderate people we have ever encountered. And if you confront them with the issue they conveniently choose to use the defense that it is their "right" to do whatever it is that is causing the disturbance. Typically they say it's the other person's problem... not theirs. Too bad... get over it.

Say what? Yes, I admit, it's been a while since I've read the entire Bill of Rights... but I sure don't remember disturbing the peace being included in the list. In fact, the majority of the communities in Region 8 have laws against that type of behavior. Unfortunately due to lack of police manpower these lawbreakers are allowed to continue their nuisance behavior with little or no repercussions.

We're sick of it too, Elizabeth. Our committee discussed this in detail and we just can't figure out where this disrespect originates. Have these people been so spoiled that it is all about them... regardless of the situation? Have the parents simply been uninvolved and not taught their children the meaning of consideration and respect? Is it just our society that has degenerated to the point where everything is about ME, ME, ME?

We realize that law enforcement is stretched... but all citizens DO have a right to have their concerns investigated, particularly if there are laws in place regarding that situation. St. Louis has a great plan that could be implemented throughout Region 8. We'll share that with you next week.

In the meantime, what do you suggest? Give us your feedback by logging on and clicking on Consider This... or call us at 870.336.1899. We'll share your comments next week.

And while you're at it...  What's up with all the littering across Region 8? We'll get on that soap box in a few weeks.

Until then... have a great week.