Lawrence unfortunately has a growing reputation as a dangerous place on weekends and in the wee hours of a morning. Time and again, there has been major trouble involving local nightspots and the people who frequent them, to the point some residents won't venture into some locales after dark. Does that sound like the climate we want?
A recent incident, however, raises special questions about protecting the community.
Three men arrested outside a local motel early March 4 reportedly were from the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at nearby Fort Leavenworth. Were they active as soldiers or on some kind of pass for good behavior? If they are supposed to be responsible citizens, what they did is disgusting.
Reportedly one of the men pointed a weapon at a local person and, at some point, fired it into the air. The weapon threat alone is worthy of serious penalties, not to mention firing a shot into the air. What if the bullet had struck someone?
Consider the thoughtless people who fire various types of guns into the air at times such as New Year's Eve. How fortunate we all are that injuries rarely are reported, but the danger is always there. If a soldier from Leavenworth is shooting a gun around here, he needs to be called to account.
The presence of handguns and some assault weapons in our area is terrifying to many. So many of these weapons are discovered in the downtown area. What about the recent discovery of a 100-cartridge container attached to an assault rifle and ready to fire? What did the owner or owners of that deadly threat have in mind?
It is to the credit of our city commissioners that they are eager to take steps to prevent new incidents that pose a threat for extreme harm. Fines are one thing, but mandatory jail time, be it 30 days, 60 days or 90 days, is what is called for. Let us hope our officials don't soften their stand.
Life is difficult enough without having to worry about attack by assault rifle or dodging a bullet fired randomly by some showoff.