On Jan. 20, the federal government, in conjunction with local law enforcement, arrested 127 mafia members in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. They were charged with federal crimes such as conspiracy, arson, extortion, drug trafficking, illegal gambling, labor racketeering and multiple counts of murder.
Really? This is what the federal government believes is the most pressing issue concerning the people of our nation?
According to U.S. Department of Justice, almost half of all stalking victims are 18-29 years old and an alarming 13 percent of them live on college campuses. A survey conducted on 32 colleges and universities discovered another disturbing trend concerning sexual assault. It found that, of the 52 percent of sexual assault victims who are attacked yearly, almost 82 percent happened on campus. Still think local law enforcement should spend our tax dollars hunting down the Gambino family-wannabes?
It’s not a pretty picture for those of us who commute to school, either. The F.B.I. reported that, in 2009, murder rates increased nationwide from the year before. Although, rape remained steady at 1.2 percent, that really doesn’t make me feel any better. I’m sure my single and non-single ladies agree.
Want to argue that? I can attest to crime expanding its hold on our neighborhoods. Last May, my friends and I were walking home after seeing a movie and were almost attacked by a man with a knife and gun on the Upper East Side of NYC.
Even traveling in packs with a guy who looks like he could play for the Miami Dolphins doesn’t deter criminals from violence. Not too long ago, it was perfectly safe to walk down 81st and Madison at 2 a.m. to drop off a movie at your local video store. My legion of family members, who are scattered over the Upper East Side, used to do the same.
Now, we use a taxi once it gets dark. NYC may still have mafia members, but I’ve never been scared to be out walking past sunset because of John Gotti’s “associates.”
Don’t get me wrong. This is a win for the government. But not so much for the everyday citizen. The mafia doesn’t target the average Joe Schmoe like serial killers, rapists and pedophiles do.
Remember Ted Bundy, the sociopath who brutally raped two FSU sorority members and murdered two more? A serial killer targeting college students frightens me more than a mobster who collects gambling debts. I don’t gamble, but I do walk alone to my car at night after class. I’d really prefer the local police focus on potential serial killings than hunting mafia arson cases.
Think about this: are you more worried about South Florida’s Tony Soprano or the next Ted Bundy stalking the dorms at night? Ponder that when you’re laying in bed at night in your dorm room or walking to your car after night classes. Don’t blame this Sam for making you paranoid. Blame Uncle Sam.