The tragic trend continues. In the last year, Wilmington has seen a troubling increase in the number of shootings in which juveniles were injured. Of the 137 shootings that have occurred in Wilmington in 2016, 30 of the victims were juveniles. This is a disturbing trend for all of Delaware and, truly, the entire nation. 

Violent crime is a plague in Delaware but when the victims are children, particularly hard questions must be asked. Condemning the alleged perpetrators of these crimes on an individual basis will do little to ameliorate the violence against children in Delaware. By treating the symptoms, the causes may be masked. Instead of “throwing the book” at alleged criminals—as is often the tactic embraced by politicians, law enforcement officers and prosecutors—addressing deep societal problems requires a firm defense of the constitutional rights of the accused and an honest assessment of the root cause of the problem. More jails, more harsh punishment and more aggressive police tactics are not long-term solutions. Perhaps seeing so many of our children suffer will be the wake-up call needed to address the violent crime problem in a practical and humane way.