Arrests last week of two Archer Lodge residents for cooking meth in their home is bad enough, but few are so naive as to think such things don’t happen here. Drugs are as much a part of our culture in Johnston County as they are in any other region of the state or nation.
That the illegal activity was taking place around children should not surprise us either, but it should give us greater cause for concern.
The allure of drugs can cause people’s judgment to fog. Heck, we can make the argument that anyone who gets into the business of making illegal drugs already has foggy judgment.
Adding children to the mix is just all the more problematic.
Much of the public outcry in the wake of the arrests was for the children. They are, after all, innocent victims.
According to police, the fumes from the illicit drugmaking had seeped into the children’s skin. That kind of chemical imbalance could bring on any number of problems.
If the allegations are proven true, two children will be left without a mother and a father. That’s a big strike against them as they set off on their own lives. The chances that they will grow up to be good productive citizens will decrease dramatically.
But at a time when money is tight, there’s probably little appetite in the political world to build more prisons. But it seems reasonable to us that parents who put their own children in harm’s way, as this couple is alleged to have done, deserve a greater punishment than the normal criminal.
The harsher the penalty, and the more swiftly those penalties are meted out, the less likely people are to contemplate such an action.
Strong penalties won’t stop all crime, but the more we hear about parents engaging in illegal activities that could potentially hurt their own children, the more we want to see them pay a really high price.