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Forcing Taggers--and Parents--to Pay the Price

May 23, 1993

* Calling these people taggers makes it sound like they are engaged in some sort of game with the public. They should be called what they really are--vandals.

A vandal is one who willfully destroys or mars public or private property, a wrecker, saboteur and barbarian. They pollute the visual environment. They rob good citizens of millions of dollars annually through their malicious destruction and defacement, making them common thieves.

The article mentioned that "Kilroy was here" was scrawled on the walls during World War II by our troops. This was in the midst of a war. The intent was to rattle the enemy and to destroy their confidence and courage. This is exactly what is happening in today's cities. Seeing the defacement of buildings, bridges, signs and anything that stands still for more than five minutes discourages creativity and depresses hope.

In light of the debilitating effect vandalism has on the pocketbooks and spirits of our good citizens, taggers should be recognized as the public enemy they really are. Long, hard jail sentences should be the reward for their "grand theft" of public funds, "rape" of our visual environment and "pollution" of our urban landscape.

R.A. KENT

Irvine

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