Reuters recently reported a new plan aimed at reducing the number of guns and drug related violence in some of Mexico City’s neighborhoods. The city’s new mayor announced that anyone who turns in a gun will be given Xboxes or computers. I don’t know what the price of an Xbox runs in Mexico, but this sounds like a great deal.
According to the story, handguns will get you an Xbox but larger guns like machine guns will earn you and your family a brand new computer, complete with a copy of ‘Computer Hacking and Virus Creation For Dummies’ and ‘Identity Theft Made Easy.’ I guess that means grenades are worth a PDA and anything larger than a machine gun will get you a new GPS navigation system for your car. Since the program will be run with the strictest of anonymity, I imagine there will be a lot of new Xboxes being handed out. Let’s forget reform and just sit around playing video games all day. I guess scared straight has been replaced with played straight or rewarded straight?
It seems to me that the best way to reduce drug violence is to begin eliminating the actual drugs. I don’t know if Mexico City’s Mayor is taking crime reduction tips, but how about an all-expense paid trip to Disneyland for anyone turning in drugs. The program could be taken a step further to help curb other types of crimes. If you steal a car and turn it into the authorities, you can be given a new Razor scooter. Purse-snatchers who return the purse (and wallet) get new Gucci handbags and anything returned to the home it was stolen from will receive a Best Buy or Home Depot gift certificate. Vandals who volunteer to clean up their graffiti will be rewarded with beginner art sets from JoAnn’s or Michael’s. I guess if you are accused of assault and promise to apologize profusely to the victim, you get a free punching bag. Counterfeiters who agree to destroy their fake money as well as its fabrication equipment will be rewarded with $500 American dollars for every 100 bills destroyed (wait a minute, that doesn’t seem right). You can see the benefits awaiting a career criminal who decides to clean up their act. Why oh why did I never buy a gun?
I have no idea how Microsoft feels about the program since they are the creators of the Xbox and undoubtedly, the computers being given away contain Microsoft Windows. My guess is that the computers will have Vista as their operating system, which is really a nice touch since I believe Vista is Spanish for ‘waste of money, just stick with XP.’ I can see it now when drug lords and dealers start lining up outside of Mexico City police stations demanding their machine guns back when they realize the Vista-loaded computers they were given in return aren’t compatible with their printers, scanners and digital cameras.
You know, I’ve wanted a PlayStation 2 for three years now. Maybe if I anonymously throw a rock through a window and then return the rock to law enforcement I can get one. That seems like fair compensation. I wonder if all the Xboxes being given out will contain any video games. Here’s a tip: ‘Grand Theft Auto’ might be a popular choice.
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