A LAW WITH TEETH
The need for uniform laws on arson is becoming clearer every day. From all over the country reports are received which indicate that in some sections the law covering arson in certain states is too lenient. There is no more heinous offense known to mankind than this willful destruction of property and lives and we believe that no penalty is too severe to be imposed on a person convicted of this crime against humanity.
Of course there are cases where arson is due to mental deficiencies but in those instances the way to handle the case is by exercising a restraint so that it will not be possible for that person to again jeopardize lives and property.
It would seem that a uniform law on this arson should be fought for as valiantly as are advocated any other fire prevention measures for after all if fear is instilled in the hearts of these would-be criminals they will not be so anxious to come into contact with a law that has teeth in it.
One of the best means of fighting arson is by publicity. If it is pointed out to the newspapers that arson is a constant menace and that news stories regarding such cases have a wide interest, as probably every editor already knows, they will be glad to cooperate by featuring the convictions in the courts. When it becomes known broadcast that incendiary fires will surely bring summary action then the like lihood of repetitions will be reduced.
But even the securing of convictions under present laws should not hinder those who are in states with inadequate statutes from advocating stronger laws with real sharp teeth in them. If this is done then we are sure that arson will be reduced by fifty per cent.