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Editorial: The tools of the trade

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City Councilman Eric Gioia (D-Woodside) has asked the city to put the heat on stores that furnish the city'’s graffiti vandals with the tools of their trade. City law forbids the sale of broad-tip markers and spray paint to young people under the age of 18. But that law is rarely enforced.

A report released Sept. 30 by the City Council’s Oversight and Investigations Committee calls for stricter enforcement of these laws. Gioia, who is the chairman of this committee, cited a report in which half of the hardware stores tested were willing to sell spray paint to juveniles. Eight of those stores are located in Queens.

“If we’re going to win this war,” said Gioia, “we’ve got to fight the battle on numerous fronts.”

He’s right. The city must be aggressive in the war on graffiti. Vandals must be apprehended and punished. They should be fined and forced to help clean up the graffiti mess. And those who supply these vandals with the tools of their trade should also be held accountable.

Posted 7:25 pm, October 10, 2011
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