When I was a teenager, young men who got into trouble with the law, minors or otherwise, were given a choice: Prison or military service. Most chose military service and came home law-abiding citizens and gave back to the community, making this a better and safer world. In those days, troubled youth settled differences with their fists, unlike today's gang members who think they are macho because they carry guns -- and usually hit the wrong targets. Underneath their macho exterior, gang members are afraid of their own shadows -- cowards, weaklings and punks. Judges need to help lighten the prison load by sending these cowards into the service, which will make useful men out of them.