It's been a while since I wrote anything here. I didn't realize that until I called it up and saw the pic from the World series....... Guess I haven't had much to say.
Anyway, back on track. We had a gang-related killing in this town last Friday. An 18 year old shot a 17 year old in a McDonald's parking lot. Over who knows what. Territory, a girl................... whatever. Now someone is dead.
Today, I read an article about juveniles who are convicted of adult crimes and are serving life without chance of parole. Various social justice organizations are saying that this is wrong. For me, it's a tough call. In some cases, the kids may be able to be rehabilitated. And in others, they would just return to the same life they had before. I guess the thing that bothers me is the whole issue of violence is the answer. Parenting experts tell parents to teach their kids to reason things out. Are we kidding? Kids are bombarded with violence is the answer images in everything they see. The tv shows, video games, music, hip-hop performers........... What do you think they're going to do?
Add into that mix the availability of weapons. Kids don't have fist-fights these days. There's no one on one with a winner and a loser. And even if there is, there are reprisal after reprisal until no one is left standing. Sure, you have to show ID and have a background check before you can get a handgun. But you can walk into any Walmart and get a shotgun or "hunting" rifle. And those are just the legal ways to get guns. So these kids get guns and shoot one another, and anyone else who gets in the way. Why?
Well, for openers, kids these days seem to think they are never wrong. Never. Adults are idiots and repressive. Well, ok, I thought that when I was a teenager a million years ago, too. Obviously, it's more than that.
Teens are also considered "children" in today's society. HUGE mistake. Teens are NOT children and should not be considered or treated as children. No, they are also not adults. But since they are in the last stages of training for adulthood, they should not be babied as if they were still just learning to walk.
They are also given too much. Even the poorest of the poor in the US really doesn't know what it's like to have NOTHING. There are agencies and programs if people avail themselves of them. Kids and teens in this country think they are underprivileged if they don't have the latest game system, the most expensive shoes, their own car and their own cell phone. Ask one of the Lost Boys of the Sudan, kids, and I think you'll find out what a really hard life is all about.
Ok, so we have normal teen "boundary attitude", teamed with being spoiled rotten and babied. Add the availability of guns............. still not enough of an explanation. Here's where the social justice agencies come into play. They tell us, the adults, that we are stupid, repressive and just plain wrong in everything we do. That the poor little dears can't be held responsible for anything they do. There's a name or a syndrome for everything. We are a society of excuse makers. I'm not responsible because.......... I grew up in a single parent home. Who doesn't these days? Because, I grew up poor. And??? That gives you the right to kill someone? Get a job. And I don't mean burglary or selling drugs to school kids. I mean a real job. Oh, yeah. It would be demeaning to your fragile self-esteem to "flip burgers". You should be a barely "C" student, come out of high school and be the CEO of your own company. Dream on. My personal favorite is Because I was depressed. Oh there's a whole army of teary-eyed social justice workers just waiting to hold the hands of the "depressed". Some people genuinely have a serious problem with clinical depression. But being disappointed, doesn't mean you are medically ill. And it certainly doesn't give you the right to kill someone.
Parents have to shoulder some of the blame here. Today's parents are in debt up to their eyeballs and seriously at risk of losing everything in one blow. But they keep maxing out their credit cards so that junior doesn't go without a single thing just because he/she says "I want that". I have a friend who told me that her kids always get everything on their Christmas lists. Always have. She's thousands of dollars in debt, but just as long as her kids are never disappointed. Get with it. Life is FULL of disappointment. From the moment you're born until the day you die. Also, life is full of people who want to tell you what to do and how to live, full of people who will make fun of you, call you names and bully you. That doesn't stop with adulthood. There is such a thing as insulating our kids from too much. My son got picked on a lot when he was younger. I told him that he had to learn to live with it because there will always be someone somewhere who wanted to make his life miserable. Am I wrong? I guess time will tell. But I digress.
So, in this society of excuse makers, teens are never wrong, emotionally immature, have never been told no, or been disappointed. Put a gun in their hands. What do you think will happen?
Many of my older relatives grew up, or were young adults during the Great Depression. My dad had to quit school and go to work to help support his family. His money was NOT his own. His money that he earned helped feed his family. Then at 20 he was in Europe getting shot at. He came back home, got a job, married and had a family. And at 50 years old, he finally finished his education. He never shot anyone. He got robbed once, but he never robbed anyone. And he never owned a gun. Said he'd had more than enough of them in the Army during The War. We were raised that life is hard. That you have to earn whatever you get. That you never hurt anyone who couldn't defend themselves. That you never picked on anyone except in jest, and then only those who could take it. We were raised to accept everyone. Color didn't matter. Religion didn't matter. Social standing didn't matter. How they treated you--now that's what mattered.
So I guess I don't get it. Who ever said that you shouldn't get punished for your crimes? If we let one off, won't we have to let them all off? And, sadly, what kind of message does this send to the others. That there really is no punishment? On the other hand, they seem to think that serving in prison is some sort of badge of honor. I don't know. Maybe I really am just old and stupid.