May 13, 2009
Who needs parents?
Last night I did something I hardly ever do and flipped innocently through the TV channels. An annoying story caught my attention -- involving some local high school kids who were caught horsing around with disposable cameras they'd modified into low-powered stun guns, and who now face felony charges
Some of the comments I heard on the TV report struck me as classics in cluelessness, so I checked them out online this morning:
MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. -- Two Macomb County teens may face felony charges after one teen built a homemade stun gun and the other brought it to school.Apparently they were amusing each other, with the students consenting to the shocking. When I was a boy, boys who did things like that got hauled to the principal's office, and later had to reckon with the wrath of an angry father. That was the public reaction by adult authorities; their private reaction would have been to roll their eyes and say "Boys will be boys!"
Nowadays, things like this have become a huge police matter involving felony charges.
And instead of facing the job of disciplining their unruly brats, parents are blaming the Internet:
Macomb County parent Larry Beard is disappointed that students can find such dangerous recipes online.What are they going to come up with next?
There is nothing new about this. In fact, I post about it five years ago, and offered a flippantly sarcastic conclusion:
We definitely need mandatory background checks plus a fifteen day waiting period.How any of this is "a lot bigger than any of us," I'm not sure. But in another version of the story, the finger is pointed at YouTube:
The makeshift stun gun was found Monday at Dakota High School in Macomb Township, where an 18-year-old student zapped willing friends as a joke. Word got to school administrators, who confronted the student and confiscated the device.What they're doing on the Internet is watching these videos (as I did five years ago).
But buying a disposable camera, modifying it, taking it to school, and horsing around with it? These are independent actions, and "the Internet" is no more to blame than would a book showing how to make Molotov cocktails be to blame if the kids found bottles, filled them with gasoline, stuffed them with wicks, lit the wicks and then threw them at cars.
Both teens could face felony and misdemeanor charges first for having an electronic weapon, then for bringing it near school property, the sheriff said.Yes, it is a parenting issue, but who is the parent? The biological parents of an individual child, or the state?
A lot of people talk about a lack of accountability, as I did yesterday in the context of parents who sit around and let their children eat lead. The less accountable people become, the more the heavy hand of the state gets involved and takes on accountability which was once that of parents, in the process taking away freedom from everyone. Lack of accountability grows, and fuels the process.
Is individual accountability being destroyed by the state? Or is the state stepping in and intervening because of a lack of individual accountability? Or both? I don't know, but there seems to be a direct relationship between the lack of parental accountability and the state becoming the parent, not just of children, but of adults. Adults who don't want to parented by the state are finding that there's no way to opt out.
I suppose disposable cameras can be banned, along with 1/8" pipe, which as this video shows, can be used to make .22 caliber zip guns:
And now that I think about it, wire can be used to garrote people; piano wire, and guitar strings, or just plain old hardware store wire. That innocent-looking guitar string in your kid's pocket could very well be a deadly weapon!
The things people do all because of the Internet!
Where are their parents?
posted by Eric on 05.13.09 at 11:38 AM
Search the Site
Classics To Go
See more archives here
Old (Blogspot) archives
A knee sock jihad might be premature at this time
People Are Not Rational
No Biorobots For Japan
The Thorium Solution
Radiation Detector From A Digital Camera
This war of attrition is driving me bananas!
Attacking Christianity is one thing, but must they butcher geometry?
Are there trashy distinctions in freedom of expression?
Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood