Opinion: No perspective (for people committing crimes)

POSTED: 08/21/11 4:23 PM

If people were stunned by the double murder that occurred on Thursday, they were stunned when another murder followed within twenty-four hours. But how surprising is it, really?
We know from the days we spend in the courthouse every Wednesday that there is a lot of tension among especially young people who miss direction in their life.
When young people have no perspective, their start doing all the things our so-called respectable citizens wouldn’t even dream about. They see everybody else driving a nice car, living in a nice house, wearing nice clothes, and have all the electronic gadgets you don’t really need but that everybody seems to be unable to do without.
Young people are dying to get their hands on all that fancy stuff. They want to be part of the good life.
But when you have no perspective, when you don’t know where the money for your next utilities bill is going to come from, let alone the money for the groceries, all those gadgets are out of reach.
Unless, of course, a job comes up. That begs the question why so many young people have no perspective to start with. Is it because they failed at school? Is it because the school failed them? Is it because their parents failed to set the right example? Is it because the parents, or at least one of them, took a hike as soon as they were born? Is it, therefore, a matter of general neglect for the next generation?
Our working class citizens are obviously upset with all the violence around them. Who wants to live in a place where bullets are flying around freely, and where it is only a matter of time before the next murder occurs?
Well, the truth is that we do live in such a place. And as we pointed out yesterday, people, politicians included, love to talk about the crime situation, but nobody seems to be prepared to take the bull by the horn and put some measures in place that actually work.
The cry for more police is justified (even the police want more police), but it is not the solution. The police come into the picture at the end of the line – when a crime has been committed. What we need are measures to bring the number of crimes down.
Those measures begin at home. A family with a father and a mother offers in general a more stable environment to young people than a household that is run by an 80-year-old grandmother. We have to take action against teen pregnancy, because those pregnancies produce unwanted children who are faced with mothers who have never thought for a second about what it means to bring up a child in a responsible way. The fathers who are instrumental to most teen pregnancies usually disappear like snow under the hot sun at the first signs of pregnancy.
That’s double jeopardy: a child-mom with an incomplete education and most likely no income to provide for her off-spring. That’s a tough situation, a result of our loose morals, our failed education system and a landscape littered with broken families.
And we are surprised that there are so many young people who are unable to manage their anger. Of course they are angry. They did not get a fair chance in life from the get go, and now, in their mid-teens, they are faced with the consequences.
Oh, wait. That is not an excuse for shooting people, but it sure as hell is a good recipe for getting shot sooner or later. Youngsters are unable to settle their differences in a normal way – without shooting or stabbing each other, that is. While this is not entirely their fault, they do have a responsibility for their own behavior.
That truth becomes apparent at two critical moments: when they stand in front of a judge in the courthouse, or when they are looking down the barrel of a gun, wondering why on earth they didn’t pay more attention in school.

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