Welcome to the 21st century; personal responsibility not required – Copzilla
That quote wasn’t written in response to the issues that concern me today, but it might have been. Two items:
Kenton, OH: 5 teenage boys stole a deer decoy and placed on a country road, to watch cars swerve around it. As one car approached, the driver swerved, lost control, and rolled the car. He and his passenger were seriously injured. The driver will require multiple surgeries to minimize the permanent disability; his passenger suffered brain damage. The 5 offenders are facing a variety of misdemeanor charges; two were found guilty, although their sentences were suspended until after the football season (but that’s another post).
Worthington, OH: Several teenage girls went “ghost-hunting” at a nearby cemetery around 10 PM. Part of this adventure involved them going up to the door of a “haunted” house where a “witch” lived, according to local lore. In the process, shots were fired by a resident of the house, and one girl was seriously injured. It appears she’ll survive; the shooter was arrested and is facing multiple counts of felonious assault.
Here’s my beef: in both cases, the risky behavior of the victims directly contributed to their injuries. In the Kenton case, the boys who crashed were speeding, and may have been intoxicated or under the influence of other drugs. In the Worthington case, the girls were trespassing. One police officer made the point that it’s not illegal for someone to come up and knock on your door; that’s what door-to-door solicitors do. But they don’t do it at 10:00 PM, and they don’t do it with the intent to annoy or harrass you but knocking on the dor and running away. The girls in that case were also trespassing in the adjacent cemetery; all cemeteries in Ohio close at dusk under state law.
Yet neither the injured boys in the Kenton case nor the girls in Worthington are going to be charged with any offense. How is that teaching anyone any personal responsibility? I’m not at all trying to excuse the illegal behavior that injured the aggrieved parties. But if the victims hadn’t done something stupid and/or illegal, they probably wouldn’t have been injured, or at least not as severely.
In the Worthington case, several people have made comments about how harmless the prank was. Is that really the impression parents want to give in this day of anti-bullyng rules and laws? School shootings have happened over “harmless pranks.” I think harmless is like beauty: in the eye of the beholder.