Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chicken Soup with Sawyer Rosenstein...

Domestic terrorist wannabes, the sort of disaffected loners who dream of surpassing the homicidal records of men like Timothy McVeigh, Eric Harris, Cho Seung-Hui, and Ronald McDonald look-a-like James Holmes (The Joker) will be assisted in their efforts to rationalize mass murder by studying how America's child loving culture reacted to the viscious attack on Sawyer Rosenstein at Eric Smith Middle School in May, 2006.

The cover of the July 9, 2012 edition of People Magazine included the words, "SCHOOL BUS BULLIES How could this happen?" These words appeared in the upper right hand corner and for reasons of color contrast appeared to be designed to attract attention. Unfortunately, this wasn't the feature article. People readers were far more interested in Paula Deen's amazing 30 pound weight loss, "The Truth about Katy Perry's Split with Russell", and Johnny Depp's "New Life as a Single Man." Mr. Rosenstein's story was shuttled way back to page 88 under the caption, "People HEROES AMONG US." It consisted of a one page piece about an otherwise healthy teenager who was injured by a known criminal so badly that he'll be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. The name of the criminal isn't mentioned of course. In America, the safety and privacy concerns of even the worst criminals is paramount. In that respect, the article accomplished little beyond reminding readers that in the 13 and a half years since Columbine, most American adults still have their heads buried someplace warm, dark, and moist.

Sawyer Rosenstein is not a hero. Heroes are people who run into burning buildings when everyone else is running out. Mr. Rosenstein is the victim of a violent crime that could easily have been prevented if American adults actually placed a higher value on public safety than they do on the egos of violent sociopaths and of parents who want their children to be feared by other people's children. Mr. Rosenstein's efforts to remain sane and stay busy are certainly commendable, but society's attention should be focused on preventing other victims from suffering a similar fate. Yes, that means we need to begin actually punishing young criminals instead of treating them like naughty children. It also means...and this will terrify conservative loonies...we're going to have to hold bad parents criminally responsible for their role modeling. This is not an invitation to file more lawsuits. It's a call to begin treating criminals who reproduce as what they are...criminals. Bullies are usually raised in homes where one, and often both parents role model violence as the normal method of establishing one's rank, position, and status within the community. Criminal parents train their children to brutalize and terrify other people's children and genuinely believe they are right in doing so.

Start arresting violent bullies and any parent who expresses approval of violent behavior. You'll probably save lives by doing so.

Or you can leave your heads concealed from sunlight and wait for the next opportunity to feign bewilderment when someone starts spraying bullets in a crowded theatre. There are more "Jokers" in the pipeline, and Americans are making it very easy for them to rationalize that the lives and safety of their victims don't matter any more than Sawyer Rosenstein did.

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