Time for personal responsibility

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Grand Falls-Windsor is becoming the victim of wanton destruction by mere youth whose parents let them roam wild and do what they want.

Just recently, a small group of boys once again made their way up a local town street smashing lawn ornaments and tearing up plants.

Grand Falls-Windsor is becoming the victim of wanton destruction by mere youth whose parents let them roam wild and do what they want.

Just recently, a small group of boys once again made their way up a local town street smashing lawn ornaments and tearing up plants.

Once again, the homeowner has to not only bear the cost of replacement but also loses the full pleasure of their garden because plants do not regenerate in a few hours, nor can all homeowners easily shell out more dollars for lawn ornaments and lawn furniture.

These youth seem to know the litany. You can't touch us. You can't try us in court and hold us responsible for what we do. We are underage.

Maybe they are correct in that assertion, but that will change as society realizes this surrealistic drama must not allowed to be restaged again and again as property owners are in the wings, totally helpless, as this silly and wanton drama unfolds again and again.

In today's society, it is not according to Hoyle to demand some redress for this wanton destruction because those children are not legally responsible. Well, there is a Latin phrase "in loco parentis," which means "in the place of a parent." In law, it refers to the public policy power of the state to intervene against an abusive or negligent parent and remove the children from an environment of neglect and abuse.

Surely, with kids who are allowed to roam at leisure all hours of the night and destroy the property of others (in many cases the property of the aged who love their gardens and seek comfort in them), surely it is time to invoke this practice of having the kids removed from those homes and placed under the care of the state. Surely no one would argue such kids are not victims of abuse.

But before we proceed to that step we need to give those parents the litmus test of true parenthood.

When a child is determined to be responsible for destruction in our communities, the bill for such destruction must land immediately in the lap of the parent(s), whether they are working parents or parents on social assistance. If the parent fails to pay this bill, that parent is also abrogating her/his responsibility as a parent and a member of a civilized society.

If the parent is on social assistance, it is doubly insulting because now not only are you the victim losing directly, but your tax dollars are supporting the destruction through support monies to that family. It is comparable to an assault victim paying his aggressor to punch him in the face, obviously a situation that defies all logic.

No parent, whether working or on social assistance, should be allowed to say "Sorry, I can't pay the bill." Why? Because it destroys the economic basis of our society.

If I incur a debt to you, I must pay it.

If you incur a debt to me, you must pay it. I am sure a few court attachments of wages or social assistance would draw that parent out of the reverie in which they see themselves as victims of fate where everyone must make exceptions for them.

Depending on the parents response, the next step could be the implementation of loco parentis or finding substitute parents whether through a foster home or as a ward of the state.

At that point the parents may realize that they were not true parents but just paternal enablers, a mere biological process of which even the most basic species can lay claim to.

Societies are premised on law and common sense. Maybe it's time our legislators stopped ineffectively spending billions on gun control and calculating the opportune time for another grab for power, and took a closer look at our next generation of kids and some effective legislation that would ensure they become contributors, not just bratty and destructive takers.

And let us not forget that anger directed at personal property often leads to anger directed at the owners of such properties.

In short, a cracked flower pot has a way of turning into a cracked skull. Wanton kids don't hate what they are destroying; they hate society and their failure to achieve positive things.

We need to redirect their energies and give them a moral compass - but first we need to get their attention and that of their parents.

Aubrey Smith

Grand Falls-Windsor

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Recent comments

  • aubrey smith
    August 15, 2011 - 18:12

    Re Citizen XIV - July 20th, 2010 at 13:02:42 coments on Mr. smith's letter .Mr. Smith didn't say ( 'Crimes against property are the worst kind?' ) to allow Citizen XIV to continue with (So assault, rape, genocide... What? Bad, but not THAT bad??? ) Actually, the idiot who was so intent on knocking Mr. Smith said that himself .h eseeks a variation of seek and ye shall find -if not just create quote sand put it in the mouth of he whom you would love to demolish with your atom-splitting intellect , Citizen Zero . Did your mother drop you on your pointy little head Citizen Zero ?

  • W
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    Very thorough & intelligent Mr. Smith. I wish it would become reality. As I too, find crimes against peoples property to be of teh worst kind as the owners worked hard for that property and to see it vandalized for No useful reason is very disturbing to me.

  • John
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    The only problem with your logic, Aubrey, is that many of these so called parents would be happy to see the government come in to haul little Johnny away. They could care less about their kids. The parents don't care anymore, so now the state has to step in, and provide parenting. Either the parents are working all day, so the kids are home by themselves till 6pm, than after supper they are out again till 4am. So the parents see them for about an hour a day, maybe two hours in some cases. Then you have the alcoholic, drug addicted parent who is on welfare. Usually this is mom, as Dad left long ago. She is only worried about how she can come up with enough money for the next drink, or fix. Johnny is 13 now and big enough to slap her around. She doesn't dare ask where he or she has been when they come home at 5 am stinking of beer and dope. The youth detention center in whitborne used to have 60 kids in the main facility, and 20 more in the overflow across the road, now they have 5 kids there. 5 kids in a 20 million dollar facility. Something is very, very wrong here. It is my humble opinion that this situation(the same all over the western world) will continue to escalate untill people wake up and realize that the age of majority needs to be lowered, the parents names need to be made public, and we need to start locking these junior criminals up. These kids can join the forces and die for their country, yet they cannot have a criminal record? They can get a drivers license at 16, yet we are to belive they need a second and third chance because they don't know what they are doing? Trust me, these little scumbags know exactly what they are doing, and they know the law. Time for a big change, parents don't want to parent anymore, so I guess the government will have to step in and do this as well.

  • Citizen XIV
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    'Crimes against property are the worst kind?' So assault, rape, genocide... What? Bad, but not THAT bad??? And Smithy, once again I see you're treating us to your keen insight into the human condition. Let me guess, you aren't a sociology professor, are you? You make Ann Coulter sound like Stephen Hawking.