By Jim Harris
It seems like a disproportionate amount of professional athletes have been involved in murders lately. On the field of play, they are worshiped and rewarded for the ability to vanquish their opponents in no uncertain terms, so it's understandable that when things don't go their way in real life, they simply blow somebody's brains out. And not just athletes, but many musicians and movie stars, too, have found themselves at one end or the other of a speeding bullet or well-placed hatchet. It's actually kind of psycho-chic and career-enhancing to have been arrested for a weapons violation, or to be dating someone who has. Even adolescents and teenagers are killing each other, and occasionally their parents, in ever-greater numbers these days, often mimicking scenes from popular adventure movies, or acting out the words to a favorite song. Back in my day, young people tried to shock their parents by burning draft cards and smoking pot. We wondered, since we were so wild and open-minded, what our kids could ever possibly do that we would find objectionable. Well, now we know.
Since I have a notarized certificate of achievement in advanced human studies, it is obvious to me that our kids are just trying to "freak us out" by challenging our beliefs. All they're saying is , "Hey, we're different, we're "special", and we don't dig your old-fashioned value system". They just want a reaction from the "square" oldsters. It's a juvenile plea for attention. Rather than feed into it and get all "uptight", I propose that we should simply say, "No big deal". It's called reverse psychology, and it's very modern. We should simply exhibit the attitude that, hey, nature herself is cruel, and there is an endless supply of people. So what if a few bite the dust. It's the cycle of life. People kill in wars all the time, and they get medals for it. Presidents and Kings do it.
Why, there are even "degrees" of murder (first, second, third), and various other categories, including manslaughter, which is akin to slaughtering a cow for happy meals or seat covers, which is, of course, is perfectly ethical. On the other hand, there is only one category of death ("dead"). I think that needs to be changed. We need to use some less ominous-sounding terms such as, "Deactivated", "Previously alive", or "Existentially impaired". It's time to stop branding young, naive killers as criminals. If we react too harshly to their homicidal shenanigans, the they'll just continue to do it anyway, unsupervised in some dark alley.
Most of them will eventually
outgrow the urge to maim and slay, and go on to lead productive,
boring lives. Sure, a few will progress to mass-murder and terrorism,
but that can be said of every generation. If you suspect that
your child has been experimenting with murder, don't overreact,
it's not the end of the world (at least not for him). Know the
facts, discuss it with him (best not to yell), and get a good
lawyer. It's a relatively small price to pay for the healthy development
of our precious children. After all, they are the future.
Back to Essays