Why kids kill ?

Brian Atkins (brian@posthuman.com)
Thu, 27 May 1999 19:58:43 -0400

Here is an excerpt from an editorial in the local Atlanta paper today discussing what the author believe is the real reason for the growing kid violence in the US. I agree with it...

Hard question follows kid killers

by Leonard Pitts

(discussing how when asked, kids blame bullies and other known facts of high school life, and how these things have not changed in the past 50 years) ...

"So what's changed isn't school, but some of the students who go there.

Who are these children? It's a question I find myself asking with increasing frequency. A question that unavoidably attends not just the recent rush of random killing by schoolyard shooters, but also the equally troubling string of infancticides by secretly pregnant teen mothers.

An answer seems to lie in the very mundaneness of their motivations: in the mother who explains that she killed her baby to avoid embarrassment or the shooter who says he went on the rampage because he lost his girl or was picked on by a bully.

Who are these children?
But it seems obvious, doesn't it? These are the children of entitlement. These are the children who were never shamed enough, blamed enough, held accountable enough, or told "no" enough to understand that the world does not orbit around them nor exist for their immediate gratification.

These are the children for whom an excuse has always been found, a way always made, a shortcut always carved, the children who have never had to bear the consequences of their own actions upon their own shoulders.

These are the children of the new age, the one wherein parents worried so much - too much, I think - about bruising self-esteem. As a result, these are the children who fall apart like a house of cards in a hurricane the moment life deals them a hard slap or two.

The problem is that life doesn't give a damn about self-esteem. Life just does what life will and demands that you deal with it or not. Too many children do not. Cannot. Because they're not tough enough.

These children are a reminder that our job as parents, teachers, and elders is not to smooth the way but to teach a child to walk safely in the rough places. It's a job we need to approach more assiduously than we do.

Because ultimately, the answer to the question is chilling in its simplicity: Who are these children?

They are tomorrow."

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