In Trouble's Living Room
We couldn’t help but feel for the anguished mother as she wailed into the camera, pleading for answers why this happened to her boy. “He was a good boy.” But we also couldn’t help but ask why this good boy wasn’t at home in the first place? What happened was wrong, and we’re not saying that bad things can’t happen at home. We’ve all shaken our heads after hearing stories about slain innocent bystanders, or the men, women and children who were in their own homes, minding their own business and fell victim to an errant bullet. But, that’s not what occurred here. This child—and we know teens don’t think of themselves that way, but this is not about what they think—was half a mile from his house, but “on his way home” as the mother stated. What’s up with that? What happened to curfews? Yes, it was the early morning of Veteran’s Day, so schools would be closed—you get to stay up late on a holiday, but not out in the street. Is there any circumstance when it’s OK for a thirteen year old—boy or girl—to be out alone after midnight? At night, trouble doesn’t have to go anywhere to find them—they’re out in trouble’s living room.
What happened to parents being in control? And we’re not just talking about two parent households, because the reality is that many of us don’t grow up in those—Donna didn’t. We admit that it may seem easy for us to cast stones—neither of us has children.. But even though we haven’t walked the talk, that isn’t the real issue here, and placing blame isn’t the point. Our question is when did the kids take over? And whether it relates to curfew, clothing choices, studying—the list goes on—when did the, “Because I said so,” rule get thrown out?
Neither of us can imagine a circumstance under which we would have been permitted (even on a holiday weekend) to be out on the street at almost one o’clock in the morning—not at 13, 14 or even 15. OK. That was back in the olden days. We know times have changed. The world has changed --in some ways for the better in other ways not. But is it ever OK (or safe) for a thirteen year old, even with a cell phone with GPS tracking (this is purely hypothetical--we don’t know if this kid had a cell phone or not) to be hanging out on the street that late at night? What is an appropriate curfew?
We know who’s at fault—the shooter. BUT don’t Mom and Dad share at least some of the responsibility here?