Crappy parents of criminal kids should go to jail

Crappy parents of criminal kids should go to jail

To quote Dennis Miller, I don’t want to go off on a rant here, but . . .

You probably saw that three teens in Oklahoma shot and killed a college baseball player who was out for a jog.  They didn’t do it because they were robbing him.  They didn’t do it because he pissed them off.  They did it because they were bored.

The poor guy was here from Australia, trying to get an education and have a competitive baseball experience.  Maybe it’s because I love his country and spent time there that I’m set off by this one, more than the standard killing we read about every day.  Maybe it’s because the mother of the alleged shooter said that her kid is a great kid.  How are three teens allowed to get a gun, be bored, tweet about killing people, tweet about hating white people (even though one of the three is white) and the parents didn’t do anything about it?

That’s not to say that a parent should be on the hook for every dumb thing a kid does.  But this is beyond that.  The warning signs were all there.  And kids don’t just wake up and all agree that killing someone for no reason would be a hoot.  That’s ingrained in to you over time.  I’m blaming the parents for not even coming close to teaching these boys right from wrong.

And of course it’s not just in Oklahoma.  A little over a week ago, a teen shot a seven year old boy in Chicago who was carrying a bicycle.  Earlier this year a 14-year-old in NYC was charged with killing a man at 3 a.m.  What kind of parent lets their 14-year-old out at 3 a.m.  It’s just ridiculous.

And the parents always run the same b.s. line: “My boy isn’t a bad kid, he just started hanging out with the wrong people.”  No, your kid is awful and so are you.

I’d be all in favor of holding these parents both criminally and civilly accountable for what their children do.  Don’t like it?  Then don’t let your kid play with a gun.  Don’t let them sit around all summer with nothing to do.  Make them get a job.  Put them in school.  Send them to camp.  Or do something really shocking and actually spend time with them.  Maybe they’d rather hang out with their friends, but you don’t need to give them that choice, especially when you know their friends are punks.  If they are a punk, send them away before it’s too late.

For sure, parenting is not the easiest thing to do in the world.  Some of my nicest friends have broken down because they don’t know how to control their children.  But if I’m negligent driving my car and hit you, you can hold me accountable.  If I’m tending bar and over serve you, I can be held accountable.  If you fall on my property, I can be held accountable.  So is it really so crazy to hold accountable a parent who clearly did an awful job raising (or not raising) a child?

We don’t need more litigation in this country, but we do need more responsibility, so if we need to sue our way to make it happen then I’m all for it.  And if suing won’t work, make the parents of the worst offenders prove that they did what they could to make sure their “angel” is really an angel; and if they can’t, put them in jail too.

While we are at it, clearly gun laws were broken in all of these cases.  It would take an incredible effort, but if people really felt that if they didn’t keep track of their guns they could be prosecuted, maybe they’d think before being so careless with them.  These laws are on the books.  Let’s enforce them!

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