It’s a damn shame I have to ask the question: How many deaths is it going to take before our trifling lawmakers do something serious about cracking down on all carjackers? It is a nationwide problem. And the ages keep getting younger and younger as those in their early teens are now trending — yes 13 is the youngest age to be involved in a carjacking that resulted in the death of the driver. Not only are the carjackers young, they’re also female.
I am long past the hand-wringing and platitudes about these individuals being children. They have made some adult decisions and need to suffer adult consequences. Blaming video games like Grand Theft Auto alone is one of the lamest things I’ve heard in ages. The video game was released in 1997. Admittedly many of these kids grew up playing/watching it their entire life. Yet there’s no holding accountable those who bought the game and allowed these kids to play it.
Teaching right from wrong is a parental responsibility. As such, we are failing to hold accountable the parents who are legally and morally responsible for these children until they turn 18. We give parents unearned income tax credits amounting to thousands of dollars just because they birthed the children. We give tax deductions because of children.
The latest stimulus bill involves money for children. In Chicago, every public school student is going to get a $425 a month Link card, whether they need it or not. Somewhere along the line, all that money being tossed about because of children needs to have some accountability from the adults who in most cases are controlling it. I say most cases, because when those Link cards start arriving, it’s going to be interesting to see the news stories of dispute situations where the kid didn’t want to give up the card to the parent. Although many like to profess that those cards can only be used for food, in reality they could be traded for Michael Jordan gym shoes and True Religion jeans. All you need is a willing Link card holder and a willing seller.
We have had several deaths because of these carjackings. And in each case, the person killed was not black. The killers? Young black kids. There’s a lot of silence about that, but this is reality. These children have the notion that they can go out and create this havoc and they will get their wrists slapped. Sadly, it’s true. They are being released back to the same environment that allowed them in the streets to begin with. They have no fear because they know there are no or few consequences.
If I had my way, we would institute a juvenile in-service program that would send those kids away for a minimum of four years. It would be a military-type environment away from family and friends, where they would for the first time in their lives be subjected to rules, regulations and mandatory education.
These children have to grow up, and we can’t lose them forever. But we also can’t continue to just give them a slap on the wrist. There is a real penalty to be paid because there was a real death involved.