Tuesday, December 19, 2006

TOPIC: The Epitomy of Irresponsibility
While reading a FOX News.com story regarding the death of a young prankster, I was struck by the sheer irresponsibility of the folks making comments. While it is very tragic that a teenage boy lost his life, the people interviewed in the article (save a couple of teens) don't offer one ounce of blame that should be placed on the boy for his own actions. Here is the article [paraphrased]:
Egg Prankster's Mom Wants Killer to 'Admit What He Did'
It was the sort of commonplace misbehavior that raises blood pressure across the nation's roads: kids, out after midnight, egging cars along a busy thoroughfare. This time, though, the mischief turned deadly. The driver of a targeted gray Jeep barreled after the boys and someone inside pulled a gun, firing multiple shots that killed 14-year-old Danny Crawford. ... "I'd like to know where he is. I'd like to know why he won't come out and admit what he did," said the teen's mother, Kelly Crawford, 35, a Fredericksburg, Va., office worker.
... Crawford's killing happened Dec. 2 in a struggling neighborhood of century-old homes plagued by poverty and drug abuse. It's common to see prostitutes after dark and hear late night gunfire. The church parking lot where Crawford and his buddies were hanging out that night is about a mile from his father's house, and friends said he didn't know the layout well.
Family and schoolmates said Crawford — called D.J. by his family — was fun to be around and made a point of helping other kids, cheering them up if they had a bad day. "Danny was a nice kid, he doesn't get in a lot of trouble," said 12-year-old Cyril Butler, a seventh-grader who played pickup football with Crawford. "He was hanging around the wrong people, honestly." The boys shouldn't have been throwing eggs at cars, said other teens from the area. But they also said nothing the boys did justified a fatal shooting. "That's what kids do, they have fun on the weekends," said Kwon Wright, 16, a sophomore at nearby West High School. "That's what him and his boys was up to — having fun doing what they do."
The teens were on a lighted church parking lot where it was common for kids to play basketball or roller-skate, and adults were nearby. Someone showed up with eggs, and the kids started tossing them at each other, said Bobby Messer, 43, father of 14-year-old Devon. At some point, police say, the boys began lobbing the eggs at cars along a busy four-lane city stretch of U.S. 40, the old National Road that divides Columbus in two. A police detective says it was another boy who threw the egg that hit the Jeep.
Family members say the prank was out of character for Danny. ... "We hoped he would date and marry and have children, and of course all of that was ended because of somebody's stupidity."
No, Danny should not have been shot for throwing eggs. BUT, to make it sound like his illegal and immoral activity was something to be accepted and blown off as "something boys do" is WRONG. Danny committed a crime -- vandalism. He could have caused a fatal accident, too. His mother's grief is warranted, but her outrage neglects the fact that her son would still be alive if HE wasn't committing a crime at the time of his death.
Don't flame me because I see through the victim culture in this tragic event. The shooter should be brought to justice -- that is 100% true. It's all about choices -- and the consequences for those choices. Danny Crawford's life was taken by someone who went too far. But Danny he made the choice to throw the eggs at passing cars. Therefore, he is partly responsible for the outcome of what happened.
For the record, I have three children of my own -- one of them turns 14 next month. I also lost a brother when I was younger. So, I know where DJ Crawford's mother is coming from -- on more than one level.

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