Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe the old adage “boys will be boys,” especially when you look at the handful or so of cases in which a child is accused of murder. Now I must say that I did a lot of stupid crap when I was a kid that I should not be held culpable for like streaking at an amusement park, urinating in my friend’s aquarium and tying his dogs to a sled in order to start my own Iditarod contest.
But having said that, I don’t think any of that was too outside of the norm for most teenage boys. Something like murder, on the other hand, is probably indicative of a little more than stupid adolescent antics.
So do I think a child who is accused of murder should go to jail? Well, I certainly don’t think he should go to my cousin’s playdate. Truth is, I think you can pretty much tell how a child is going to turn out within the first few years or so. Sorry to get all “Gattaca” on you. It sucks that some of these kids are born worse than that girl from the movie “Orphan,” but genetics is genetics. I mean, some liberals would like to think that you could change a vicious child like Lionel Tate, who at the age of twelve was convicted of murder. Sorry, y’all, that is just not the case. I’ve just never seen a bad apple turn good. Just look at the Commons’ fruit selection, for example.
And by the way, by the time Tate was 18 and a legal adult, he had a long enough rap sheet to make a gangster rapper jealous. As of October 2009, he has served two years of a 40-year sentence for armed burglary. Proof once again that no matter how many spankings you give and no matter how many ice cream cones for good behavior you let a child have, he or she will turn out according to their basic natural tendencies that can’t be changed. Take me for example: I have a natural tendency to be extremely opinionated and highly insensitive. And no matter how many complaints you all send me, I will never change.
But do I think there is a place for some of these kids other than jail? Of course! The military is a perfect alternative for some of these brutal killing machines, and I don’t mean the National Guard or the Coast Guard. I’m talking about the Marines or the SEALs. I think a few good months in boot camp could turn some of these killers in the sandbox of the playground to killers in the sandbox of the Middle East. I know it sounds like a totally anti-American statement to say that certain branches of the military are full of sociopaths, but let’s be honest. Anybody who voluntarily joins an organization that systematically hunts people is not exactly somebody I would like to have over for dinner. But if the military doesn’t want any of these juvenile murderers, which they have historically denied, then yes, these kids should indeed go to jail for a long time. And if you don’t want that, at least keep them perpetually entertained with a “Grand Theft Auto” videogame.