Wednesday, July 14, 2010


In this morning’s “In Brief” column in the local newspaper I find the following about a carjacking in a city close to us: “The trio arrested on suspicion of armed carjacking and leading officers on a high-speed chase Monday night were two girls, ages 12 and 16, and a 15 year old boy.”

It seems that the two girls approached a woman in a parking lot and told her she would be shot if she didn’t hand over her keys. The boy was standing nearby, pointing a rifle at the woman. The woman gave up the keys, the kids took off, and the woman called the police.

After a high speed case both on and off the freeway, the driver of the stolen car collided with another vehicle, injuring two people, and the youngsters were apprehended.

Several things occur to me about this. First is my incredulousness at the ages of these criminals. I am just astounded. Second, in spite of the fact that I understand why some high speed chases are necessary, I find them in matters like this hard to justify. I understand that we can’t let criminals go about their merry business unimpeded, but so often these high speed chases end in the maiming and death of innocent people. I have to believe that alternative ways to get back a stolen car should be taken. Surely the stupidity and poor judgment of three young teenagers would lend itself to some other strategy for capture, one that was less risky for all.

As much as I hate to say it, I think the direction our society is heading is a result of the direction the visual media is taking us. Violent movies, violent TV, violent games. No wonder the 12 years old think they can be as brazen as Dillinger.

And all this calls to mind the old famous saying of Pogo: We have seen the enemy, and the enemy is us.

True, true.

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