Tags: Poisoning | Kids

Poisoning Kids

Friday, 15 April 2005 12:00 AM

You may have to commute farther to get to work, but your kids can get a yard and a safe neighborhood, and Pony League baseball is a big deal, the way it's supposed to be when you're growing up.

The 15-year-old was there to watch his younger brother play ball and help his sister in the concession stands. Both families reportedly have been involved in the league for years.

The 13-year-old, known as a competitive player but otherwise a cute kid and a quiet boy, had just pitched a losing game against the worst team and was standing in the refreshment line, when the older boy, the brother of one of his closest friends, reportedly started making fun of him.

A 10-year-old, who was also in line, reported hearing the two of them pushing each other back and forth, and then the younger boy picked up his aluminum bat and hit the other boy in the head

There is some dispute as to whether the dispute began because the older boy was razzing the losing pitcher or because he cut in line, or both. Witnesses described the boy, who was taken into custody, as looking "stunned." So are many in the community, and the parents of the victim have urged their neighbors not to demonize the boy who did wrong.

Every parent recognizes those moments when we see our children get angry, and they want to reach out and lash back, and have to exercise restraint, or be restrained, so that they do not do harm to themselves or others. Thirteen-year-olds may look like adults, but they are far from it.

At another time, there would have been a punch, at worst - the fathers would have gotten involved, who were in fact there, and it would have been a life lesson, not a tragedy.

Are boys more aggressive than they used to be? Are they more violent? Are they more disconnected from the consequences of the violence? Hello? How do you spell Grand Theft Auto or Halo or Half-Life? How can they not be, playing games that encourage them to have sex with prostitutes and kill them?

Interestingly, when I point this out to parents, they look at me like I'm making it up. When I ask if their sons play Grand Theft Auto, they tell me it teaches driving skills. Good morning.

We know that young boys consume enough media to make it a full-time job, as the Kaiser Family Foundation's Generation M Report details. We know exposure to the steady stream of violence affects kids.

We know that media exposure is actually increasing as kids learn to double- and triple-team their consumption, killing people while they watch television and instant message and do homework, and technology makes it easier to consume multiple media at all times.

Can we find other excuses? Sure. Maybe baseball competition has gotten out of control in Palmdale.

Maybe the kids, or this one, felt too driven to do well.

Maybe there were problems at home, personal issues, mental health issues - maybe we'll discover that he had some particular problem that will allow us to say that it won't happen at our ballpark with our kids.

I don't know how many more nice kids acting out we're going to need before we know we have a problem on our hands with our sons. I'm not saying that government should stop it - I don't believe they can. And I'm not saying that boy isn't responsible.

But I'm getting tired of hearing the entertainment industry complaining about pirates. I'm worried about poisons. They say their profits are getting eaten up, and I wonder what they're doing to our sons' heads.

How many warnings do we need before we start recognizing that if you feed kids poison 43 hours a week, a baseball bat ends up looking like just another weapon.

COPYRIGHT 2005 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.

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You may have to commute farther to get to work, but your kids can get a yard and a safe neighborhood, and Pony League baseball is a big deal, the way it's supposed to be when you're growing up. The 15-year-old was there to watch his younger brother play ball and help his...
Poisoning,Kids
653
2005-00-15
Friday, 15 April 2005 12:00 AM
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