What a lame-brained, stupid scheme: kill Colt’s stepdad Philip Danner and then go to Arizona to sell T-shirts to “drug people.” These kids had been planning it for weeks on the school playground, according to police, as only kids could do.
Yesterday the youngest of the two kids Indiana authorities tried as adults, 12-year-old Paul Gingerich, received the same sentence as Colt Lundy, the 15-year-old trigger-“man” and originator of the scheme: 25 years in prison.
A third boy who had been drawn into this idiocy but who had not participated in the actual shooting is being dealt with as a juvenile.
It’s hard to sort out who is the most lame-brained in this whole affair: the kids who, being kids, are still developing and are working with brains incapable of grasping the depth and consequences of their stupidity, or all of the adults involved—the police, prosecutor, judge, parents, school officials, etc.—who should know better. Yet this is a bad outcome, not only for these boys and their families, but for society.
I only learned about this case yesterday when Wolfgang posted a link to the story originating from a TV station in my old hometown of South Bend, Indiana, so I don’t know enough yet to be pointing the finger of blame in any particular directions. However, I do believe there will come a day when we will recognize that such tragedies are the inevitable result of conditioning by the combined effects on children of violent entertainments, mind-numbing and socially retarding schooling, and the breakdown of supportive family structures.
I’m ruing the fact, though, that I have been unaware of this case until now because I might otherwise have been able to help in a more timely way. I still know people in Indiana who might have made a difference (but still can).
I can imagine that the mothers of these boys are crying their eyes out right now in fear and horror of what their children’s futures may hold—but we needn’t go there now because it’s not a hopeful picture. Yet the fact of the matter is that these boys are still children who have not yet been damaged by the system and turned into the brutal criminals they might become by ages 37 and 40 if they were to serve out their full prison terms.
There is still hope, as evidenced by recent Supreme Court rulings and changes in state laws (in surprising places) regarding the prosecution of children.
Maybe change will even come to Indiana. People everywhere are awakening.
Groove of the Day