Filed Under:  Columns, Local, News, Opinion

Running the numbers on our bad children

28th October 2013   ·   0 Comments

By Fr. Jerome LeDoux
Contributing Columnist

Playing baseball in America was the wonderful dream of 22-year-old Christopher Lane who left his native Australia three years ago with a baseball scholarship for East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma. A competent catcher, he was entering his senior year.

Chris was out for a jog on Country Club Road in his girlfriend’s hometown of Duncan, Oklahoma, when three teenagers saw him pass the house where they were living.

The three pursued him in a car, shot him in the back and drove off quickly. Chris stumbled to the right, dropped to his knees and fell face down. He died despite CPR given by witnesses.

“We were bored and didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to kill somebody,” commented 17-year-old Michael Dewayne Jones about the horrible thrill killing.

Prosecutors charged 15-year-old James Francis Edwards Jr. and 16-year-old Chancey Allen Luna with first-degree murder. Under Okla­homa law, anyone who is 15 or older and facing a first-degree murder charge is automatically tried in adult court. Getaway driver, 17-year-old Michael Dewayne Jones was charged with being an accessory after the fact.

Most of the time, it is young Blacks who are predators out there, but this time it was an Hispanic, a Black and a white teenager. Their photos reveal that all three have the hollow, lost, cold-blooded look of children who have completely lost their way. With each new bad episode in the news, everyone asks anew, “What is at the bottom of all this madness?”

Anti-gun lobbies are ever proactive. They claim that cultivating a gun culture is akin to cultivating a culture of violence. But criminologist/constitutional lawyer Don B. Kates and criminologist/professor Gary Mauser challenge that in an independent research paper.

“Stricter laws don’t mean there is less crime. As an example, when looking at ‘intentional deaths,’ or murder, on an international scope, the U.S. falls behind Russia, Estonia, and four other countries, ranking it seventh. More specifically, data shows that in Russia, where guns are banned, the murder rate is significantly higher than in the U.S.”

Although Illinois has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, Chicago has earned the moniker, America’s murder capitol. Admit­tedly, most of the guns in Chicago seem to come from without the city, even without the state. Still, the statistics are horrible.

It is sometimes said that in countries where there are few restrictions on weapons ownership, there is much less violence than in countries with strict restrictions on gun ownership. While they do not affect violent criminals who usually manage to procure weapons, prohibitions disarm innocent people and leave them at the mercy of criminals.

Contrariwise, a new study from the Center for American Progress (CAP) says that states with lax gun laws contribute the highest shares of national gun deaths and injuries.
These oft-contradictory studies indicate that there are far deeper issues than access to guns.

While these are aggravating conditions, they are not the root causes for our youth delinquency and murderous tendencies. For those we can thank our bleak 25 percent Black nuclear family that plummeted from a firm 86-percent nuclear in 1960. With the “missing man provision,” The War On Poverty almost singlehandedly dismantled the Black family.

A woman could receive federal help, provided no man was in the house. So, husbands who could not make ends meet stepped aside, eventually with devastating consequences. The vicious cycle of 70 percent of babies out of wedlock inverts ca. the percentage of non-nuclear families. An 86-percent nuclear Black family had kept single-parent children to a minimum.

Even though many single parents do the best they can, the absence of one parent is a condition that makes a child vulnerable to gangs who recruit neglected, lonely, lost teenagers who crave the benefits and bonds of family, even if the family is supplied by gangs. It is a chilling sight on TV to see an excited teen rave about the blood pact of gang initiation, the adrenalin rush of group power, the thrill of defying and breaking the law, even of killing.

Dealing drugs fuels their hunger for power, possessions, sex, high and reckless living.

“He was an absolute joy to coach,” baseball coach Dino Rosato said in a statement issued by the school. “Chris was an extremely well-respected teammate. He set a great example for all of his teammates, but more importantly for the younger players. He was a mature student-athlete who his teammates could look to for advice and support.”

The three teens who killed Christopher Lane fit the negatives we mentioned. To preclude evil development in such teens, all of us must work together to restore powerful nuclear families by first eliminating crippling welfare attitudes, conditions and dependency.

This article originally published in the October 28, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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