I am going to repost a story of mine from one of the other posts, also discussing this case, as I think it is relevant.
I am white male, now nearly thirty, with a wife, a one year old kid, three dogs and two guns. I do not actively carry a gun. We live in a major city,
in one of the centrally located "suburban" neighborhoods. There is a lot of crime in the surrounding areas, but our neighborhood is working class, and
has a lot of families, so we don't see a whole lot of it. I am not a gun nut, but if you enter my house uninvited, I will shoot you. Otherwise, I am
generally a pacifist.
Two years ago I came home on Christmas eve from my in-laws to grab something from our place. They live about five minutes away, so it was supposed to
be a quick operation. I pull into the driveway (about 7pm, so it's dark) and my headlights fall on a person trying to get into our side door. For a
moment, he and I are both equally stunned, and neither of us move for a second or two. While I could not tell it at the time, as he was wearing a
hoodie, he was a young black man, probably 16-17 years old. I leave the high beams on him and hop out of the car. I asked him what he was doing at my
house, and he was understandably short on answers. He apologized and started to walk away. I walked up to him and said something along the lines of,
"Why are you trying to break into my house?" He said that he wasn't, and that I needed to leave him alone. That's when I let him really have it...
"Do I go to your house, break into your home, and steal your things?" He again apologized. "You have family here?" I asked him. "Yeah, I live with my
mom," he said back. "Go home and be with your mom. It's Christmas Eve," was the last thing I said to him. He apologized again and said "alright".
I did a lot of really stupid things when I was a kid. So has my brother. Thankfully, we had good parents and communities who kept us from going to
jail or worse, and we have turned out to be reasonably productive and peaceful members of society. But it would have taken one person with a hair up
their butt to have changed that for either of us.
Kids will be kids. And yes, he was a young adult. Young adults do violent things sometimes and are sometimes responsible for incredibly terrible
things. However... a vast majority of people are not evil. Even if they are doing stupid things, like trying to break into my house... they are
generally not evil. I am glad that I was able to defuse that situation like I did, and I am proud of how I acted. I had the guts to tell this young
man that what he was doing was wrong, and that he should think about his actions. One of the benefits of being a grown man is that my brain has
finally worked itself out, and I am able to make reasonable and rational decisions (for the most part). Kids don't always have that. Kids need
guidance from their parents and communities.
If you have the balls to carry a gun on your hip like a cowboy, have the balls to talk to a kid before you shoot him. The kid will be better for it,
you will be better for it and the world will be better for it, I promise.
"Be the change you want to see in the world."
edit on 15-4-2012 by KringleFantastico because: Edit "an" to "am"