The cry to “raise the age”

The John Locke Foundation and a bunch of leftists are leading the cry to convince the state of North Carolina to raise the age you can try kids as adults from 16 to 18.

Supporters of this move are claiming that putting 16 and 17 year olds in grown-up jail makes them easy targets for sexual assault.  They’re also claiming this hurts the little darlings’ chances of landing scholarships.  (A run-in with the police that ends in silver bracelets?  Um, I would think SO. I would HOPE so.)  An awful lot of people manage to make it through life without ever having to try on a pair of those silver bracelets.  

In North Carolina, and in most states, you are considered grown-up enough to operate a motor vehicle all by yourself at age sixteen.  At that stage in life, you can drive a car and be governed by the same traffic laws as 20-,30-, 40-, and 50-somethings.   But the little darlings are not old enough to be held accountable if they use that car to, say, run somebody down or hold up a liquor store? 

This is YET another example of taking responsibility AWAY from individuals and putting it on the state and the rest of us.  When I was in school, the scariest thing I could hear was a school administrator or teacher telling me they were going to call my mom or dad.  I can’t begin to tell you how many present-day acquaintances I have, who teach in public schools and hear from parents: “During school time, my child is YOUR problem.”

Nope.  At a minimum, society DEMANDS that you hammer home the point to your little darling you brought into this world that they refrain from things like, oh: threatening the teacher, shooting up the school, smacking their baby-mama, peddling dope, burgling houses, snatching purses, or robbing stores.  Stuff like that. 

I hate to break it to you, but the welfare state’s experiment with raising American children has really dropped some bad apples out there into the population.

Kevin and Tilmon Golphin, twin brothers a hair past their 18th birthdays in 1997, robbed a finance company in South Carolina, stole a car there, murdered a NC trooper and deputy sheriff, and led lawmen on a high-speed firefight up and down I-95 before being caught. Did these two darlings magically grow up and dramatically change a few months into their 18th birthdays?

In 1993, Larry Demery and Daniel Green were arrested for robbing and murdering the father of Michael Jordan in Robeson County.  Demery and Green were both a hair into their 18th years of life when they were arrested.  Green had recently been released from juvenile detention for splitting a kid’s head with an axe.  (Apparently, he did not learn his lesson in the juvenile justice system.) Green had also been written up countless times on  discipline issues while in the juvenile system.  Yet, he was set free.  And, as far as the public was concerned,  his record was made to look like nothing had ever happened.

Those are two of the more egregious examples out there.  I am sure — with the right research tools — I could go on and on.

The real problem we should be focusing on is WHY are we turning out so many bad apples at such an early age.  When I was in high school — graduated in the mid-80s — it was shocking to see a police officer on campus.  Nowadays, it’s shocking to not have at least two stationed at your child’s campus.

We’ve got parents who expect the state to take care of their kids.  We’ve got a culture that encourages the little darlings to do whatever pops into their skulls full of mush.  We’ve got a juvenile justice system that produces little to no evidence of reforming the little darlings before they grow up into real holy terrors.

Raleigh is headed in the totally wrong direction on this one.  If you’re “old” enough to drive a car and abide by the same laws middle-aged guys like me have to live by, you’re old enough to be held accountable for your other actions.  Just like me.