This seven-year-old girl
August 15, 2002 5:57 AM   Subscribe

This seven-year-old girl escaped from her kidnappers and was helped by 2 young boys. Yesterday in Texas, a 13-year-old boy put his hand through a car window trying to stop an abduction. These teens stabbed their abductor with a bowie knife while trying to escape. Is the culture of violence that spawns school shooters also making kids into heroes?
posted by putzface_dickman (25 comments total)

 
those kids spent all their time online playing NeverMolest. addicts all.
posted by quonsar at 6:40 AM on August 15, 2002


Please. People like the Columbine shooters are emotionally immature, fragile, comprise a very very small percentage of society by commiting random acts of violence. This has always happened in American world society, and it always will.

People like these teenagers are normal, everyday people who go above and beyond to help out others in need. These aren't perfect people, because no one is, but they comprise the vast majority of the people out there. Or maybe I'm just an optimist.

But this culture of violence stuff is crap. America has always been more violent, its just that now, we have the technology to be increadibly lethal when we are violent. And that technology is imporving all the time.

Try this website for a look into what creates today's "culture of violence"
posted by thewittyname at 6:41 AM on August 15, 2002


People like these teenagers are normal, everyday people who go above and beyond to help out others in need. These aren't perfect people, because no one is, but they comprise the vast majority of the people out there.

Youre just an optimist. It's been shown again and again that the majority of people will not intervene to stop a crime.
posted by rushmc at 7:00 AM on August 15, 2002


"They knew we had them," he told CNN. "We took the baby and we told the two of them to follow us to the police station."

Since when are suspected kidnappers asked to follow police to the station? WTF is that about. What happened to being arrested?

According to Texas Ranger David Hullum, Roach said "she had this void she was trying to fill."

I shall refrain from commenting on that line.
posted by a3matrix at 7:03 AM on August 15, 2002


Is the culture of violence that spawns school shooters also making kids into heroes?

Utter nonsense.

Celebrating aggression creates heroes? Wrong. Good parenting creates heroes. And by the way - just knowing right from wrong doesn't make one a hero.
posted by davebush at 7:28 AM on August 15, 2002


Before you guys jump all over putzface_dickman for the wording of his query, let me say that I understand what he's getting at. By 'culture of violence' creating heroes, I think he's saying that someone who sees a bus explode in Israel today will not be as shocked as - say - a guy in Omaha in the 1930s, and will be much more likely to jump aboard the bus to help the survivors, as opposed to standing there in shock with their jaw open as the bus burns.

Good parenting? Utter nonsense. Desensitization and experience.
posted by GriffX at 7:39 AM on August 15, 2002


But this culture of violence stuff is crap. America has always been more violent, its just that now, we have the technology to be increadibly lethal when we are violent. And that technology is imporving all the time.


People are killing each other with guns and knives, knives have been around since the first protohuman stabbed his buddy over a girl with a sharp rock.

There have been semi-automatic pistols and rifles around since the turn of the century. It's got fuck all to do with the technology.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:43 AM on August 15, 2002


Think we should do any sort of research into what causes heroes? Nah... let's just all say what we feel.
posted by ODiV at 7:44 AM on August 15, 2002


I had hoped that linking to a Joe Lieberman press release under "culture of violence" would expose my slightly ironic use of the phrase. I'm not really persuaded by arguments made by Lieberman and his ilk.
What I would propose is that there is a culture of heroics, from movies like spy kids, to any first person video game, to encyclopedia brown, that is enabling these kids to take action where I feel my contemporaries might not have done as well. Yes, a culture of heroics is nothing new, ask Homer, or the argonaut guy, but there is an immediacy to movies and video games that might be influencing kids to respond with fight instead of flight.
posted by putzface_dickman at 7:48 AM on August 15, 2002


Before you guys jump all over putzface_dickman
why, oh why, didn't i choose "tireless_tongue_clitlicker" for my mefi handle???
posted by quonsar at 7:56 AM on August 15, 2002


thewittyname is right! Why, that old nasty, evil NRA is causing the The Culture of Violence.

Hence Eddie the Eagle gun safety programs, laws that actually attempt to keep guns out of the hands of criminals (but in the hands of law-abiding citizens, which is where you want them, believe it or not), and other reasonable measures.

It must be nice to have such a smooth cerebrum...
posted by hadashi at 7:57 AM on August 15, 2002


Thanks GriffX that gets us much closer to my intent.
posted by putzface_dickman at 8:00 AM on August 15, 2002


Is the culture of violence that spawns school shooters also making kids into heroes?

Maybe.
posted by hob at 9:09 AM on August 15, 2002


We live in a time where even the youngest of us are extremely aware(via media saturation and just awareness of the world around) of the various threats facing us every day. Perhaps our survival instincts are being fine tuned by evolution and these kids are the vanguard.
posted by jonmc at 9:19 AM on August 15, 2002


*generous props for thewittyname*
posted by mcsweetie at 9:23 AM on August 15, 2002


I would also say that a major factor in both school shootings and token heroism is the media saturation of which jonmc spoke, and the instant, if fleeting, celebrity it offers.

I also echo the sentiment that the culture of violence is more the culture of media portrayal of violence. The world has always been a violent place. You just have easier access to it now.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:24 AM on August 15, 2002


I'm looking forward to the day when a youngster escapes from his abductors and attributes this to his 'leet Counter-Strike skills.
posted by SPrintF at 9:40 AM on August 15, 2002


Everything I've read says crime, and school violence is down. It's just that the media has idle time on its hands.
posted by owillis at 9:43 AM on August 15, 2002


I agree with Owillis. I've read similar things.

Also as a sidenote, children being abducted by strangers is down.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:56 AM on August 15, 2002


I wonder if stories of children *not* getting abducted would have gotten as much coverage a year ago.

There have been no shortage of child abductions and killings in our history. For reasons I don't entirely understand (ratings?), they have suddenly become the "story du jour" for news outlets.

In my opinion, this is a fairly positive thing, as it means that children are hearing "don't talk to strangers" from the TV, which is infinitely cooler than hearing it from their parents and teachers.

Perhaps a few of them (frightened of being abducted in the same way those of us who grew up in the 70's and 80's were afraid of nuclear war) are savy enough to realize "this guy is trying to abduct me" and react accordingly.

On the other hand, did anyone sees South Park's take on all of this? Is mistrust of our fellow humans the main thing the media hath wrought?
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:29 AM on August 15, 2002


That said, I do think there's been a spate of off-the-wall kidnappings lately. It's probably just a statistically insignificant cluster, like basketball's hot hand or other sports streaks, and especially a spate of fast recoveries in part aided by the media, which is probably not a cluster but indicative of dramatically higher attention given to these cases.
posted by dhartung at 11:31 AM on August 15, 2002


Is the culture of violence that spawns school shooters also making kids into heroes?

Huh? How does "punch first question later" translate into heroic motivation? I'm sorry, but this kid is an idiot. Punching the window achieves little if anything when trying to stop a car. Getting down the make/model/license plate number does. The kid's motives are noble, and should be encouraged, but his methods are still stupid. If we can say his reaction is moulded by a culture of violence, that culture has just gotten in the way of good sense.
posted by holycola at 5:47 PM on August 15, 2002


children being abducted by strangers is down.

This sounds like Spencer's Law in action: as a problem increases, it receives more attention.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:55 PM on August 15, 2002


er, as a problem decreases.
posted by insomnyuk at 10:05 PM on August 15, 2002


Everything I've read says crime, and school violence is down.

Down from levels that are not unlike what one would expect if hell's very gates were to be opened all the way to merely terrifyingly violent and brutal.

Oh, frabjous day!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:26 AM on August 16, 2002


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