Boys

Submitted by lmcshane on Fri, 05/16/2008 - 21:38.


Will I ever understand the male species?  I know that I share some of the same aggressive tendencies, so who knows where I fall in terms of classification.   I know that I will get no sympathy for my sympathy for Terrence Hough, the firefighter who took the lives of three people last summer over loud noise.  If I kept a loaded gun in my house, who knows what I might do on my bad days. 

I do know that I wish the boys in my neighborhood were not so preoccupied with marking their territories with gang graffiti and "blocking."  My neighbor, an older boy, told me that the three cars in my neighborhood that travel around blaring earshattering, thumping noise are engaged in the male sport of one upmanship.  Who can out blare the other by "carrying" their sound furtherest. Well, here is one girl, who wishes they could just settle their contest by peeing on a bush and leaving the rest of us in peace.

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Let's not forget the large

Let's not forget the large number of adolescent males who are kind and respectful. A few misguided apples don't ruin the bunch, and surely don't deserve to be shot.

Questions

  Thanks Jenita--I am not suggesting that any one deserves/or deserved to be shot.  This was a horrible, horrible tragedy and I feel for the parents of the children who died as well as for the children who will grow up with no father.  We need to ask questions of ourselves.  How could this have been avoided?  Problems grow with the child and manifest in the adult.  Children (unfortunately, this includes our current generation of adults)  need to learn kindness and consideration. 
For the troubled boys I watch every day, some will be fine. And their behaviors are natural.  We don't want to acknowledge it (We will always be Puritans), but teens--boys and girls-- want an outlet for their sexual energy.  I was bad and I outgrew it.  And, I was fortunate to have parents and a larger community of relatives and friends to bring me up.

Talk

We also need to talk to our kids and engage them in outlets for their energy.  This disconnect is happening in every socio-economic group in the country.  It is not a "city factor," and it is not a problem that will go away by locking up one man and it will never go away while guns are in the hands of people (and children) who don't really know what a gun can do to other people.

Sleep

  And I know that this doesn't justify behavior either, but lack of sleep will destroy anyone's sense of reality.  And, another factor, probably not well-analyzed in this case involving a member of the safety force would be the effect of the day-to-day trauma and stress we have allowed our safety forces to endure as a result of our parentless society.  To a lesser extent, public service employees, teachers and social workers (and library workers) know the effect of this cumulative stress.

Take the gun out of the equation

I too feel some sympathyfor Terrence Hough. I doubt that he wanted to end up a murderer and it must have been horrible to live a life so filled with rage. There are so many reasons that people in American society become violent - lead poisoning should be added to the list. Men/boys often are unable to  seek help -- if any is available.  Perhaps he could have had better parents, recieved mental health care, had a more supportive family, a less stressful job,  or more respectful neighbors, but the one thing that would have made a diffence that day  was if he had not had a gun. I'm not saying we should not have gun rights. I grew up with guns in the house. I don't have a gun now because I don't want to live with the consequences if I use it.

Men and Doctors

You raise the other social stigma and underlying story behind this tragedy.  Feelings, mental health, physical health--we teach our boys not to discuss these things and, of course, we teach them that the only way to solve problems is through violence.

Guns in the house

  Thank you Evelyn for reminding us of the innocent victims.  Growing up in Cleveland, my uncle was a fire chief.  Ironically, he and his friends would treat us to a fireworks display each year with confiscated fireworks.  He also kept guns.  Lots of guns, because he was also a hunter.  And, because his wife, at the time, was my aunt and father's sister--and without children--our parents would periodically unload us on them.  And, we would explore.  I can vividly remember finding my uncle's service revolver in their bedroom bureau. I can still feel the weight of that gun in my hand and I can remember my younger sister coming into the room to find me and I can remember pointing that gun at her and pulling the trigger.  I was eight or nine and she was five or six. It was not loaded.

clockwork orange

  Someone I know, not well, but I know him--he is in custody now.  What happened?

Bad boy

 

Each of us is born with a history already in place.  So begins Walter Dean Myers' Bad Boy: A Memoir.