A 12-year-old boy in California stands accused of planning and executing the murder of his neo-Nazi father by shooting him while he slept on the couch two years ago. The boy was 10 and at issue is whether or not a boy that young can even know right from wrong enough to be found guilty.
The verdict was expected Monday, but the case raises some interesting questions. Can a boy raised on violence and guns and hate by a father who was a regional leader of the National Socialist Movement really be considered guilty when all he was doing was practicing what he was raised to do? He claims his father was abusive. Prosecutors claim the child was violent from the start, even stabbing a teacher with a pencil in kindergarten. Of course, both things could be true.
He could be violent because he was raised to do so. Isn't this what a neo-Nazi wants? Violence, hate, and anarchy?
In many ways, raising a child with racist, homophobic, or hateful views is abuse in itself. From the start, you are raising a child who has a closed mind and believes intolerance and hatred are good, just qualities. It's cruel.
Then, if you add violence into the mix, well then, you get out exactly what you put in. The reality is no one who is a neo-Nazi or a member of a hate group is a good person. Sorry. That's just a fact. So it doesn't take a genius to imagine that intolerance and hatred isn't solely reserved for Jewish people or African-Americans. One has to assume that sort of hate spreads itself all over. Possibly to a child.
The boy hasn't been found guilty, but if he is, it's hard to imagine how he could have turned out any other way.
Children are supposed to have open minds. They are supposed to love everyone and believe everyone is their friend. If they don't, that is something they're taught.
It isn't that a child can never be a sociopath guilty of a crime. Certainly that is possible and certainly there ARE children who are beyond repair. But a child that is taught to hate from a young age, follows through on what has been taught, and then is found guilty and sent away to juvenile prison where he will emerge even darker and MORE violent at 18 was never really given a chance at a normal, happy, loving life.
To me, that is wrong. I would rather see my tax dollars go to rehabilitating this boy and possibly giving him a shot at a regular, hate-free life.
What a tragic, tragic case.
Do you think he should go to lock-up if found guilty?
Image via Idol/Flickr