Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Some time ago a judge found himself confronted with twelve youths, the catch of some hundred and fifty policemen assigned to prevent a street battle of juvenile gangs. This outbreak was a sequel to the killing of a fifteen-year-old boy who had been stabbed to death as he sat with his girl in a parked car. The twelve boys were charged with being involved in the shooting of three boys with a .22-caliber zip gun and a .32 revolver. The indignant judge addressed them angrily, "We're not treating you like kids any longer . . . If you act like hoodlums you'll be treated like hoodlums." But were these youths treated like "kids" in the first place? Were they protected against the corrupting influence of comic books which glamorize and advertise dangerous knives and the guns that can be converted into deadly weapons?