Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
When Children Attack... (linuxlock.blogspot.com)
68 points by g-garron on Aug 15, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 22 comments

This guy is a real hero. The work of going into such neighborhoods and providing services is a highly commendable one. Even if these kids are probably going to destroy this computer, there might be that one kid in some home like this who actually starts using computers the way they must be. Reaching out to such people is the best thing that can happen to them in the long run.

Charity begins at home. The best gift any parent can give a child is a sense of responsibility for appropriate behavior, especially around visitors to the home. (Yes, I am a parent. I have four children. We don't have any pellet guns in the house.)

The pellet gun is not the problem. The child is the problem. Take the pellet gun away and he'll stab his victims with scissors. Take the scissors away and he'll beat his victims with a ball bat.

The tool (pellet gun) is not the problem. Stop blaming the tool. Blame the attacker. The kid will probably grow up and sling sulfuric acid on his girl friends face. When he does that, will that be the acid's fault, or the shopkeeper who sold the acid, or the company that manufactured the acid... no it'll be the attacker's fault.

I have a pellet gun and kids. They all use it responsibly and enjoy doing so. They would never shoot someone with it or threaten anyone... they know better.

I wouldn't even argue that the kid is the problem, but rather that the kid's behavior is symptomatic of a completely dysfunctional family.

At a certain age, responsibility starts shifting to the individual, but a 6 year old can hardly be considered the heart of the problem here. How to fix the deeper problem (having a mother that doesn't/is unable to care for her children) will always be an unsolved problem, but the best solutions I have seen so far involve beefing up our public school system so that the kids have a place that they can be given individualized attention.

You cannot possibly beef up the public school system to the point that it replaces parental attention to children.

Illiterate idiots can't raise responsible, intelligent children. Giving them free computers isn't the answer. What they need is to feel a constant sense of extreme shame for letting themselves and their situation degenerate to that degree. As it is, instead of shaming slothful, lazy, degenerate idiots, society shames itself into allowing them a free pass on the grounds that all else being equal, some people must be too stupid to figure anything out for themselves. Which turns out to be false when it comes to gaming the welfare system, cooking crystal meth or jacking peoples' shoes... but those kinds of smarts are what you get when you start coddling and nannying to the point where individuality and ambition are wiped out and the neediest and laziest survive. I hope none of my tax dollars went toward buying them a computer. In fact, I hope they eat each other. Great post, though.

What they need is to feel a constant sense of extreme shame for letting themselves and their situation degenerate to that degree.

Have you perhaps by chance considered that a sense of extreme shame is exactly what prevents them from changing their situations?

It's quite obvious that you haven't been exposed to anything beyond the silver spoon you were born with in your lifetime. If you had some life experience you'd understand how silly your comment is, given that these are issues are much more complex than people being "illiterate idiots".

I didn't grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth, and I think noduerme's comments were spot on. In fact, I wish I could give his comment ten more points, and downvote your arrogant screed by the same amount.

It really isn't that much more complex than people being "illiterate idiots". Believe me, I've seen it with my own eyes.

Of course the solution is blindingly obvious. What you don't seem to grasp are any of the multitude of forces (some self-imposed/inflicted, some not) that make proceeding down that blindingly obvious path such a monumental struggle.

These people are not "too stupid" to recover. These people are exhibiting the natural human tenancies when confronted with these set of circumstance. It takes an extraordinary amount of drive and perseverance to overcome this.

If this is lost on you, it might help to compare this to losing weight. (Given your age though this might also be something you don't learn for a few years yet.) It's much easier to stay in shape than it is to adjust your weight downwards... you need to do much more exercise than a normal person would.

And the problem with you guys isn't much more complex than being "arrogant idiots".

Ostracizing people socially -- rather than using bureaucracy as a method of enforcing ever more bloated statutes -- is a tried and true human tradition. It happens all the time online. Note the emergence of up-ranking news sites, for instance. Downranking is a powerful form of social censorship that helps civilize the worse traits in human nature. To rely solely on law or on bureaucracy to keep people acting in a civilized fashion is to discard thousands of years of social/moral wisdom. The argument usually begins with moral relativism -- e.g. you don't know what it's like to be XYZ, you were born ABC, and how dare you judge anybody -- and ends with the credo that all is permissible. The problem with everything being permissible is that, contrarily, in a situation where there is a refusal on the part of individuals to judge each other, no individual has any rights. Their rights are either abrogated by the police and the faceless majority, or everyone's rights directly infringe on each other's, in an anarchic context that only begs for further control. Therefore, face-to-face settlement of conflict and the boundaries between individuals is preferable to settlement by the state, and also preferable to a complete lack of settlement. And THEREFORE, we must use the best tools in the arsenal to settle such conflicts on a local basis, which most definitely include humiliating and ostracizing and, yes, JUDGING people based on how they behave.

I completely agree with this statement, but the first thing you teach is that a gun IS a tool, it is NOT a toy. I have no problem with teaching kids to shoot, hunt and defend themselves, but I go ballistic when I see 5-year-olds running around with realistic plastic .45s and AK-47s. I think their pinhead parents should be strung up by the thumbs, the idiots. Because they're teaching their kids that guns are toys before the kids even handle a real weapon. Guns -- real, pellet, bb, plastic or otherwise -- should be off-limits until a kid's shown the basic understanding of what they do, what life and death are, and that they ain't toys.

I agree completely with this. I got my first shotgun when I was a year older than the twins described in this article. You can bet the first lesson I learned was what happened to whatever you were pointing it at when you pulled the trigger, and the second lesson was to never point it at something I didn't want that to happen to. As it happens, I never killed anything except a sick woodchuck that wandered into our yard, but those lessons were incredibly valuable.

Oh, and I never asked to go outside and "play with the guns." I always asked politely if I could go outside and "shoot targets." Guns were absolutely not to be played with, but they were fun to learn to use.

This whole thing made me realize I'm going to run for President, btw. I think I finally realized what my views are. I'm a gun-owning conservative social anarchist libertarian that believes in improving Medicare. I think it's a unique platform. I also own an online casino. Look for me in 2016 =)

Responsibility in general is a great thing to instill in a kid. I got a pellet gun when I was young for a gift, I always knew my dad had a shotgun and hunting rifle and even shot them a number of times before my double-digit years. It never occurred to me to shoot someone, though, even if I was mad. I was taught firmly that violence was Wrong, had many surrounding influences reinforcing that, and I'm glad for it.

Some people shouldn't be parents. Can one as an outsider correct poor behavior in children without destroying the family that should never have been? Is it easier to correct poor parents? Even these types of stories of out of control kids discourage me, let alone the stories about child soldiers...

>Some people shouldn't be parents.

it is obviously that the society is reaching the stage when procreation must be licensed (after appropriate education/exams, required professional/wealth level achievement and psychological/physical/aptitude tests) Once technology reaches the level when one just can't procreate without getting the permit - bingo!... well, we know the drill.

The issue is that in the past, if the parents were bad, then the kids would just die (and the parents probably wouldn't live that long either), and so the problem would take care of itself. But now things have improved just enough that death isn't an issue, so we're stuck with all these people who (according to the natural state of things) should have died.

Now you can debate all you want about whether these people have the right to live or not, but the fact of the matter is that their existence creates a new downward drag on society that did not exist before, and they threaten to bring down the rest of us if we don't do something about it.

The birth rates in the western world are already low enough that populations are decreasing excluding immigration. If your suggestion was implemented, they would literally go extinct in not that long a time span. Not sure I'd call that outcome a bingo!

Just because everyone in the world has the right has to be parents, it doesn't mean that it is right for them to be irresponsible.

Of course, in that case, if you want to argue, they have all their rights to be irresponsible as well as long as they don't break the law.

Now, if the society has come to this point that they value irresponsibility so much so that they argue for it, then we have gone a long way down then.

>everyone in the world has the right has to be parents

are you sure? For example, the freedom of speech is in US Constitution, while reproductive freedom isn't there. Btw, the conservative right (churches, hillbilly morons, their elected representatives,...) wouldn't be that successful in limiting the reproductive freedom (in particular access to contraception and abortion and sexed (as education about a specific freedom is the key to advancing of the freedom)) if it were among the basic freedoms.

Jesus... I learned about firearm safety long before even touching a pellet gun, much less an actual rifle. Can't even imagine as a child even pointing my BB gun at a person.

Sounds like the mother in the original article was far more interested in herself than her children... sad.

I pointed my finger at him and told him firmly. "If you get up from that couch, I'm going to take the computer away."

Really? I would have just slapped the kid ;-) It's quite effective.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact