Youths to Blame for Attacks on Homeless

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. Principessa

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    19,494
    Likes Received:
    28
    Gender:
    Female
    In many instances I think parents are to blame for children having no respect for human life. I used to blame the myriad of violent video games which are so prevalent today. I no longer think that is the crux of the problem though. When it comes to video games, in many instances art imitates life; NOT the other way around.

    Sure there will always be idiots who feel the need to imitate what they see on television, movies or video games; yet I think the problem is deeper. I just wish I knew what the proper treatment for these people was.


    February 15, 2008

    Attacks on the Homeless Rise, With Youths Mostly to Blame

    By AMY GREEN
    CROSS CITY, Fla. — Warren Messner was 15 when he and some friends attacked a homeless man and left him for dead. Mr. Messner jumped on a log laid across the man’s ribs. He does not know why. He was high, does not remember much and wants to forget the rest.

    Today Mr. Messner is a baby-faced 18-year-old serving 22 years for second-degree murder. He used to like skipping school and listening to rap music with friends. He imagined he eventually would help his father install flooring. Now he talks to his parents nearly every night from the maximum-security Cross City Correctional Institution.

    “It was just a senseless crime.” he said, his eyes down, his shoulders slumped. “I wish it would have never happened. It made no sense. It was stupidity.”

    Mr. Messner’s story is not unusual. Nationwide, violence against the homeless is soaring, and overwhelmingly the attackers are teenagers and young adults. In Florida the problem is so severe that the National Coalition for the Homeless is setting up speakers bureaus to address a culture that sees attacking the homeless as a sport. It is the first time the organization has singled out a particular state.

    Of more than 142 unprovoked attacks on homeless people in 2007, the most — at least 32 — were in Florida, according to a preliminary count by the coalition and the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Nationwide, such attacks rose about 65 percent from 2005.

    In Fort Lauderdale a group of teenagers captured national attention in 2006 when a surveillance camera caught one laughing as he beat a homeless man with a baseball bat. The teenagers attacked three homeless men that night and face a murder trial in one man’s death. A year later in Daytona Beach, a 17-year-old and two 10-year-olds attacked a homeless Army veteran. One 10-year-old dropped a cement block on the man’s face, the police said.

    “What could possibly be in the mind of a 10- or 12-year-old that would possess them to pick up a rock and pick up a brick and beat another human being in the head?” said Ron Book, chairman of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust. “It defies any rational thought process, but it’s also why we felt so strongly we had to do something.”

    The trust has teamed with the local schools to develop a curriculum for elementary, middle and high schools teaching respect for the homeless.

    Advocates for the homeless blame a society that they say shuns the homeless through laws that criminalize sleeping in parks, camping and begging.

    “I think it reflects a lack of respect for the homeless that has reached such extreme proportions that homeless people aren’t viewed as people,” said Maria Foscarinis, executive director of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty.
    Troubled by news photos showing those two 10-year-olds in Daytona Beach in prison suits and handcuffs, the National Coalition for the Homeless joined with AmeriCorps Vista to open speakers bureaus last fall in Key West, Jacksonville and Tallahassee. Nine more are planned in Florida. The idea is to educate students using speakers who are homeless or once lived on the streets, and the organization wants to open more bureaus nationwide, said Michael Stoops, executive director of the coalition.

    The speakers are like George Siletti, who grew up in foster care and lived as a homeless drifter on and off for 25 years, starting at the age of 16. Now 51, Mr. Siletti said he took medication for schizophrenia and depression and lived in subsidized housing in Washington, addressing schools, churches and organizations about homelessness.

    “I’ve had bottles thrown at me. I’ve had people spit on me, cursed me out for no reason,” said Mr. Siletti, who was attacked by teenagers in Fort Lauderdale as he and others slept under a bridge in the 1980s. “People seem to pick on the most vulnerable because they really think that they won’t do nothing.”

    In Miami, students are learning from a weeklong curriculum and a DVD teaching that families are the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population. The curriculum requires younger students to make posters and older students to write essays about what they learned.

    Legislation adding the homeless to hate-crime laws has been introduced in Alaska, California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio and Texas. Bills are also pending in Congress.

    Mr. Messner, who is an imposing six feet, 240 pounds in his blue prison suit, talks about his crime with quiet resignation.
    He and his friends were looking for a place to smoke marijuana near his home in the Daytona Beach area when they stumbled on Michael Roberts. Mr. Messner joined the attack and remembers hearing Mr. Roberts groan when he jumped on the log, but then Mr. Messner tried to pull his friends away, he said.

    “He was making noises,” Mr. Messner said. “He asked one time why we was doing it to him. Why we was messing with him.”
    A few days later, Mr. Roberts’s body was found. Mr. Messner agreed to a plea bargain and drew the lightest sentence of the four convicted in the attack.

    He does not like prison much. He keeps busy doing yard work, exercising and reading. He likes James Patterson novels and murder mysteries. He has dropped at least 40 pounds and developed a penchant for prison tattoos. One arm reads “thug” while the other reads “life.” His mother’s name, Lori, is on one hand. On one arm is the same cross he wears around his neck, surrounded by the words “hope,” “faith” and “love.”
    “I’m not a killer. I know that,” Mr. Messner said. “A lot of people, they see this story and call us killers. I’m not a killer. I regret what I did. I wish I could take it back.”
     
  2. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Messages:
    7,002
    Likes Received:
    12
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    actually psychologists are pointing to several studies that it is, in fact, video games that are influencing our children to do these things

    I can see where that is true when parents abandon their child-rearing responsibilities, as they evidently have

    Our educators, as well, have given up the development of character, in pursuit of political correctness, as well as abandoning the doctrine of in loco parentis

    Mrs. Klebold went on record, for example, saying she felt no responsibility for what her son did at Columbine.
     
  3. IntoxicatingToxin

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    10,133
    Likes Received:
    152
    It's funny that you say that, I was just getting ready to say the exact opposite. I took a psychology class last semester at school, and we briefly discussed several studies in which children were no more likely to behave in an aggressive manner after playing violent/aggressive video games than normal. My psychology teacher is a social psychologist, and her personal view was that it's the parents, not the video games. I think I agree... I started playing video games when I was pretty young, and I never killed or beat up anyone.
     
  4. Principessa

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    19,494
    Likes Received:
    28
    Gender:
    Female
     
  5. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Messages:
    7,002
    Likes Received:
    12
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX

    it was some news articles I read within the past few weeks ... I remember the thinking before was that video games were not a factor, that's why it found it striking ... as I had long harbored the suspicion that it was part of the totality that our young were now being influenced by
     
  6. Principessa

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    19,494
    Likes Received:
    28
    Gender:
    Female
    Well at risk of being flamed, I think it's a 3 pronged problem:
    1) Parents who expect others to rear their children
    2) Violent Video Games
    3) No one goes to church anymore. Say what you will about organized religion. In households where there is a declared and practiced faith the religious teachings supplement those learned at home and vice versa.

    To the best of my knowledge there is not a religion on the planet that condones murder, stealing, or adultery. Yet how many parents regularly remind their children about right and wrong?
     
  7. ukmale

    ukmale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2004
    Messages:
    754
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    uk
    I live in the UK and I'm pissed off with the amount of problems youths are causing in this country (not all teenagers are bad of course) however lately the amount of murders assualts etc etc is shocking!!! It also seems to be an ongoing problem with imigrants, they are drifting to all parts of the UK and bring with them many problems. Its all down to ONE Thing I reckon DISCIPLINE!!!....very little in the family home, none at school and the Police force have little impact, as between teenagers they hold zero respect for the police in the UK.....I will give it 3 more years to build up my bank account then I am tipping the F+@% out of this sad place..If you Want to be taxed for just about every bit of money you earn, pay rip off house and vehicle fuel bills, well hey, come and buy my house...Cheers Easy!!!..COME TO BRITAIN U WILL LOVE IT>>>.Ohhh but dont forget you will have to pay a lot of tax to buy my house as its over £250,000. and you may get murdered or punched to the ground by some drugged up or drunk gang of youths who think they owns the streets and you are showing them no Respect!!
    I hate this place with a passion because the of the minority of idiots on the streets and I may add point no:2 of no:200 the government taking most of my money in taxes...its SHIT!!!:confused:
     
  8. Gillette

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    8,309
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    14
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    Sure, most of the burden rests with the parents. Simple things like not allowing them to play Grand Theft Auto would be a nice start.

    No, video games are not solely to blame but I do think some can contribute. It really depends on which game. I played Pac Man, Q-bert, Xenophobe & Tetris. I like DDR and driving games. I've even played the ones with guns where you are in a police/criminal situation.

    Grand Theft Auto doesn't give you an objective, doesn't place you in a clearly fantasy role. It puts you on the streets or in a mall or whathaveyou and rewards you for doing as much damage as you can while listening to your choice of music.

    Desensitization is a real issue and video games can absolutely contribute to that.
     
  9. IntoxicatingToxin

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    10,133
    Likes Received:
    152
    My son plays video games, but he usually plays some sort of sport game (baseball, basketball, football, skateboarding) or he plays a racing game. On occasion, he'll play Spiderman or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. My son has some anger issues, and my dad keeps putting it off on the playstation and it pisses me off. Spiderman doesn't make my son angry. :cool: I know what causes his anger, but my dad doesn't seem to agree. Of course, my father thinks video games are to blame for everything that has ever gone on in the world. :rolleyes:
     
  10. Drifterwood

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2007
    Messages:
    15,725
    Likes Received:
    388
    Location:
    Fingringhoe (GB)
    Disintegration of community. The youths must feel no connection to a community beyond their own group.
     
  11. Not_Punny

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5,542
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1,206
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    California
    It's not just parents.

    Violence IS contagious.

    There are some awful videos floating around about a "sport" called "Bum fighting."

    Coincidental?

    I don't think so.
     
  12. Not_Punny

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Messages:
    5,542
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1,206
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    California
    No flaming necessary. :wink:

    I don't agree with organized religion, but teaching and practicing a moral code, and being accountable to SOME force (higher or not) is a MUST in rearing children.

    Organized religions are frequently the only ones who preach morality.

    You don't HAVE to be religious to teach morality to your children... but many parents depend on religion to do it for them. And when they drift away from whatever religion they were in... well, it DOES leave a void.
     
  13. quintessence

    quintessence Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    I didn't think fear-mongerers like Jack Thompson harboured so much influence...anyway,

    It's human nature to want to blame something on something else, whether blame lands on the right or wrong place, sadly never seems to be an issue.

    But for what its worth, video games are not a source of a rise in robberies, assaults and murders. Don't try to convince me they are because I can sit here right now, and distinguish the difference between "make believe" and "reality". This is because of a sensible up-bringing by my parents.

    Parents underestimate how much influence they have on their child, both genetically and through thier everyday actions. And I find it hard to believe that a child will be influenced more by playing a video game for 1-4 hours a day then by being around their parents for the remaing time. Parents are the role models for children pure and simple not video games.

    Children are born into this world as a clean slate (forgive the comparison) It is what they pick up along the way that shape who they become. Video games are not the big problem if people truly wanted to help stop violence they would change the second amendment but instead its just easier to blame something else.

    Q.
     
  14. SpeedoMike

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    2,940
    Likes Received:
    5
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay Area
    thanks for some excellent thoughts on a world-wide problem.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted