My city is filled with idiots.
Since my city is Baltimore, however, that goes without saying. We also have a rather high rate of thugs, bums and potheads.
None of this is news, of course. But the Baltimore City’s Curfew Center is.
Apparently, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake has decided to set a curfew for Baltimore’s kiddies for the summer: “Children under the age of 17 are not allowed out without an adult after midnight on weekends and after 11 p.m. on weeknights.”
Considering the harsh punishment, I’m sure that this will really crack down on crimes committed by the city’s youth. Teens caught outside unattended after those hours will – Gasp! – be taken to the Curfew Center… and they’ll even get food and counseling!
I know that if I were an underager inclined to do naughty things at night like vandalize property, shoot people up or do drugs, I’d be quaking in my boots right now.
That’s some scary stuff!
Or not. City schools and law enforcement agree with the politicians that this is a great way to end violence and make parents accountable for their own offspring, but I have my serious doubts since they’re working with extremely faulty logic…
They think it’s possible to legislate behavior, which usually doesn’t work. The truth is that people do what they want as long as they think their actions outweigh the consequences.
A mature person weighs not only personal consequences but also those that might affect others. But since the threat of life in prison for murder or raping sprees doesn’t seem to intimidate Baltimore’s criminals nearly enough, what makes the city think that being taken to some cushy tax-payer-funded center for an hour or two is going to do anything?
So instead of stooping to the political version of slapping young peoples’ wrists – if that – and saying “No!” very firmly, it might behoove us to teach them how to behave like mature people … at home, in school and in society. And setting an example for them instead of acting like children ourselves certainly can’t hurt either.
One great place to start: Stop legislating taxpayer handouts so that people have to start taking care of their own again.
Just a thought. Not that I expect Baltimore to actually consider it.