Vigilantes purportedly writing from Camrose, Alberta named 4 under-aged children who allegedly broke into a home there recently and nuked a family pet over the holidays. These self-appointed sherriffs did their name-calling and justice-seeking on Facebook’s hallowed walls, not pausing to wait for proof, or the wheels of Canadian justice to grind however slowly or legally that may have been. In actuality, all these cyber-space graffiti artists had going for them was hearsay evidence and third-hand repeatings of what may or may not have happened; on plainer terms, gossip.
As abhorent as the original act done here is, and don’t get me wrong – 1) I am an animal lover and, 2) I also realize fully the ramifications attached to the pre-teen cruelty that appears to have been done to this innocent, ie. a history of this type of behaviour could certainly indicate a precursor for more serious criminal activity and needs to be addressed as such. However, the fact remains, naming under-aged suspects is not only illegal in Canada, it is also amoral. When the so-called ordinary citizen decides to take matters into his own hands, or allows his child to do likewise, and starts issuing death threats and other obscene pieces of rhetoric in a public forum such as Facebook, the moral fabric of a civilized society begins to unravel rather more quickly than one would think possible.
I believe if we are to preserve any sense of decency at all in this world, it has to start in the home, with parents or care-givers who are willing to take the time to discuss these types of issues with their children, not take the easy, knee-jerk reaction of the vigilante. Is this any easy road? Not at all, but in the long run, what kind of people do we want to grow – people that can think for themselves, judge for themselves, react sensibly and rationally for themselves – or, people that will always know exactly how to lock and load in any situation, no questions asked. Put up and shut up. If that sounds ideal, start considering living under any of the world’s dictatorships;that’s how they’re run. Of course, that means at any time, you might be on the wrong end of the lock and load procedure. Give it some thought. I believe North America is better than that but until we start showing the kids that we are, and that we expect the same from them…nuked kitties might be the least of our worries.