I walk this empty street...

I posted a news story on my facebook and asked for responses... what people thought, etc. I really only got two responses... 1 from Melissa and 1 from Sarah... but it'll get the job done. This was the story:

OREGON, Wis. (AP) — A father allegedly shot his 9-year-old son in the buttocks with a BB gun, a revelation that came to light after the boy wrote a school essay about the incident. The boy had written an essay about the "painful afternoon my Dad shot me with a BB gun." The elementary-school teacher turned the essay over to authorities.

Prosecutors charged the 36-year-old father on Friday with one felony count of child abuse. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 6 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

The criminal complaint said the father told an investigator he shot the boy after the child didn't move fast enough from blocking the TV. He said he aimed at his son's rear pocket because he thought it would be more padded.

"I knew right away it was a stupid thing I did," the father said. "I told my kids the only way I'm going to touch them is to kiss them, hug them, tickle them. I was very, I was not under the influence of anything. It was a very stupid decision."

He was released Friday on a signature bond and ordered not to threaten or engage in any acts of violence against his son. He was also ordered not to engage in physical discipline of any child.

And here are the responses I received:


One of my fifth graders wrote a story one time about how "My daddy got stabbed by gang members. They broke down our door. They came rushing in. I was screaming and stuff." And it was a true story. Another time one of my students wrote in his journal, "My uncle committed suicide after killing my aunt." And it too was a true story. Kids today deal with far more that I could ever possibly fathom.

Too much TV. A generation where the media has far too much power. And parents don't know how to parent or where to turn for help. Ummm.....the church maybe...but which one if you've never gone before?


I think his punishment should be to watch 'A Christmas Story' 24/7 for a year.

The reason I asked this is because... well... I don't know what to think. This has become more apparent to me in the past few weeks... the types of things that make headlines just make me want to cry, honestly... and I do have a view point on these issues, but I'm terrified to try and explain it... I'm terrified of what people will think of me. It shouldn't matter, I know that much... but when I see people take a stand, it looks like everything they decide on... it looks like they can see the issue in terms of right and wrong... and to them, everything falls neatly into these categories.

I don't know if that's how it really is, but it's certainly not that way for me. It's not that I don't know the difference between right and wrong, it's just... I'm a stickler for finding out all the facts. I hate making a decision based on only small bits of information. I hate passing judgment without getting the whole story, and I don't believe that two wrongs make a right.

But I also have a problem expressing my views, and I hate being labeled as something I'm not... and I've noticed that most of the time, people who view things as completely right or totally wrong also like to stick people into slots. If I support a law suit against an anti Christian professor, I'm a bible thumping Christian radical. If I see where the professor is coming from, I'm anti-Christian. If I'm upset with something Obama has said or done, I'm a crazy republican. If I want to be positive and hope that Obama doesn't fail the nation as a president, I'm a whack job lib. If I disagree with republicans on ANYTHING, then obviously I voted for Obama. If I voted for McCain, I'm racist. If I'm against gay marriage, than I must be anti-gay and pro-life. If I want someone to face the consequences of their actions, I'm a goody two shoes and a hypocrite that thinks too highly of myself. If I say it's wrong to wish death upon someone who beat their significant other, I'm pro abuse. It's insanity, to say the least, and it drives me crazy, because it frustrates the hell out of me.

Am I the only person that feels this way?? Is something wrong with me?? So many people are able to pass judgement so easily... can things really be seen as black and white, with nothing in between? Should there never be exceptions?

I chose the above story because... while I do believe the act can be classified as Child abuse, I don't think the guy meant to hurt his son, and I think telling him he can no longer physically discipline any children at all is a bit stupid. How about say he's no longer allowed to discipline with a bb gun?? And the part about him not being allowed to threaten his child... I don't think waggling your finger in front of his face and telling him "NO!" is going to change anything. If he wants to threaten his child, what's going to stop him from doing so??? It seems to me everyone seems to think he's this horrible person who's going to abuse his child more if given the chance, but no one wants to take the steps to make sure it doesn't happen... and why? Probably because they think the same thing I do - he doesn't seem like he meant to hurt his son. Yes, what he did was extremely stupid, yes he should be punished... is he a child abuser? I don't think so. But how do you say that without being condemned??? It seems almost impossible today.

I just don't like viewing the world with a big red line down the center of it, but it seems like more and more I just deal with people who have their set ideas. Black and white. No gray at all, and you're crazy for even thinking there could be the slightest bit of gray. Can't we all have our own views... can't we all have DIFFERING views... can't we all have a chance to explain ourselves without causing an epic chasm of insanity over something trivial?? Or do we all have to be split up into two groups... if you agree with me, stand here, if you disagree... stand there.

So... what do you think? Is it possible to have a gray area? To not have your feet planted firmly on either side of the fence? Or can things really be divided up into black and white?

P.S. - thank you to those who gave me responses. :)

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Dusty Banks said...

awesome entry, "but when I see people take a stand, it looks like everything they decide on." That's why I write safely on my blog.