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Little Wails Lost in a Sea of Rage: Why Can't We Protect Our Children?

On July 13, 2011, young Leiby Kletzky was returning from day camp, walking through Borough Park in Brooklyn, one of the safest neighborhoods in New York. The eight- year old was navigating through the streets, having been given permission by his parents to return to the comfort of his home unescorted.

This young man,  maybe a little uncertain in his location, was clearly brimming with excitement  and knowledge that his parents recognized in him a maturity that reinforced their decision to let him walk the few blocks to his waiting mother.

In the time it would take for Leiby Kletzky to walk that short distance, the Kleitzky family’s life would be horribly altered forever. A monster would reach out to a little boy lost, a little boy searching for a friendly face to put him on the right path to his anxious mother. That was not to be.

Mr. Levi Aron, wearing a cellophane smile, stopped to give young Leiby directions. What followed is every parent’s nightmare. A missing child, a frantic search and a dispicable crime that would freeze a seasoned investigator in his tracks.

Leiby Kletzky’s dismembered body was found, parts in Aron’s home and parts in a trash bin. The reason Aron killed Leiby? He “panicked.”

On July 17, 2011, six-year old Max Shacknai died approximately one week after falling down the carpeted stairs of his father’s seaside suburban mansion in Coronado, California. How often do youngsters fall down carpeted stairs without sustaining critical or life-threatening injuries?

Yet Maxie- as he was affectionately known- succumbed to the injuries his twisted and damaged body absorbed as he tumbled to his death. And the person charged with watching Maxie while his father was away? She died four days before Maxie, having been found hanging naked, with hands and legs bound.

Only through extensive examinations, including an autopsy that may detect injuries consistent with rolling injuries, will homicide detectives be able to piece together how Maxie died.

On July 22,2011, Anders Breivik set off an explosion in Oslo, Norway, and then went to Utoya Island and let loose with an automatic weapon, killing many young people attending a political youth camp. The death toll exceeds 70 people dead.

The reason for this sudden burst of homicidal rage? To combat the onslaught of multiculturalism that is transforming Norway through an influx of muslim immigrants, so says Mr. Breivik.

And he says he is not done. He’ll reach out from behind the prison walls to continue his crime spree.

How do we, as a people, protect children from the devastating effects of rage? Or indifference that can lead to death?

Don’t think that child abuse occurs only when there is affirmative, active physical contact. As the professionals who deal with child abuse on a daily basis know, indifference or neglect can, and has, lead to the death of children.

Why is it so difficult to protect children from abuse, ranging from emotional and physical trauma to sexual exploitation? Two words: Human nature! What do I mean by this? I mean those characteristics that distinguish us from other species in how we think, act and feel.

Any student of philosophy, particularly greek philosophy, will concede that no matter how civilized we become as a society, at our core we are brutal and barbaric toward each other. In other words, savages. Each of us, presumably, embody a human soul. Some philosophers believe that the human soul has one part that is human, rational. However, another part has desires and passions that are found in animals.

Many philosophers believe that we are born with a brain that has a “clean slate.” As we mature we learn, remember and incorporate our experiences. Some of us don’t do so well at incorporating the typical, “normal” responses to daily interactions within our world. We don’t follow the normal conventions of what society expects in a given situation.

We rebel. We chafe against the constraints placed on us by society’s expectations. For many, social mores appear to be a constant state of turbulence swirling around us. Be kind. Be accomodating. Be forgiving. Be responsible. Be protective. Whew!

If there are among us those who can’t, or simply refuse to, abide by what is expected of them, how do we protect the children? I don’t have the answer, but I have a suggestion.

As a free society, people are going to exploit others. Manipulate others. Kill others. Some die in the name of war, religion, politics. Others die because some of us choose to act on our hedonistic, brutish ways.

So, how do we protect our children, acknowledging that some of us cannot be trusted to cherish our most precious resource? Fortunately, there many people who, given the chance, will be vigilant protecting children.

We send smart people all the time to Washington, D.C.  They implement laws to regulate commerce and our social interaction with each other. Why can’t someone devise a uniform Safe Zone that could be visible throughout the communities in our country?

A nice, highly visible, maybe bright toxic green banner or flag or signage that would be prominently displayed in store windows, neighborhoods and buildings that all children would be taught to recognize as a “safe zone”-time out if you will-until danger passes.

There is no panacea to this problem. However, we can-and must-affirmatively act to protect our children who are so easily exploited. If we fail to do this, aren’t we partly responsible? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

46 thoughts on “Little Wails Lost in a Sea of Rage: Why Can't We Protect Our Children?

  1. We stumble thru life never really taking a look at the horrors that can happen, unless they envolve us. We can read about it, see it on the news and hear it on the radio and say ” How horrible for something like this to happen” and do nothing. Most of us live within our small world. Comfortable. Yet when it happens within our world we get angry as to why something like this has happened and for the most part still do nothing but grieve for our loss. I think you have hit upon an idea that could and should be looked into. There is a great need to protect our most precious possessions, as they have little chance to protect themselves when left alone in foreign circumstances. Please continue to script your opinions, as I find them food for thought.
    ;)

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