September 10, 2009

A Youngster No More

I happened to be listening to a local radio station this morning, as I usually do, for the 7:30 news. During the broadcast, the "news guy" went on to report a story of an 18 year-old who was arrested for a litany of relatively serious charges. What I've got a problem with is the DJ's use of adjectives in describing this scumbag, who like most criminals, has likely only been arrested for a fraction of the crimes they've actually committed. The news guy went on to describe the alleged criminal as a "youngster".

I don't mean to nitpick, but that is simply ludicrous to describe this man as a youngster. I'm sure he stopped being a youngster 7 or 8 years ago when he committed his first crime.

The term youngster connotes youth and innocence. Even dictionary.com defines youngster as a child or a young person.

This mentality in our society that age has something to do with responsibility is so misguided. I know 10 year-olds that are more mature and more responsible than some 40 year-olds that I know.

This man is 18 years-old, and he is on our streets committing crimes. He is not a "youngster".

When I heard the piece, I immediately thought of Tyquan Rivera. You haven't heard of 15 year-old Tyquan? Well let me share with you a little information about this "youngster". He was just convicted of attempted second-degree murder and first-degree assault in connection with the Jan. 31 shooting of Rochester Police Officer Anthony DiPonzio, 24.

Media types need to stop portraying these criminals as kids. If you commit a crime (I'm not talking about snagging a pack of gum from the local 7-11), you've lost your innocence, and you've lost your right to be a youngster. The quicker we start treating these punks like the criminals they are, and not some poor, young mind gone astray, the better off our society will be.

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