Vaping was never a good idea!
I was planning on going off on another prototypical JW rant generally embracing and promoting the notion of natural selection. But then I thought it might be a worthwhile idea to talk to some parents of vaping age children in an effort to get a better idea of the challenges they’re facing in this regard.
In the end, it’s not unlike the lure of cigarettes when I was a spry 70s youth back in Evanston, Illinois. Did I give it a shot? Yep! And those opportunities came at the hands of peers who were already hooked.
Thankfully, my attempts at developing yet another bad habit were short lived because, as it turns out, smoking and asthmatic lungs are a really bad combination. To this day I recoil in allergic horror just standing next to a smoker in the grocery store.
Meanwhile, those parents told me that, while they’ve put the kibosh on vaping at home, they’re one of the rare families who’ve issued that prohibition. It’s when their children visit a more laissez-faire household that the vaping starts.
Ah yes! Good old peer pressure.
But as much as I want to launch into Roseanne Roseannadanna’s “It just goes to show you, it’s always something. If it’s not one thing it’s another…” there has been somewhat of a sea change since those halcyon days of the 1960s.
First, both my parents smoked and almost every adult they knew regularly partook. Maybe I live a sheltered life, but I don’t know a single adult who vapes. Not only that, but I still clearly remember the offensive to insert warning labels on cigarette packs with the anti-tobacco lobby finally prevailing in 1965. From the 30s to the 50s, doctors actually recommended cigarettes as health!
But now, having witnessed the incontrovertible swath of destruction tobacco’s left in its wake, the vaping fad is turning into yet another doomed to repeat it out of ignorance possibility. Having, once again, dismissed history, the too-typical American response to a new clear and present danger always follows the same pattern.
It starts with, “What could possibly go wrong with inhaling a foreign substance into your lungs? Go ahead and vape little Johnny!” Then six children die and its “Ban the bleeps you scurrilous politicians. Why didn’t you save us from ourselves?”
I’M NOT ENCOURAGING VAPING, but the truth is, we still don’t know what specifically caused those deaths and hospitalizations, and only a scant minority of vapers have been affected this acutely, most of whom used marijuana laced products.
C’mon! Haven’t we finally figured out the only thing humans should be inhaling is air, and in some places in this country, you might want to avoid even that. It’s not rocket science people!
It’s clearly not a deterrent!
It’s important to note that, throughout the course of the last 13.25 years, I’ve supported law enforcement 90 percent of the time. That’s far more than any profession I regularly write about. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when I have to say that police department command staffs certainly aren’t paid to think.
Let’s use Plainfield as the perfect example.
That police department just charged a Plainfield Central High School student with felony disorderly conduct for threatening to “shoot up the school.” The juvenile claims it was a “joke,” and if that’s true, it’s a really bad one.
My problem with this sad scenario is, aside from adding another conviction to the ledger, what good are felony charges going to do? They might even make it exponentially worse by costing student lives in the long run.
Please let me to explain!
First, these charges are no deterrent because this is the sixth similar threat made against the Plainfield School District this year, and it’s only September 13th. And the reason it’s not a deterrent is, all teenagers are idiots because they lack a fully developed brain.
Considering we were all teenagers at one time, I’m bleepin’ amazed we’ve survived as a species.
The second, and far more insidious problem with this arrest is, those who tend to make these overt threats are least likely to carry out a school shooting. School shooters, in general, tend to be the quieter clinically depressed and/or regularly bullied students. The leave trails and clues as to their intent, but the adults involved really have to be listening to pick up on it.
So, when law enforcement overcharges the idiots who not only had no intention of shooting anyone but didn’t even have access to a gun (as in the current case), all they’re doing is training the real potential shooters to be even quieter about it. And that silence puts student lives at risk because our only defense against them is to catch on before a depressed or bullied student pulls the trigger.
I’m not saying the six students who made those threats shouldn’t have to face the music. But I’m thinking a misdemeanor involving community service, perhaps with gunshot wound victims in local hospitals, would be far more appropriate.
Sadly, there’ve been so many school shootings in this country that we know exactly who pulls the trigger. So, if we really want to stop this scourge, we’ve got to pay far more attention to those students sitting out on the fringes and do our damndest to eliminate bullying in any form. But that takes real time and effort while filing absurd charges does not.
God help us!