The Little Squirt's Big Shot
Many years ago I had a friend named Maynard who had a criminal mind. It wasn’t so much that he practiced any criminal activities, he just thought like a criminal. He would point out all sorts of criminal opportunities, like this or that would be so easy to abscond with, or here’s a great confidence scheme that would hood-wink people.
Though he would have made a world class criminal, the only criminal activity I ever knew him to be involved in was when he was a child growing in a Federal Housing Project in Upstate New York. He was poor and grew up in a large family. His father and older brothers hunted and fished to put food on the table. He wanted to grow up and be in the hunting party, so at a young age his parents bought him a BB gun.
Now when a kid has a gun, he or she has to shoot it. Remember that parents, you don’t give a kid a gun and expect them to just look at it and use it only at appropriate times. Maynard took his BB gun onto his porch one day and started shooting. He enjoyed the sound of the BB plunking its target. The ringing sound was especially good when a BB hit a window. He was sure it was a sound only because he couldn’t see that any windows were cracking while being shot.
After about a half hour of this joyful sound, the police showed up and pointed out to him and his mother, who was unaware of what was going on that the sound of the BBs hitting the window was actually the sound of a small circle of glass being popped out the back side.
There were close to a hundred windows in the housing project that were pocked like the photo above on that morning. I don’t recall what his punishment was, but it was a lesson he never forgot or repeated. This all happened about 50 years ago. Think of what would happen to not only the kid, but to his parents if that happened today.
The kid would be taken out to the kid jail in Warrenton and the parents would loose custody. It's sad that the judicial process has totally lost touch with the reality that sometimes people make unintentional mistakes, and there should be a financial payback for unintentional wrongs, but there should also be forgiveness.