Spoilt rotten punks! Bad parents let teen gangsters run riot
AS A teenager growing up, there were times when we did some really dumb things and there but for the grace of God, it could have ended so differently.
I say "we'' because invariably the dumb things happened when we were a group - the peer group pressure, the need to belong.
Like the time we all jumped off the Grafton Bridge in the darkness of night. Seemed like a good idea, but looking back now, it was fraught with danger.
Doing somersaults off a 40m cliff in Yamba into a waterhole beneath, with a small margin for error. Swimming in mountainous surf, despite the beach being closed. Fighting after school and belting the living daylights out of each other.
We were certainly not angels, but the thought of purposefully breaking the law was never an option. The closest we came to that was getting an adult to put a bet on for us at the racetrack.
But things have changed. For the worse. Much worse.
The teenagers of today have a much higher tolerance to breaking the law, and indeed, many have a sense of entitlement.
Over the weekend, senior police chief Brendan Smith warned of the escalation in teen gang violence, particularly on the Gold Coast.
It followed the death of Cian English, 19, who fell to his death last month after trying to flee a "vicious'' assault at the hands of three young men.
The top cop said that this teenage gang crime was becoming "all too common'' and it was "not a video game'' - you will either die or go to jail.
"For some reason, they think it's cool to have that gangster mindset and they've got to carry a knife to be cool," he said.
"It takes other kids to say 'hey don't do this, you're an idiot'.
Two teen girls have also been arrested over the Cian English case. They allegedly videoed the assault for social media.
Det Supt Brendan Smith said as a parent he can't understand such behaviour.
"I know if my daughter - if she wasn't at home when she was 16, I'd be asking the question - where the hell is she?,'' he said. "Why aren't parents doing that today?''
He makes a good point. Whatever happened to proactive parenting? Why are teenagers being allowed out to roam the streets, creating mayhem?
That horse - keeping teenagers on a tight leash - has bolted.
As a society, we've let these little punks put it all over us.
As a society, we've tolerated the so-called emancipation of children on the basis that we believe they have the right to run their own lives and do their own thinking.
It's been a spectacular failure. Social media influencers have spoilt them rotten. They look up to people such as Swedish teen climate change warrior Greta Thunberg and believe everything that comes out of her mouth.
They put the middle finger up to mainstream society by joining cult-like fringe groups such as Extinction Rebellion and terrorise inner-city motorists by gluing themselves to roads and bridges.
How can you give a teenager the right to make their own decisions when they use that freedom to break the law and partake in civil disobedience?
Why should we even pretend that these young people are contributing to society when their raison d'etre is to be arrested and thrown into the clink as some sort of badge of honour?
They use social media to congregate, plot and undermine any belief that does not correlate with their warped ideology.
Many are bullies. They use the pack mentality to get their message across. And we cop it.
We watch the really bad apples carry knives and terrorise other kids and adults with their need to be part of a gang.
Innocent people are dying. Others, many on welfare, impose their hatred and disdain for the Australia we know through their illogical protests and crazy social media posts.
Many have been brainwashed by universities.
They live in this Pollyanna world that by saving the planet they are doing the right thing.
Here's the thing. We all want to save the planet. That's why we've signed up to the Paris Agreement.
But we have to eat and put a house over our heads. Ask these people touting 100 per cent renewables by 2030 what impact it will have on jobs and the economy.
Expect a blank stare. They have no idea. Many of our young people of today need to recalibrate. Get a job, work hard and leave the big political decisions to those who know what they are talking about.
It means hardworking, intelligent, sensible young people today have a huge advantage over their unenlightened mates.
Originally published as Spoilt rotten punks! Bad parents let teen gangsters run riot