I happened to Google myself and came across this discussion you were all having on my littel screw up back in 2000. Im glad you all have opinions regarding this matter, and some of you really make some good points! I would like to inform everyone that yes, I spent 30 days in county jail on work-release. I was 18 and stupid, mistakes happen. Blame my parents all you want, however, they had nothing to do with it. I was a rebel and still am.
Just for the record, I spent 30 days in county jail, 3 years on probabtion with bi-weekly visits to the probation office, DID write those letters of apology, paid all restitution and also had to PAY to be on probabtion, which came to about $900 for those 3 years. I lost my job at the airport when they did a random security check and found I was charged with Carrying a Concealed Weapon. I am now in the active duty Army because I couldnt get a job for the life of me that would have been able to pay my bills and support my daughter. So I enlisted. I still to this day cannot get a security clearance, which keeps me from going Special Forces, which I wanted to do. So now, 8 years after the fact, I am still barred from owning a handgun or getting any kind of security related job. Even though I have served in the 82nd Airborne Division honorably for 4 years, achieved the rank of Sergeant, and spent over 20 months deployed to either Iraq or Afghanistan I am still suffering from my one single mistake back in high school which I only did because I was hanging with the wrong group of guys, who never really put me up to anything besides the party, but none the less I wanted so bad to impress.
So everyone here that holds the rightous attitude of "they should all burn for their crimes", let me be the one to tell you that I have spent my time, more than my time, and am still paying the consequences of something stupid I did just after I turned 18. My fault, I was misguided back then, but do I really deserve all this??? 8 years later and I still pay the price daily......all because I had a pocket knife on me while going to a redneck country bumpkin school where EVERYBODY had a pick-up truck and a knife.
Oh, and by the way, there was no shotgun involved, ever, so take your news stories with a grain of salt. And it isnt illegal to own a shotgun anyway. You just have to be 18 to PURCHASE one. Humiliating a 16 year old? And saying a 16 year old is a CHILD??!! Come on people, you know for a fact that a 16 year BELIEVES in his heart and mind that he is an adult and usually tries to act like one. That "CHILD" used to push me down the steps for fun because he was bigger than me. The person who actually humiliated him was a friend of mine who happened to be standing up for me, so again, failure of the media to report what REALLY happened. I do not condone what I did, however, the news article blew the entire incident WAY out of proportion. Remember, you may make judgements all you want on people's lives, but if you dont actually know the WHOLE story or werent there, cut some of these "kids" some slack. Granted not all of them are good kids gone wrong, but you cannot hang everyone just because one year he's 16, and the next he turns 17. Do YOU remember what it was like to be 17??????
Well this is interesting to say the least. Wonder if it will become a regular thing to talk with people in these stories after everything has shaken out. Guess time will tell.
First, much respect for serving. I know you said you took the job only because you couldn't find another job to support you and your daughter, but even given the reason why you enlisted, I still have much respect for all our servicemen and women, and that includes you.
I will stick to what I said about your parents having some responsibility in this, because they did. Everyone is somewhat of a rebel at times, but the values instilled in us by our parents are what either causes us to act upon those feelings, or not. Also affects "how" we act upon those feelings. There are constructive ways to be a rebel, and ones that are not. So while you contend it had nothing to do with your parents, at least in part, it certainly did.
Your post is something I hope many people read. Shows real life consequences for real life choices. "Everyone" may have carried a pocket knife, but that doesn't make it any more legal. Too many people think breaking a law is no big deal if everyone else is doing it, yet they don't realize that the punishments can affect them and their lives a whole lot more than they realize. The military isn't the only area of life that does extensive background checks. Your post is a good message of possible consequences for the choices people make.
Interesting how you would argue that the 16 year old really wasn't a "child" (in your words) in your opinion, yet you ask if you "deserve all of this" for a decision you made at 18 years old. Even in your first paragraph you stated: "I was 18 and stupid, mistakes happen". So which one is it? Are kids really kids, or should they be treated as an adult? You contradicted yourself quite badly. If the 16 year old wasn't really a "child", then neither were you. If you were young and stupid, then so was the 16 year old. Can't have it both ways.
Oh, as to the firearm, I'm here in Texas too, and one must have a license to possess a firearm (not just to buy one). Otherwise, it's illegal to even hold one.
Yes doctor, I am sick. Sick of those who are spineless. Sick of those who feel self-entitled. Sick of those who are hypocrites. Yes doctor, an army is forming. Yes doctor, there will be a war. Yes doctor, there will be blood.....
Well, my comment about a 16 year-old being a child refers back to a statement someone had made about my incident of "humiliating a 16 year old boy". I agree my statement sounds contradictory. I wrote it in the heat of the moment so you'll have to forgive me on that one!
In my opinion (seeing as thats what this forum is all about) I would have to say that treating a minor as an adult depends on the crime AND the circumstances. You hear about 13 year-olds killing people every once in a while and if I remember correctly, they were treated as adults! Murder is a serious crime, so maybe the situation warranted it. But to put a 17 year old in jail for swearing in school seems a bit extreme to me!
And on the point of my parents being somewhat responsible, you have to consider the circumstances, which again, I apologize for not filling in completely. My parents were divorced for about 5 years when my little incident happened. I had just recently moved from my mom's to my dad's house and even though my dad worked a second shift job, he kept me under a pretty tight leash. But no matter what my dad did, I did what I wanted to. You can blame them for being divorced, but in my parents situation, it was definitely for the better. I just had a problem with anger management, I had no where to turn to express my self and didnt have the judgement at 17 and a half to let it out "constructively".
Now in some other instances of minors and crimes, I have to agree that the parents were probably part of the problem but that brings us back to my point of looking at the circumstances surrounding the incident. You cannot group every minor that commits a crime into one group of troubled teens who have horrible parents! Some, not all, parents try everything they can but it really all depends on the minor to change his ways and "see the light" which is not an easy thing to ask of a teenager who "knows everything"!
I do also want to apologize for sounding a bit whiny about how badly my mistake has affected my life. I sometimes get upset about it because it was something I regret, even right after I did it, but thats life, right? I guess Im more upset that the county court gave me a pretty harsh punishment in order to make an example of me. The way I see it, I was still in high school, so maybe a LITTLE leniency would have been nice! I can understand being dealt a harsh punishment if I had graduated and committed my crime, but not still as a high school student two months away from graduation. It may just be me feeling like I got a raw deal, but I still accept the consequences regardless of how unfair they may have been.
And back on the gun subject....I live in Wisconsin and unless the law has changed, you dont have to be licensed to have a shotgun. By the way, thanks for the support of the military.