All over the world teens are choosing to act irresponsibly. They tend to abuse and put others down. Why is that? Some do it for their own personal enjoyment. Others do it so they would fit in and because that's what all their friends are doing. Peer pressure can be hard to ignore, but is this what it has really come down to?
A Core Democratic Value that ties in with this is Pursuit of Happiness. You can do whatever you want that makes you happy as long as you don't interfere with someone else's happiness. When you call others names such as stupid, idiot, and so forth it can really hurt someone's feelings, even when you might not know it. It all starts with name calling. Then the physical violence starts. When violence starts, you know you have gone too far. If you can't control yourself, you put others and yourself at risk.
A while ago a 15 year old girl got shot in the head on her way home. She was walking close to a group of armed thugs that were fighting and a stray bullet hit her head. In another story Michael Brewer, a 15 year old boy, was burned by a group of bullies. They were going to steal his father's bike so he told on them. The bullies came to his house, poured rubbing alcohol on him and set Michael on fire. He is now severely burned on over 65% of his body. In both stories there is teen violence that nearly kills both victims.
My grandma believes that teens should not be allowed to carry guns. They might not have intended to shoot the girl, but that doesn't make it right. They need to be steered into a new direction that doesn't involve guns and violence. She also believes violence doesn't solve anything. Michael was right for telling on them, and they did a terrible thing by lighting him on fire.
As you can see violence doesn't solve anything. It just causes more trouble. When you're involved in teen violence, you take away someone's rights. It hurts others emotionally and physically. This doesn't help you in life either. It just gets you in trouble. So do what you believe is right.
Lynda Nguyen is 14 years old and in the 8th grade at Dwight Rich Middle School in Lansing, MI.
The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the opinions of One Love Global.