There have been a raft of stories of amazingly brutal instances of teen or young adult violence and murder around the area lately.
These include the murder, attempted incineration, and dismemberment, of 16 year old Adrianne Reynolds in Moline by other teens, one of whom, 16 year old Nathan Gaudet, plead guilty yesterday, a case where one teen murdered another teen by stabbing him 111 times (!) while another teen held the victim down in Burlington, IA, a double murder in Muscatine of two young victims only blocks from where a 22 yr old boyfriend of a young woman murdered her 2 year old child not long ago. (no age has been reported on the suspect in the double slaying)
Obviously, this is of concern. But does it represent a rise in violence and even murder among young people? Is this something people should wring their hands and panic about? Haven't we been down this road before? It seems not that long ago that we were in the grips of a purported epidemic of teen violence according to the press and politicians and professional moralists.
What, if anything, could be thought to be the cause? And what, if anything, can be done? Should politicians jump into the act? Should people freak out as if it's only happening in this area, or is it a national trend, or no trend at all? And what are the limits to what legislation can do to deal with these incidents? After all, isn't the blame to be laid ultimately on the guilty themselves for being amoral sociopaths?