Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Plays with Matches

When I was about ten years old, I got hold of a box of matches. There I was, walking down the sidewalk, merrily thumping lit matches into the air, pretending they were Japanese zeroes going down in flames.

I heard my brother yell my name. I turned around.

And there between us was a neighbor's yard, merrily ablaze.

I don't remember much of what happened after that.

So now the ten year old boy who accidentally set one of the fires in California could face millions of dollars in fines and be taken from his parents and placed under the care of the state. Sounds reasonable. Certainly I should have been charged with the crime of being a ten year old boy.

The only difference between my crime and his crime was the size of the fire.
The size of the fire wasn't his fault. Last time I checked, seeing into the future isn't on the list of recognized human abilities. I'm sure had he been a mutant child with X-factor precognition, he might have reconsidered playing with those matches. If he started the fire anyway, knowing it would burn 21 homes and injure three people, then I'd say yes, he's definitely in league with Magneto. Carve that motherfucker, Wolverine!

Why is this even a story? Why is Los Angeles DA Steve Cooley even keeping this matter "under review?" Because somebody is demanding justice? From a ten year old boy?

If anybody needs to be locked up, it's the people who would lock up a ten year old boy.

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