I had this whole post all written out.Â I was surfing around, saw “14-year-old Quebec boy dies in fight over baseball cap,” and that was all I needed.Â It was pretty good too, if I do say so myself.Â All kinds of fire and brimstone about the YCJA, lenience, and little criminal bastards.
Yup, it was pretty good.
Then, before I hit the “publish” button, I got the odd urge to take another look.Â Turns out that’s a good thing, I guess.
As many of you have no doubt heard by now, there was a schoolyard fight in Trois Pistoles, Que., apparently over a hat, and one kid was killed.Â On the surface of it, this is a no-brainer for someone like me:Â Kid kills, kid is little murdering bastard; let him rot.Â No fuss, no muss, no excuses.Â Then I got a little more details…
As near as I can tell so far — and I DON’T have all the details — the more I look at this, the more it looks like a freak incident of a schoolyard fight gone horribly, horribly wrong.Â Reports like John Grant’s from CTV (see it here) are calling this a “one-punch fight.”Â Not exactly the kind of brutality that I’m in the habit of raving about.
I also have to admit that this gives me a bit of a “there but for the grace of God…” feeling.Â I remember getting into more than a few slobberknockers when I was young.Â Looking back, I have to admit that any one of them could have had this same one-in-a-million outcome.Â But it’s still just that: one in a million.
Let’s face it: boys are boys.Â All the social engineering efforts notwithstanding, we are and will always be what we are.Â Based on what I know at this point, this is not an example of youth run wild.Â This is a schoolyard fight gone tragically wrong.
Am I advocating that the kid who is still alive be let off scott free?
You killed somebody, kid.Â Whether you meant to or not, the result is the same and you need to be held answerable for that.Â You’re not a murderer.Â But someone is dead by your hand and, if you’re ever going to be a man, you need to take responsibility for what you do.Â Involuntary manslaughter.Â You did what you did.Â Now you pay for it.
Could I be completely wrong in all this?
Oh, yes I could.Â But this is as honest as I can be, with what I know.