We all want to protect our children and that's a good thing.
Well, I do, but I'm not so sure about you.
But nobody and I mean nobody will ever know what really happened in their relationship.
As one commenter pointed out, the use of the term "relationship" in this instance is misleading and implies consent. I must say that, even if he were not (OK, "allegedly") tortured, terrorized, drugged and coerced; even if the contact were strictly voluntary, Shawn was and remains well below the age of consent. If we are going to say that kids have the power of consent in this sort of "relationship," we need to consider the following:
Should we allow kids into the military at 11?
Issue them a drivers' license as soon as they can reach the pedals?
Allow them to vote at 12?
Let them buy alcohol at 10?
There is a reason we don't do this. Our children need parental and societal guidance and nurturing in order to become adults capable of informed judgment in these matters.
I do not understand why it needs to be said that we MUST allow children to be children without having to make decisions in these areas. Let them decide smaller things, like what sport they want to play, what kind of bicycle they want, or how they want to wear their hair. These things give them a chance to exercise choice in a harmless way, and practice for adulthood. Let's leave the life-altering choices for the grownups, OK? TIA
Did Shawn run away?
Was he snatched?
We will never know the real truth because people can lie.
No! I'm flabbergasted! Really?! Holy cow, whodathunkit!
How would you feel if ten years from now we see a 20/20 program that says: "Shocking new evidence in the Hornbeck case that happen ten years ago".
How would you feel, 10 years from now if your child, or the child of somebody near and dear to you were to "vanish" in the way Shawn and Ben did, and you have the opportunity to see how this looks from the other side? The children's families are also victims in this case.
What would happen if we found out we were all wrong, or maybe partly wrong.
I've been wrong before. It's not the end of the world. You, on the other hand, are dead wrong if you think you can justify Devlin's actions. So what happens? You tell me.
We are all walking down the dirt path with our torches in hand, ready to burn the witch at the stake.
By "witch," do you mean Devlin? I don't want to burn him. I just want him to be unable to approach another child for the rest of his life. It doesn't seem too much to ask, as he was caught "red-handed" in possession of not one but two missing boys.
But we must step back for a moment and take a deep breath, look at the facts and use our critical thinking skills.
I know it's hard when there is a boy and a man involved.
Not hard at all. There is a boy (two, actually) and a man involved.
We have already made up our minds and that is that.
There you go with that "we," again. I have made up my mind in response to the facts. Devlin was found in possession of two missing children. There are no facts to counteract that one.
As much as we want to believe that kids are "angles", kids these days are much more independent and wiser than kids 25 years ago.
Kids are not "angles." Kids are not even "angels." They are not "more independent." In fact, thanks to the Devlins, the Duncans, and even thanks to you, Anonymous, kids are much more hemmed about with rules and safety checks than we were when I was a child. And, while I was more sheltered than most, in my day, I do not find today's children any "wiser" than I was.
The internet alone has exposed kids to things most adults don't even know about.
The internet exposes each and every one of us to a lot of things. If we are looking for it, we can find anything.
Today on the internet, kids can find out ways to do all sorts of criminal things.
As can anyone else. And the public library has always been a good source of information on all sorts of subjects.
There are webpages on almost any topic.
I know. I've seen your N*A*M*B*L*A garbage.
Just remember, anybody can accuse anyone of anything.
I will refrain from giving you an example of a very good accusation.
Until we have facts, or Mr. Devlin confesses, these allegations are just that, allegations. I say put your torches away for now and let the trial dictate the outcome.
We have facts. If Mr. Devlin were an upstanding citizen, he would have returned the boys who mysteriously came into his possession to their parents, or to the police. It is not an allegation that he had the boys. That, in of itself, is a crime and an abomination. The trial will dictate the outcome. Such is our legal system.
If you don't believe that children can be cunning and manipulative and deviant at a young age, just read news story below.
Children can be all of those things, but not unless somebody teaches them to be.
What would happen if this kid said his Mom made him do it. We would never know, would we? We would believe this little boy, wouldn't we?
But now this child must pay the price for his actions because there was no adult to blame his actions on.
We all pay the price for our actions.
Even Michael Devlin.
12:08 AM, February 09, 2007
Edited to add: Anonymous has got himself a nickname now. Tron.