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It is a tragic reflection of the times we live in, that incidents of high school

kids – particularly in the USA – committing atrocities that were once considered
beyond the pale, even for adults, are becoming all too common. Mentally disturbed
– or, simply, amoral – teenagers are carrying out school shootings and other
random acts of senseless violence with distressing regularity. Colombine and
Virginia Tech refuse to get erased from our collective consciousness.

A recent incident in West Palm Beach, Florida, however, speaks of a depth of


depravity almost too horrible to contemplate – more so considering the age of the
perpetrators. Avion Lawson, 14, and Nathan Walker, 16, were among a group of about
10 masked suspects who forced their way into a woman's apartment in a crime-ridden
hous¬ing project, on the night of June 18. The abomination started innocently
enough. A man knocked on the woman's door and told her he had a flat tyre. The
mother and her 12-year old son went out¬side and were ambushed by a group of gun-
wielding suspects.

According to the police, the victims were forced back into their home, beaten and
sexu¬ally assaulted. The men raped, sodomized and beat the woman, then forced her
son to participate in the as¬sault at gunpoint. But the final indignity was yet to
come. The 12-year old boy was forced to have sex with his mother in front of them.
Still not sated, the perpetrators beat the boy, almost to a pulp and poured
numerous household clean¬ing liquids into his eyes.

What goes on in the minds of monsters like that? Do they have a mind at all, or do
they operate purely on animal instinct? It is not known if the teenagers were on
drugs but, even if they were, it still does not offer a rational explanation.
People on drugs sometimes act out their deep-rooted fantasies and frustrations.
But what kind of mind could even conceive a fantasy of a young boy having sex with
his mother and – more abhorrently – getting pleasure from watching that sickening
act? And to follow that depraved act by probably impairing the boy’s eyesight for
the rest of his life? What did the young innocent do to them? It is probable that
they did not even know him. What sort of home environment could turn out children
like that? If not the parents, who is to blame: teachers, friends, violent video
games?

The truth is that none of us have the answers. Not only does there appear to be no
cure in sight, even prevention is a pipe dream. Just when society thinks some of
its members cannot sink any lower, they continue to surprise us. You cannot
prevent something that is beyond your comprehension.

Source: Associated Press