Jordan Romero of Big Bear California set a new record as the youngest person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Reported by the AP, an article on CBSnews.com reports that all are happy and proud of Jordan and his latest achievement. But one has to wonder how the story would be playing if the headline had read, â€œ13 year old dies attempting to reach summit of Mt. Everest.â€
As sensational as the idea of a 13 year old mastering the highest mountain in the world is, the facts are that hundreds have died attempting the same feat. According to an internet site called Mount Everest History/Facts, 120 bodies remain on Mt. Everest to this day. This begs the questionâ€¦is it ok to allow a 13 year old to do such a potentially fatal thing?
How would our society react to a parent allowing a 13 year old to drive a car around town. Or how about allowing one to carry a gun around or smoke and drink. Fortunately the answer was settled a long time ago. And that answer is that we do not allow it. And that is because we determined that a 13 year old does not posses the mental capacity to make such decisions. And because it is impossible to ensure that all parents will abide by the same tenants of common sense our civilization has recognized as right, laws have been made to ensure children are protected from certain potentially harmful activities.
So, should Jeromeâ€™s parents be charged with reckless endangerment of a child? It certainly does not look as though anyone wants to pursue that. But Iâ€™m betting that if Jerome had died or had been seriously injured, it would be a very different story.
It just goes to show how childish we are as a species. As long as the result is positive, we can forgive the intent. We see it in our laws. For instance the difference between murder and attempted murder. If you attempt to murder someone and succeed, youâ€™re punishment is severe. But if you fail and your victim survives, youâ€™re punishment is far less severeâ€¦ why? The intent is the same. How is it logical to have very different punishments for what is for all intents and purposes the same crime. Itâ€™s the same thing here. Because the boy came back alive and well itâ€™s a great accomplishment. But if he had died, his folks would probably be under arrest right now.
Devin Barber, Politics Correspondent
Devinâ€™s column, â€œLeft Of The Rightâ€ published weekly or more to Gather Essentials: Politics is a Blue Collar Democrats take on current political news.
Devin was raised by proud Roosevelt Democrats. Being the son of parents counted among the throng of Americans displaced by the Great Depression has given Devin a deep rooted passion for causes dealing with the poor and the working class.
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