Wednesday, November 02, 2011

The Knockout Game and How We Should Respond

Knockout game
Is the “Knockout Game” real? How can we respond?

“You don’t know them, so why care about hurting them?”

This Gateway Pundit post takes the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to task for equating foreclosures and the opposition to “health care reform” with something called the “knock-out game.” I’ll leave the politics to the Gateway Pundit post, and instead focus on the following:

In April an elderly man was attacked by a mob of black youths playing “the knock out game” while walking home from the grocery store with his wife. They killed him.

In June a group of black youths beat a gay man bloody playing “the knock out game.”

In August black teen mobs targeted St. Louis cyclists in the knock out game.

In September, a 73-year-old man was knocked unconscious just outside of Tower Grove Park.

In October St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay was the first person on the scene on after a local man was beat unconscious by a mob of teens. The youths were “playing” the “knock out” game. The victim’s jaw was shattered and needed to be wired shut. There were several broken bones on his face.

If you pay attention to national news, as I do, this is now a common occurrence. Things like “flash mobs” have gone from viral YouTube video postings and turned into mob attacks (reportedly based on race), and mass shoplifting sprees which police seem powerless to prevent. The worst aspect of all of this is that there is a culture of entitlement and manufactured outrage which are used to justify anything.

The Post-Dispatch story excerpted tells the real story of moral bankruptcy that endangers all of us.

…Reporter Denise Hollinshed of the Post-Dispatch talked to some kids outside of Roosevelt High School, one of whom acknowledged that he’d taken part in the “knockout king” game.

“Knockout king is a thrill,” the kid told her. “It makes you want to keep doing it every day.”

Sure, the kid said, he knew he could hurt somebody. But he added, “You don’t know them, so why care about hurting them?” [TDA: Emphasis mine]

That’s a chilling statement. It reflects an almost sociopathic lack of empathy.

On the other hand, the more you think about it, it perfectly captures today’s zeitgeist, the spirit of the times.

Rather than try to tackle something that’s beyond my qualifications – why this is happening – let me address what can be done by us as individuals to combat this behavior. These are not recommendations, but my personal thoughts (in no particular order).

  • Teach empathy – the ability to understand and internalize what another person is feeling or how our actions affect others.
  • Carry a weapon – death has been a result of these attacks. Be prepared to save your own life, and don’t depend on anyone else if you don’t have to. Take classes and regularly practice use of your weapon of choice. Realize that the carrying of a weapon is not a license to do something stupid or provoke anyone. It’s a possible escalator of a bad situation, but could be a life-saver.
  • Report crimes, even minor ones, and make sure that those who commit them learn that punishment will result.
  • Moral instruction should be a part of every education, whether in school, religious services, and in the home.
  • Know with whom your kids “hang out,” and better yet, get your child involved in something positive.
  • Set a good example – be a good father and/or mother; obey the law and respect authority; show respect for the elderly.
  • Demonstrate and live civility. I have had so many discussions on the Internet, and only a few ever went beyond civil disagreement on even the most contentious of issues. Why? I demonstrate and practice what I preach in terms of setting the terms of the debate prior to beginning, ask for a definition of terms, and listen respectfully. I also disagree respectfully. What’s the common factor? Respect. Try it!
  • Teach violence as a means of self-defense only – if you don’t, who will? Give a moment of that type of instruction in every class you teach. Warriors and martial artists hold deadly power in our hands, and it must come with a code of ethics in the use of that power.
  • If you see groups of young men, best to steer clear. I know you’re a 15th-degree grandmaster, but someone’s going to get hurt and the odds are against anything good resulting from violence happening.

Watch this video about one of the attacks mentioned above:

Have any ideas? Why is it happening? What can we do? I may follow up if there’s enough interest with some specifics on how to deal with gang or mob attacks.

For more information:

Police zero in on three groups in 'knockout game' investigation

Family of Knockout Game victim wants sickening game to end |

Knockout Game - KTVI


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