Jeff Anderson

Teen Violence And Self Defense?

Should children learn self defense?

Michael Brewer attacked by juvenile gangThe rise of violence in our schools and the crimes committed on our streets by juveniles has hit a disgusting peak and I’m here to say YES…kids need to learn how to defend themselves!

What really pissed me off this week was the burning of a 15-year old, Michael Brewer, at the hands of a group of gang members who had been terrorizing him for some time.

Here’s a link to the full story: Michael Brewer – Burned By Gang Members

Michael Brewer, 15, couldn’t get away from his attackers despite not going to school. His mother said the boy was so afraid of the gang of boys – all 15-years old or younger – that he refused to go to school on Monday and they had set up a conference with school administration for Tuesday.

That proved to be too late. Brewer was attacked by five other students from Deerfield Beach Middle School and badly burned after the boys held him down, doused him with rubbing alcohol and then set him on fire. Police believe it was all retaliation over a bicycle.

Brewer suffered second- and third-degree burns over 65 percent of his body and is expected to take more than a year of intense physical therapy to recover from his injuries.

“It’s a complete nightmare,” Valerie Brewer said.

The vengeful attack follows several other instances of school and teen violence that have made national headlines.

Locally, Coral Gables High School turned into a bloody murder scene after Juan Carlos Rivera was stabbed to death by classmate Andy Rodriguez.

In Chicago, the school violence issue came to a head after video footage surfaced of a student beaten to death during a brawl at a school bus stop.

This news story really pissed me off and broke my heart at the same time.  To the point that I can’t HELP but do something!  In fact, our ISCQC organization will be making a contribution to the boy’s recovery to show him that we feel for his misfortune and that the world is pulling for him.  If you’d like to do the same, you may do so using the information at the bottom of this news story about Michael.

Unfortunately, Michael is not the only one victimized in today’s schools.  Having consulted with many schools in areas infested by gang violence and witnessing initiations and retaliations first hand, the group mind-set of ruthless gang members feeds on more and more violence and they become conditioned to care less and less about the consequences to their victims.

Frankly, I don’t care whether a kid learns Tae Kwon Do or WWII combatives…ANYTHING that will help a teen learn how to punch and give them practice in how to hit someone could mean the difference between life or death.  Of course, I’m partial to learning how to remove someone’s eyesight for the rest of their life or kick their balls so far up into their body they’ll come out their mouth if they’re trying to hold me down while dousing me or my loved ones with alcohol to set us on fire.

The choice is a personal one.  I remember my 9 year old son watching me train with a self defense DVD and the next day we got a phone call from his school principal that he had struck someone in the neck during recess while “practicing” self defense. Ok, I get it…there’s a responsibility that comes with training in particularly brutal tactics.  But we don’t live in “Gangland, USA” either.  If we did, I’d have to say that I’d be showing him a hell of a lot more!

Your thoughts?  Share your comments below…

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