Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Another shooting, more 'outrage', fear remains the same.

A MAN shot dead while chasing teenagers away from his home on Sunday night had been the victim of a sustained campaign of anti-social behaviour from local children in recent weeks.

Gardaí believe Aidan O'Kane (50), Shelmalier Road, East Wall, Dublin 3, was targeted and ultimately shot dead by teenagers he had befriended.

It was horrible to read about Aidan O'Kane being gunned down like a dog on the street. Horrible that his son now faces a Chistmas with his father for no good reason. Horrible that his life was taken so cheaply. Horrible but but strangely predictable.
Was it not only a few months ago folk were busy being outraged when a teenage gang attacked and killed two young Polish men in Drimnagh? Will there be whimpers of 'outrage' when the next victim of feral youth breathes their last?
Violence can escalate very rapidly. Name calling to fists, fist to weapons. And in today's culture of 'frontin' and dissin' respect is often a just another word for assault. You'd have to be blind deaf and dumb not to notice the evidence of 'machismo' in some of our youth today. Everything from the baleful eye contact to the aggressive body language. It's not just boys either, as some of our bloggers can attest to, gangs of girls can be just as vicious and just as deadly.
Outrage is all very good and well, but what does it mean and what do we as a society do to combat anti-social behaviour? What could Aidan O'Kane's neighbours have done? Jesus they wouldn't even speak on camera yesterday through fear, and who could really blame them? It's easy to express outrage in private, quite another to put your neck over the parapet and declare yourself an open and vocal enemy.
Fear and violence and intimidation, it's a potent mix but one that allows the gang culture to flourish. When you know you won't be challenged you become bold, when you know you instill fear you become brave. Our uncertainty is their safeguard.
Outrage is a wasted emotion. What is needed is bravery. Bravery to tell a brat to get his god damned feet off the seat, to NOT smoke on the bus, to shut the hell up in the cinema, to stop pelting a neighbour's house with eggs, to put a face forwards and say 'yes, I SAW what happened.'
But bravery can be costly and who really wants to turn the gaze of trouble in their direction. Well he who dares wins, or, he who dares gets the shit kicked out of him and his tyres slashed. But them's the breaks, as a society we either stand as one and be counted because if not we can expect more killings, more shootings, more stabbings and more folk who are outraged but cannot speak on camera.



Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Noble thought FMC, but until the justice system is able to dole out meaningful and effective punishments or sentences, nothing will change. The general population don't feel secure because the police seem to be either ambivalent or have their hands tied by petty beureacrats and laws that effectively inhibit their powers. The criminals have sussed the system and know that the risk/reward factor is in their favour, not ours.

10:34 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

13, and carrying a gun?

The younger the asassin, the cheaper the life.

10:37 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Aye Sheepie, it has to be a concerted and cojoined effort.
Conan, it's unreal, 13 and handling guns like they were bikes.

10:48 a.m.  
Anonymous Pinkie said...

I've told kids in the cinema to shut up, I've told them on the train to put out the cigarettes, to turn down the shitty music on their phones and to quit spitting little balls of paper at other passengers. I've been laughed at and jeered at for it but I don't regret doing it.

However... doing it at my own front door? I'd be hesitant. My dad is disabled and I would perish to think what the little shits could do to make his life miserable when we're not home.

I know America has it's gang crimes and stuff too but, from my time spent in the USofA, I can safely say the problem doesn't seem as widespread. It seems every 3 out of 4 kids in Ireland are scumbags - petulant, abusive, disrespectful, willful vandals, thieves or worse.
Except in England I don't know anywhere else in the world that has this kind of problem. Oh they have war and starvation and stuff elsewhere, but Ireland and England seem to be suffering from the roving gangs of adolescents.

11:31 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...


and the flip side of the coin...

11:33 a.m.  
Blogger PI said...

We have that sickness over here too.
Some time ago I berated a couple of teenagers who had tossed a coke tin on a grassy verge. They gave me some verbal abuse whilst I tried to awaken some pride in the lovely town they live in. As I was vanishing round the corner I looked back and they were removing the can so I shouted out warm approval.
I may say I am not allowed to do this when my husband is with me.

11:42 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Pinkie, I totally understand that, it's one thing for us to rear up and do battle, quite another to drop someone else in the deep end.
Morgor, yep, nothing says concern for the death of a boy more than attacking images of wealth and the personal property of others.
Pat, well done, that's a perfect example. I insisted some hulking lout took his mucky feet off a bus seat the other year and after a brief stand off he did. Of course he gave me the finger after he got off the bus but so what. I think we-adults I mean- ought to pull little shits up now and then, put some manners back into the world. I insisted some ABercromnie and Fitch wearing young one hold open the door for an old lady the other day in town too, she was just going to barge right in with her friend until I said, 'Excuse me, that lady was first, hold the door for her.'
Then I said thank you when she did so, and she dropped the scowly puss. See, didn't cost nowt neither.

11:52 a.m.  
Anonymous Red Leeroy said...

This shooting happened 500 yards from my front door. I pass these boys (and girls) every day, they just stare you down and make comments etc. I have not had much trouble in 2 years but I wouldn't be going on tv either. I value my car, my windows and now my actual life. I agree that as a society we need to stand up to this behavior but at what cost? If we do nothing it gets worse, and as Mr O'Kane found out, if we do something we put at risk more than our standing.

12:34 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Therein lies the problem Leeroy all right, it's catch 22. If we let the little shysters away with poor behaviour we condone it- to a certain extent- and they grow more confident. But like you say, it's all good and well being bolshy, but when it's on your own doorstep you've got to look our for your own health and safety.
I think Sheepie actually has it right, if the gardai actually enforced laws and anti-social behaviour actually carried a penalty we might have some chance of stemming the tide.

12:51 p.m.  
Anonymous Red Leeroy said...

FMC, it's strange because East Wall is heavily policed, foot patrols and squad cars are permanently in view. I have been stopped countless times on my own road. The kids don't seem to give a damn whether they are being watched or not. So if policing is not the answering then perhaps parenting is?!

12:55 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Only if they're the type of parents who are willing and able to address the problems. Unfortunately there's plenty of parents out there who don't give a damn about where their kids are or what they're up to so long as they're not hanging around the house.

12:58 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

What if the parenting reckons shoot em up games are a great educational tool for real life on the streets?

1:03 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Dunno, plenty of folks play video games, it might be a factor but I doubt it's the main cause.

1:05 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

The distance between parenting/gaming/killing is negligible if the gun came from a family arsenal.

1:17 p.m.  
Anonymous Red Leeroy said...

conan, that was the first thing I thought, where did a thirteen year old get a piece?

1:26 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Yup, Red. And is it a gun with a criminal ballistic record? I would have thought that 'clean' guns would be too valuable to hand out to 13 year-olds. And conversely, guns with a record are too dangerous to keep lying around.

1:32 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

That's an excellent point Conan, where would a child get access to a hand gun like this?

1:44 p.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

"where would a child get access to a hand gun like this?"


2:21 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Oh Jesus now, there's plenty of guns doing the round up here. Let's not roll that dice out.

2:32 p.m.  
Blogger daisy mae said...

sad state of affairs...

can't really speak for ireland i suppose regarding the solution, but i really think it comes down to parenting and the community as a whole. growing up i couldn't walk down the street funny without someone calling my mom to report on it... you just knew that everyone in the neighborhood had their eye on you, and had no problem turning you over to your parents, or the police.

too bad there's no ethical way to say who can raise children and who can't. it just seems to me that if you need to pass a test and obtain a license to do things like drive and get married, the same should stand for having children.

2:56 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Darling in this country you need a licence to own a dog.
That too true about parents. Back in my youth if you acted the maggot the story would be home before you were. But again we're assuming parentl give a shit waht their kids get up to when not at home.

3:02 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

The dog has one of those collars on... you know, too near the boundary and it gets zapped? It prevents any play days with the sheep - and it would only be playing, but the sheep or their owner might think different.
Something similar to electronically curfew young skobes might merit investigation.

3:20 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Big improvement on tying a piece of chain to the dog and a big old brick to the chain ( ploy used by local farmer to stop dog 'disturbing' sheep) I used to wonder about that as a youth. Whenever I heard of a dog disturbing sheep I'd imagine the sheep eating and the dog calling in at inappropiate times.

3:28 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Chains and bricks on feral youth might be aok. Slow 'em down for sure.

3:28 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

They'd just use the blocks for weight training so they'd become more scary.

3:35 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

pfft, not if we attach them BEFORE we hoist them over the bridge.

3:42 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

Even the kids who are not violent exhibit a lack of basic manners.
Every day I'm run off the sidewalk by children and teenagers.
If I had failed to make room for adults I would have been smacked in the head.

5:04 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Probabaly time to start standing your ground. Sneaky slaps for the win.

I am finding my cats very bothersome today. They are being MOST demanding.

5:14 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Puddies are feeling the pork ban, are they?

5:36 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I had bacon and eggs this morning. Purely on the grounds that I had bought the bacon before the recall and I might just have easily eaten it last week. Logic, ah'm doin it my way akshully.
No, the cats are feeling the cold today and have taken to hanging about the house threatening to sharpent their claws off the precious thing of the house, looking bored and in need to laps to perch on. Annoying.

5:42 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Give them the 40 inch telly to sharpen their claws on. I'm sure the instruction booklet doesn't forbid it.

5:58 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Heh, there would be tears, so many tears if anything happened to telly.

6:12 p.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Yes, but do you call the telly Batman and dress it in capes on occasion? Or is it named Mister Woo? Does it sport a diamante collar at all times?

And whatever about the telly engendering high pitched squeals, I am certain you are not allowed to snorgle it repeatedly. Hmm?

6:28 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Telly's all his. Trust me on that, he lavishes it with affection and MOTD highlights.

7:03 p.m.  
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12:14 a.m.  

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