What Went Wrong?
This week’s front cover story about two Arverne teens, Lakim Luster, 17, and Marcus Fyall, 16, who carjacked and shot a Rockaway man, is yet another reminder of violence among our younger generation. Within the last few months, The Wave reported on the murder of BJ Smith by two teens and the murder of a Far Rockaway boy for his gold chain by his "friends." What is going on here?
Obviously from the school shootings seen across the country, Rockaway’s teen violence is not isolated. Kids are taking out there anger in new ways. They are showing not only a lack of disrespect, but an absolute lack of concern for life. It seems like life, both theirs and others, is not valued or worth a dime.
Luster and Fyall seemed to have everything going for them. They were top stars of their high school sports teams with futures in college ball. Why waste it all on a carjacking and attempted murder? What made them decide to act in such a violent way?
Some will say it is the lack of God. Others say it is the crumbling of the American family as we know it. Then there is the blame on drugs, money. Probably, it is all these elements combined that bring this type of deviant and defiant behavior in our teens.
Really, there is no single answer to all these questions. In the end, this is an individual challenge for all of us. Those with children are obligated to set positive examples for them, teaching them that their life, and the life of all others, is beautiful and full of endless worth. They must nurture their children, providing them with a balance of love, structure and discipline. They must be involved with their children, in all aspects of their lives. And for those without children, remember there are plenty that need us. Maybe your involvement in a child or young teen’s life could make the difference.
Since this doesn’t usually occur the way we would like, a small community like Rockaway truly feels the consequences of such senseless acts.
In the future, before we get to these senseless acts, let’s act upon our obligations to each other. It could mean life or death…