Our View: Heinous crime calls for dialogue

Has empathy become so foreign to people that heinous acts of violence can be shrugged off with little bother?

The desensitization of youth has been a concern for decades. From comic books to rock music to video games, it seems almost every new media trend has been blamed for turning kids into unfeeling monsters. Most research indicates that good kids don’t turn bad because of what they read, watch or play. However, just as disconcerting is what seems to be a diminishing sensitivity toward other people experiencing pain. We just have to look at some of the headlines from around the Capital Region in the last week alone.

In Sooke, RCMP report that a young girl who had become dangerously intoxicated at a public soccer game needed medical assistance and could have died if not treated. The girl’s “friends” apparently looked on as if they were being treated to a live version of a viral YouTube video. Fortunately, while most “pointed and laughed” two other girls realized the danger and alerted authorities.

In Saanich, a disturbing sexual assault of a young woman was perpetrated by a carload of cowards. “Men” who are now colluding to keep quiet about their ugliness.

And then there’s the heartbreaking story of Kimberly Proctor, the West Shore teen whose last terrifying moments were detailed in court this week. In that case, two months after the murder and with no arrests, the RCMP made a public plea for people with information about the crime to come forward. Thankfully, they did or Kimberly’s killers might still be on our streets.

When Reena Virk died under the Craigflower Bridge in 1997, the case touched a nerve across the world partially because it initially went unreported. It seemed shocking to think kids – more than a dozen by some accounts – could know first-hand of a violent crime and not report it to the authorities.

It was a watershed moment that launched anti-bullying campaigns aimed at teaching kids about preventing violence on a personal level.

It’s time for a new discussion about violence experienced on a public level and why it’s critical that each of us understand our individual responsibility to the ideals of justice and serving the greater good.

– Victoria News

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