One of the deeper issues illustrated by the reaction to the Furguson, Missouri riots precipitated by the police shooting of Michael Brown, is something I have not heard much about in any of the coverage. It is the incessant, almost obsessive way in which the media and others keep referring to the dead man as a "teen," "student," or even in some cases as a "child." This selection of a noun used as an adjective is not random, but very carefully calculated by the Left in media and elsewhere to give the impression that Michael Brown was anything other than a violent thug.
The attempted labeling of Mr. Brown as a teenager reaches even further than providing an excuse for rioters and looters in Furguson, it is a systematic effort to juvenilize the culture for the nefarious purpose of increasing dependence on government. It is why the Affordable Care Act essentially defines a "child" as someone 26 years of age or under. It is also why 18 year old 300 pound criminals are likewise described as "teens."
This description of someone over 18 years old as a child would have been anathema to Americans of only a couple generations ago. In fact, many would have considered 16 and 17 year olds as adults, capable of adult decisions and responsibilities. Actor Audie Murphy was only 17 when he enlisted in the army during World War II, and by the time he was twenty had become the most decorated war hero in American history. Commodore Perry was only 27 years old when he lead his sailors to victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.
Walter Reed, after whom the famed medical center is named, was only 17 years old when he received his medical degree from the University of Virginia, the youngest ever to do so. This young doctor served the poor in the slums of New York city for six years until he was commissioned as an army doctor at the age of 23. He traveled with the army to some of the most inhospitable places in the country and won over the Indian tribes with his medical skill. Later, he and his research team found cures for yellow fever and malaria by letting infected mosquitoes bite themselves.
Teddy Roosevelt, at the age of 26, after having become the youngest person ever elected to the New York legislature, and after the death of his wife and mother on the same day, moved out west and became a rancher and cowboy. Teddy Roosevelt today would have been encouraged by the culture to become a burden on the system because of his sickly nature as a child. Instead he lived a full life as a soldier, politician, environmentalist, and author.
I fear that our country has reached a very dark chapter in which our culture no longer produces exceptionalism in our youth, instead inculcating them with an entitlement for extended childhood. A nation of children can never truly be free as the Founders intended. There are many cause for the criminal activity in Furguson, all germinating from juvenile entitlement. Unrestrained juvenile entitlement leads to the dissolution of civilized society and leaves liberty standing in the rubble of Furguson, Missouri crying, "Where are the Audie Murphys, the Commodore Perrys, the Walter Reeds, and the Teddy Roosevelts?"