Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Monday, May 11, 2009

Truth In Advertising

I have no idea whether the police in this story acted correctly. They may have reacted too quickly, and with too much force. However, can we all agree that the headline reporting that a "boy" was shot by police for playing with a toy gun is a little deceptive and inflammatory? The article reports that the "boy" in question was 15. While not technically inaccurate (the term boy can refer to anyone from an infant up to adulthood), it seems to me that the word "teen" would conjure up fewer images of some pre-pubescent child with a cap pistol.

It's an unfortunate fact that by 15, many kids are involved in violence and gang activity that could reasonably cause an officer to fear for his life when confronting a teen with what appears to be a weapon. Why not use a more accurate, less loaded term that can accurately reflect this?