OK, at the risk of being called a cold-hearted SOB (again), allow me to raise a point because….well, somebody should.
On Thursday the Las Vegas Review-Journal published a 1,126-word story on a 15-year-old kid named Tanner Chamberlain who got into a loud and violent 30- to 45-minute fight with his mother, Evie Oquendo, at their home, trashed the place, broke a television set and a computer, before downing ten of his mother’s anti-anxiety pills.
The brouhaha moved outside the apartment where police, responding to a call by a neighbor who heard the ruckus, confronted the teen. The teen then moved behind his mother, took out a knife with a 4 1/2-inch blade and held it to her throat. With that “immediate threat of death” to the mother, the police did what they are trained to do in such a life-threatening situation.
They shot and killed the boy before he had a chance to slit his mother’s throat.
The mother, understandably distraught at the death of her son, now accuses the police officers of “murdering” her boy. Of course, they did no such thing. The incident is truly a tragedy, but the fact is the teen would be alive today if HE hadn’t put that knife to his own mother’s throat.
That being said, here’s the question which will surely get me in hot water:
Where was the boy’s father?
Seriously. In the 1,126 words in the story all we learned was that Oquendo was a single-mother who said of her son, “We were a team since he was born. It’s always just been him and I.”
Considering the level of problems coming out of fatherless homes, isn’t it about time society began rethinking this notion that kids, especially teenage boys, don’t need dads; that children are just as well off being raised by single mothers as by a mom and a dad? Isn’t it time to consider that maybe dads matter after all?
Maybe it’s time, as difficult and uncomfortable as it is, to start reporting on where the dads are and/or what happened to them when these types of incidents take place. Maybe it’s time to stop pretending that fatherless homes don’t have consequences for our society. And maybe it’s time we at least start talking about it.
Or maybe I’m just a cold-hearted SOB for bringing it up.