Thursday, July 15, 2010

The legend of Colton Harris-Moore?

In recent months, I've been following the story of Colton Harris-Moore. Perhaps I've had increased interest because he grew up near where I currently live and work. However, I find that the level of support he has received from so-called fans is disturbing. Colton Harris-Moore is a criminal with federal charges who eluded law enforcement officers for 2 years during which he racked up quite the resume of criminal activity.

While I understand that some criminals gain popularity and fascination due to their notoriety, Robin Hood stands out as the most legendary. However, he stands apart from other criminals. Robin Hood stole from the rich to feed the poor due to wrong doing by Prince John. Prince John was over taxing the people to the point that they could not afford to live. So, in steps Robin Hood who steals from the rich, who were most likely not taxed as highly, so that the poor can support their families.

While I don't support vigilante justice, there is a difference between Robin Hood and Colton Harris-Moore. Robin Hood was responding to wrong that was being done in his culture whereas Colton Harris-Moore was not. Robin Hood was doing something noble (illegal but for a noble purpose) whereas Colton Harris-Moore did not. So, why is Colton Harris-Moore being celebrated a hero? What he did was selfish. He wasn't giving his "loot" to people who needed it. I'm sure he used it to get by for the last 2 years. Furthermore, by promoting a celebrity-like status (there is talk of making a movie based on his life), we are showing people that it is ok to be a criminal, that it's glamorous, and you aren't really living if you are "living on the wild side." What is that teaching our children? Why haven't we figured this out as a society and will it ever get through to people that this is perpetuating the problem?

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