Assault Is Okay Now?

My homepage on Internet Explorer is MSN and I happened to spot an interesting story: Man slaps loud kid at movies

Since it peeked my interest, I clicked and read it. Apparently, the 21-year-old man believed the person he was slapping was another adult, not a child. But he was wrong and not only did he harshly swipe his hand across the boy’s face, he caused him a bloody nose and knocked out one of his teeth. Ouch!

But what gets me is the comments. The best voted comments are the ones that condone this man’s actions and the worst voted comments are the ones that don’t. The question that arises in my head is where the title of this post comes from: Is it now okay to assault someone?

Yes, I realize the child was being annoying and his mother, most likely, was not making him behave. But I do not feel that justifies assaulting (and yes, it is assault, no matter how you spin it) the kid. Even if the child had been an adult, that still would not justify this man’s actions. In my opinion, the only reason to assault someone is if you are being threatened. A noisy child is a huge annoyance, but in no way threatening.

I have my own experiences of putting up with noisy, rude and generally misbehaved children in public places. Almost every time I go out, whether it’s to a store or a cinema, I hear at least one screaming child. Yes, I wish the kid would shut up. Yes, I sometimes wish I could just smack the heck out of them or their parents for ignoring them. No, I never would do such a thing.

If the child had been perfectly quiet and the man randomly came over and did this same action, I have no doubt everyone would agree it was assault and that the man deserves jail time. Yet because there was misbehavior preceding it, his actions are perfectly okay and all fault lies with the child and his mother.

No. Just. Plain. No.

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