Flickr photo by digitalshay

Go ahead, I dare you, do a web search on the “knockout game”. You’ll be appalled, unless unlike me you are already aware of this hideous new criminal activity that is sweeping across the nation and has already spread to Europe.

Very simply, this enterprise involves groups of teenagers surrounding an unknown pedestrian in a quest to knock them unconscious with one punch to the head. Failing that, the group then descends on the hapless person and beats him or her en masse until the person is comatose, bleeding profusely and in at least five documented cases- -dead.

Journalist Sean Kirk was writing about just such a death in Syracuse, New York this past May. He was trying to suss out the reasons behind this kind of travesty in his own mind.Even though the police chief there surmised that you couldn’t find reason in that kind of mindless act.

Mr. Kirk had spoken to a trauma surgeon who seems to make sad, eloquent sense of it. Dr. Fahd Ali told him, “Entire generations in the city are being claimed by a culture of despair that creates angry and desperate teenagers and children, who have no real sense of the consequence of acts of violence.” He also believes that this kind of horrifying brutality will continue to spread without “an extensive commitment to profound and early intervention in the lives of troubled children.”

I know he is right even as I pray he is mistaken.