Posted: 3/15/2001 12:28:46 PM EDT
LA to send gun-toting kids to see dead bodies in morgue
By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES, March 14 (Reuters) - Los Angeles County lawmakers, responding to last week's shooting rampage by a teenager at a California high school, have passed a law forcing students caught with guns or making threats to view dead bodies and watch autopsies being performed at the coroner's office.
"Young people need to see the results of violent acts," Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich said. "Far too many youngsters are desensitized to violence. They need to realize it's not a movie or a video game when someone is shot."
Antonovich, who authored the resolution that was approved by the County Board of Supervisors, said it was the nation's first such law and was modeled after a similar program for young drunk drivers that had been proven to work.
He added:"If they (kids) are old enough to bring a gun to school, they're old enough to tour the county coroner's office."
The resolution was unanimously passed by the board on Tuesday, just over a week after a 15-year-old high school student in the San Diego area opened fire on his classmates, killing two people and wounding 13.
Antonovich said it was also in response to a spate of violence at schools across the country that began with the April 1999 bullets-and-bombs massacre of 15 people at Columbine High School in Colorado.
Los Angeles has reported 11 arrests of minors for making threats or bringing a gun to school since February 22, he said.
Chris Dickerson, a spokesman for Antonovich, said that under current laws any child caught with a gun at school or making "terrorist threats" against his classmates could be referred to police by the school and ultimately face a judge to decide if the charges were true.
Dickerson said there was no definition of "terrorist threat" in the new law, but that in law enforcement terms it meant "a threat to do bodily harm to one or more students."
Traditionally, the young offender would face a range of punishments, including possible probation. Under the new law, the judge would also have the authority to make the child take a tour of the coroner's morgue, Dickerson said.
The new law does not set a minimum age at which a child could be forced to take the tour, but supervisors do not expect judges to send very young children on a tour of the morgue.
Addressing concerns that it could be harmful to subject young children to dead bodies or autopsies, Antonovich spokesman Dickerson said the judge and probation authorities would act as "stop gaps" to make sure that the punishment was appropriate.
"Yes, there are concerns that there could be abuses and that's one of the reasons that we want to work with the schools and the probation department," Dickerson said.
"Its not just that the kid says something or is reported to have said something and right away the kid is seeing a cadaver at the county morgue," he said.
Think it will work anyone? Ever heard of rotten.com? Just who do you think is that website's target audience now hmmm?
After the tour lil Johnny is BMOC and regales
his friends with gory stories.
Better they send the lil perps and their
Mommy/Daddy into a small room for a Singapore
I can't believe the excuses these parents are
giving for their kids behavior.
After that doesn't work, what will those clucks do next?
Have the young offenders perform an autopsy?
"F" the morgue. Cane the little SOB's.