Monday, August 27, 2007

I don't understand


Yet it happens every year. Jan Null, adjunct professor at San Francisco State University researches these so-called "hot vehicle deaths". She says that 2/5ths of these deaths occur when a caregiver leaves a child locked in a car by accident; 25% involve children playing in cars... and 20% are children INTENTIONALLY left in cars.

I just don't get it. KIDS AND CARS is an organization dedicated to making sure that no child is ever injured or killed by a car again. In conjunction with the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Consumer's Union and members of Congress, they have introduced legislation that would enhance basic safety regulations and hopefully prevent many of these deaths. The proposed legislation addresses things like obstacle beepers (to prevent you from backing up over your child), and transmission upgrades to prevent cars from rolling (did you see this??? Good LORD. The rescuer ran down from his 15th FLOOR APARTMENT, grabbed a weed-wacker, broke the back window, and rescued the child! Unreal.), but as far as I can tell, does not address hot car deaths. However, if you read through the stories they have listed, MANY are about hot car deaths.

Legislation cannot prevent hot car deaths... only the caregivers have control. If you've clicked on any of the hot car death links, you'll notice that several were children of professionals, like doctors, educators, and private business owners. "HOW" talks about the child of two doctors who was left to die in their car outside the Washington University School of Medicine. The one listed under "DOES" happened just a few miles from my house. The asst. principal left her 2-year-old inside her Mercedes SUV. The one listed under "HAPPEN" involved a private business owner who left his child strapped inside his BMW 5-Series. They *all* involve forgetting about their child as they worked.

These are *NOT* ignorant people. They are, however, stupid and as careless as a drunk driver who kills. Thing is, these tragedies are often treated as "careless accidents" and are not prosecuted. THESE PEOPLE KILLED THEIR OWN CHILD!!!! True, it wasn't necessarily murder, but it should be considered negligent and/or vehicular homicide. How can we, as a society, NOT prosecute them? I don't care how remorseful they are, or what "loving, caring" parents they were BEFORE they "forgot" their child! I really don't care. What I can't get over is the thought of these babies, stroking out from heat, because they were simply "forgotten". I show these parents NO mercy- just as they showed their children how unimportant they were, compared to how important their work was the day they killed their children.

For a country who vows to "never forget"... we sure do a lot of forgetting about the most important and helpless people in our lives.


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