For as long as there have been youth, there have been fun games for them to play. Remember games like Tag, Kick the Can, or Hide-n-Seek, or as we got older they were more in the line of Baseball, Basketball, or Football, or Soccer. However, there were those youth with a broken or missing moral compass who wanted to play games that broke the law or doing really stupid things for various reasons including having the wrong friends, bad up bringing or being bored.
Well, I guess those stupid genes are still going strong, because there is a disturbing game sweeping across the nation amongst some of our morally corrupt youth. It is called “The Knock Out Game” The game is played by a youth and even young adults who approaches his unsuspecting target, and sucker-punches them with the goal of knocking them unconscious with a single blow. Their targets can be people like you, your spouse, your friends, your parent, your grandparent, or even your children. One group in New York City was targeting Orthodox Jews. In some cases it is random like in Chicago. Others is it just anyone who looks like an easy mark. To the players this is ‘fun’. Not so with their victims. I heard from one mother whose teenage son thought this was funny, until I asked him if he would like if someone did this to his mother, his aunt, his uncle, or his sister. I asked if it would be funny if they died. Needless to say, it stopped being funny once he thought about it. Perhaps this is what is missing in come of these youth .. moral guidance. Law Enforcement Officials have reported this ‘game’ being played in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Missouri, Washington, and expanding into other locations.
HISTORY OF THE GAME
The knockout game has been played in countries in Europe where is has been called “happy slapping” and it’s been going on for decades. It usually goes in cycles, from lots of incidents in a given year to hardly any incidents and then lots of incidents. The same has been going on the United States, and it appears to be on the upswing again. This ‘game’ has been used for ages as part of a street gang initiation ritual: you had to KO/beat-up or even kill a random person to get in the gang. Sometimes the thing the player did was slashing some stranger in the face with a knife. Other times it was just a slap across the face. The details change but the essence of the ‘game’ stays the same: an unprovoked attack on an innocent passerby just like you. You can perform an internet search stories about this game and its victim, and you’ll be as disgusted as I am.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Currently the chief players of the game are poor, ignorant young black or Latino males. However, less advertised players are rich white kids. Therefore don’t be off your guard by a group of white kids when they walk up to you, it would be a mistake. With the advent of Social Media (FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE, TWITTER ETC), the trend among some of these player is to make a internet video with their cell phones of the attack and then share it on YouTube or Facebook. For whatever reason which seems to makes sense to them, these idiots who play the knockout game, or even stage fights often put such videos online for all to see, including law enforcement officials.
In an article on CNN I say saw this quote that I found compelling
Youth violence expert Chuck Williams blamed the media and parents for what he called extreme aggression by America’s youth. Negative attention, he said, is often rewarded. “That’s America. America loves violence and so do our kids,” Williams said. “We market violence to our children and we wonder why they’re violent. It’s because we are.” Williams, a professor of psychology and education at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said some young people are desperate for attention. He called it the “Miley Cyrus effect,” where teens will do anything to get noticed, no matter how heinous or unconscionable.
“These kids know the consequences,” he said. “They want to get arrested. They want to get caught, because they want that notoriety. They know they won’t go away forever because they’re kids. It’s a win-win all around for them.”
THE ‘GAME’ HAS HAD FATALITIES ON BOTH SIDES.
Ralph Santiago, 46, a homeless man, was walking alone in Hoboken, NJ on the night of September 10, 2013 when he was suddenly struck from behind by a ‘player’. The blow knocked out Santiago, who had a pre-existing brain injury. He suffered a seizure. The victim’s body struck a nearby fence, with part of the wrought iron fence piercing his body and killing him. The teens seen running from the scene in surveillance video were later caught and charged with the crime.
I recently read an article where a group of teens assaulted a 60 year old woman in Pennsylvania, and she retaliated with her gun.
Police are still trying to piece together the events of Monday night after a woman was attacked and then fired shots into the crowd of teens that assaulted her. Beulah Montgomery, who just turned 60 years old, says she was walking home after purchasing lottery tickets when a group of seven teens approached her. Montgomery initially thought they were going to attempt rob her but says she was instead hit by one of the individuals as a second attempted to hit her. That’s when she grabbed her gun.
“All I could feel was pain and I said to myself I had made it to 60 and I wanted to at least see 61,” she recalled. “Then I started praying and I asked the Lord to guide my hands” Montgomery then reached into her purse and shot in the direction of the teens and they started to flee. However two of them didn’t make without being hit.
Montgomery was quoted saying ” “Its a shame you can’t walk through your own neighborhood where you are supposed to feel safe without being assaulted and mistreated,” she continues. “I purchased the gun hoping I would never have to use it, but I’m glad to still be in the land of the living.”
HOW DO DEFEND YOURSELF AGAINST THE KNOCK OUT GAME
First understand that being a victim of the knock out game is no different than being a victim of a rape or robbery. The attackers are looking for unsuspecting victims. So our advice is exactly the same to reduce to chances of being a victim. Be warned there unless you want to live in your house, and not come out there is no way to absolutely prevent from becoming a victim. Lt. Grimes of the College of Charleston Public Safety said “Not sure that there’s anyway to identify a possible victim for this given its random nature. The best thing anyone can do to reduce their chances of becoming a victim to this game is stay aware of their surroundings. If they become engaged with someone attempting to knock them out, the game, at that point, is over since the sport in the game is to “sucker” punch the victim.
WHAT WE SUGGEST ARE THESE TIPS
- Be mindful of your surroundings – Paying attention goes along way- as they are looking for unsuspecting victims.
- Pay Attention to your gut instincts. -If you feel uneasy…FLEE
Be ready to use force, if you can – While we do not advocate the use of deadly force as with the 60 year old. Pepper Spray works on a crowd as does the proper use of a metal baton. If you see a crowd coming, be on guard
- We have also suggested taking a basic self-defense class..but if you can FIGHT BACK. A Punch in the nose can go a long way.
- If you don’t have this you can cover your face with your arms.
- Run – If you can and if you are fit, get to a near by group of people for safety. It is one of the oldest self-defense tactics.
- Do not be afraid- Fear works against you.
- And Always PRAY.
WARNING: To THE PLAYERS OF play this ‘game’…
There is an old adage…You will reap what you sow. The Bible puts it this way “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble” – Proverbs 13:20.
- If you are hanging around ‘associates’ who think this type of activity is cool, then it is time to get new associates. Your actions have real consequences. In many of the incidents almost all of the perpetrators were caught and some are going to prison for murder, some are being charged with hate crimes. Here are some of the consequences of what could happen were you are arrested from playing the knockout game: injuring or killing a person, serving time in prison, a civil suit and a hefty fine, your parents losing their house paying for your legal fees/fines, your rap sheet disqualifying you from good jobs, etc. Unless your life aim is to be a criminal “STOP! Unless your goal is to have your soul consigned to HELL: Stop
- Think about the dead players in the who thought the old lady was going to be an easy mark – This can very well be your fate. Unless your goal is to be shot dead, and have grieving parents, STOP!
- Just as I had the conversation with the young man who thought this was funny – would you like this to happen to someone close to you – would you want them to be killed because some young idiot wanted to have “FUN”. The Justice of the Universe can bend back to strike are someone you know.
- If you really want to punch someone – take up boxing, or martial arts you get to show off how bad you are..and who know you might get a few awards, instead of a jail cell.
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