Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mom Squad: Humane Society Officer kitten shooting

I was on Channel 10 for the Mom Squad discussing a pretty sad incident.

The story was on the Huffington Post: Bob Accorti, Police Officer, Shoots Five Feral Kittens In Ohio

Basically a family of feral cats were in a families yard. The husband could not remove the aggressive kittens (ages about 7 months) so they called to have the animals removed. When a humane animal officer came out he said the shelters were full and the kittens would be going to "kitty heaven". He then proceeded to shoot the kittens... as the mom and her 4 children ranging in age from 5 months to 7 years watched from inside the house. Some stories say the family was outside and when the firing started the mom took her kids inside when it began. The officer was not disciplined because "weapons are an acceptable form of euthanasia" and "his actions were appropriate" and "they decided not to impose any disciplinary measures for the incident".  I am giving my opinion based on what I have read and realize maybe it is inaccurate but for the sake of argument let's say it's right.

The big story is the officers method of euthanizing the animals. Not only does it wreak of animal cruelty, the fact that children were watching this shows a blatant lack of judgment... not to mention a disregard of safety procedures. And the phrase excessive force keeps running through my head. Firing a weapon in a residential neighborhood? In a families yard? Where do you start. But that wasn't my only issue.

When I discussed the topic on the Moms Squad Segment called Mom Squad: Humane Society Officer kitten shooting I was pretty shocked after reading the articles, watching videos on this I never once found anyone saying "Why were the kids watching this transpire?".
I mean... feral cats, armed officer... I'm no rocket scientist but it sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. Sure the best case scenario would be for the officer to somehow capture the cats in a nonthreatening way and take them somewhere else to be put down (though I am sure they could have found a place for them that did not include being destroyed). But let's be real. There is a much higher chance of the cats attacking the officer or him hurting the animals in order to capture them. Then throw in that he drew a weapon and viola! Media Fodder!

Let's say the mom did not know that the officer would be using such excessive force to "put the cats downs".  Let's say that it all happened so fast, suddenly he drew and started shooting... even if that is the case the kids should not have been present! Nor should the officer discharged his weapon in front of civilians when his life or personal safety was not in danger!

But when I pointed out that no one was asking why the mom was letting her kids watch this I got a message "So the MOTHER was at fault because her kids were watching? Sure, that's just like blaming the victim".

Yes, it is blaming the victim because guess what? SOMETIMES THE VICTIM IS TO BLAME!

Maybe in this case the mom is not entirely at fault but when you're a mom you have to take responsibility. I don't think being the "victim" should give you immunity.

As a mom  you have to be willing to take the blame. You made a bad decision. You may want to cry foul and rally for the officer to be punished (and yes, he should be punished) but you need to step up and say "Yes, I may not have known what was going to happen but I should have taken precautions anyway". It's was a good mother does. She accepts responsibility for her actions. She sets the example for her kids. And maybe this mom is doing that and it's just not in the news.

But for some random person to get worked up because I want to "blame the victim" is ignorant at best. Yet this may also be the exact type of person who files suit against a coffee shop for having their coffee burn them just because they didn't have the foresight to wait for it to cool before drinking.
It reminds me of this clip that has been circulating the Internet for a while.
In it a pregnant woman stands smoking as she worries what effect the sound of a jackhammer will have on her unborn child.

I wonder if in the sad event the baby was born prematurely with underdeveloped lungs or other complications if she tried to sue the construction company? Or maybe she went after the tobacco companies? Or perhaps she took the blame, felt the guilt and started to do right for her child.
I'll never understand it. It's like a game of hot potato where blame is the potato and everyone in the world (myself included) wants to join in and pass it around hoping it will stick to the person of our choice when often the blame should be spread out among more than just one person.
But that's also the funny thing with blame. Though many people deserve it, few will accept it. Most people just pass it along. While there are those who take it, even when they shouldn't and wallow in it. If everyone just accepted responsibility for their own actions we cold stop passing the blame and focus on fixing the problem.
Rather than picketing the police department to punish this officer, start a campaign to eliminate the use of weapons on animals by human officers. Wouldn't that be a more productive use of everyones time and efforts?