Friday letters: No excuse for breaking law

November 8, 2013 

— After reading the comments from Michael Juan Smith’s parents, my jaw was sitting on the floor (“Parents of alleged Five Points shooter apologize to victim,” Oct. 23).

Driving your car over a nail and getting a flat tire is bad luck; being convicted of not one but two burglary charges and shooting at someone because you were taunted is, that’s being a thug. To blame the Columbia Police Department for making your child look like a thug is embarrassing. It was your own child’s actions that gave him that title.

I know parents love their children, but to make excuses to explain what he has done is disrespectful to society and the victim. Michael Juan Smith was on parole and probation; he knew he shouldn’t have a gun, so this showed a total lack of respect for the law. He needs to spend the rest of his life in jail, as he has shown time and time again that he couldn’t care less for the law.

My parents also took me to church and taught me right from wrong, but the difference is that when I did wrong, they didn’t make any excuses for me; they made me stand up and take my punishment. Parents need to understand that their children are not perfect: When they do wrong they should be punished, not have excuses made for them.

William J. Hall


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