Letters: Time to refocus cops/kids debate

To the question of kids (the definition in the case of the Sheeran/Eilers "debate" unspecified) hanging out at, or otherwise disturbing all civil order thereupon "Main Street" and "The Parks," I have a few things to interject.

To the question of kids (the definition in the case of the Sheeran/Eilers "debate" unspecified) hanging out at, or otherwise disturbing all civil order thereupon "Main Street" and "The Parks," I have a few things to interject.

First off - my question for Jake is this - why do kids always need a "place to go?" Ask yourself- why does the youth in our society value distraction and external stimulation over contemplation and silent appreciation?

Why do we long to be entertained, instead of enlightened? Could it be that the separated-from-nature human context in which we now find ourselves consumed is lacking something essential?

Why must we surround ourselves with as many artificial lights, tar, and square buildings as we can? No place to go? There's a whole world to explore if you just look in the right direction. There are many public forests and other areas free of the typical distractions that one would think would suffice as "places to go."

Even if socialization is the issue here, why must it be done in huge gatherings in public? Has the concept of having a few friends over to the house been lost? Point in case- there are many (healthy) alternatives to "Main" or the parks.


The scenario you offered... with all due respect, was nothing more than a highly erroneous thread of logical fallacy.

By simply trying to appeal to peoples' emotions with your "whole family killed instantly, drunken teen walks away unscathed, one in a million car crash" argument, you have helped to obscure the real issue, distracted us from getting to the roots of the problem and offered a straw man instead of a solution.

I would personally give our generation a little more credit than saying that if a teen is not allowed on "Main" he/she will be out drinking and driving. I would propose that even though it should (and in a non- police-state-type political oligarchy would) be the right of the youth to gather aimlessly on Main Street, that is not the reality from the perspective of the police... so why even bother?

Obviously teenagers and people in general will disturb the peace in one way or another- so why feed the ever resentful, ever indoctrinated police force something more to waste public resources on? After all- it's much easier picking up garbage and "hollerin' at 'em", than say, finding real criminals.

But on we go - listening to our ever distant, and ever powerful public servants as they indiscriminately rant on about kids (future tax payers) and the "destruction" they cause.

One could easily argue that the burden the police put on taxpayers with their fruitless Main Street cruises and blatant rudeness towards the youth in this community far outweighs the burden of a rather traditional (expected) conglomeration of teenagers and young adults.

I in no way condone underage drinking but this whole issue is being treated by the police in an eerily Orwellian manner; as if it were a new phenomenon. What's really getting ridiculous is the lack of understanding on the part of our police that more troops and more policing historically or ultimately encourages rebellion.

That's not to say that police aren't needed - just that focusing so much time and energy on stopping things that have and always will take place in a free society is a waste.


The dog's been chasing his own tail on this issue for years as some of the same youth who drank and/or hung out Main as teens/young adults become the very same police who later rant on against this behavior. Why are we as individuals so eager to pass off our own problems to the next generation and act as if these are things we can later control by force, instead of by introspection, and self-examination?

I think this is a valuable time for us to really re-examine ourselves. If teens are not wanted on Main Street at night, then they should collectively make an effort to rethink what they see as "things to do" and "places to go." If the police insist on making such an issue out of Main Street then maybe it's time to downsize the force, as I think history will agree, that more "hollering" and more "peacemakers" leads to less peace.

Cole Randall

Park Rapids

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