Hey Parents, Malls are for Commerce – Not Babysitting

By Todd Starnes

Shoppers and Shopkeepers across the nation were terrorized by rampaging mobs of teenage thugs and juvenile deliquents over the Christmas weekend. 

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More than a dozen malls across the nation were either evacuated or completely shut down due to “large disturbances.” The two major malls in my hometown (Memphis) were among those rocked by violence. This was the scene inside Oak Court Mall – what had been one of the most upscale malls in the Mid-South:

There was no rhyme or reason to the violence. Police speculate that social media may have played a role. But there was a common denominator – most of the chaos was caused by unsupervised teenagers. And hardly anyone was arrested. 

That needs to stop. It’s time for the police to crack down on lawlessness. There should be no more coddling. If teenagers disrupt commerce and cause mayhem, they should spend the night in jail. It’s time for these kids to learn that actions must have consequences.

It’s also time for shopping malls to evict unsupervised and underage young people. It may not be popular with community activists, but anyone under the age of 18 without parental supervision has no business in a mall. Period. 

Malls that refuse to curb such behavior could find themselves out of business. Why do you think so may enclosed shopping centers are shutting down? Nobody wants to risk their life for a Cinnabon or a discount on hand soap at Bath & Body Works.

Finally, it is beyond time  for parents to take responsibility for their offspring. Shopping malls are in the business of commerce — not babysitting. It is not their responsibility to look after your little thuglings – nor is it the government’s.

I’ve already seen social networking posts arguing there’s nothing else for young people to do. They need more programs and activities — paid for of course — by the American taxpayer.

Well, here’s a thought, kids. Instead of pillaging and plundering the local tax base – why not go read a book or volunteer at a local church or community center? 

Better yet — go get a job. So that way you can actually BUY something at the mall — so long as it hasn’t been shut down and demolished. 

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