Friday, 18 April 2008
In a nation that increasingly finds guns and their use to be generically disturbing--the same nation where a future Supreme Court Chief Justice brought a loaded rifle to school every day in case he saw something to shoot along the way--I find it generically alarming that bigger and bigger weapons are being brought to bear in child custody disputes. Check out this photo of an armoured personnel carrier sent to enforce the removal of all the children from the Yearning for Zion Ranch near San Angelo, Texas.
The children and their mothers have been in custody for eleven days. Their crime? Residing at the same address where child abuse had been alleged to occur. This is a repeat of what happened in Island Pond, Vermont, back in 1982 when 112 children were taken in a pre-dawn raid from the community known as the Northeast Kingdom Community Church. Only back then, there were no tanks. No machine guns. No hovering helicopters. And the children were back in their parents' arms within the day, the judge finding no cause for their removal. An official was overheard to say that if he'd known Judge Mahady was going to hear their case, he'd never have scheduled the raid when he did.
They certainly had all their ducks in a row this time.
How times have changed.