The other day I was leaving my house with Kathy and as I stepped outside Kathy pointed out that the Naked Kid had a knife. I looked over and sure enough he was holding a knife about as long as his forearm that was missing its handle. It looked like either somebody threw the knife out into the street because they didn’t want it or the Naked Kid had found it in somebody’s house and taken it out to play. Seeing this I said to the Naked Kid, “Hey, listen! You should not have a knife. Go put it away” Instead of listening or doing anything I that asked him, the little kid just looked at me for a minute and kept playing. I thought to myself, well you can’t change the world in a day, and I turned around to start leaving. All of the sudden Kathy gasps and says, “Oh my God he almost hit that little girl!” I looked over and sure enough the Naked Kid was swinging the knife around and had almost cut the little girl. “Do something!” Kathy tells me. “Hey, do something!” I yell at one of the older little kids and one of them comes over and grabs the knife out of the Naked Kid’s hand and puts it on a shelf in one of the houses where he couldn’t reach it. We gave him a quick lecture about playing with knives but something tells me the Naked Kid will stop playing with sharp objects around the same time he finally starts to wear clothes (i.e. when he turns 16).
I was telling this to Joel a couple nights ago and he told me about a time in his site when he had a similar problem. He said there were two little kids playing outside his house and when he looked out he saw that one had the other pinned on the ground and was attempting to stab them. The pinned child was holding the knife back just a couple inches from its body. Maybe because the moment was more intense than my own, or maybe because he is more heroic, Joel grabbed the little kid with the knife, picked him up with one arm and took the knife out of his hand with the other. Holding the child a few feet of the ground by its arm Joel proceeded to walk down the street angrily yelling, “where is this child’s mother?” He said that people where coming out of their houses with surprised/frightened looks on their faces, pointing the direction to the child’s house.
Children with weapons seems like something ridiculous that would not happen in any country but the reality is that most of the time the kids in this country are wandering around unsupervised for hours at a time. Swinging a knife around is pretty scary but to me, something even worse is that none of these kids end up going to school, learning how to read or even add.