Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Who Should Pay?

On Saturday a nine year old boy started a fire in a supermarket. It ended up causing two million dollars damage. Police say that the boy used a cigarette lighter and an aerosol can to start the fire whereas the boy’s father said that there were some matches within easy reach and that’s how the fire was started.

My question is - Who should pay?

The boy is under the age of 10 and therefore the law says he cannot be held responsible for his crimes. I can handle that but I feel that the parents should be held responsible. Two million dollars is a lot to pay, though. I've heard the arguments that the shopping centre should have insurance therefore the parents shouldn't have to pay anything. Do people with that line of thought believe that all businesses should become targets for firebugs because they should have insurance? That's a little bit far-fetched. What if this little bastard set fire to your house? Shouldn't you have insurance? Does that make it ok?

The people who are legally responsible must be held accountable. I'm sure that the insurance industry would be interested in offering insurance packages so that parents could guard against their little horrors running around with their ADD or ADHD or whatever other excuse they like to use for the bad behaviour.

The father in this case says that the supermarket was at fault for leaving matches within reach of children. It was his son's first fire and he wasn't "known to police". He plans to take his son to the lock-up for a few hours. As if that is going to be a wake-up call. Keep you posted. Literally.

No comments: