Spring Break: Stopping this Socially Sanctioned Mob Criminality

 By Terence T. Gorski, Author

John Lennon said: “We live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.” 

I posted that quote because of the social irony that violence is more socially acceptable than the act of making love. The social ritual of spring break has managed to change that by merging the two in a grotesque yet socially applauded youth ritual that combined sexuality and violence. 

Shortly after I posted Lennon’s quote I read the news story about a girl being raped openly on a crowded beach in Panama City, FL during spring break. The woman being raped was either very drunk or drugged and appeared to be unconscious. Yet a cell phone video clearly captured her legs bring held down while four boys, obviously high, took turns raping her. This occurred in a crowd of people. 

Groups of men and women were standing within a few feet of this terrible crime who could have easily intervened. Many of them just stared at the spectacle through drug-dazed eyes. Others, including some women, gave the rapists encouragement and cheered the rapists at key moments of the perverted gang-rape/sex crime. It seemed the observers viewed this terrible crime as a game. 

I felt deep shame as both a man and a human being watching the tape of this heinous crime. 
“How could this happen?” I asked myself. Then I realized we are all culpable because we culturally tolerate the ritual of Spring Break that gives young people tacit social approval to have fun by hideous intoxication, promiscuous sex, rape, theft, illegal drug abuse, and criminal violence. 
We, as a collective culture, tolerate this social obscenity. As a result, we silently look the other way while some of our “best and brightest” students transmogrify into addicts, alcoholics, criminals, and rapists, and vulnerable victims. 
Where are the parents of these students? Why does the Panama City Council ignore simple police recommendations that would reduce or eliminate the criminality of this youth ritual. It doesn’t take a genius to figure some simple rules to reduce the rapes and assaults: 
(1) No alcohol or other drugs allowed on the beach; 
(2) Strict enforcement of drug laws by arresting anyone using illegal drugs in public, 
(3) Enforcing the “anti-nudity” laws on the beach and related areas; 
(4) Cracking down on underage drinkers by arrest and parental notifications, and most importantly; 
(5) strict emforcement of the law requiring mandatory reporting by witnesses of sex crimes. This means arresting all witnesses who failed to report the crime. 
(6) Enforcement of dram shop laws that hold the bar owners legally accountable for the criminal behavior of people who get drunk in their establishments and leave to commit crimes. 
The sixth recommendation is the most difficult: convince patents to stop financing the attendance of their college age students at this criminal mob enterprise hailed as Spring Break. 
There is a difference between the general policy of drug prohibition (known as The War On Drugs) and prohibiting the use of alcohol and other drugs in public and crowded areas where intoxication can fuel crime and violence. 
I oppose the war on drugs as the primary drug control strategy  because it is ineffective. I believe other public policies for drug control, similar to those used to reduce smoking, would have a better chance of lowering drug use and related medical and criminal problems. 
I also disagree with a policy of total drug legalization. Some drugs, such as PCP, are extremely dangerous and need to be strictly controlled or prohibited. 
There needs to be: 
  • Strict controls on legal age of use, protecting children and teenagers from known developmental damage caused by drug use. 
  • Careful controls on production that includes limiting the potency per dose of recreational drugs. 

Licensed distribution centers which become the control points for drug sales, much like is done with cigarettes. There needs to be strong restrictions on advertising and prominent warning labels. The sale needs to be taxed with all tax dollars being earmarked for prevention services, public education programs, and treatment on demand. 

Getting back to the issue of spring break and other large social gathers, the use of alcohol or other drugs should be restricted from the crowded beach and major public gatherings. Violators should be arrested. 
I believe this would significantly reduce rape, violence , and other crimes at these events. There should also be enforced prohibition against public intoxication on alcohol and other drugs that is also strictly enforced.  

2 Responses to Spring Break: Stopping this Socially Sanctioned Mob Criminality

  1. Sharon M says:

    Dear Terry As I was reading through this latest blog I noticed that one of the “solutions” that you endorse is “(2) strict enforcement of drug laws by arresting anyone using illegal drugs in public”. This is what you see as a solution for drug use? Arresting people and putting them in jail? I thought we rounded that corner already about a dozen years ago; thinking that jails and sentencing did ANYTHING positive for drug use and addiction. Hasn’t the insanity of our failed ‘drug war’ finally prove that once and for all? Do you think that snatching some kids off of the streets for smoking marijuana (the only kind of drug that you’re going to publicly ‘catch’ people doing) and locking them up in jail, is really a definitive answer for this problem? And that when they get thrown out of college or have their scholarships revoked by more of the right wing law and order types, how exactly will this benefit anyone? Sincerely Sharon McCauley

    Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2015 16:13:07 +0000 To: sharonzone@hotmail.com

    • Terry Gorski says:

      There is a difference between the general policy of drug prohibition (known as The War On Drugs Policy) and prohibiting the use of alcohol and other drugs in public and crowded areas where intoxication can fuel crime and violence.

      I oppose the war on drugs as the primary drug control strategy because it is ineffective. I believe other public policies for drug control, similar to those used to reduce smoking, would have a better chance of lowering drug use and related medical and criminal problems.

      I also disagree with a policy of total drug legalization. Some drugs, such as PCP, are extremely dangerous and need to be strictly controlled or prohibited. There needs to be strict controls on legal age of use, protecting children and teenagers from known developmental damage caused by drug use. There also needs to be careful controls on production that includes limiting the potency per dose of recreational drugs. There also need to be licensed distribution centers which become the control points for drug sales, much like is done with cigarettes. There needs to be strong restrictions on advertising and prominent warning labels. The sale needs to be taxed with all tax dollars being earmarked for prevention services, public education programs, and treatment on demand.

      Getting back to the issue of spring break and other large social gathers, the use of alcohol or other drugs should be restricted from the crowded beach and major public gatherings. Violators should be arrested.

      I believe this would significantly reduce rape, violence , and other crimes at these events. There should also be enforced prohibition against public intoxication on alcohol and other drugs that is also strictly enforced.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: