Mercy Muroki: Looking at Britain today, I'm pretty damn glad I had a daughter
I have to say, looking at Britain today - and the fate so many young men are sucked into - I have to say I'm pretty damn glad I had a daughter
A 14 year old boy has been sentenced to life with a minimum term of 16 years for shooting 15 year old schoolboy Keon Lincoln in an attack in Birmingham earlier this year.
Riding in a stolen car, Yussuf Mustapha pulled up to the home of the victim - masked and armed with a revolver and hunting knives - stood over the victim and shot him point blank in the stomach.
This sentencing sets a grim new record in our criminal justice system, as Mustapha is thought to be the youngest ever person convicted in Britain of murdering someone with a gun.
There is so much wrong with this that it’s hard to know where to begin.The 14 year old, according to material presented to the court appeared to have had, quote, ‘a decent life with his family’ and had no previous convictions. He had also apparently been doing well at school, academically and in sport.
To me, this is almost worse than if Mustapha had been a known gang member, who lived a life of chaos, who was neglected by his family, and absent from school.
It just goes to show the utterly irresistible allure of gang culture in Britain for young men. It shows how worryingly attractive violence can be for young people who actually show some promise in life.
How does a 14 year old child go from a supposedly average life to shooting someone dead? When I was 14, boys would sort out their problems by having a scrap in the playground, escaping maybe with a few only a few scrapes and bruises.
The total ineptitude of so many young men today in dealing with their emotions, their wafer thin willpower to resist resorting to violence is deeply disturbing and depressing.
It used to be that having a son was more desirable than having a girl - in fact, there are still some places in Europe today where the gender ratio for babies is so skewed towards boys that research has concluded that baby girls are still aborted at a higher rate.
But I have to say, looking at Britain today - and the fate so many young men are sucked into - I have to say I'm pretty damn glad I had a daughter.
Young poor, often black men, seem to be doomed and I'm worried things will get worse before they get better.