"Mess with my kid, I'll kill you!"
These parents killed to protect their kids, but what did they lose in the process?

In two recent cases, parents have taken their protective roles to the extreme- they have killed people they considered responsible for compromising the safety of their children, according to Jezebel.com. This has raised questions about thether or not these killer parents are homicidal in nature, or merely acting out the role of, say, a she-wolf who defends her cubs to the death.

In the first case, a father has so far escaped charges when he allegedly beat an acquaintance to death with his bare hands after he found the man in a barn attempting to molest the father's daughter. The sheriff's office declined to charge him, although it is possible that he may yet have to face the law for his violent reaction.

*Update: A grand jury has agreed not to press charges against the man who beat to death a second man caught raping the first man's daughter in Texas, US.

Drive-by parenting

In the second case, a couple tracked down a man they said was "pimping" their teenaged daughter, and shot him dead (their initial attempt at shooting him failed, so they improved their plans, tracked him down and executed him. The 22-year-old gang member had allegedly encouraged their 17-year-old daughter to run away with him, after which he advertised her services in the pages of an escort magazine. The couple is facing the might of the law: District Attorney George Gascon said he understood "the frustration that the parents must have felt.... But taking the law into your own hands is not an acceptable solution." No, it certainly is not. A lawyer for the couple says they did not commit the murder, but for now they are each facing murder charges and are being held on $2 million bail.

Think first...

Premeditation is always key when it comes to assessing such cases, although the law clearly states that it's not ok to take the law into your own hands. In the first case, the man walked in while the crime was taking place; in the second, the parents plotted the murder of the criminal. Even if the fate of your child is at stake, parents should consider the possible outcomes of their actions, including the impact that a trial and possible prison sentence for them may have on the very child they are attempting to protect. However, a small child is usually unable to act in self-defence- that's the parent's role, right- to defend the safety and security of their child?

In SA, this is not merely a philosophical debate- each day there's the sense that your child could face criminal activity, and associated feelings of helplessness. Despite the possibilities of brutal crimes against your children taking place, vigilantism remains illegal. No matter how defenceless you may feel, there are trained professionals whose jobs exist to catch those who harm our loved ones.

Do you think it's ok to kill someone who is molesting your kid?
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