I just thought I'd make a note about a story in the news tonight. It's the sort of story that has me thinking there's just something seriously wrong with the world.
And this is it: there has to be personal responsibility. Retailers can not be held responsible for the use of the things they sell.
I don't know about you but I'm always irritated at the supermarket on a Friday night when they won't sell me a bottle of wine - their reasoning - "I think you've had a drink". Let's face it, we've had a love hate relationship with retailers for a long time. Are we really expecting those same people who sell our kids cigarettes to keep our kids safe from products which can actually be used in safe ways?
In 1999 a woman, Janet Pike, was stabbed and killed in the West Auckland ACC office by a man by the name of Johnny Manu. He had visited Janet, gone down to The Warehouse, went looking for a baseball bat, and when he found they didn't have any of those in stock, brought a knife.
No one at the time suggested that The Warehouse should be held responsible for selling him the knife. The other telling bit, he was determined. His original plan fell by the wayside. The result was just as horrible.
It turns out Johnny Manu had had a long history of violence and robbery.
So a teenager "huffing" - if he couldn't get the butane from that dairy, probably would have gone down to the local super market. There's a very good chance there were signs that something wasn't right. The people he was hanging out with or behavioural changes. But that's not easy to spot either. Puberty makes things really difficult - not just for the teenager going through all of those changes, but the people who care about those people trying to keep them safe.
The point is - it doesn't help to transfer blame about.