The previous edition of “you be the judge” asked whether restrictions on aggressive panhandling are justified.
I thought that was a bit of a quandary, but I’m more conflicted by today’s question about the bizarre episodes of the Hakken family.
As explained in this CNN story, they have kidnapped their own children and fled to Cuba. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
The Hakkens have been on the lam after they allegedly snatched the two boys from their grandmother’s home in Florida. The couple lost custody of their children last year. There is an international manhunt for this family, and here they are, blending in among the other boats.
So why would parents have to kidnap their own kids and flee to what most people would consider a socialists hellhole?
…the police department in Slidell, Louisiana, issued its own statement offering background on the Hakkens and why the boys were taken from the parents last year. In June of 2012, Slidell police responded to a disturbance report at a hotel where Josh and Sharyn Hakken were staying with their sons, the police statement said. “When police arrived, both Mr. and Mrs. Hakken were acting in a bizarre manner that alarmed officers. They were talking about ‘completing their ultimate journey’ and were traveling across the country to ‘take a journey to the Armageddon’,” the Slidell police statement said, adding, “Let it be noted that both of their children were present in the hotel room at the time.” Because of the parents’ behavior and “the fact that narcotics and weapons were located inside of the hotel room,” the children were taken by child welfare officers, and Joshua Hakken was arrested on drug charges, the statement said.
Which brings us to recent events.
At some point over the past few months, the children were sent to live with their grandmother, Patricia Hauser, the mother of Sharyn Hakken. Sheriff’s investigators say Josh Hakken entered Hauser’s home at 6:30 a.m. last Wednesday. She told police that he tied her up and fled with the children… Those investigators told CNN they believe Hakken joined up with his wife, who was waiting in their pickup truck, and the family drove to a parking garage. A short time later, investigators said, Hakken is believed to have taken a sailboat out of a private slip in nearby Madeira Beach.
And, as you already know, they wound up in Cuba.
I first saw this story in the Miami Airport, and it referred to the Hakkens as being anti-government. Naturally, I immediately took their side.
But as I’ve learned more details, I’m conflicted. There’s nothing wrong with the parents having firearms, though one hopes they took steps to make sure the young kids didn’t have access to the guns.
On the other hand, I think there is something wrong with drug use, particularly in front of the children. Nonetheless, that’s not a sufficient reason in my mind for the government to seize someone’s kids unless there’s some evidence of genuine endangerment.
I am weirded out, though, with regards to their alleged language about taking an “ultimate journey” to “the Armageddon.” Are they suicidal nutcases? Are they mentally unstable? Those would be reasons for intervention.
Assuming, of course, that we can trust that the cops and other government officials provided an accurate rendition of events.
But assuming that’s the case, do you think the state had the right to take the kids from the Hakkens?
And if you want more challenging examples of “you be the judge,” peruse this list.
- Is it appropriate to put politicians on trial for economic malfeasance?
- Is it excessive vigilante justice to set your daughter’s rapist on fire?
- Should prisoners with AIDS be segregated from other convicts?
- Which tax collection tactic is more brutal and unjust?
- When a wheelchair-bound guy uses a baseball bat to punish his granddaughter’s molester, what’s the right response?
- Should politicians set pay levels at government-owned firms?
- Is sharia law sometimes appropriate?
- Is the Netherlands right to segregate troublemakers from the general population?
- What do you do about self-destructive behavior in a government-run healthcare system?
- Should there be laws against incest among consenting adults?
- Should motorists be allowed to warn other drivers about speed traps?
- Is jury nullification the right approach for victimless crimes?
- Was this angry father wrong to take matters into his own hands?
- Should drunk-rafting be a crime?
- Should rich people pay higher speeding fines?