The Associated Press
Sunday, October 1, 2006; 7:14 AM
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- A City Council member, reacting to a video store holdup believed to have been carried out by children, says parents who can't properly care for their kids should be sterilized.
"We pick up stray animals and spay them," Larry Shirley said in a story published Saturday by The Post and Courier of Charleston. "These mothers need to be spayed if they can't take care of theirs. Once they have a child and it's running the street, to let them continue to have children is totally unacceptable."
Shirley's comments come after police say a video store was held up by a group of children, including a 14-year-old girl suspected of wielding a BB gun that looked like a pistol.
The holdup happened about 9 p.m. Wednesday at a Hollywood Video store. A 14-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy were charged as juveniles with armed robbery. A 9-year-old boy was not charged because police said he was too young. He was released to his mother.
"What we've got is a failure in society, whether it's in Mount Pleasant with yuppie parents or whether it's on the East Side with poor crackhead parents," he said, referring to areas in and around Charleston.
State Sen. Robert Ford, a Charleston Democrat, agreed that the crime highlights a societal problem but dismissed Shirley's suggestion to sterilize people as "crazy."
"What Larry Shirley needs to talk about is getting City Council to provide some recreational facilities and activities for these kids and creating an atmosphere conducive to a normal society," said Ford, also a former councilman.