ABC News has reported a tragic story that may be more common than people could imagine. They point to the arrest of a couple who left their children locked in a car while they entered a casino and gambled. ABC News explained:
When they were discovered by Madera County sheriff’s deputies, the children — a 2-year-old and a 10-month-old — “were crying, screaming, sweating profusely and their skin had turned reddish in color,” sheriff’s department spokeswoman Erica Stuart said.
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. ABC News reported that The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky. found 37 instances of unattended children left in cars while their parents or caretakers where gambling. What’s so startling is that the 37 instances represent just one year and worst of all, they represent just one state, Indiana. Considering that most states have some form of legalized gambling and considering how many parents have probably done such a terrible act without ever getting caught, its easy to conclude that we are facing a very real and serious problem.
As ABC News goes on to report, someone who is willing to do such a selfish and harmful act to a child most likely has a gambling addiction and such acts are simply an extension of the abuse and neglect their family suffers from when such addiction is present:
The 1999 National Gambling Impact Study Commission Report found that compulsive gamblers had higher rates of child abuse and neglect.
“The impact on [the] lives of those poor souls and their families is stunning,” said Timothy Kelley, the commission’s director. “It’s not that they’re bad people. But they’re engaged in an activity that is so powerful that they literally escaped from their own life. They don’t think about their own life. They literally forgot that their child is out in the car dying,” he said.