Teen 'Cap Busting' on the Rise

Mobile, AL, March 5, 2018 -- Ashlee Drummond’s footsteps echo along the corridor as she nervously awaits word from the doctor on the condition of her son, Roger. Ashlee joins tens of thousands of parents across the U.S. who have faced or are facing the result of the latest teen craze sweeping the nation -- cap busting. For those unfamiliar with the phrase, cap busting involves voluntarily shooting off one's kneecap with a shotgun.

"I remember when I was a teenager, back in the early part of the century, and all we did was hyperventilate and then choke ourselves until we passed out. Times were so innocent then. This 'cap busting', though, is crazy," Ashley explained. So far this year there has been a 17% increase in cap busting-related injuries compared to the same period last year, based on information obtained from the National Institute of Health.

Lorri Simpson from Detroit can relate to Ashlee's plight. Lorrie's son Ashton had already 'capped' himself once eight months before. "It was your typical evening and I was frying up some bologna for dinner when I heard a gunshot and then screams from Ashton's room. I thought to myself 'not again'. I walked in to find him on the floor sobbing 'double capper'," Lorrie related.

Dr. Paul Walker of the Atlanta Pediatric Trauma Unit explains, "Teens don't seem to understand and appreciate the purpose of the patella and how it manages to keep the femur and tibia in their proper location". He goes on further to state that, "as a board certified physician I must strongly discourage such non-surgical removal."

Warnings aside, some parents don't see the trend to be such a problem. Erving Lampley from Austin, Texas is the father of two 'double capped' teenage girls. "I really don't see what all the fuss is about. So they walk a little funny and can't sit right. At least they ain't out getting themselves knocked up or smoking tobacco. That tobacco will kill ya," Erving said.

Shelly Sommers of the New York-based non-profit group "Save that Cap" disagrees. "Every day I counsel groups of teens that have shot off their own kneecaps, and it is a big deal." She relates that peer pressure combined with low self-esteem seem to be the major culprits. Her group offers counseling to teens that are no longer in possession of their kneecaps and offers alternatives in order to break the cycle. "Of course, once they have shot both kneecaps off it is rather easy to make them quit this addictive and destructive behaviour," Sommers confessed.

Ashlee Drummond still doesn't understand why Roger capped himself. "What's next? Going out to a farm and knocking over sleeping cows?"

By Raoul Thibodeaux, Avant News Staff Writer

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