Nancy, want to know what happened? Here we go..
It used to be the standard that you didn't do wrong because it was socially punished. An example would be that a family would be looked down upon if their child did something that was gererally accepted as wrong. I remember the phrase "what would the neighbors think!?" from my childhood.
Today, the social punishment has been over-run by physical punishment. It has been my observation that people are much more apt to sucuumb to a physical threat, thereby allowing previously unthought of actions to occur. If you weren't, or aren't capable of protecting yourself from a physical threat, your recourse would be the law. The law, however, blind as it is, cannot see all of the situations exactly as they may be.
You may take a child by the ear, only to be confronted by an equally arrogant and ignorant parent. Your choice is then dealing with the confrontation or appealing to the law / rules / governing body, etc.
I try to deal with the confrontation. At times it is difficult, but if the correct method is chosen, it usually works. Remember that first and foremost, you are an American. You have rights and honors above all others. Your freedoms are guaranteed. If these rights are imposed upon, then you have been treated wrongly, by American standards. The person that you confront is usually an American, but has lost some of his or her patriotism in the hassle of life. Remind them of the truths that made us the seat of democracy. Remind them of your rights. I'm sure that all of us have had family members fall in some battle to preserve these freedoms. You can do anything that you want to, as long as it dosen't interfere with anybody else. Period.
People don't mess with me,my family or my stuff because I let people know how I feel. Surround yourself with the same type people. Take a cruise with them. Cook some hot dogs and drink beer with them (Jim). You'll find a whole world of people that just want to do the same thing.
Every family should have a posse. Do you want to mess with my posse? I doubt it. Would I want to mess with your posse? I doubt that also. Don't confuse a posse with a gang. A gang does what is good for the gang, while a posse does what is good for society. Get a group that knows what is right. Teach those that don't know. Live and be there to see what you can.