Gabby Petito's life didn’t have to end as it did

I write this feeling awkward and a bit old.  Like millions across the country, I found myself gripped by 22-year-old Gabby Petito's tragic homicide in Wyoming.  She could have been my daughter.  Then it struck me that this isn't the usual somewhat embarrassing "rubbernecking" over true crime, and in this case involving a beautiful young woman.  Instead, it reflects a broader societal problem.

What grabbed me most is the video of her encounter with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, and the Moab, Utah police.  The couple had been having an extended and public "lovers' quarrel" that was so bad that it led to police involvement.  She is sitting in her vehicle and crying uncontrollably about how they have been "fighting all morning."  But oddly, witnesses report that she was the aggressor toward Brian.  In the video, the police officer notes that he has scratches on his face and is bleeding.

She was then the victim of a homicide soon afterward.  Why?  What happened?  Brian is in hiding and sure looks guilty.

The couple claimed to be engaged, but there was no wedding date.  Also, before Gabby went on a long cross-country trip alone with Brian, she lived with him at his parents' home in Florida.  Nothing was ever formalized, nor did they act like a young couple stepping into the world of full adult maturity.

So what struck me — and I know I come across like a 1950s dad — is that so much of this could have been avoided if young women like Gabby did not fully give themselves emotionally and sexually to young men like Brian, with no commitment.

Many of these Millennials choose to live in a "netherworld" between childhood and adulthood.  They want to play grown-up with their relationship, but they lack the work ethic and maturity to take steps such as getting married or buying a house.  Instead, they do things like living with their parents and having them pay for their health insurance.

Gabby was a beautiful and apparently intelligent young woman.  One can only imagine the sorrow of her parents.  But why did she put up with a relationship like this?  In the video, she says through tears that "we've been fighting all morning," and "he really stresses me out."  And "I'm sorry that I'm so mean."

I have a guess as to why she was so upset.  Because her heart, brain, ovaries, and uterus were screaming at her, "This is not right!"

What has led her and millions of other young women down the road to this kind of life?  The answer, in large part, is that the modern feminist movement has sold a couple of huge lies to young women.  The first is that sex lacks an emotional component, so it will leave no mark.  And the second is that if you get pregnant, and don't want the baby, just get an abortion, because that is "reproductive health care."

These losers presenting themselves as young "men" enjoying an adolescence that often extends into their 30s are not helping.  And why should they?  They benefit from their access to these misguided young women.

And in this case, if you're one of those women, you end up all the way across the country alone, hysterical, frightened, and then dead.

John Kaempf is a trial attorney who specializes in representing churches and religious schools.

Image: A distressed Gabby Petito.  YouTube screen grab.

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