jump to last post 1-5 of 5 discussions (48 posts)

Why is America such a violent place?

  1. profile image0
    Justsilvieposted 4 years ago

    http://s2.hubimg.com/u/7146537_f248.jpg
    I watch the local news and everyday there is a shooting, or some other kind of physical abuse. I know that the national crime rate is going down, just not fast enough for me since we still seem to lead the first world in violent crime. Our neighbor Canada is very much like us in some ways but worlds apart when it comes to crime and violence. Why are we like we are?

    1. rhamson profile image77
      rhamsonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      It is our culture. We have television, video games, movies and books that show the lone hero blowing away the oponent. The problem is that there is an assumed or fictional vilification of the character that is being blown away and with enough exposure can become the reality. Sure you have a right to defend yourself in the real world and on occasion it has to be done. But with the video game or the book or movie there is created situations which become real to the participant in the media they are experiencing. A loud bang or someone grabbing the character can make any body flinch or suck in your breath if the story is well scripted. The problem is we become numb to our actions in the chosen media and buy into the happily ever after ending. In real life some or both get dead.

      1. profile image0
        Justsilvieposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I agree! I remember reading about the shock of some young soldiers when they realized that war was nothing like the video games they were so used to. They really thought it would be swift action with modern equipment like in the movies and in games.

        1. rhamson profile image77
          rhamsonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          I had three young sons when I got rid of my guns. I only had a handgun and a rifle and I did enjoy shooting them occasionally but I thought the boys would think they were toys. I never let them have play guns and once in a while I would catch them bringing one home from their friends. I would take a hammer and smash it in front of them and they soon got the message that there are no toy guns. I always told them there is no joking around when a gun is trained on you.

          1. xstatic profile image59
            xstaticposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Great thing to do. I was raised playing "cowboy  and army," all  kinds of gun games, used to own some too and served in the Army. I do not own one today.

      2. Billy Hicks profile image88
        Billy Hicksposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        To borrow an argument from one of my Idols Aaron Sorkin:

        If you combine the populations of the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Australia you've got a population roughly the size of the United States (309 Million/311 Million). In 2009 (which is the last year I could find data on for every country), they had 311 Gun Homicides, we had 9,146.

        Thanks to the Internet, the same media, movies, video games, and music are all available world wide, so I don't believe that that has anything to do with it.

        What we need is gun control that actually works.

        Again, that's just me.

        1. xstatic profile image59
          xstaticposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          And me too!

        2. tussin profile image61
          tussinposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Have you ever been to the sketchy parts of those countries or the sketch parts of the major cities in those countries?  Trust me, if they can't get their hands on a gun to kill someone they will use a knife, club, axe, or their fists.  Less violent my ass.

        3. rhamson profile image77
          rhamsonposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          The only way to get any control on gun violence is to enforce the laws we now have. It used to be if you commit any illegal act while having a gun in your possession then you get five years. But it should include no negotiating or plea bargain. And if you show up to a domestic dispute with a firearm you get ten years. Once again no negotiation or plea bargain. Or if you shoot somebody while doing the same stupid thing of taking a firearm to a dispute you get twenty five years. None of these convictions should have any elegibility of parole attached to them.
          Use the same tough tactics Mothers Against Drunk driving did. Look how many deaths have been averted through such tactics.

    2. Onusonus profile image86
      Onusonusposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      if you think America is violent then you should try visiting Lybia or Egypt.

      1. profile image0
        Justsilvieposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Kind of wanted to stick to the first world!

      2. secularist10 profile image90
        secularist10posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Skinniest kid at fat camp?

        It makes no sense to compare a first world industrialized democracy to a semi-industrialized, underdeveloped, second- or third-world autocratic society.

        1. Onusonus profile image86
          Onusonusposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Why? Are they subhumans?

          1. tussin profile image61
            tussinposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            If you ever have to spend extended periods of time in a third-world country, you will unfortunately start to see them that way. If you believe in God, be sure to thank him daily that you live in a first-world country among first-worlders.

            1. Josak profile image60
              Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              No no... YOU may start to see them that way but don't pass that guilt on it's all on you. I grew up in a third world country and regularly visit several of them and people are people everywhere some great and some bad. The generosity and kindness of people with almost nothing in the third world is amazing.

          2. secularist10 profile image90
            secularist10posted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Because those cultures and societies have not gone through the political, legal, economic, social, technological and cultural changes that the first world countries have. Modern day Egypt is probably more comparable to, say, 18th or 19th century France. You must compare like with like.

            1. Onusonus profile image86
              Onusonusposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Yes Egypt and Libya are comparable to the French revolution which was nothing more than a giant display of liberal mob justice. Completely antithetical to the American Revolution.
              The Jacobins, like the "Arab spring", were a movement of godless murderers who used imagery and false rumors to rise to power and make the guillotine their "national razor". Thus overthrowing their "one percenter" King Louis XVI and his wife Mari Antoinette, and then killing the noble people, and their families, and their friends, and everyone who had money, and the church leaders, and anyone who opposed them, and anyone who was accused by his neighbor, and then they turned on their own leaders, until finally after a few years of parading around with peoples heads on the end of their pikes, a crazy dictator named Napoleon emerged out of the rampant liberalism that made France the European pinnacle of social justice. 

              I'll have a 24 oz. Coke with a side of freedom fries, and hold the liberal BS. wink

              1. Josak profile image60
                Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                You have no idea how funny that is.

                Thomas Jefferson~ The Jacobins saw this, and that the expunging that officer was of absolute necessity, and the Nation was with them in opinion, for however they might have been formerly for the constitution framed by the first assembly, they were come over from their hope in it, and were now generally Jacobins. In the struggle which was necessary, many guilty persons fell without the forms of trial, and with them some innocent. These I deplore as much as any body, and shall deplore some of them to the day of my death. But I deplore them as I should have done had they fallen in battle. It was necessary to use the arm of the people, a machine not quite so blind as balls and bombs, but blind to a certain degree. A few of their cordial friends met at their hands, the fate of enemies. But time and truth will rescue and embalm their memories, while their posterity will be enjoying that very liberty for which they would never have hesitated to offer up their lives.

                Thomas Paine actually participated in the French revolution and wrote his most famous book "Rights of man" in defense of it etc. etc. Pretty much all the founding fathers supported the Jacobins and several of them were Jacobins or had helped them directly.

                I just love how conservatives don't realize the founding fathers were the radical leftists of their time.

                1. Onusonus profile image86
                  Onusonusposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  Ha! Thomas Paine barely made it out of France with his head in tact.
                  The American revolution was completely antithetical to the French revolution. It was immersed in rumors, mob justice, and account after account of mock trials, and the spilling of innocent blood. The Paris Commune abolished religion, and replaced national holidays with "fetes of Reason" Quite contrary to the Americans and their desire for religious freedom.
                  While the French would guillotine a man at the drop of a hat, the Americans provided their top lawyers to defend British soldiers who were involved in the Boston Massacre.   
                  The Americans had the minutemen, Paul Revere, the continental congress, the declaration of independence, and the Liberty Bell,
                  while the markers of the French revolution were the Great fear, the storming of the Bastille, the day of the Daggers, the dechristianization campaign, the September massacres, the reign of terror, and the beheading of Louis XVI, and Mari Antoinette, until finally their own leader, Robespierre, got the "national razor". Not to mention the random lynchings, insurrections, and assassinations that occurred over the four years of the French Revolution.

                  1. Josak profile image60
                    Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Thomas Paine was imprisoned by a  branch of the movement who considered him too radical in his support tongue there is no doubt the American revolution was less bloody (civil wars always are far more bloody) but it's aims were similar and the founding fathers were almost universally supporters.

                    I also love how you list the storming of the Bastille as this horrendous occasion! tongue

                    We of course always fail to mention while fewer people were executed many more people died in the American revolution than in the French revolution...

    3. janshares profile image90
      jansharesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, availability of guns is clearly a factor but that just defines the method by which Americans carry out acts of violence. There are many other factors as secularist10 said. I think those underlying factors that make a person commit such violence are the key to so much violence in our country:
      1. A complete disconnect from humanity and a disregard for human life.
      2. Histories of unresolved trauma and early soul murder that creates that disconnect.   
      3. Desperation and survival needs that justify violence.
      4. Anger and self-hatred which feed the disregard of self and fellow-man.
      5. Egoism and lack of empathy, having no regard for the larger sense of community and connectedness of all people.






      5
      6
      5. Egoism

      1. NateB11 profile image93
        NateB11posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Yes, exactly, a disconnection from humanity. A person who harms another has feels no connection to others, there is a thick barrier and division.

    4. NateB11 profile image93
      NateB11posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      American culture is rooted in self absorption and competition, division, comparison, along with status being a prime objective, which means the quest for money. That all spells aggression. No one wants to face any of that, so it goes on. Quickly people will defend competitiveness, and then act bewildered by the fact that there is violence. We stop promoting that kind of culture and thinking in that way, then violence would end.

      1. Josak profile image60
        Josakposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I am not sure about end but from a psychological perspective there might be cause to say it would be reduced. I am off to examine the crime rates of less competitive countries.

        1. NateB11 profile image93
          NateB11posted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Violence has psychological roots. Cut out the roots, you end violence.

      2. janshares profile image90
        jansharesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        DITTO, NateB11!

        1. NateB11 profile image93
          NateB11posted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Thank you, janshares.

  2. xstatic profile image59
    xstaticposted 4 years ago

    For one thing, Canadian has much more stringent firearms regulations than the US does. That simple fact means that there are fewer gun deaths per capita in Canada. A 1998 study showed 14.4 deaths per 100,000 in the US vs 4.31 for Canada. That is not an opinion. The study was done by the U S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    1. profile image0
      Justsilvieposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I know our firearm regulations are one of the issues that contribute, but I also think it is our mentality.

      While living in Austria, I found out I could easily get a handgun permit, since I was sane and had no criminal record. When I told an Austrian friend she was surprised it was so easy and she seemed to assume or violent crime was totally attributed to our gun laws and honestly at that point I did too.

      But violence it seems to be ingrained in our psyche. I watched "Bowling for Columbine" again recently and even though i don't buy everything Michael Moore sells, I did glean some very interesting points from it and one was that Americans seem to fear their neighbors and I wonder about the why's?

      1. xstatic profile image59
        xstaticposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I agree, but wanted to point out the fact that we have more gun deaths per capita in this country than in any other western idustrialized nation. The American spirit does seem to lend itself to vioence, ask the Native Americans.

        1. Petra Vlah profile image61
          Petra Vlahposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Totally agree

      2. janshares profile image90
        jansharesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Agree totally, Justsilvie, mentality.

    2. profile image0
      JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Those figures are much lower.

      However, other countries beside the US have higher rates of non-gun crimes.

      A couple of reasons for our crime rates: unemployment, war on drugs, border with Mexico, large poor areas with social influence towards crime.

      1. xstatic profile image59
        xstaticposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        NO country in the western industrialized  world has had higher daetah rates from guns than the US in many , many years. Look it up.All countrries have drug problems.Oh and the poor are the ones to blame, I see.

        1. profile image0
          JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Did I say the US didn't have the highest gun-related homicide rate? I said that the rate is now much lower, 2.97, not 14.4. I also said that other countries have higher non-gun rates.

          And it is a simple fact that areas of low-income, especially in urban areas, have higher crime rates. Here's an example:

          http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/09/VulnerableYo … ndex.shtml

          More likely to carry a gun, get into physical altercations, and join a gang.

          1. xstatic profile image59
            xstaticposted 4 years ago in reply to this

            That is simply not true about the gund death rate.it is way higher than that. Again don't get your stats from the NRA.    Check the Centers for Disease contro; and Prevention. There is no use arguing with someone who doesn't admit truth. The GOP is proof of that as well. I will no longer follow this thread.

            1. profile image0
              JaxsonRaineposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              Too bad, you could learn something.

              Your information from 1998 is old. Things have changed since then.

              I can get you rates from the Department of Justice, FBI, CDC, among others, and none of them will be anywhere near 14.4/100,000.

              If you are interested in updated information, and you do check back, let me know and I'll link you to it.

  3. secularist10 profile image90
    secularist10posted 4 years ago

    There are many factors involved. Culture is certainly one. Europe tends to censor violent content in media much more strictly than sexual content, in the US it's the reverse. Laws and regulations on access to firearms are another. The great ethnic, religious, racial and political/ ideological diversity is another. Diversity is often a great strength, but one downside is that Americans do not identify with each other as much, and therefore are more likely to distrust each other and have less of a community spirit. Hence individualism/ self-reliance/ every man for himself, etc.

    Another factor can be called "economic diversity," i.e. income inequality, which is far higher in the US than any other industrialized country. This contributes to a sense of alienation, going it alone, less concern for others, and a host of psychological issues among the poor that have been documented.

    Speaking of the poor, there is simply more poverty on average in the US than in other countries--which has a direct correlation with violence and crime.

    One factor that is rarely discussed is that a huge portion of all the firearms in the world are manufactured in the US. So the supply is just there, to a much greater degree than other industrialized nations.

    1. Repairguy47 profile image60
      Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

      So its the rich mans fault America is violent? I love how you guys stay on message.

      1. secularist10 profile image90
        secularist10posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Obviously I didn't say that. And your quip is demonstration of your own "staying on message" at all costs.

        Heaven forbid somebody actually reads and processes the full argument being made.

        This is why political discourse is becoming such a joke in this country.

  4. habee profile image90
    habeeposted 4 years ago

    We're a gun culture. This might not be so evident where you live, but it certainly is in the South. Honestly, I can't think of any adult I know around here who doesn't own at least one firearm. Amazingly, we have a low crime rate here.

    Seriously, guns are everywhere, and we use 'em, too. Hunting, target shooting, and skeet and trap are huge in this area. Heck, my dad even gave me a 12-gauge shotgun as a wedding present! I gave hubby a .308 for Christmas year before last. I'm thinking of asking Santa this year for a .22 rifle with a scope for squirrels. I had a good one, but the ex got it in the divorce, along with my best cow horse. Alas, I had nowhere to keep the mare after the divorce.

    I think one reason southerners love guns so much is because they add to our independence and self-reliance. We can shoot our own food if we need to.

    1. profile image0
      Justsilvieposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I live in the South and Alabama rates number 10 and as I said when I started this thread there seems to be a shooting or some other violent crime everyday.  The South in General has more than the rest of the Country.

      http://www.statemaster.com/graph/cri_mu … er-100-000

      1. habee profile image90
        habeeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I was referring to my area/town/community.

    2. Billy Hicks profile image88
      Billy Hicksposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      http://paulwilkinson.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/archie-bunker.jpg
      Gloria: "Do you know that sixty percent of all deaths in America are caused by guns?"

      Archie Bunker: Would it make you feel any better, little girl, if they was pushed out of windows?

      1. janshares profile image90
        jansharesposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Tooshay, it's Archie Bunker psyche and mentality. Until we address that, we will continue to lead the world in violent, pointless death, especially with guns because they are simply available.

  5. SpanStar profile image59
    SpanStarposted 4 years ago

    Unfortunately our history and dare I say our legacy is filled with violence. It would appear as though we have adopted the same mentality as the Roman Empire-[Winner Takes All].

    One need look only at how we are gearing up for combat in the future with the implementation of autonomous weapons, robots, flying drones with the anticipation of future wars.

    The idea of making friends with one's enemies seemed foreign to us. Our focus is to take control.

    We are violent people because we choose to be.

    1. A Troubled Man profile image61
      A Troubled Manposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      We are compassionate and altruistic because we choose to be.

      And, we will find that the amount of people who choose violence are few and far in between compared with those who choose compassion and altruism. Many of those abhor violence of any kind and the thought of committing violence acts only makes them nauseous and revolted. Yet, to save the life of another, little thought goes into putting oneself in harms way or even potentially losing ones own life in the process.

      That is human nature.

      Unfortunately, we are compelled to place ourselves in harms way sometimes when dealing with that very small element of violence and the people who choose violence.

      That is also human nature.

      So, regardless of whether we look at the future with the expectation of future wars or if we look back at our legacy, viewing it as one of violence, we need to understand, focus and employ our human nature for what it is and not for what it isn't.

 
working