Violent Behavior Born or Raised

The War in America

In recent years, it seems less and less attention has been given to the fact that violence in America has been escalating at an alarming rate. Having grown up in a blue collar family on the outskirts of Boston, I’ve seen my share of violent acts. If two people had a disagreement, the solution was simply to take it outside. A few punches were thrown and the argument was over. Those days have certainly come and gone. In the year 2006, Boston reported 74 murders or approximately 1 murder every 5 days. The new year didn’t bring any sign of relief with several shootings leaving a 14 year old boy dead and several others seriously injured. Many other major cities have experienced a similar surge in violence, some reaching unprecedented numbers.

This raises a number of questions as to what is causing this spike in aggression and even more important, why is America so violent to begin with? Many have argued that it’s the media that causes this problem. With a constant bombardment by news stations depicting violence, death and mayhem, it’s certainly a plausible argument. But America has always been violent. Ever Since Columbus set foot on American soil, violence has been an accomplice to almost every major historical event. The gold rush in 1849 is a prime example. Native American people indigenous to California were almost completely wiped out by gold miners.

A much more popular scapegoat scenario is to blame the parents. Much of this may be true, especially with parents in poor urban areas. Recent statistics show that single parent families especially families lacking fathers have a much higher crime rate amongst children of these families. Without fathers to help direct their children to act responsibly, some children in these families end up in a life of crime and violence.

The only problem with these arguments is that many, many industrialized countries have these same possible causes for violence yet experience only a fraction of the violence that plagues America. It seems that regardless of the direction our great nation takes, violence seems to be deeply woven into the fabric our past, present and future.