The world seems to be growing more violent day by day. When was the last time you picked up a newspaper or turned on a TV news show without facing reports of apparently senseless murders, attacks, or violent conflicts? No matter what the explanation, how much sense does what happened make to you?
How do we make sense of violence? Consider the following:
- In 2002, the US youth homicide rate was more than 10 times that of other leading industrial nations.
- In 2002, 25% of women had experienced domestic violence and 6 million children witnessed domestic violence annually.
- The world spends just $1 on conflict prevention for every $1885 it spends on military budgets.
- In 2010, the federal government spent over 1.3 trillion or 9% of the Gross Domestic Product on violence containment (war, police, and prisons).
- In 2014, the international Global Peace Index ranked the United States as the 101st most peaceful country of the 152 which were ranked. Criteria were how much a country goes to war, political instability, number of murders, protection of human rights and public security with a small number of police officers. If number of prisoners executed and the percentage of citizens incarcerated were included, the US would have ranked even lower. I have not seen any indication that any of these have changed significantly for the better in recent years.
Where does all this violence come from? Writers and researchers have taken the position that one or more of the following contribute to violence: violent media, genetics, family break-down, lack of moral purpose, the criminal justice system, family violence, the drug trade, and capitalism. Cases have been made for all of these as explanations of the level of violence in the United States. There is no general agreement on the cause of violence or what to do about it although most people agree that something must be done and soon.
(Excerpt from What To Do About Violence)
What To Do About Violence is my latest book. It is a brief FREE ebook available on Amazon about the nature of violence and how to approach it on personal, family, community and government levels. Download your free copy here.