Thursday, 23 October 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

School Killings Put US Culture in Spotlight

Friday, 01 November 2013 10:36 By Dennis Boatwright, NoFrillNews | Op-Ed

The increase in violence on a national scale, especially the recent spate of shootings on school grounds, has many Americans, even the “experts” on mass killings, asking one another; Why?

The frequency of these incidents are so common now that these horrific stories are surviving 24-hour news cycles.

On Oct. 21, a 13-year-old gunman casually entered a Sparks, Nevada middle school classroom and opened-fire, killing beloved school teacher Michael Landsberry and wounding two classmates. Just two days later a lanky 14-year-old Danvers, Massachusetts student sliced to death his math teacher with a box cutter, and thereafter dumped her body in a recycling bin. What’s troubling about these two murders is that the killers closest friends and classmates regards them as “quiet and fun-loving,” and the “nicest friend a person can ever have.”

These teen killers are not raised on the violent streets of Detroit and Chicago where one could argue that the prevalence of violence and crime negatively influenced these youngsters to imitate what they observe. On the contrary, these new breed of killers are raised in suburban, upper middle-class neighborhoods.

Corporate media and their hired expert psychologists will never admit why this form of mass killings is more the norm than isolated incidents. Such incidents, though, can be understood with proper context.

A substantial proportion of the U.S. economy is tied to the success of violence in its various manifestations. Hence, one should not expect corporate America to address this phenomenon truthfully because they profit from the smashing success of FOX’s grueling ampere-theater like cage fighting, and WWE’s in-your-face, blood spattering matches.

When questioned most Americans describe the United States as a champion of peace. But the personification of non-violence, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., put it bluntly when he said in a speech that “America is the biggest purveyor of violence.” His observation remains true fifty years later, and can be appreciated by these examples.

For instance, when the U.S. government disagrees with the domestic policies of foreign countries, U.S. armed forces are dispatched to punish the offending nation. Moreover, Navy Seal commandos are covertly sent in to apprehend SUSPECTS even though such use of force violates the integrity of sovereign countries.

Violence is used so reflexively to solve problems that undeserving people and groups have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Violence is seen as a legitimate expression of dis-contentment to the degree that violent aggressiveness has nearly become a national ideology. The behavior of elected officials contributes to how young people’s characters are shaped.

Politicians such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) teach children not to sit down with those holding differing views in order to reach a compromise for the overall good of the country, but rather how to be recalcitrant to the degree that shutting down the government is a rational act.

Kids imitate adults. Unless grown-ups show by example civil ways of resolving disagreements, kids will continue to perpetrate the most spectacular, Grand Theft Auto-type massacres.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Dennis Boatwright

Dennis Boatwright is a writer for NoFrillNews.

Related Stories

Gun Safety
By Matt Bors, Universal UClick | Cartoon
Gun Crazy: Why Is America Different From Other Countries?
By Joel Boyce, Care2 | Op-Ed

Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus

Also on Truthout

GET DAILY TRUTHOUT UPDATES

FOLLOW togtorsstottofb


School Killings Put US Culture in Spotlight

Friday, 01 November 2013 10:36 By Dennis Boatwright, NoFrillNews | Op-Ed

The increase in violence on a national scale, especially the recent spate of shootings on school grounds, has many Americans, even the “experts” on mass killings, asking one another; Why?

The frequency of these incidents are so common now that these horrific stories are surviving 24-hour news cycles.

On Oct. 21, a 13-year-old gunman casually entered a Sparks, Nevada middle school classroom and opened-fire, killing beloved school teacher Michael Landsberry and wounding two classmates. Just two days later a lanky 14-year-old Danvers, Massachusetts student sliced to death his math teacher with a box cutter, and thereafter dumped her body in a recycling bin. What’s troubling about these two murders is that the killers closest friends and classmates regards them as “quiet and fun-loving,” and the “nicest friend a person can ever have.”

These teen killers are not raised on the violent streets of Detroit and Chicago where one could argue that the prevalence of violence and crime negatively influenced these youngsters to imitate what they observe. On the contrary, these new breed of killers are raised in suburban, upper middle-class neighborhoods.

Corporate media and their hired expert psychologists will never admit why this form of mass killings is more the norm than isolated incidents. Such incidents, though, can be understood with proper context.

A substantial proportion of the U.S. economy is tied to the success of violence in its various manifestations. Hence, one should not expect corporate America to address this phenomenon truthfully because they profit from the smashing success of FOX’s grueling ampere-theater like cage fighting, and WWE’s in-your-face, blood spattering matches.

When questioned most Americans describe the United States as a champion of peace. But the personification of non-violence, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., put it bluntly when he said in a speech that “America is the biggest purveyor of violence.” His observation remains true fifty years later, and can be appreciated by these examples.

For instance, when the U.S. government disagrees with the domestic policies of foreign countries, U.S. armed forces are dispatched to punish the offending nation. Moreover, Navy Seal commandos are covertly sent in to apprehend SUSPECTS even though such use of force violates the integrity of sovereign countries.

Violence is used so reflexively to solve problems that undeserving people and groups have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Violence is seen as a legitimate expression of dis-contentment to the degree that violent aggressiveness has nearly become a national ideology. The behavior of elected officials contributes to how young people’s characters are shaped.

Politicians such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) teach children not to sit down with those holding differing views in order to reach a compromise for the overall good of the country, but rather how to be recalcitrant to the degree that shutting down the government is a rational act.

Kids imitate adults. Unless grown-ups show by example civil ways of resolving disagreements, kids will continue to perpetrate the most spectacular, Grand Theft Auto-type massacres.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Dennis Boatwright

Dennis Boatwright is a writer for NoFrillNews.

Related Stories

Gun Safety
By Matt Bors, Universal UClick | Cartoon
Gun Crazy: Why Is America Different From Other Countries?
By Joel Boyce, Care2 | Op-Ed

Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus