Violence In America..Will It Ever End?

Today in St. Paul two people were murdered. It has been reported that the two were fighting with a third party about a phone call that was made. The suspect is in custody and the case is under investigation,” a reporter in the ten o’clock news reports. “Spouse and child abuse are on the rise. This year alone over ‘6 million men, women, and children were victims of severe physical attacks from their spouses or parents’(article 16)*,” another reporter reports. Is it just me or does this seem like something that is all too often heard on the news? The violent acts in the United States are out of control. But what can be done about it, and how much worse are things going to get? It seems to me that what is being done now isn’t enough, because things just keeps getting worse. There are twelve main things that have been being studied in depth lately by sociologists. They include: spanking, child abuse, spouse abuse, the punishment for the offenders, gun control, the media’s affect on violence, the role sports play in violence, the role religion plays in violence, pacifism, and international violence. My paper will discuss each of these aspects as well as my opinions and state some facts. Before I can say how I feel, I think there is a need to define violence, aggressiveness, and assertiveness and explain the difference between them. Violence is a physical act that intends to harm or hurt another person. Violence includes many things; such as, hitting, punching, biting, killing, stabbing, shoving, and so much more. Violence can be linked to two other words that have also become a part of every day life for many people; aggression and being assertive. Aggression is a hostile, or destructive act that is forceful. Aggression is usually related with someone being dominant. Being assertive is to stating something (i.e. your opinion) boldly. Both aggression and being assertive do not involve a physical force. Although these three words have different meanings, I think they very closely related. When a person is being assertive and not getting their way, or getting their point across, they can often become aggressive, and aggression often times leads to a violent act. This domino effect closely relates all these words. Violence, it has become something that society has to deal with every day now. “Much newspaper space is currently being given to violence--the violence that is happening and the frequent cries to stop it,” says that writer of article 3*. Just think of the major world events that happened last couple years; Columbine, the Oklahoma City bombing, Jonesboro, the increase of gang violence, or even the racist incidents that happened at Champlin Park last year. All of these huge events involves at least one violent reaction. Turn on the television for half an hour, the amount of violence, assertiveness, or aggression you will notice in cartoons, sitcoms, or even on the news will be extremely high. We are being exposed to violence more and more every day, and a lot of times I don’t think people even realize that they are being exposed. Watching wrestling or a sport on television are two examples of this. It seems like society is starting to see violence as something normal. A person getting murdered is no longer headline news, it takes a immature kid to go and shoot eight classmates of his in order to open people’s eyes. People have become so used to hearing about someone being unable to control themselves and lashing out at someone that they don’t even turn their head anymore when they hear about it. Violence, aggression and assertiveness are an everyday part of life now. Violence, and aggression are learned behaviors. “...aggressive behavior is learned very early in life and continues with the individual over many years,” (article 18)*. Just like a parent teaches a child to say please and thank you and be considerate of others, they can teach them violence. A parent is probably the most important influence a person has. Children not only look up their parents and admire them, they want to be like them. When a child sees the person they admire hitting someone, or do something else