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View Diary: Derrick Jackson asks if we are "Tough on violence?" (12 comments)

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  •  Depends on how we define violence. (4+ / 0-)
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    srkp23, sobermom, NancyWH, voicemail

    If violence is an action that results in death and that was the intent, then that excludes most vehicular fatalities, as well as the crashes that merely maim people for life and increase the medico-techno industry's bottom line. It also excludes people shot by "accident."
    If, on the other hand, we consider any action which causes physical or psychological stress, regardless of intent, then there's no evidence of the U.S. being a less violent place.
    It is passing strange that even as we define various kinds of mayhem in terms of the victim when the ultimate result is death, when it's "just abuse" we excuse it on the basis of the perpetrator's intent (correction, discipline, dominance, punishment, show of strength).  It's almost as if aggression is basically OK and the victim's just deserts, unless it goes too far and robs the state of jurisdiction over life and death.

    I'd suggest we consider abuse, which we can actually intercept and bring to a halt, as a prelude to mortal injury and concentrate on reducing that. If we had that perspective, that abusing humans is wrong, then, for example, we would never have authorized the selling of debilitating or lethal gases to Saddam Hussein and then we wouldn't have had to worry about whether he still had them and we wouldn't have had to bomb hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to find out that the gases and poisons were all gone.
    "We fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here," really isn't a proper attitude for a President of the United States, regardless of who "them" are.
    The problem we have isn't that condone or tolerate physical violence; the problem is that we presume it is proper to coerce and exact compliance from anyone. The culture of obedience does not seem to comprehend that there is a difference between prohibiting and preventing bad behavior and coercing "good" behavior. That coercion is contrary to human liberty does not seem to register with some people.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 10:57:05 AM PDT

    •  hannah (1+ / 0-)
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      hannah

      I was just thinking the same thing about "obscenity."  John Ashcroft thought the bare breasts on some statues were obscene, & had them covered up.  Others think the Wall Street bailout was obscene.  Athough some might say that the full extent of the malfeasance was "covered up" as well.  So it is with defining violence.  As usual, where you sit defines where you stand.  

      "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

      by NancyWH on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 01:51:37 PM PDT

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