Another incidence. 911 in domestic terms. Is it different? I am 76 and I have hated violence all my life. I endured being trained to kill (even with my bare hands) as a USMC officer. It changed me irreversibly because I gave in. I fired the weapons and was good. Won regimental top shooter with my 45. It changed me irreversibly. Wired in my brain are all the moves on how to kill in hand to hand combat. how to fire weapons. How to direct artillery. And so on. I made myself a willing tool for this nation's imperialism. Now I am surrounded by Tea Party "hunters" They have weapons galore. They have demonstrated their violent tendencies. We did the nukes and the drones and whatever else our wonderful technological minds can produce to kill, kill, kill, kill.....The wolf is considered viscious. When he subdues an opponent in a fight the loser bares his throat and the winner walks away without drawing blood. Our symbol of peace is the dove. Put two male doves in a cage and come back an hour later. One is dead. Nature is violent. Yet we claim to have evolved to some higher state. Why do we worship violence? Read on below as I try to come to grips with this.
First of all, how bad is it? Here is one version of our use of violence:
Violence is defined by the World Health Organization as the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation. This definition associates intentionality with the committing of the act itself, irrespective of the outcome it produces.The blurb above clearly is sterile and lacking depth with regard to what happened in Aurora and many other places in recent years. Many are probably disappointed that it was not a Muslim who did it and others are fearful of their right to own weapons being challenged again. But these are distractions. Men abuse women all the time. parents abuse their children. Violence is a prescribed means of "discipline". There are many forms of sexual activity that incorporate violence as a necessary component.
Globally, violence takes the lives of more than 1.5 million people annually: just over 50% due to suicide, some 35% due to homicide, and just over 12% as a direct result of war or some other form of conflict. For each single death due to violence, there are dozens of hospitalizations, hundreds of emergency department visits, and thousands of doctors' appointments. Furthermore, violence often has lifelong consequences for victims' physical and mental health and social functioning and can slow economic and social development.
Violence, however, is preventable. Evidence shows strong relationships between levels of violence and potentially modifiable factors such as concentrated poverty, income and gender inequality, the harmful use of alcohol, and the absence of safe, stable, and nurturing relationships between children and parents. Scientific research shows that strategies addressing the underlying causes of violence can be effective in preventing violence. Examples of scientifically credible strategies to prevent violence include nurse home-visiting and parenting education to prevent child maltreatment; life skills training for children ages 6–18 years; school-based programmes to address gender norms and attitudes; reducing alcohol availability and misuse through enactment and enforcement of liquor licensing laws, taxation and pricing; reducing access to guns and knives; and promoting gender equality by, for instance, supporting the economic empowerment of women.
Our technological 'brilliance" is exhibited by our ways of increasing our capacity for violence.
The Congress just did it again. Huge amounts of appropriations passed to wage violence. Learn the secret of the atom and make a huge bomb. Learn about disease and make a weapon using it.
There is an irony here that I hesitate to even mention. We are destroying ourselves without weapons. We have waged violence on the planet and it is more effective than any other. Our religions try to provide a belief structure that denies death. Yet death is a part of life. We die to fulfill a biological necessity.
So why the violence? Why the fear of tyranny when that fear enslaves us? We strike out and kill in many ways. Government is being used to control in a violent manner more and more. Women are particularly vulnerable and men are particularly viscous in this respect.
But today it was that odd act of violence we label as "madness". We are all mad. We tolerate this culture of violence. Today someone crossed the line and we are shocked and repulsed. When will we listen to Ghandi and Martin Luther King and begin to purge our culture of this central theme?