Why is America such a violent place?

 

I am at a point where I have stopped watching the news aside from skimming the headlines, because it is simply too depressing and I already struggle with my mental health. Everyday there seems to be another murder or assault. Almost every few months another mass shooting, or threats of a shooting or bombing; the violence never seems to end in this country.  There is so much anger and hate in our society that I struggle to understand where it all comes from.  Sometimes it’s an angry gun nut from the hills, other times a passing motorist in the city gets out his car and shoots someone for no apparent reason, or it’s the daily interactions in my personal life; that angry coworker who can’t stop slamming things or staring me down and I’ve yet to figure out what causes this rage.

The question is how did we get this way? I realize that anger is not exclusive to the United States but it seems ( At least in the West) that America seems to be such a hostile country.  A country that seems to hate anyone who is different; immigrants, gays, minorities, any group that doesn’t fit their “Ideal” America.  Anytime someone advocates with change in this country they are met with furious anger and threats. Just look at the history every person who called for peace and equality they were gunned down.  In an 18 year period, you had the murder of a President in broad daylight in front of hundreds of people ( including children) , the murder of countless civil rights leaders including Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Medgar Evers,  the murder of 3 student civil rights workers in Mississippi; then in 1968 the murder of JFK’s brother, Robert, as he was running for President, the murder of John Lennon (  A musician and someone who spoke out for peace) and the attempted assassination of President Reagan   So the violence isn’t new, we have a long history of it.

I look at other Western nations; particularly Europe;and I ask myself how they manage to pass and enforce strict gun control and also have hate speech laws making racists accountable for their ugly statements against minorities.   I am not saying Europe or any other nation is perfect and they have their share of violence, but I am saying is that in America the violence seems to go unabided.  The President will get on television say he is with the family and we are mourning, but takes no action to address the fact that guns are too easily accessible or to question the violent nature of our country. Congress refuses to enact any legislation that will take guns away from ordinary citizens even when school children are being gunned down in massive numbers.

I am not saying we should get rid of guns because I know that would never happen, I am saying that no one needs an AR-15 for protection. I am saying that parents and children shouldn’t have to live in fear when they send their children off to school in the morning.  I was doing training at work and one of the modules was about an active shoot situation and I thought to myself, only in this country. We are so violent that we are learned to accept this as a part of life, I wonder if they have these modules in Europe or Canada. I am just so sick of all this damn violence and I feel hopeless and I just don’t know what to do. I mean, there are so many of us pleading for the government to do something and they remain silent, while children are dying; literally. And what is their answer to the gun violence? It’s mental health issue and maybe we should arm teachers. Great idea. That’s like saying we have a drug problem in our community and the only way to solve this is to add more drugs; complete madness, devoid of logic.   I agree that mental health plays a role in these mass shootings but it takes a gun to kill people ( in fact the only purpose of a gun is to kill).  Without the gun, the mentally ill person can’t shoot anyone.  I don’t have anything left to say but living in this country feels hopeless and the only solution to escape the violence is to leave; I wish I could. I wish I had the money and resources so I could leave forever, there is no reason to stay here. I certainly wouldn’t want to raise a child in such a hateful and violent country, where I’d have an anxiety attack every time my child would leave the house.   Lastly I know a lot of people will disagree with my statements but if you can refrain from violent threats and trolling that would be much appreciated. I know you disagree with me but there is no call to be hateful about it.

Peace, love and harmony,

Dave

 

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Whatever happened to civility? ( Written with a nice cup of tea beside me)

I don’t know if there was ever a time when people were truly civil but what I do know is that civility is non-existent in our current society. Rudeness seems to be the norm while common courtesy is the exception. I always am amazed how people will thank you simply for being polite, as if it’s lost art; a relic from our ancient past. We are just uncivil and it seems to creep into every facet of society; whether it the current Presidency , to our media,  and right into our daily interactions.

You have a government that refuses to compromise on any issue; instead opting to insult any one with an opposing opinion. You have a President who on a daily basis name calls his political opponents as if he is in the school yard, shaking down kids for their lunch money. And what saddens me the most is that many people see this behavior as acceptable; not just acceptable but something to embraced.

You have a  media that thrives on uncivil, rude behavior. Just look at reality tv, the whole entertainment value is people fighting, insulting each other, tearing each other down. And the viewer gets off on how out of control the participants are.  Not only that but they say to themselves ” Oh being rude and obnoxious will get me famous, I will follow suit” Or look at cable news  where every debate turns into a shouting match, no one agrees but I guess that is what make it’s entertaining. But that’s the point, it’s entertainment not news.

And we deal with incivility in our daily lives; don’t we? The minute we get in our cars and face that morning rush hour.  Drivers tailgating us, others swerving into our lane, extended their middle fingers at us.  You go to 711 and woman on the cell phone sees you walking towards the door and doesn’t bother to hold the door open. When she gets to the counter, shes too busy on the phone to even interact with the cashier and gets upset when he doesn’t give her the correct change.  You get to work and no one can even be bothered to say good morning. You walk in the break room and they are gossiping about another co-worker, they don’t have the guts to say it to the person’s face. You shake your head and walk on by.  You realize you to have retrieve several items for a customer and  you ask for help, instead you get a rude response ” I’m not helping you”  or “It’s right over there”  It happens so much you don’t even take it personally anymore, it’s just because a normal part of your day; something to be expected.   When that is done, you’re fellow co-worker in your department doesn’t even talk to you; he just grunts. You ask him if he needs help and he just walks away in anger. Looking at you with the most hateful eyes you’ve ever seen and you’re sitting wondering what it is that have done to deserve such treatment.  You report the behavior to management, thinking this might resolve the issue but you realize they are looking the other way. They know it’s happening but choose to do nothing about it. And when you realize that the store manager is just as rude and patronizing as everyone else you figure it out it starts from the top. If management doesn’t respect anyone than how can you expect anything different from the rest of the staff.  It is such a chronic problem in our society; our inability to be civil. You start thinking everyone is this rude and you lose your faith in humanity; why bother being nice when they are just going to be uncivil in return.   But then you say to yourself, I will not stoop down to their level, I am better than that. I will be the exception and not the rule. I will be kind to others and respectful because dammit it feels better to be nice to people. I like to make people laugh and don’t enjoy hurting their feelings.  I just wish we could get back to civility. It hurts me so bad, because I am tired of being disrespected and devalued as a human being. I am tired of seeing it happen to other people.  All this rudeness drains me mentally and I am constantly frustrated. All I can do is pray that God helps me not to react to those people and to be grateful for those in my life who treat me with the respect that I deserve. So don’t be a jerk; be polite, be kind to others and don’t let the uncivil people of this world get you down.