Violence In The USA

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  • #76
Moonbear
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That's a point. I remember the TET offensive very well. To an extent your idea that Americans have been sheltered form violence in the last 30 to 40 years is true. But that is a sheltering from military actions, and until Iraq there were few.

We don't know poop-loops about what is happening in Iraq on a daily basis, so from that point of view I can agree.

On the home front the news media gives us every gory detail of just about everything else. They even break away form regular programing to give us a look at a high speed chase happening on the other side of the country.

We sure as heck watched the "big burn" at Waco, and extensive coverage of 911.

Again my point is that we are becoming desensitized to violence. Drugs have brought the violence out of the darkness and onto a location near you.

There were four men shot in a very upscale area of the Tucson Foothills over the week end. It was promoted almost to a point of overkill by the news media. (No pun intended.)

Violence, especially drug vilolence isn't just on the wrong side of the tracks anymore.
I really do think it is partly due to where you live, and partly due to getting wider media coverage, so when there's no local crimes, you hear about national ones.

I think I mentioned it before, but I'm not sifting back through the thread to check...when I grew up in NJ, EVERY NIGHT in the news there was a story about another murder (or two) in NYC. I was convinced NYC was a HORRIBLE place to go, because people were always being murdered there (especially in Central Park). I now live in a place where I can leave doors unlocked and never worry. But, when I visit NY and NJ, I also don't hear about as many crimes as I used to. My boyfriend's cousin is a cop in NYC, and asked him about taking the subway to a particular stop at night...he asked because when we were both younger, you'd NEVER take a subway through there if you valued your life. His cousin laughed at him for asking...told him there's no reason to worry, and that's why they have the transit cops at those stations, to keep the crime in check. It has gotten quite a bit better since when we were kids.

I know it's rather shocking when it hits home, but the change isn't that there's more violence, but rather cops aren't waiting around to get shot at before they stop someone from approaching them. A cop pulling a gun faster isn't a sign of more violence, it's a sign that cops are taking more measures to avoid being victims of that violence. When I was a kid, cops were killed in the line of duty more often...they've taken measures to stop that.

And, yes, there are always sickos in society who act violently or oddly...children cage fighting would be an example. This isn't any more or less than it was before, just the media coverage is such that you hear about it more. Again, when I was a kid, I rarely heard about that sort of stuff across the country, just the local stories...there was plenty of local news to report. Now, if there's no local story, we all hear about the story somewhere across the country. It can give the perception there's more crime, but it doesn't mean there really is.
 
  • #77
Evo
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Why ? There would be so many more important things to discuss in the news : economics, geopolitics, genuine news as opposed to pointless boring tabloids.
Human nature I suppose. Ask why people like violent sports where athletes get hurt. Then the riots by the spectators far exceed the violence of the sport. I don't happen to be one of those that enjoys seeing people get hurt.

Look at the Romans, so heralded for bringing culture and advancements to most of the "known" world at the time, yet lusted for watching people and animals being tortured and killed.

Are we more or less violent than our ancestors?
 
  • #78
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This isn't any more or less than it was before, just the media coverage is such that you hear about it more.
Why ? Why does everybody turns one's attention to those ? People seem to like it, of course politics like it, it is such an easy topic, journalist love it since it is so trivial to get more of it. But when will other voices be heard ? When will people realize that intellectual laziness actually impact there daily life, from local to global scale ?
 
  • #79
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Ask why people like violent sports where athletes get hurt.
As the Greek called it to refer to those roman animals, Catharsis maybe. Exorcism of their own fear to get hurt themselves.
Are we more or less violent than our ancestors?
I believe much less, when we count "flesh" individual violence. As the real threat out there shifts from being stabbed by your neighbour to starve from economical crisis, I think people's concerns have also shifted. Yet during the last (few) decades, it seems there was a reverse trend in the media to use more and more real life micro drama.

For the original story, I have failed to find statistics whether the ratio police brutality to attack to police service has increased or decreased.
 
  • #80
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Human nature I suppose. Ask why people like violent sports where athletes get hurt. Then the riots by the spectators far exceed the violence of the sport. I don't happen to be one of those that enjoys seeing people get hurt.
same here

Look at the Romans, so heralded for bringing culture and advancements to most of the "known" world at the time, yet lusted for watching people and animals being tortured and killed.
In the end things didn't turn out to well for the Romans. And it appears that many of our more modern problems were involved in their downfall.

http://killeenroos.com/1/Romefall.htm

Are we more or less violent than our ancestors?
Of course we are. We are just a bit more sophisticated about it. We still fill great arenas with people who want to hurt each other.:devil: The Romans may have been more brutal, but we take first place with our sheer volume of violent acts. Plus with better weapons we can kill and maim much more efficiently.

We prosecuted former Japanese soldiers for war crimes if they were involved in torture. This included water torture which was the equivalent of water boarding. Now we are doing it.

Do we have a need to be more violent than our ancestors?
 
  • #81
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For the original story, I have failed to find statistics whether the ratio police brutality to attack to police service has increased or decreased.
It is difficult to put a number on that. Some activities which are now normal for police were once rare. On the other hand as far as things like crowd and riot control we are merely a bit more sophisticated. We have Tasers, rubber bullets, high pressure water hoses, shot guns that fire a non lethal pack, and mace. This creates jobs:wink:
 
  • #82
Evo
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I believe we are only more constrained in our tendencies toward violence because of the stigma society has placed on it. As you said, we tend to fill that need for violence in more socially acceptable ways now.

As to humanino's question about why it's on tv and the news, it's is because, again, obviously people want to see gory stuff. It sells. Look at the popularity of slasher movies and violent computer games. We've replaced actual violence with virtual violence. Neither appeals to me.
 
  • #83
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I don't see the big deal about violence. Violence is like sex. Everybody wants it, but society tells us we can't. Or at least, *shouldn't*.

So what's better, waiting it out, suppressing our violent urges until we snap, or going to a football/hockey/boxing match/movie/whatever?

I used to do some Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA. Why? I can't even say. I don't like hurting people. And I certainly didn't like getting hurt myself. But there was something about the fight that made me come back for more.

Evo, you don't like violence, period. That's probably the best case. But you have to admit not everybody can be like you. Just like I don't like alcohol, doesn't mean I can expect others not to drink it.

http://www.slate.com/id/2152487/
 
  • #84
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That quote was made in reference to black civil rights and he used the term "cherry pie" depending on your source. H. Rap Brown started out as a peaceful demonstrator and then turned to violence.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0462178/plotsummary [Broken]

Police officers weren't pulling guns during traffic stops in that troubled time period.
Only for DWB.
 
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  • #85
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I don't see the big deal about violence.
You see, there was a time in my life when I was violent, or I consider now I was such then. But I was young. It did not matter what people told me, I would not care the least. I wanted to be "free". I was just a kid, hey. Until one day I realized I was one more step to dump the entire rest of life, even if for a reason which I still consider to be good enough today, but at this very moment I decided to change.

So I figured, everybody must experience the same to a certain level. When as a kid, you do like violence, when as a teenager you experience violence, and when growing up as an adult you realize what it means to have recourse to violence. Should violence be taught in school then, so as to make sure everybody understand and realize what it is ?
 
  • #86
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edward-

I agree with just about everything you have said in this thread.

My .02 cents:

The officer was in the wrong. He himself should NEVER have drawn his weapon. Lethal force is only used as a last resort, and he should never have pointed his weapon at a civilian unless he intended to kill her. (Pointing it at her head was the first sign).

America has been desensitized for sure, especially over the past 40 years. But don't lump this one officer in with my own beliefs.

My own experience of getting out of my vehicle during a traffic stop was NOTHING like what your niece went through. The officer who pulled me over put his hand on his holster, put his hand up horizontally and told me to, "Please get back in the vehicle sir!".

This was all that was needed for me to understand my position in the scenario. The guy who gets back in the car and shuts up. lol.

The officer who pulled your niece over was in the wrong, and there are a lot of different reasons this could have happened. Maybe he had to many donuts that day and was on a sugar rush... who knows.

Tell your niece to get over it (not in a mean way) and that this will not happen every time she gets pulled over. Nor will she be shot going to the ATM at midnight by a group of kids who play violent video games all day.
 
  • #87
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In the city I live we have 5-6 reported shootings a night. It's scary.
 
  • #88
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You see, there was a time in my life when I was violent, or I consider now I was such then. But I was young. It did not matter what people told me, I would not care the least. I wanted to be "free". I was just a kid, hey. Until one day I realized I was one more step to dump the entire rest of life, even if for a reason which I still consider to be good enough today, but at this very moment I decided to change.

So I figured, everybody must experience the same to a certain level. When as a kid, you do like violence, when as a teenager you experience violence, and when growing up as an adult you realize what it means to have recourse to violence. Should violence be taught in school then, so as to make sure everybody understand and realize what it is ?
Teaching violence and teaching to be violent are two different things. I'm not a violent person. Only been in one fight my entire life. But that doesn't mean I don't like violence. I watch movies, play video games, and even fight when it's between consenting people. That'd the difference between boxing and brawling. Boxers are friends at the end of the day. For them it's a hobby, a skill. Even if they are letting loose pent up anger, they don't take it personally and at least do it in a safe environment, not in a bar somewhere.

Watching a violent movie, playing a violent sport, or attacking someone on the street are the equivalents of watching porn, having sex, or raping someone. Are you going to tell me I can't have sex or watch porn because it looks the same as rape?

I mean, we do teach our kids about sex in school. So maybe we should teach them about violence?
 
  • #89
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Other the other hand, p4ppy has a point---I've met some incredibly ignorant, over the top for "I'm a cop, I've got power, I've got a gun" attitude that I couldn't believe that they weren't kicked off the force, or even allowed to be on the force due to abnormal and aggressive personalities. I worked in Psych for a few years, and with some 'lower than average' mentalities, and a couple of those cops, in my opinion, were in that 85 and below on the IQ scale.
 
  • #90
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I mean, we do teach our kids about sex in school. So maybe we should teach them about violence?
I LOVE it! Wait... I think we should teach them about real sex in school first, THEN violence...

We really dont teach our children about sex... anymore than we teach them about violence. Sex ed (sex) vs Wrestling/football (violence). But with football you get teamwork... *wink*

Other the other hand, p4ppy has a point---I've met some incredibly ignorant, over the top for "I'm a cop, I've got power, I've got a gun" attitude that I couldn't believe that they weren't kicked off the force, or even allowed to be on the force due to abnormal and aggressive personalities. I worked in Psych for a few years, and with some 'lower than average' mentalities, and a couple of those cops, in my opinion, were in that 85 and below on the IQ scale.
I believe thats exactly what she encountered.

Think of it this way...

1 in 10 cops are overstressed and strung out... ready to pull the trigger at the slightest hint of aggression.

She might have been pulled over 9 times before coming to the US and getting pulled over that 10th time.

People are the same everywhere... it alls comes down to how they are taught to deal with their most basic of instincts.

Hold a gun to my mum's head and tell me you're going to shoot her... I'm going to rage up and kill you with my bare hands as fast as possible.

Hold a gun up to the head of the monk's mother... and he's going to try and justify the nature of human ways so that he can move on in life without his mum.

Both scenarios have the same basic instincts... one just deals with it in different ways, according to how his/her immediate society has taught them.

I like to think of it as society programs out subconscious mind to react in specific situations, if those specific situations have not been embedded, then you revert back to your most basic instinct.

- An American grows up playing video games now
- A monk grows up loving nature and respecting all things in life.

ok.. my babbling is done... next!
 
  • #91
cristo
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Watching a violent movie, playing a violent sport, or attacking someone on the street are the equivalents of watching porn, having sex, or raping someone. Are you going to tell me I can't have sex or watch porn because it looks the same as rape?
Wow, did no-one ever tell you that things happening on a television screen in a staged environment are not the same as things happening on the streets in the real world?

I mean, we do teach our kids about sex in school. So maybe we should teach them about violence?
What are you going to tell them? There's a purpose to sex; a fundamental reason that kids should be told about. This doesn't exist with violence. You analogies are extremely weak, at best.
 
  • #92
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The school system translates "violence" to "aggression". If a child is abnormally aggressive... they are actually saying, he is violent! Not to mention they are telling the parent in a subtle way... get your child some help before he kills somebody!

They try to teach children about handling and controlling aggression. But it's a band-aid at best.
 
  • #93
turbo
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I don't buy the premise that our society has become more or less violent. It's a matter of what we know(or are told about). When I was a child (as a Kindergarten student) I was hauled into the principal's office because a 2nd grader had pushed me down and punched me, and I climbed him like a monkey, choked him, and slammed his head into a rock. The principal took one look at him and me and gave me a pass.

In my neighborhood, fully 1/2 of the guys of the guys in my neighborhood have have done time in the Maine State Prison, and the older guys treated me like a pit bull. They would tell some new kid that I was gunning for them, etc, and provoke a fight to see who would come out on top. I never topped 125# even through high school, but I could run 10-15 miles easily. I never wanted to hurt anybody (having been a victim of domestic violence), but I wouldn't stand for getting my ass kicked, either.
 
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  • #94
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I call people like you, "Scrappers!".

Those are the best! And after I spend 20 minutes chasing your ass around a car in the parking lot... we go inside and have beers together!
 
  • #95
lisab
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I LOVE it! Wait... I think we should teach them about real sex in school first...
No way, that'd just mess it up...

The famous Monty Python's Sex Education:

 
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