Violence in America is part of our DNA
The week ended when Paul Ciancia pulled a Smith & Wesson .223-caliber assault rifle from his duffel bag and fired repeatedly at point-blank range at a TSA officer. Ciancia killed that officer and continued on to shoot another and a few passengers scurrying to safety. Airport police eventually shot him as panicked passengers took refuge in stores and restaurants. That was on November 1.
On November 2, shots were fired on homecoming weekend at North Carolina A&T State University that prompted a brief campus lockdown after a 21-year old man was wounded by a bullet shot by one or more of four suspects being hunted by the police.
On October 23, a seventh-grader, who took his parents gun to school, shot and killed a teacher and wounded two other students at Sparks Middle School in Nevada. The 12-year-old boy began by shooting a fellow student and then turned his gun on Mike Landsberry, a math teacher at the school. After that, the shooter shot himself. Lansberry, who was a Marine, served his country honorably in Kuwait and Afghanistan only to come home to be shot in a place that increasingly looks like the Wild, Wild West – the U.S.A.
Thus ended ten days of violence in America that has become all too typical -- school shootings and now even at LAX, the second busiest airport in the U.S. and sixth in the world. Sadly, these incidents are multiplying and making our schools, airports, and workplaces a dangerous place to be.
Now, we can add a shopping mall to the list of recent scenes of death and destruction. The body of Sang Ho Kim, the man responsible for killing one man and injuring another during a shocking shootout near Roosevelt Field Mall in East Garden City on September 26, was reportedly found dead on the shore of Iona Island in New York on September 30 after a four-day-long manhunt.
No one seems to have an answer to the burgeoning violence in America. What's worse, no one seems to have a clue how to stop it, or at least control for it, and no one seems to care anymore. We have become so blasé about these events that they now have become part of our DNA.
I have recently blogged about other shootings that have added to the places no longer safe to go: places chosen for their violence and vengeance by those who commit senseless murders including the Washington Navy Yard, Foot Hood, and even at a campaign stop by Gabby Giffords. America is a dangerous place to be. The real questions are why and what can be done about it.
The why can be blamed on gratuitous violence in video games, in movies, and as depicted in social media. Another reason may be the breakdown in the family unit. Still another is the increasing need for psychological testing and counseling in our schools. Young and impressionable kids often see those who perpetrate such violence as heroes and role models. Why is that the case? It is because we have no role models in society. Violence is depicted as exciting and it fulfills a need to feel strong and in control of one's destiny.
We have a sick society with warped values and we are "led" by leaders who can’t find their way out of a paper bag to act on basic, governmental-function problems, no less violence in society. Readers may not like to hear it, but we no longer are an exceptional society. Yes, we offer opportunity and freedom that many countries do not. But let's be honest, many countries also offer such opportunities and don't have the problems with safety in our streets, workplaces, and entertainment venues. Many countries have not had an epidemic of cyber-bullying and suicides.
What can be done about it? I hate to be overly-negative but I think that shipped has already sailed. We have passed the point of no return. The sickness in our society did not happen overnight and it will take generations to fix it. I know many don’t agree with me – or don’t want to believe it. But, just wait and see what happens with respect to violence in America in the month of November 2013.
Blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on November 4, 2013