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Violence and the American Reaction

August 4, 2013

angry mobThere is no doubt facing acts of violence is tragic and extremely painful. Lately America has seen massive amounts of violence from the mass shooting at Aurora, Sandy Hook to the bombing of Boston, the Ariel Castro case and much, much more. Violence occurs in this country on a daily basis even if it doesn’t make the national headlines. Every day in this nation, someone is crying at the loss or injury.

Our national outrage is more than mourning, but violence. If we do not retaliate with like violence, many promote a violent, humiliating death for the perpetrators without full knowledge of the crime. We assume guilt based on media speculation and plot horrible deaths to the suspects before convicted; it is a vile, disgusting trend in America that we are willing to wish ill on another before we know all the facts of a case and each other.  We have learned to take our national mourning to the scale of an angry mob of villagers with pitchforks and torches.

We wonder how in a country like America would could have such violence. We ask ourselves why we have mass shootings, killing or terror. We wonder how a person could treat another with such horrid conditions. Many blame our laws, others blame the government and some will blame guns, yet very few Americans will realize we are the problem. We are the cause of our own national violence.

Americans don’t need to look very far to find this violence. We can hear the hateful rhetoric on the news commenters tearing this country apart. We can read each other’s insults on internet comment threads. We have become a people where it is so easy to lash out in hate at another person we don’t know and cannot see. Hate has become our national discourse. The violence in Americans spews from our own mouths on a daily basis and then we wonder why people commit such heinous crimes against us. We all contribute to the violence in this country. We are all guilty.

How do we break this trend of violence and hate? It starts with every individual curbing their own ego and their own pride in an attempt to understand and have empathy for everyone – yes, for EVERYONE. It is the people who often commit crimes are the ones in most need of understanding, empathy and love and when this nation ignores them they act out in violence. If we truly want to break this cycle of violence in the country, we need not only look at the perpetrators, but ourselves because the perpetrators of these crimes are often a victim of our nation’s hateful dialog.

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