Maybe I remember more clearly than you do, but
by Ziks511 - 12/16/12 4:33 AM
In Reply to: Violence by TONI H
teen gang violence in the 50's was the basis of West Side Story. Big cities had adolescent gangs armed with zip guns, and knives and baseball bats. Big cities had grave Heroin problems, and the crime rate was high though tailing off until the Baby Boom generation became teenagers and then it started to climb again. It peaked about 1992 and has been declining ever since. It is now back to 1972 levels, a period I remember as pretty wonderful except for the War.
I will say that kids were far less well armed then, now they seem to have unfettered access to huge stores of weapons and ammunition. The world always produces aberrant individuals, and it sounds like his mother was a tyrant in the home. He moved out, and then was disposessed by Hurricane Sandy, lost his independence and moved back in with Mom, and he snapped.
There are lots of people who talk about doing stuff like this, who never do it, and there are atheists among those people, just as there are fine church goers who shoot up the congregation. Having a Moral Compass is not dependent upon active religion. We all learn what is right and wrong. Some damaged people don't care about right and wrong, and some just have a psychotic break, which has nothing to do with a religious core, it is more a neurochemical situation brought on by excessive stress and not having learned how to deal with it.
I believe the old Mafia was a collection of people brought up in the traditions and strictures of the Catholic Church but that didn't prevent them from becoming murderers. And David Koresh was a very religious guy, as was Jim Jones.
The entirety of American society is governed by laws and precepts that arise out of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. You don't have to attend church to get the orientation, it's everywhere and in virtually every book and most television programs.
Being religious doesn't stop people from being outraged by a simple statement of fact by Bob Costas, that if there hadn't been a gun in the equation, that two people could still be alive. Not guaranteed, but less likely to have ended in murder suicide. And if she'd been armed, both of them could still be dead.
There is no easy answer to this, though I do think that the evening news has a responibility not to glory in the spilling of blood as much of it does.
Any one remember Charles Whitman? Or Richard Speck? or an endless list of other creepazoids. This isn't a modern disease. Sawney Bean and his cannibal family terrorized medieval Scotland, and Deacon Brodie, a Deacon of the Presbyterian Church, was the great criminal king-pin in 18th Century Edinburgh. It is a simple fact of life that there are people who act this way in all times and places and there's no way of escaping that. Now, fewer weapons would help IMO, but most serial killers don't use guns.
Like I said, there is no easy answer.
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