Dmitri October 4th, 2007
If someone made a suggestion that Americans are violent by nature, they would of course be met with strong moral outrage, mostly from Americans. It might not considered politically correct in the Anglo-Saxon world to suggest that Americans are violent, yet political correctness can hardly cover the fact that the United States is one of the most violent nations on earth, both by crime rates and by ideological glorification of violent pursuits. In this short piece, we will discuss in brief, the various social and political factors that are characteristic of violence in the United States, Illalong with a brief overview of the facts and figures of violent crimes in United States. If you have any objection, agreement or argument against this article, feel free to use the comment form below.
A sarcastic cartoon by joyoftech.com on how Americans are more comfortable with violence than sexuality.
The United States has by far the largest number of people behind bars for violent crimes and one of the highest homicide rates in the world. According to the America’s FBI Crime in the United States 2005 data, violent crime rate in US was 469.2 per 100000 population as of the year 2005, the highest among industrialised countries. It must be noted that the American definition of violent crimes consitutes a smaller spectrum of crimes than European and Asian countries. The overall homicide and violent crime of US is comparable to that of disturbed East European and South-East Asian regions. Contrary to popular American arguments, 45.9% of the crimes between 1974 and 2004 are committed by whites, blacks make up a 52.1% and other races about 2%. The extent of crime in US can be best understood when it stands in a comparison with the rest of the world. The United States has less than 5% of world’s population and over 25% of the world’s population with criminal records.
There are several social and political factors which cause this crimes. One of them as explained above, is the inherent inclination of Americans towards violence. As is shown the the sarcastic cartoon above, most Americans would rather have their children watch a scene containing blood-lust and gore rather than a scene of intimacy or nudity. A human being with a slit throat or blood pouring out of its body is more acceptable than a human, hale and hearty but naked. Glorification of violence and war, are all covered by religious fundamentalist goups and very popular in the media. It is then no surprise that violence finds more social acceptability than love in United States. A point of note is that most American swearwords have a sexual theme, while a word ‘fucker’ is an insult, if one calls someone a ‘killer’ in America, it is a matter of pride.
Another cause of violence in America could be the large ownership of guns in America. Coupled with impusive behaviour and social acceptability of walking around with firearms, it is not surprise the a large proportion of violent crimes in America is because of guns. Guns in America is more acceptable and normal on kids than cellphones, many US states have laws that allow school kids to carry concealed handguns. There is also in incident where US authorities issued a gun on a 10 month old infant in Illinois state, admittedly the state with the strictest gun controls. If it were the 1700s and early 1800s, it would have been acceptable for an American to carry a gun to protect himself/herself from wild animals and predators, in today’s America it hardly makes sense. Issuing guns on 10-month old infants and untrained schoolkids is insanity, it is no surprise then that incidents in the likes of Columbine High School massacre and Virginia Tech massacre are exclusive to United States. The issue of gun control and gun related violence is so wide that it deserves an entire post on it for adequate justice.
The love of guns, social acceptability of violence and degradation of compassionate emotions, all point to the trait of Americans - they are inherently attracted to violence. Although there are people among Americans who are compassionate and kind-hearted, yet they have little influence in a society where the majority is attracted to violent means for their selfish ends. It is one of the primary reasons for endless wars, genocides and mass violence in the annals of American history. One might ask - what has the issue of violent nature of Americans got to do with international politics? The answer can be found, if one looks at the way Americans attempt to push their way of life down the throat of third world denizens, often with violent force and by portraying it as the only way of life worth living.