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  • Writer's pictureHoward McBroom

Louisville, Kentucky and Dadeville, Alabama; Culture of Violence

A culture of violence seems to have taken over our country. A week or so ago in Louisville, Kentucky there was a mass shooting at the Old National Bank where five people were killed, including a close friend of the Governor of Kentucky. The perpetrator was an employee of the bank who had mental problems and was undergoing treatment for it. He had been given a letter of termination from his job, and just a few days later, he left a letter to his roommate saying he was suicidal and was going to commit a murder at the bank. The roommate immediately called the man’s mother, who then called the police warning them that her son was on the way, but it was too late - he was already there and had killed five people before then being shot himself and killed by the police. This hits close to home for me because I grew up in Jeffersonville, Indiana, which is just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky.

More recently in Dadeville, Alabama, there was a Sweet 16 party occurring at a dance hall when people came in with guns and two groups of kids started shooting at each other, killing four people, including the star athlete brother of the girl who was having the Sweet 16. These people all went to a party to have fun and to honor a young girl who was turning 16, and they ended up dead. This is the culture of violence that has taken over our country. It seems that people believe cold, hard, brutal violence is the way to solve problems. They think guns are the almighty power. It is this culture of violence that needs to be changed and if we want to stop the violence, we’re going to have to address the root problem; we can’t do that by just passing more gun control laws. We are going to have to take a full scale emotional and psychological offensive against this culture of violence. We need the President to declare mass murder a national emergency and we need to have a conference of people from across the country to address this problem. We need radio stations, television stations, and social media sites broadcasting around the clock stating that violence is not the answer. We can’t make America better through violence. We need to set up special schools for people who have problems with violence where they can learn the skills they need to resolve difficult problems without committing crimes. We also need schools to make violence prevention part of their core curriculum. Every school in this country should have a violence prevention program and they need to be taught by people who are specialists in this area. We need hotlines that people can call if they are feeling violent and we need to have clinics people can turn to for help. We have to deal with this culture of violence. Yes, assault weapons should be banned, but this is more important. We must deal with the emotional, social, and psychological root causes of this culture of violence because if we don’t change it, nothing else will matter. It won’t matter how many guns we ban, people will continue to find a way to get more weapons and kill. We need to make major societal changes and have violence prevention programs that angry people can go to in order to acquire the skills they need to solve their problems in a healthy way. We have to teach respect for human life and we need to find ways to get through to these violent people. If we don’t, we’re not going to have a country much longer.

Our society is collapsing and disintegrating under this culture of violence. Sooner or later, something is going to have to give; we can’t go on like this. Society isn’t going to last much longer if we have to keep wondering if we’re going to get shot every time we walk out the door. How long can we live like this? We shouldn’t have to. Gun control will be of little use against this bigger problem. It will help, but that in itself can hardly stop our culture of violence. We need to put our efforts elsewhere and if we don’t, our country will either disintegrate into total anarchy or it will turn into some sort of extreme right wing dictatorship. Democracy and inclusion cannot survive in a world where we have to live in fear every day that when we walk out the door, we might not come home alive. That is the problem that needs to be addressed. We need to start doing it now before it’s too late.

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