Thursday, December 13, 2012

V is for Violence


Violence 12-13-12

Image courtesy of Simon Howden at

I’m having a “what is this world coming to?” moment. 

Yesterday, a young man in Oregon randomly (apparently) shot total strangers before killing himself.  That was just the latest in a string of public shootings that seems to stretch longer and longer as  I grow older.

And here at home (well, not my actual town, but my local big city), we’re setting homicide records these days.  We’ve had 95 so far this year, up from 60 back in 2011.  What is up with that?  I know 95 might not seem like a lot to some of the really big cities in the world, but wherever you live, I hope we can all agree that it’s 95 too many.

And let’s not forget about home invasions, armed robberies, and various assaults along the way.  Earlier this week, our local news was carrying a story about a fight between several young women that was caught on video tape.  Bad enough these girls thought the best way to solve whatever problems they were having was by slugging it out on a public sidewalk, worse still that rather than intervene, someone else thought the best way to react would be to film the incident and then post it to Facebook.  Seriously, if these sorts of things don’t make you stop and wonder what the world is coming to, I don’t know what will.

And speaking of the world, what about the wars?  People everywhere fighting for whatever their cause might be.  I’m not here to speculate on which of those causes might be just—any or all of them—but I am wondering if shooting, and bombing, and killing is the only way to solve the problem.

Sadly, I don’t have any answers.  I promise you, I would not be sitting here typing this if I did; I’d be out fixing things.  But I am a firm believer that violence is rarely the answer. (Really, the correct word is probably never, but I’ll grant that there are any number of circumstances I’ve never confronted, so I’ll hedge my bets just a little).

But maybe—especially at this time of year, when everything is supposed to be about peace on earth and all—maybe if we all just take a moment to deliberately think about the need to end the violence in our world, then maybe the idea will begin to spread.  We’re supposed to be the most advanced creatures on this planet, so surely we can find a way to work together to find more constructive ways to deal with our differences.  That’s something I’d like to see the world coming to.

Linking up over at ABC Wednesday; venture on over and enjoy the various ideas you’ll find.