The latest horrific incident of violence through yet another shooting spree at a school has of course spurred the debates about to how to solve this issue. I scroll through my facebook feed and see good friends on both sides of the gun control issue. There are manifestos regarding the need for tougher gun control and there are manifestos that tout that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. There are the ever-present discussions regarding the state of mental health. There are articles that cite that more children are killed by guns in the US than any other country in the world.
To me, the issue is far larger than all described above. Thoughts began to swirl around my head that led me to research society within our country as well as cultures throughout the world. I have been researching violence as a whole throughout history. I read articles describing anthropologists’ and biologists’ conflicting arguments on whether or not violence is inherent and whether it is something which can be overcome. I have found research those shows there are at least 70 societies worldwide that resolve issues peacefully to the point where violence simply does not exist.
While it has been shown quite convincingly that violence can be inherently wired within us, whether you are studying chimpanzees or studying humans, the actual normalization of violence within cultures is the true culprit of the propagation, continuation and cyclical nature of continued and sustained terror. What was so disturbing about my research on violence is how many categories have been defined. There is interpersonal, intimate partner, societal, domestic, youth, elder, sexual, financial, psychological… and the list goes on and on. Violence begets violence.
Unfortunately, this current political climate and administration has done nothing but bring more violence to the forefront, as aggression has been continuously explained away and even celebrated. I will forever defend my position that any violence or aggression whether in word or in deed must not be tolerated. We live in a world and a culture that celebrates and is constantly normalizing brutality. There are people in this county and on this planet that live in constant fear of their next violent episode. As a human race, we must rise above and evolve to the peaceful creatures we know we can be. It will take generations, but we must forever push ourselves in the right direction.