Why do people feel the need to fight? What reason drives us to resort to physical violence? Why are there some in this world who feel the need to assault, rob, rape, and murder others? The reason behind all of this is the moral decline in humanity over the years and especially in the 21st century. This is evident in our daily lives, in our streets, schools, and even our homes.
The concept that we must fight for our beliefs can be traced throughout history as a noble cause. In events such as the French and American revolutions people were proud to fight for their ideals. Even today as Americans we look back at our history with admiration, feeling pride for the actions of our ancestors and sorrow for their losses. But when does “fighting for your beliefs” become equal to schoolyard bullying. Sadly enough bullying is a major cause that people no longer fight for noble causes like independence. Today they fight out of foolish pride for immature reasons, such as if someone looks at them the wrong way or believes in a different opinion. When did doing the right thing become assaulting people just because you dislike them?
As not to confuse anyone, there are still good causes that are fought for today. Noble acts such as fighting for one’s country, fighting to free others from their oppressors, and/or defending one’s family are not being brought into question. The acts being brought into question are the constant bullying in schools, the crime in our very own streets, the abuse in our households, and the inhumanity of citizens in everyday life. If we continue to behave as we do, it will only get worse with every new generation. Hopefully by the end of reading this everyone will understand the effects of their actions have on the world around them.
Let us start at the beginning of our moral decline, where we are first introduced to the ways of the world, our school lives. This may puzzle you and make you think, “How does school lessen moral values? Isn’t education supposed to help build moral values?” Yes, the purpose of school is to teach your child the skills they shall need to function as they mature into adulthood. But most children are exposed to some sort of bullying. But it is no longer the old “school yard rumbles” your grandparents remember. Today with the help of social networks, like Facebook and Twitter, bullies can now harass their victims constantly. Bullying today is proven to cause some to become anti-social, suicidal, or even in extreme cases the victims can become homicidal.
Children are impressionable during the early stages of school life and are exposed to multiple things that could cause them to act out violently. Between the social media, the stress of school life, and even issues at home, it is not surprising some kids would choose to resort to violence in order to escape their problems. But we need to face the facts; violence is slowly killing us along with our morals. A study has shown that, “1 in 12 teens in high school are injured or threatened with a weapon each year (11 Facts and School Violence).” Many of the reasons weapons are brought to school is due to the presence of gangs in our schools, which leads to the next point.
Everyone has heard of a gang or two sometime in their lives and, thanks to the media, kids have the misconception that gang life is full of money, sexy women, and customized cars. “37% of US students reported the presence of gangs in their schools (11 Facts and School Violence).” But if kids knew about the death, drug addiction, and prison time they would face, kids would rethink their opinion of gangs. One of the most alarming thing about gangs in school are the amount of students victimized by gangs, ” In 2000, the number of crimes at school in which student’s ages 12 through 18 were the victims is 2.5 million. About 186,000 of those were serious violent crimes (including rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault) (Ten Hard Facts about School Violence).” It make you wonder why children all over the world want to be in a gang.
Yet the social media idolizes rappers and the “thug life” causing more and more children to long for the excitement of being in a gang. As a little quiz which state in the United States would you guess is the most violent? You would probably say New York or Texas, but according to statistics the most violent state in the United States is South Carolina (State Rankings — Statistical Abstract of the United States). This was proven by recording violent crimes in the United States and comparing them. Overall America is the most violent country in the world, mainly due to gang violence and violent crime.
http://www.census.gov/statab/ranks/rank21.html (fallow this link to see state statics on violent crime)
But even though this is common knowledge there is little to nothing done as the American people become more and more violent as time goes on. The social media continues to idealize gangs, fist fights, and many other violent crimes. Having grown up watching these images, teens get the idea that it is cool to do them. Just recently in Louisville, Kentucky there are two teenage boys were sentenced to community service and sex offender treatment for sexually assaulting a 17 year old girl (yahoo news). It does not help that they got little to no punishment for their crime, if not punished properly the boys are bound to repeat the behavior in the future. They should receive the same amount of time in prison as any other sex offender.
High school kids are not the only ones that commit violent crimes. In a study by the Domestic Violence Resource Center they found that, “annually in the United States, 503,485 women are stalked by an intimate partner.” In most cases stalking leads to rape, assault, and maybe even homicide. Although some of this cases are in fact committed my teens, their mostly committed by middle age men and women. This proves that the “innocent” children that were just misbehaving grow up to be criminals.
Although the crimes mentioned earlier are bad, the worst violent crimes happen inside the American household. In another study the Domestic Violence Resource Center found that 25% of women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. What they do not tell you in the study is that most abusers were abused as children and are repeating the behavior of their attacker. It is a sad fact but abused children often grow up only to abuse their loved ones as well. It is a known fact that adults that abuse their children were most likely abused themselves as kids.
Our decrease in values is not only evident in crime, but in our everyday lives as well. The days of holding doors and saying please and thank you are long behind us in the 21st century. In the 21st century everyone only cares about money and how they can make more of it at another’s expense. While the children think it is fun to act like hood rats, wear their pants around their knees, cuss up a storm, and fight for no apparent reason, showing that they have no respect for themselves or the people around them. The 21st century is the age of the underpants and dollar.
Lastly, violence is caused by a lack of empathy in the world today. People today have no problem harming others in order to further their position in life. Homosexuals are denied the right of marriage, a mother was beaten by her husband, children constantly fight in school, you may not realize it but you hear evidence of this every day. Today all that matters to most people is their wallets and position.
. In order to get a feel for violence in earlier times I interviewed my grandmother, mom, and little brother. According to my grandmother, Virginia Paine, schools were small and fighting was unheard of in class. The story was different with my mother, Rebecca Crouch, who witnessed more than one fight in her school life. This was not surprising, but what was is when my little brother told me that there have been a few fights in his middle school. He is young so I do not know if it is true but according to him there are more fights in his middle school then my high school, Bryan Station.
The rates of violent crimes around the world are in a constant cycle of rising and falling. When there is a lot of crime new security systems and measures are invented, causing rates to drop. That is until criminals discover new ways around the new security measures. Then crime will once again rise constantly causing the cycle to repeat itself. In the very least the security measures decreases crime for short periods of time. Most of the violent crimes in America can be contributed to gangs.
If nothing is done, violent crime will only continue to increase as our morals and values decrease. There are already organizations like Green Dot that are doing their best to lessen the violent crime in our schools. But if today is anything to go by they are getting little to no results, mainly because teenagers believe they know everything and refuse to listen. If we ever hope to put a stop to violence, we have to start in American homes. Parents, especially young parents, need to teach their children the importance of values. Then gangs and fighting must be removed from the school systems, without violence in American homes and schools all that is left for us to cure is the idolization of crime by the social media.
The reasons behind the increasing rate in violence is the decrease of moral values, the idolization of criminals, the presence of gangs in schools, and overall our lack of empathy towards our fellow citizens. I thank you for the time you spent reading this and have to ask, what do you fight for?
Barrouquere, Brett. “Teens sentenced in sex assault-Twitter case in KY.” The Associated Press. 15 September. 2012. Web. 15 September. 2012.
Crouch, Scott. “Home Interview”. 16 September. 2012
“Domestic Violence Resource Center.” NetRaising. 2012. 15 September. Web. 2012. <http://www.dvrc-or.org/domestic/violence/resources/C61/#rap>.
“State Rankings– Statistical Abstract of the United States.” U.S. Dept. of Commerce. 2012. 15 September. Web. 2012. <http://www.census.gov/statab/ranks/rank21.html>.
“11 Facts about School Violence.” 2012. 15 September. 2012. <http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-school-violence>.