Causes for Violent Crimes.

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Causes for Violent Crimes

The political right believes that the root cause of violent crime is bad genes or bad morals. Not so, says the left. The root cause of violent crime is bad housing or dead-end jobs. I believe that while doing something about the causes of violence surely requires a political ideology, the only way we can determine what those causes are in the first place is to check our ideologies at the door and to try to keep our minds open as wide, and for as long, as we can bear. I realize that this is not easily done but, if you give it a try I think that you will find that violence does not have one root cause. Rather, violence has many tangled roots. Some grow toward the left and some grow toward the right. We have to find the largest ones, whichever way they grow, and only then can we debate how to cut them off. Gary Ross, in his article "Moving Beyond Blame" (1999), agrees that there are many contributing factors in violence today:

These include changing family structure; the breakdown of communities, villages, and neighborhoods; cynicism about government and social institutions; the decrease in a sense of security, job performance, or close personal relationships;the decline of genuine spirituality as an ethical force in the culture; an explosion of information that creates anxiety over one 's worth or abilities; a lack of respect for older people and an over reliance on 'self ' to find the meaning of life. (pp. 407-408)

One main cause for violence is the way families function. Children learn response styles mainly through watching and interacting with the people who care for them frequently. Youth can learn to lead nonviolent lives if they grow and develop in positive, caring, supportive families instead of in families with inconsistent caregiver behavior and examples of antisocial actions. Key factors include: early family and home life; presence of caring father; readiness for parenthood; parents abusing each other or their children; drug



References: Egan, T. (1998). From adolescent angst to shooting up schools. In C.R. Cooper & S.P. MacDonald (Eds.), Writing the World (pp.336-343). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's. Magnet, M. (1993). The dream and the nightmare: The sixties legacy to the underclass. In C.R. Cooper & S.P. MacDonald (Eds.), Writing the World (pp.409-415). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's. McCall, N. (1994). Fallen. In C.R. Cooper & S.P. MacDonald (Eds.), Writing the World (pp.331-335). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's. Popenoe, D. (1996). Life without father. In C.R. Cooper & S.P. MacDonald (Eds.), Writing the World (pp.369-380). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's. Rodriguez, L. (1993). Always running. In C.R. Cooper & S.P. MacDonald (Eds.), Writing the World (pp.328-331). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's. Ross, G. (1999). Moving beyond blame. In C.R. Cooper & S.P. MacDonald (Eds.), Writing the World (pp.406-408). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's. Wilkerson, I. (1994). Two boys, a debt, a gun, a victim: The face of violence. In C.R. Cooper & S.P. MacDonald (Eds.), Writing the World (pp.324-328). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's. Wilson, W. (1996). When work disappears. In C.R. Cooper & S.P. MacDonald (Eds.), Writing the World (pp.356-362). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's.

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