Is American Youth More Violent?

Jeremy Laurence, writing in The Independent,  argues there is something about the culture of American education which leads to repeated outbreaks of school violence in which students shoot their peers. Granted, over the past twenty years, there have been such murders in Norway or Germany or Finland, but  Laurance wonders if there is something different in America which so often results in killings. A few days ago, One L. Goh, a student at the Christian Oikos University, took out a gun and killed seven students while wounding others.

Professor Frank Ochberg of Michigan State University argues such outbreaks occur when individuals are subject to what they regard as mistreatment or bullying or they suffer form mental illness. He points out that in many cases they even openly state a desire to engage in violence. Obviously, such  feelings are found in schools throughout the world, so why do American schools display such frequent outbreaks?

One factor that is definitely American is our society’s belief that everyone has a right to carry a gun and they have a right to carry one even in schools. This is a rather strange belief and it certainly results in easy access to weapons of destruction. I understand that the NRA says people, not guns, murder. Of course, if it was difficult to get a gun, that just might reduce mass killings.

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