An American Epidemic Essay Research Paper An — страница 2

  • Просмотров 300
  • Скачиваний 9
  • Размер файла 16

children. Between 1979 and 1993, guns killed more than 60,000 children, a figure greater than the number of Americans killed in the Vietnam War. Also, a child in the United States is 15 times as likely to die as a result of gunfire than is a child in war-torn Northern Ireland. The statistics only succeed in proving what is becoming incredibly obvious; guns have become the clearest evidence of a growing despair among many American teenagers. As one young man puts it, That s just the way it is. Guns are just a part of growing up these days. You fire a gun and you can just feel the power. It s like yeah. Who is to blame for the newest American trend? Are parents not paying enough attention to their children? Are schools not educating students on proper anger management? These are

both possibilities, but 6 out of 10 people agree: the problem lies in the media. It seems that you cannot attend a movie these days without having to prepare yourself for some degree of violence. Even family movies (those with a G or PG rating) are not immune to it. Television shows are nearly as bad, police dramas run nearly every night during prime time on major networks, exposing millions of young children to things they are not ready to see. The new wave of gangster rap shows young men boasting of killings and beatings, and the people of our country are proving to the corporations that offer these products one major thing; violence sells. Tommy Matola, president of a major music Corporation states the things that (these) young men are speaking of are things that they grew up

around, that millions of children are still growing up around. Society owes them for exposing a problem that may threaten our national security. Even a typical cartoon show averages 41 acts of violence each hour, with an attempted murder every 2 minutes. Many parents want the Government to regulate what is available for children to see, but many maintain that it is not their responsibility. As Barry Lynn of the American Civil Liberties Union put it, If you cannot persuade persons to reject what you consider to be exploitive or unhealthy, do not ask the government to impose your will on those same persons. Lately, as youth violence has been more scrutinized by the public, many new laws have come into effect. The debate over what to do with juvenile offenders is one that will never

be solved, but can be compromised to come up with a good solution. Currently, offenders who appear in juvenile court do not receive a criminal record. Therefore, when a child appears in front of a new judge, he will have no way of knowing how many times the child has convicted the same crime. The law of dismissing children from a criminal record was designed to protect them from stigma and prejudice, but more often there are negative results received not by the child, but by their victim. States have experimented with such things as punishing parents for crimes their children commit, and many have began to charge children accused of major crimes as adults. However, none of these laws have been threatening enough, as fourteen-year-old Arthur Bates has proven. Arthur spent many of

his early years in mental facilities, but after it was decided that nobody could help him he was sent home to his mother. One day Arthur chose a house at random and planned on robbing it. Once he got in he realized the owner of the home, Lillian Piper, was asleep inside. Arthur proceeded to rape and kill Miss Piper, and then have a bowl of ice cream from her freezer and drive off in her Cadillac. About an hour later police, to whom he immediately confessed, stopped him. He then told them, You can t do anything to me. I just fourteen. He was sentenced to seven months in reform school. To many, trying children as adults is the only fit punishment, but it has not been as helpful as its proponents had hoped. Usually, when these children are sent to adult institutions, they are

sexually molested and taught new crimes. When the child leaves the institution, which many call their crime school, the child is now more dangerous than he ever had been. There have been many crime camps, instituted with juvenile offenders in mind, as well. At these camps, young offenders take part in skills streaming where they learn new ways to deal with real life situations. Whether any of these options really work is really in the eye of the public, and they cannot seem to agree. As Los Angeles police detective Robert Contreras puts it, These kids are getting away with murder. They have no respect for anything and joke that in jail they ll at least get three square meals a day. Obviously, it is going to take more than one person to stop what is being called an American