Violence In American Society Essay Research Paper

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Violence In American Society Essay, Research Paper As shots ring out at schools across America, one cannot help but assume that America is more violent now than it has been in the past. Has America really become more violent? Violence has always been present in the world, and in America, but it seems that in the twentieth century American violence has taken on a new form. Crime has become an epidemic that affects every age group, every ethnic group, and every person in a different way, but in each case, the effect is detrimental. In many ways, the violence present in American culture today has desensitized society. In movies, on television, and even on the nightly news Americans can watch brutality and gore whenever they want. It is therefore no surprise that crime has become

more commonplace in America s society. Does this mean that because American society is accustomed to crime that violence is on the rise? Throughout America s history, there have been times of increasing violence as well as times when violence seems to be on the decline. American society is beginning to enter another period where violent crimes are decreasing according to the latest U.S. Department of Justice statistics . It is evident that social and/or economic conditions can cause these periods of semi-peace. America may seem to be becoming more violent as we move towards the twenty-first century, but in actuality, violence is decreasing across the country due to incredible social and economic conditions. Just by taking a brief look one can see that certain times in America s

history were more violent then others. America has been going through a sort of violence cycle where violence increases due to certain political, social or economic circumstances and then decreases due to other circumstances. America is currently going through one of the decreases in this historical cycle. From 1984-1993, violent crimes were on the increase. Murder and other violent crimes were being committed more often then ever before. In 1994, the violent crime rates in America began to plummet. From 1994 to 1996 crime rates in cities like Boston, San Diego, Houston and Kansas City dropped significantly. Nation wide the violent crime rates have also decreased over the last five or so years. In almost every major city, homicides and other violent crimes are occurring less

often. While violence is still present in today s society, the number of violent acts in America is down and the country is entering a period of relative tranquility. America has also gone through periods where violence is widespread and society is uneasy. During the 1960 s, the civil rights movement led to a huge boom in racially motivated crimes. The 1980 s saw a huge increase in violent crimes in urban areas as the availability of illegal drugs caused serious problems. During these two violence cycles, people waited and hoped that solutions could be found for the problems that were spurring the violence. Increases in violent crimes usually coincide with changes in the social or economic structure of our country. In the 60 s, the civil rights movement caused an increase in

racial tensions. The struggle between blacks and whites led to a huge number of racially motivated crimes during that era. In the 80 s, urban violence was sparked by a sudden increase in the use of crack cocaine. Crack was cheap which made it a very dangerous drug. The drug quickly became a huge problem in nearly every major city in America and was the cause of many violent crimes for a decade to come. These sudden increases in the violence cycle are usually unpredictable, and therefore impossible to avoid. Drastic unforeseen increases in violence like the one that occurred in the 1980 s usually last for a long time. Much damage occurs before the country comes to terms with the problem it could not foresee. Social and economic conditions can also cause decreases in violence. With