Preventing Teen Violence Essay

1086 words - 4 pages

Violence is defined as the intentional use of force to harm a human being. Its outcome is injury (whether physical or psychological, fatal or nonfatal). Violence among teenagers is on the rise, and has been since the early 1980's. In my opinion this is due to the increase of violence in the media, the astounding availability of firearms and the lack of proper guidance in the home. Northeastern University's College of Criminal Justice reports that from 1985 to 1993 murders committed by people over the age of 25 dropped an impressive 20%; meanwhile they increased 65% for people between the ages of 18-24 and an astounding 165% growth for teenagers 14 to 17. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, in 1996, 6548 young people 15-24 years old were victims of homicides. This amounts to an average of 18 youth homicides per day in the US. It also states that homicide is the second leading cause of death for persons 15-24 and is the leading cause of death for African-American and Hispanic youths in this age group. There are a few things that we as Americans can do to stunt this problem, and it starts with the home. By focusing on the home first, we as Americans can drastically reduce the amount of violent crime committed in the US.

Violence in the media is getting way out of hand. Hollywood realizes that the more violence that it shows in its movies, then the more likely it will have a larger box office draw. Some movies need to start being rated NC-17, we have the rating but it seems as though the only reason it is there is for pornography. What is the point of having such a rating and never using it, several movies come to mind that I believe should have been rated NC-17. One in point, The Matrix, it's heavy gun scenes were not appropriate to the impressionable minds of some young teens around the nation and even to some adults capable of doing horrible things. The shooting at Columbine High School sounded eerily similar to a particular scene in the movie and it is impossible for me to ever see the movie again without thinking of the town of Littleton, Colorado.

Another issue that comes to mind is the grotesque availability of firearms in the United States. The Gun Control Research Center reports that there are still 24 states in the union that have no statewide handgun purchase law. Now I'm not sure if this means that any 12 year old kid can walk into a gun shop and buy a handgun, but it sure does mean that a Dylan Klebold or an Eric Harris can get a hold of semi automatic machine guns and rifle and rampage a suburban high-school. However the society as a whole may be losing some valuable time if we confine our public debates and agenda to the issue of gun control, because that and violence in the media are not the only concerns.

The first and foremost responsibility of every person is to be there for his or her family. Today, too many people are not "getting to know their children", knowing who their...

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