Violence: Causes and Solutions

By Amarachi Ukachu

Instructor’s note: This is a report on a conversation rather than an essay. Students who missed the last class before the Thanksgiving holiday were required to do a make-up assignment wherein they had conversations with two people, one older than themselves and one younger, on the question “What can we do to reduce violence in our communities?” and then write up a report of those conversations. As Amarachi reports here, her initial interview sprawled into a multi-hour, multi-generational conversation with some very interesting conclusions.

This topic was very popular at the dinner table Thanksgiving day. At first I was interviewing my mother then the whole table chipped in. We ended up talking for hours about violence in black communities, violence in school, domestic violence, and violence against homosexuals. They all agreed that the top ten causes of violence are the media, substance abuse, gangs, unemployment, weapons, poverty, peer pressure, broken homes, poor family environment, bad neighborhoods, intolerance, and ignorance.

After we discussed the causes of violence we talked about how to solve the violence in the communities. First we must realize that there is a connection between language and violence. Businesses and sports are full of encouragement to “get out there and kill”, “massacre them”, and “beat their brains out”. Maybe our society is ready for an even higher level of conflict resolution. We also must realize the fact that the connection between violent images and violent behavior. If 30 second images can sell us lipstick and food, and change the way we vote, its seems like hours and hours of shootings, explosions, fights, and mayhem may also influence behavior. We also need to see the connection between all levels of violence. Some people may not agree but insults and tauting, umiliation and shaming are all forms of violence.

Another way to eliminate violence is to deal with the availability of guns, knives, cars, and hundreds of other things that kill people. There must be a better system when dealing with guns. Guns in America are just handed to people.


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