I have been Blogging at Open Salon (Wikipedia article, the blogging platformis no longer available) for the past few years and am now starting a new Blog here at Blogspot. This includes many posts about issues that I consider important including preventing Violence before it escalates at early child hood. There is an enormous amount of research to indicate that this starts with an abusive upbringing and escalates to bullying and other violence later in life. I have also been attempting to write about election reform, media reform, education reform, economic issues and many other things. This includes an enormous amount about how the corporations have been using propaganda to manipulate the public and in many cases the government has also done a lot of research into this.
Open Salon has been having technical difficulties at time so I may be re-posting all my old blogs here especially those that aren't time sensitive. If any of you are interested in some of my previous blogs they're still at Open Salon and it has returned to normal for the time being at least. many of the most important ones are listed on the left side below the introduction and latest comments and Blog Posts in the "My Links" section.
The following is my first opening post which was actually first posted on Tripod on 8/21/09 before I joined Open Salon
The Media often portrays violence as something that has mysterious causes that can’t be prevented and the only thing we can do is to punish people after the fact. They imply that the solution is to rely primarily on punishment as a deterrent. They rarely if ever try to find out what the causes of violence are and often indicate that this is a mystery that can never be solved. This isn’t true, there are many researchers who have studied the subject and discovered what some of the contributing causes to violence are and how to prevent them. Several authors have written books that describe effective ways to prevent violence. These mostly involve improved child care, preventing child abuse, bullying and improving social justice.
Many of the most violent felons have all come from abusive homes and suffered from trauma at an early age. This is often unnoticed when it happens since much of the abuse happens behind closed doors. In many cases if it is exposed after the victim becomes the abuser it is often portrayed as an excuse and disputed. This often happens at criminal trials where the objective of the defense is to get the defendant off as easy as possible, and the objective of the prosecutors is to get as harsh a punishment as possible. This is especially common in high profile cases where there is a lot of political pressure. For example In the Manson trial at one point the defendants were portrayed as coming from nice middle class homes. There was some acknowledgement that Charles Manson had a criminal past but it mostly focused on the crimes that he committed not on the abuse and neglect that happened to him before he committed these crimes. If more attention was paid to the abuse that he suffered before he became a cult leader who inspired mass murder then more could be done to prevent it in the future.
There are similar contributing causes to the School shootings that escalated in the late 90’s. Many of these school shootings were preceded by a lot of bullying and neglect from the administrators as well as the parents of the perpetrators. In some cases there was also a lot of abuse from the parents as well.
Whether it is school shootings or mass murder or less serious crimes they are almost always preceded by abuse to the perpetrator that could have been prevented. If we can increase public awareness of this problem instead of seeking to cover up the causes then violence can be dramatically reduced.
Several authors including Philip Greven, James Garbarino, Ellen deLara, Alice Miller, Joanne Scaglione, Arrica Rose Scaglione, Gavin de Becker and more have written about how violence can be reduced in a rational manner. Unfortunately the mass media isn’t making much if any effort to present these ideas to the public. The mass media seems to be much more concerned about getting higher ratings and catering to the emotions of the public. They generally do this by presenting it as a great drama and demonizing the murderers. There is no need to make this more dramatic than it already is and this shouldn’t mean overlooking the deeper causes to violence. Downplaying, denying or ignoring the abuse that precedes these murders makes it much more difficult if not impossible to recognize and prevent the causes of violence and eliminate them.