Why are Americans so Homicidal?
Published 17 May 2017
Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore is a documentary that undertakes the question why Americans are homicidal. It depicts the rampant school killings in United States of America. There are long list of possible explanations why Americans are homicidal. However, there is no specific or sole cause why killings are committed. According to Moore’s documentary, easy access to firearms and, of course, racism is the key factors of killings in America. According to some research on substantial scientific evidence, it supports that developmental depression may be the root cause of many homicides and suicides that originated in failed parental and family bond. Nevertheless, it was challenged by some research. It may be one of the causes, but, there is no proof yet. Some other factors are as follows: easy access to guns and ammunitions; use of drugs and alcohol; family violence; inadequate school climate; negative attitude towards school; poverty; social and psychological disorder; association with delinquent peers; and other factors (http://guide.helpingamericasyouth.gov/programdetail).
Some arguments to Moore’s documentary suggest possible flaws.
One argument is the involvement of National Rifle Association (NRA) to the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). NRA was founded in1871 by act of the New York Legislature while KKK was founded in 1866 and became a terrorist organization. Still another thing that is argumentative in the said documentary is the international comparison of homicides with countries like Germany, Australia, Japan, etc. There is no precision with the statistics given. Some countries have more homicide cases than in America. Countries like Columbia, South Africa and Jamaica has the highest crime statistics. United States of America only comes in the 24th place and neighbor county, Canada, comes in 44th place (http://www.nationmaster.com). One more thing is the interview with Carlton Heston on the topic of racism. He said that he is not racist, but, he ones said, “US have more mixed ethnicity than other counties and we have enough problems with civil rights” (www.hardylaw.net). Moore’s arguments are not so well presented since many flaws were perceived, maybe because it was not well researched. Some facts are not accurate. However, the whole approach of the documentary in reaching out to audience’s conscience and sensitivity is well presented. It may have touched so many lives. It does not hurt if people are cautious of what is happening in our community.
Even if the documentary fail to satisfy the intellectual aspect of the viewers (since some facts are not accurate), the point of the documentary is awareness of what can possibly happen to us and to our children and children’s children. If homicides continue to occur, what can possibly happen to our community? I am convinced that killings cannot be justified especially if you are the aggrieved party. Possible causes of these killings should be hindered. As the Boston Police Department’s Youth Violence Strike Force, Operation Ceasefire main objective; it can help diminish killings especially of the innocent children as well as help possible offenders in commiting crimes if its costs are perceived (http://guide.helpingamericasyouth.gov/programdetail).
As to my opinion regarding the matter, possible cause of high murder rates in America is a psychological and social aspect. Moore did not tackle much on the developmental depression that may be a big factor in cases of homicides and even suicides. I believe that developmental depression is a big factor in one’s position later in life, although there are still no scientific studies established to support the argument. Based on the thesis conducted by James W. Prescott, homicidal deaths have increased by 16% in age group 15 – 24 years old from 1979 to 1997 (http://violence.de). I hope more people will be aware of this issue and take action to stop this. If more research of possible cause is needed, we should support it.
- Crime Statistics. (On Line). Available: http://www.nationmaster.com/
- Hardy, David T. Bowling for Columbine. (On Line).
- Helping American Youth. (On Line).
- Prescott, James W. An American Generation of Suicidal and Homicidal Death of Children and Youth. 2000 (On Line).