Are Our Children Emulating Our Violent Ways?

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Road rage. Contract killers on the loose. Police and gang shootouts. Domestic violence that leads death and suicide. A primary school teacher ice picked in full view of her students. It seems to be a recurring cycle and they’re all being played out in front of our children every single day. Young and impressionable minds are absorbing these daily gory displays oftentimes involving parents, and siblings. And in some of the more horrific instances, the kids themselves have been the victims. Over the last few weeks we’ve had the displeasure of witnessing a spate of gruesome crimes from the death of an entire family in a car in Toco to the shooting of a teenage girl in Carenage, the victim of crossfire between residents and police.

This week alone, 2 very troubling instances of violence gripped the attention of everyone. On Mother’s Day, a man was shotdead and a woman injured in a car in plain view of their 2 young children seated in the back. And on Monday, the infamous brawland stabbing of a woman during what appeared to be a case of road rage along the Churchill Roosevelt Highway. While the latter did not directly involve children it did play out repeatedly on social media for all to see as it went viral almost immediately after it was recorded by another motorist. There is also the matter of the children or relatives of the fighting trio who would almost certainly be traumatised by that gruesome attack.

The dilemma of children being exposed to extreme violence is not one that affects this country alone. America, a nation that we are infatuated with in many ways has its own set of issues. Among the most prominent are the very frequent school shootings that have claimed the lives of dozens of children over the last decade. So severe is the problem that Florida has passed legislation allowing specially trained teachers to carry concealed firearms to school. The United States also expends millions annually on counselling for the thousands that are left traumatised by these highly unpredictable incidents that seem to be perpetrated mostly by disgruntled  or psychologicallydisturbed students.

Comments on social media following Monday’s highway stabbing have varied. While some believe that we are now demon-possessed, others are certain that it’s an ongoing cycle. That the violence that has traumatised some as youngsters is now being played out in full view, only that there are now cameras everywhere to capture and share the footage in the blink of an eye. What are we doing to our children? What is being done to break the cycle and shield them from the horror that continues to stalk us almost daily? It may seem impossible now but if we are really serious about doing something about our tendency to be so volatile there most certainly is a way to address it.