While Professor Rai might be on to something, there is a conditionality to his conclusions, which is, as you have to some extent alluded,

“Otherwise ‘normal’ people resort to violence when they believe the other party no longer is paying attention to their voice, their concerns;”

think for instance American fight for independence as revolution against what were perceived to be unbearable levies of taxes by the British.

It is important to note, however, that violence which is outcome of feelings of neglect can be unplanned, unscripted, can be spontaneous — a reaction to feelings of being pushed to the wall.

While wisdom of reacting, as opposed to responding can be questioned, we must note that sometimes people are so pushed to the wall, there no longer is energy for responding; only energy for reaction remains.

One of the major problems of society today is unwillingness to listen to merits of others voices. Violence in American society cannot be dissociated from this tendency which seems to have grown up until now, but which I am hopeful now is dissipating.

When ‘normal’ people feel their voices are not heard and run out of capacity for response, as the study you cite rightly notes, normal people who otherwise eschew violence can engage in violent acts.

Is there any segment of society more in need of listening ears than High School students mired in difficult family situations? When such students go to school and are made fun of, ridiculed by fellow students and we say they must bear it stoicly; when we suspend or expel them for any reaction other than ‘mute bravery’, and cocoon bullies because they did not engage in any physical acts, we create a microcosm which sustainably produces violence in American High Schools. It is time for educators, parents, school systems to help High Schoolers realize the world has become a much too complex place for ‘making fun of fellow students’ to continue to be ‘cool’. With this realization, and necessary changes in place, High Schoolers no longer will have any need for clamoring for gun control because no one in High School feels voiceless.

After all, absent some rigid moral code, both ‘intent of making fun of’, and ‘action of making fun of’, both of which require cognizance of the target of such intent and action, fail the test of wisdom.

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Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos

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