GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE 13

School Killings in America

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GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE 13

School Killings in America

We are presenting an assessment of Prof. Dr. Kudret BÜLBÜL Dean Faculty of Political Sciences at Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University regarding the matter...        

 

School Killings in America

It seems that the recent protest march and a movement that started in the American cities and spread into many cities of the world will embrace the whole World in an undulating fashion: the “March For Our Lives”. 500 thousand people most of them youths attended the rally held in Washington DC on Saturday to protest killings at the American schools. Holding in his hand a primary school student chanted “I cannot bring even peanut butter” to school. The placard reading “No to guns” was really very impressive.

 

The School Murders

The school killings in the United States of America are reaching incredible dimensions with each passing day. Children, families and people with commonsense are rightfully reacting against these killings and holding marches for the enaction of precautionary measures. In the most recent incident in February 2018, 17 children/students had been killed in a school attack. 26 students had been killed in an attack in Connecticut in 2012 and 32 students had been killed in an attack in Virginia in 2007.

It is possible to reach different figures over the internet showing thousands of annual killings of children in armed attacks that makes 5 to 19 murders of children/day in the United States of America. These figures state that the number of children killed in school shootings in the United States of America is more than double of the number of children killed in school shootings in the rest of the world.

General Murders

The school killings in the United States of America can actually be considered as an inferior element of the armed attacks prevalent throughout the country. The armed murders have four different categories: Armed attacks and clashes, armed accidents, suicides and mass attacks. Currently 92 people are killed in armed attacks everyday in the United States of America. 1.5 million people have been killed as a result of armed attacks in the United States of America since 1970 and this number is bigger than the total number of people killed in wars. 58 people were killed in Nevada in 2017 while 49 people were killed in Florida in 2016.

The mass murders in the American society are largely attributed to widespread personal arming. The Americans constitute only a 4.4% of the World population however they have 42% of the world’s personal arms. 31% of the world’s mass attacks have been conducted in the United States of America alone. Yemen is second in the World after the United States of America as regards to personal arms.

General Crime Rates

According to World figures general crime rate in the United States of America is substantially high. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) figures 1 million 195 thousand 704 violent crimes were committed in the United States of America in 2016. 15 thousand 696 people were killed. 71.5% of these murders were committed with firearms. The number of people killed by police in 2016 was one thousand 152. The United States of America is the country where most of the rape cases have been observed in the World. It has been said that 90 thousand 185 rape cases were registered in the country during the last year alone. 62% of the rape victims were said to be under 18 and 29% under 11 years of age. (http://www.milliyet.com.tr/abd-nin-korkunc-suc-istatistikleri-istanbul-yerelhaber-2501762/)

Are there any Anti-Freedoms Murders?

Although media does not see it much, actually the crime rates are terrible. However from the standpoint of our topic lets return to school killings again. When it is considered from the standpoint of school and general killings the discussions in the United States of America are generally made in the context of constitutional freedom of carrying firearms. The freedom of carrying firearms is said to be one of the fundamental and immutable rights given by the constitution to the Americans.

America is a boundless geography. Its history is full of frequent clashes with the Native Americans as well as among its own people. Therefore a reasonable discussion on the freedom of carrying firearms in this kind of a country is quite possible. Besides, the shaping of a discussion only in the context of constitutional freedoms is not much comprehensible for the people out of the American society. Because the discussion has many aspects. Evaluating a discussion only from the standpoint of constitutional freedoms in a country where thousands of people are killed every year is engaging in futile. Nevertheless more bizzare proposals can also be heard in the United States of America like the suggestion made by US President Donald Trump.  Teachers may also be armed. As a matter of fact such a resolution has been passed in the Florida State House of Representatives. How the problem will be solved by arming the teachers in a country where thousands of students have been killed every year and almost everybody has already been armed? Will the teachers be given more sophisticated weapons to stop attacks of students on each other and attacks on the schools? In these circumstances if students acquire more efficient weapons, will the teachers be given nuclear arms to tackle them? Is the United States of America thinking to start an arming race between teachers and students as it has been doing to arm some countries in the international arena? It is absolutely incomprehensible.

What Should be Done?

As Spanish author Ortega Gasset said material civilization means a difficult problem. As development grows the danger it faces also grows. The discussion on school and general murders should be pulled off from the axis of freedoms and/or banning the firearms. Apart from them, the problem has many other factors. In some of the murder examples, murderers openly share in the social media what they will do and how they will do it. Within this framework there is a need for different analyses. In this context the statement of American author Adam Lankford is invaluable. Lankford attributes mass murders to American firearms culture and students infected with the teaching that they are extraordinary and they can get everything they want to get. Especially, youths who grow up without a family, unattended and lonely in a vaccuum can get into an effort to prove themselves in the seditiousness of modern culture.

The mass murders in the United States of America resulted in more deaths than deaths caused by terrorism in many countries or a war with another country and they cannot be discussed in the context of disarming or constitutional freedoms only. The explaination of mass murders in the United States of America needs to be analyzed in the sociological, psychological, pedagogic, pathological, educational, cultural and civilization perspective. A spirituality that can restrain a materially prosperous society should definitely be added to this analysis. Feeling a need for a lesser legitimacy by the people of a country that has gradually been getting more and more aggressive in the international arena is another factor to be examined. Why did the American society felt a need for more arming than the rest of the World? Whether this situation is or is not a reflection of a deep individual and social security crisis?

I hope marches in America get a due response. Because the right to live is more precious than everything else.

 

We presented an assessment of Prof. Dr. Kudret BÜLBÜL, Dean Faculty of Political Sciences at Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University regarding the matter...

 



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