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Argument-based Homicide in America Feeling alienated by fellow classmates two students at Columbine High School in Littleton CO who referred to themselves as the Trench Coat Mafia went on a rampant killing spree which took the lives of themselves twelve other students and one teacher Obmascik 1 This incident caused an immediate plea for more socially responsible communities assuming that greater moral values would curb the likelihood of these argument-related homicides This relies on the notion that greater social organization will lead to a decrease in the rate of crime Dov Cohen in her article Culture Social Organization and Patterns of Violence shows that in the West which includes Colorado and South where a culture of honor persists there is a higher rate of argument-related homicide that in other areas of the country the North More specifically in the South and West more organized societies have a higher rate of argument-related homicides than less stable ones Argument-related homicides are far more prevalent in the South and West than they are in the North Cohen 412 This is not merely supported by the number of argument-related homicides in the given regions but also by the beliefs within the cultures Southerners and Westerners support honor-related violence more than Northerners and also react more aggressively when insulted Cohen 408 In addition laws in the South and West are more likely to support those who use violence consistent with honor Cohen 409 For these reasons it is hardly surprising that argument-related homicide is more common in these regional locations The more stable communities within these regions are more likely to be on the extreme sides The morals ingrained in the more stable Northern communities do not find this behavior acceptable and argument-based homicide is therefore more common in less stable communities The opposite is true in the South and West The stronger communities condone these actions and they become more common than in those places that
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