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Causes for Violent Crimes The political right believes that the root cause of violent crime is bad genes or bad morals Not so says the left The root cause of violent crime is bad housing or dead-end jobs I believe that while doing something about the causes of violence surely requires a political ideology the only way we can determine what those causes are in the first place is to check our ideologies at the door and to try to keep our minds open as wide and for as long as we can bear I realize that this is not easily done but if you give it a try I think that you will find that violence does not have one root cause Rather violence has many tangled roots Some grow toward the left and some grow toward the right We have to find the largest ones whichever way they grow and only then can we debate how to cut them off Gary Ross in his article Moving Beyond Blame 1999 agrees that there are many contributing factors in violence today These include changing family structure the breakdown of communities villages and neighborhoods cynicism about government and social institutions the decrease in a sense of security job performance or close personal relationshipsthe decline of genuine spirituality as an ethical force in the culture an explosion of information that creates anxiety over ones worth or abilities a lack of respect for older people and an over reliance on self to find the meaning of life pp 407-408 One main cause for violence is the way families function Children learn response styles mainly through watching and interacting with the people who care for them frequently Youth can learn to lead nonviolent lives if they grow and develop in positive caring supportive families instead of in families with inconsistent caregiver behavior and examples of antisocial actions Key factors include early family and home life presence of caring
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