After 2010 saw a 40 percent rise in the death of law enforcement officers in the US, government officials have this week moved to resolve the issue and offer better protection to those who serve their community. Police representatives have come under increasing fire while in the line of duty, and are currently shouldering the burden of a growing unrest and ill conduct that discerns contemporary society. While the vast and unchallenged presence of firearms is undoubtedly significant, there is also the issue of people’s diminishing respect for figures of authority.
Declining Values in Liberal Times
It is all too convenient to attribute the rise in violent crime with the existence of firearms, but this does not make any allowance for human behavior and values. Guns are clearly dangerous and potentially fatal weapons, so there is always likely to be concern and instances of misuse when they are so prevalent within a culture or community. However, were they not to exist, then humans who choose to perpetrate acts of violence would simply find a different methodology, and use this instead to suit their purpose.
So, we must address the values and attitudes of people who use guns, and maximize these findings to cultivate a more socially suitable behavior. If we look at society as a whole, then there is a clear degeneration in the conduct of young adolescents and teenagers, which is reflective of both their environment and a decreasing level of respect for their elders. This individual ethos is conditioned in early childhood, and if encouraged or unchecked then it will manifest itself though violent or anti-social tendencies in later life.
Very few individuals are born with ill intentions, so it is the environment that they are nurtured and grow into that is the primary influence on their character. These formative years should be structured and disciplined, and well managed by parents in terms of the balance of activity that their child receives. By achieving a successful equilibrium in all aspects of their childhood, and being restricted in terms of their television and video game exposure, youngsters will be equipped to grow into well rounded and thoughtful adults.
The Resentment of Authority in Contemporary USA
A balanced and well structured lifestyle is one thing, but what about the principles and values that youngsters are taught by their elders? This is where contemporary America may have a further problem, in relation to parents and adults who themselves were poorly guided through childhood or have developed an acute disregard for their society or government. Here we have adults with either genuine or fanciful grievances, which are then manifested in resentment and shared with a younger and more vulnerable generation.
This issue of resentment may be the key, as this can have a huge impact on the way that authority figures are viewed in the US. For example, in periods of economic hardship and financial deficits, it is not uncommon for various sections of society to feel threatened or persecuted by the fiscal sanctions of a government. This breeds a diverse range of emotions dependent on the individual, from apathy and mistrust to more aggressive feelings of anger, which can prompt either a verbal or physical act towards others.
Regardless of whether a person’s anger is caused by a local government or federal policy, its manifestation can be targeted towards anyone within a position of authority, as it is the reaction to a perceived oppression that is significant rather than attacking an individual organization. Subsequently, law enforcement officers or public sector workers are becoming vulnerable to the machinations of those who wish to take issue with the government, as they are all viewed by specific groups as a symbol of victimization.
Tackling the Issues as Part of a Resolution
With the rise in law enforcement officer deaths and the soaring number of hate groups active within the US, the manifestation of social angst is available to witness through many different forms. This is undoubtedly having a significant effect on the children and adolescents of the US, who are learning by their elders physical or verbal examples and establishing their codes of morality and principle as they do so. Without significant and long term action, the authority of the US will continue to be challenged in an increasingly frequent and aggressive manner.
While any action must be decisive and considered enough to survive changing circumstances, it must take into account the stressed nature of US society at present. With vast public spending reductions necessary to negate a $1.5 trillion national deficit, high unemployment and soaring social tension, the country is experiencing especially challenging times. These individual issues also need to improved or resolved in order for society to make any significant strides forward; as there is no point in seeking solutions when the initial problems continues to exist is some guise or another.