TBT- Violence in America and Dad’s Newspapers

Every week it seems we read of another shooting, followed by questions and more violence. We read that the numbers are decreasing despite what “He Who Shall Not Be Named” and his followers are reporting. I have looked at the statistics and charts on many sites, which appear to confirm this. Increases in a few cities does not reflect the overall facts that violent crime seems to be down. I was educated in mathematics, so I understand the charts and statistics.

Lately, however, it just does not appear to be so. I think that we are just hearing it so much because news can now be reported instantly from all corners of our nation, and the mass shootings makes it seem as if the numbers are increasing. I feel better reading the reports, I guess. But it can be much better.

I pulled out an old newspaper from Dad’s archives. Reading the headlines makes it appear as if the article was written today: Violence Surfaces in American Life.

Violence stalks through American public life like a poison shadow: waiting, waiting, and then—striking…. “Violence by gun is an American trait,” said Dr. David Abrahamsen, a New York psychiatrist experienced in criminal cases. “We are still living under the legend of the Wild West where action was the easiest solution. On the frontier, settlers solved their problems with a gun.”

 Sadly, this article was written after the 1968 shooting of Bobby Kennedy. Forty-eight years later, we still haven’t solved this problem. It has been around for over one hundred-fifty years. My friends from Ireland shook their heads at me and said none of them could understand the American love of guns.

As in so many of the articles in Dad’s treasure-trove, I again see that history keeps repeating itself, yet we just can’t learn from our mistakes. Isn’t that part of the reason we should learn? You put your hand on the stove, get burned, and then hopefully learn a lesson. Why is it that only children can learn from their past experiences?

Violence Surfaces in American Life

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About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as ancestry.com, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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