Influences that lead to youth violence

Essay by jokggaCollege, UndergraduateA, February 2004

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It seems that America has huge misconceptions regarding the amount and type of violence committed by adolescents, especially within a school setting. Although statistics have proven that violence among youth is on the decline, this issue still remains to be considered a social problem. Barry Glassner's article, "Killer Kids: Trend Making and Misdirection' blames two major strategies for this misconception: the medias focus on isolated incidents and portraying them as trends, as well as misdirection. It is no secret that the media has played an instrumental role in targeting the isolated incidents and then give off the image that these events are a growing problem. Due to this focus, many Americans feel that youth violence is one of the leading problems in America, which could not be any further from the truth.

Glassner's article was well written and came from a perspective that most people have not even begun to think about or research.

What was most impressive was his use of statistical information to drive home his point. He also questions what people should have been questioning after the shootings, which is how did these kids have access to or obtain the weapons used in the violent episodes. Instead of asking that question many Americans were quick to point a finger at something or someone else. After Columbine there was a frenzy of blaming amongst Americans that ranged from Marilyn Manson to trench coats. Everyone looked to other problems to justify the reasons for the crisis at hand. Glassner does an excellent job of combining both facts and opinion in his essay, which made more viable.

This so called social problem of youth violence has created another issue far beyond that of just violence. It has instilled a fear within many Americans about the safety of their schools,