After Columbine and Virginia Tech, the research below makes the argument:
"Once there is war, government needs to recondition people to be willing to kill others and accept the killing of others, on a massive scale, and they begin handing out rewards. ... This message gets out into the general culture. And with TV, it's everywhere. The Iraq war has been covered in obscene detail, glamorized even."
Makes sense? Here’s selected parts of the article, which will be linked soon, if I hear back from the author. RON DZWONKOWSKI is editor of the Free Press editorial page:
Elliot Leyton closed his final lecture before retiring three years ago with a warning for America. He forecast that as the war in Iraq dragged on, the United States would likely see a rise in violent crime, even catastrophic mass homicides.Could this be why even common sense gun legislation is impossible to pass? Could this be the reason gun homicides and injuries are common place now? Guns are nothing more than another way to solve a problem, and not a frightening extreme.
Leyton was not just guessing. An anthropologist, he is an internationally regarded expert on such subjects and the author of a definitive 1986 book published in Canada as "Hunting Humans: The Rise of the Modern Multiple Murderer," and in the United States as "Compulsive Killers: The Story of the Modern Multiple Murderer." The kind of horror that erupted last week at Virginia Tech University … he was no less stunned by the toll. "At one level, nothing surprises me anymore, but when I heard how many, I gasped," he said.
Leyton said the upsurge in American bloodshed could be tied to our endless war. His supposition is based in part on the work of two researchers at the University of California at Santa Cruz, who linked a spike in homicides to wars from 1900-74. For their 1984 book, "Violence and Crime in Cross-National Perspective," Dane Archer and Rosemary Gartner (said) There was always a war-related spike, although most often near the end or just after a war.
In the fourth chapter of their book, the researchers discuss "official violence," that is, when the government does it for a cause, as in war, and they say that "what all wars have in common is the unmistakable moral lesson that homicide is an acceptable, even praiseworthy means to a certain end."
Leyton said a nation's culture undergoes a change during wartime. "In peace time," he said, "the efforts of the media and the government are devoted to rewarding progress, building social systems and encouraging people to get along. Once there is war, government needs to recondition people to be willing to kill others and accept the killing of others, on a massive scale, and they begin handing out rewards. ... This message gets out into the general culture. And with TV, it's everywhere. The Iraq war has been covered in obscene detail, glamorized even."
And clearly, violence begets violence, or thoughts of it, as shown by the spate of school threats that have followed Virginia Tech, and also followed the Columbine High School killings, if you recall.Leyton said his research into mass murderers indicates that as their rage develops against a person or a group or an institution, they begin making destructive plans. And then something triggers deadly action that almost always ends in suicide.
So in a sense, could Cho and 32 people at Virginia Tech be more casualties of the Iraq war? That's stretching the point. And if the campus slaughter wasn't unnerving enough, consider, as the war goes on, the grim forecast from "The Man Who Studies Murder."