Violence! Our Fastest-Growing Public Health Problem

Violence! Our Fastest-Growing Public Health Problem

Violence! Our Fastest-Growing Public Health Problem

Violence! Our Fastest-Growing Public Health Problem

Synopsis

Examines the roots and outward manifestations of aggression and violence, the role of society and the individual, and what can be done to lessen the trend toward violent behavior and encourage a peaceful approach.

Excerpt

Violence is necessary; it is as American as cherry pie.

--Black militant H. Rap Brown,
in a 1966 remark

Violent behavior, the application of great physical force to damage or destroy, has been with us from the dawn of history, and it is not only an American problem. Before there were newspapers or radio or television to alert us to its presence, before there were any police and prisons to protect us from those who practiced it, violence existed. We know from the Bible that Cain, the firstborn son of Adam and Eve, committed the first recorded murder when he killed his brother, Abel, in a fit of jealousy, and was cursed by God, who set a mark upon him for it. Anthropologists can tell us, from the ancient evidence of human skulls shattered by hand axes, that primitive man destroyed his enemies and his rivals; we do not know his reasons, but chances are he did it to protect himself or his property, or out of rage, or because of some uncontrollable impulse he could not understand.

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