posted on May, 27 2008 @ 12:59 PM
If the reports on the BBC are anything to go by, violent crime in the UK is down, but knife crime is up, and knife crime on those between the ages of
15-20 is severely up. Why?
I think there are many factors involved, but culture is the biggest one. In the US, owning a gun is legal, but it's also legal in Canada, so why is
the gun crime rate in the US exponentially larger than in Canada? That has to be down to the different cultures, and as many have already said, the
socio-economic conditions and disenfranchisement of many in the US drives crime. I'll even quote Yoda on this one! "Jealously leads to hate, hate
leads anger, anger leads to suffering."
Our culture is geared towards proving to be a success, and success is now defined by what you have. The bigger the house, the car, the more expensive
the clothes and jewelry, the most successful you're deemed to be. As a human race, we all desire to be successful, but our economy is set up so that
there are those (usually from low demographic and ethnic groups) who will not, and never will have the same chances as others. We haven't taken away
their desire to be successful, and nor can we, be we have taken away their ability to be successful through underfunding local facilities and
education, poor housing, poor facilities etc, and this causes crime.
A bigger problem for me is, what defines success? The Paris Hiltons, Britney Spears etc of this world are considered successful because they have the
houses and the cars, so as a culture now, it seems to be considered OK that filming yourself having sex, flashing your va-jay-jay, taking drugs etc is
OK, if it makes you successful. 50 Cent has a movie and album out called "Get Rich Or Die Tryin'". It's not called Get Happy or Die Tryin', it's
rich. We circumvented happiness, or the idea of what defines happiness, as wealth. And these people are the role models for our youth. Our youth is
now concerned with being wealthy, and doing whatever it takes to be wealthy, and for many the quickest and easiest way is crime. MTV/ VH1 etc, no
longer play music videos anymore, it's Cribs, or Pimp My Ride, our kids are constantly bombarded with images of people with 10 bedroom mansions,
swimming pools, personal tennis and basketball courts, cars with in built TVs, DVDs, custom this, custom that. When they do play a music video, the
music video has the performer driving these cars and living in these mansions, surrounded by bikinied women, wearing fur coats and gold chains. Wealth
is being smacked in their faces 24/7, whilst they sit in their 1 bedroom studio or run down house. It's being rubbed in their faces how they are not
successful because they do not have these things, and that causes resentment.
As a culture now , our concern and definition of success is our wealth, and not our happiness. We need to re-assess that. We need to empower people to
help them find happiness, happiness that is not defined by how much money they have, but defined by allowing them to do the things they want to do,
despite their social-economic background. Then and only then we will tackle crime. Banning anything else is a futile attempt to treat the symptom, and
not the casue.