Violence is never the answer

Why do some people feel like violence is the only solution to problems? It doesn’t matter that only a very few percentage feel this way: the recent shootings in Tucson and at the Chandler Fashion Center have proved that it only takes one person to do a whole lot of damage.  One man managed to shoot 20 people, and kill six of them. Why would this seem like a good idea?

So many powerful and influential leaders have also been assassinated throughout the ages, such as Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (his murder started World War I), Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lennon, to name a few. There have been more than 20 assassination attempts of US presidents; the attempts were successful on Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley and John F. Kennedy. The murder of human beings is horrible enough, but even worse is some of these people could have had a bigger impact on history if they had been given the chance to live. In Lincoln’s case, for instance, the Civil War had only just ended when he was killed; after his death, the nation lacked a diplomatic yet effective leader, so the Reconstruction era almost tore the country apart again, and the south was decimated.

Perhaps the worst part about these killings is the fear they instill in the living. John F. Kennedy was assassinated and so was his brother, Robert, during the primaries of his own run for presidency. Ted Kennedy was greatly encouraged to run for president, but he didn’t, partly because of his own fear of getting shot. Ted was quoted saying, ““I know that I’m going to get…shot off one day, and I don’t want to.”

More recently, a similar situation occurred in January in Arizona. Anthony Miller, a Republican party district chairman, resigned after the Tucson shootings because he had been receiving death threats concerning him and his family members. It wasn’t worth it to him to be politically active and have to worry about getting killed.

It’s not just people in the limelight who get murdered. Although most of us were too young to remember, 13 high school students were murdered in 1999 at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado by two of their classmates. All of those students were just beginning their lives, only to have it taken away from them.

I just wish there was some way to prevent all these assassinations from occurring. It is truly sad when great world leaders have to drive around in bulletproof cars and have 10 bodyguards surrounding them at all times. I realize many of these assassinators are mentally ill, so their actions are not completely their fault. However, I also wish we lived in a world where everyone could realize that murder is not, and never will be, the answer.