Thursday, August 31, 2006

Attacking homeless for thrills

In cases where the perpetrator of attacks on homeless people is known, 76 percent are people 25 or younger, Stoops said. About 80 percent of attackers are white, he said.

The increase in violence may be loosely linked to the increasing popularity of so-called “Bumfights” videos and imitation videos which show homeless people fighting one another and performing dangerous stunts

This may be an example of the what I was talking about in an earlier blog, that when people have it everything easy when they are children and youths, it can cause boredom that leads, in some, to degrading behaviours. But we don't have nearly enough information to really make a good guess about what is causing this problem, other than the way right-wing politicians and talk show jerks have been expressing uncaring and negative attitudes towards the homeless and other poor people will inevitably lead to an increase in violence towards the unfortunate. Also, videos such as those noted in the article can be expected to have a negative effect. Those who think that young people are not affected by such things are either not around young people much, or don't pay attention to what they are doing. (Within a few days of the publicity about the baseball pitcher who spit on an umpire, I saw children playing in my neighborhood spitting on each other, which I had not seen before.)

Also, children who are abused are much more likely to be violent towards others; not inevitably. There are other factors, but the risk is much higher. About 95% of violent criminals were physically abused as children. Being economically well-off does not ensure that a child is not abused. I've noticed in articles about children from "good" families, where the children committed some horrific crime, at least one of the parents tend to be in law enforcement or the military. I do not at all think that is a coincidence. I'm certainly not saying that all people in law enforcement or the military abuse their children; but the nature of these occupations will inevitably attract a larger than average proportion of people who are inclined to violence, and the macho culture of these occupations is not the most conducive to nurturing skills. (I would not mention this if I were planning on running for public office, because my opponent would take my statements out of context. The media would report them widely. Even if the media reported my less interesting clarifications as widely, pretty unlikely, research and experience show that voters would be affected most by negative press, even when it is later shown to be false.)

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