Saturday, November 26, 2005

Murder Rate in the US Worse Than Terrorism

The murder rate in the United States ought to be world class news and cited daily, instead we hear about the body count in Iraq as if it were a commonly understood standard of moral outrage. Why do Americans not hear about the US murder rate in the same way that they hear the media citing the death toll of US servicemen in Iraq? Could it be that by focusing on US murder rates, the media might have to focus on the causes of vice? Misplaced moral outrage is a symptom of social decay, which has documented links to belief systems that celebrate subjectivity at the expense of objectivity. James noted the importance of putting warnings on cigarettes versus the non-importance of posting warnings at gay establishments that death may result from encounters.

In 2004, according the US Department of Justice there were 16,137 murders in the US. (Few of these victims died for a cause, although some may have deserved termination.) The next time you hear that four or five Americans died in Iraq, remember that 44 Americans, on average, may have died that day at the hands of their own countrymen over nothing so noble as a cause (right or wrong) but over drugs, sex, pride and ungoverned hedonistic impulses. Additionally, there were 94,635 rapes and 1,367,009 acts of violent crime in the same year. Where is Teddy Kennedy, where is John Kerry, where is Nancy Pelosi or the great fat beast Barbara Mikulski on these matters? Do they raise their voices in protest? No, no their moral outrage is reserved for the really important issues like global warming, gay rights and priests who hanker after small boys. The other side of the aisle is far too quiet in this regard for my liking but they have never been accused of being soft on crime or putting judges who don’t know their asses from their elbows into positions that negatively affect or even aggravate these issues.

How many murderers do you think engage in any sort of sexual self control? Find me a murderer or rapist who doesn’t masturbate or use pornography and I will show you either a unicorn or a mental case. What is the relationship between impulsive and indiscriminate “getting off” and knocking someone off? In the old days incontinence was viewed on a continuum that led to greater and greater impulsiveness. Call it the derangement and estrangement of sin, or call it vice or non dick management but don’t ignore it. Where do psychiatrists stand in relation to the problem of impulse management? They are about as useful as the cartoon characters in a Bugs Bunny show—lots of jumping around with absolutely nothing to show for it.

When was the last time that you heard a psychiatrist say that the number one social problem in America was impulse management? When even was the last time you heard an official of the Catholic Church talk about this in plain and blunt language? I know that there are some great apologists for the Church and sound morals out there, but unfortunately, most of these individuals address these issues in such muted and diplomatic language that the value of the thinking appears lost in the marketplace of ideas. The careful choosing of words and the pursed lips of Bishops in regards to the sexual scandals in the priesthood is almost beyond comprehension. Where is the outrage? Anyone would think it was just a bad golf holiday for the Church, rather than a call to clean house. It is obvious what has happened here. The Bishops have listened too closely to their attorneys—admit to nothing, acknowledge your concerns, generate fog, etc., etc.

The US murder rate cannot serve as a justification for our policies in Iraq any more than pedophile priests can serve as a blanket condemnation of American Catholicism. These are separate issues but we really need to clean up our own house before we try to hold ourselves up as any kind of example to countries abroad. America’s inability to articulate a common moral purpose or a means of dealing with deranged impulses will ultimately feed the admiration that the under trodden and victims of crime may feel for the Sharia* or social moral code of Islam.

Sean O'Reilly
Editor-at-Large
Travelers' Tales Inc.
www.travelerstales.com


*From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Sharia (Arabic: شريعة; also Sharī'ah, Shari'a, Shariah or Syariah) is the Arabic word for Islamic law, also known as the Law of Allah. Islam classically draws no distinction between religious, and secular life. Hence Sharia covers not only religious rituals, but many aspects of day-to-day life, politics, economics, banking, business or contract law, and social issues. However, this orthodox view of Islamic law is opposed by secularist liberal movements within Islam.

1 comment:

The Green Ape said...

You raise an issue that ought to be part of national discussions instead of the infuriating political blather about "the war on terrorism" we hear, or the relentless focus on the body count of U.S. soldiers. If domestic criminals are not terrorists (those who sow fear), then I am a monkey's uncle.