Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Instruction in Violence Leads to More Violence

Just instruction in the ways of violence may be enough to lead to more violence. From this morning’s headlines:

  • A firearms instructor is dead after trying to teach a very young student how to handle an Uzi safely.
  • During military instruction at a junior high school, a sexual advance or assault by a military instructor on a female student somehow escalated into military personnel beating up several male students in the class and trying to kill the schoolteacher who interceded. The county police had to be called to restore order.

Of course, people were already talking about the way violence in Ferguson and Ukraine was the result of slipshod military instruction and the role of assassin-story video games when students and workers plan mass killings. It is, to be sure, a slippery slope. There are things we must learn about fighting and violence, but we do not want to put so much focus on the subject that we ourselves are drawn into violent actions or into harm’s way.