Recent spike in violence doesn't reflect national trends

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Story by Ellen Becker, Managing Editor
Recently, it seems there has been an increase in violent crimes. Not just on campus, but in Warrensburg as a whole.
First there was the murder of Blaine Whitworth on Sept. 1, which rocked the entire city.
Next, shots were fired into the air in the 400 block of Jefferson Street Sept. 17. Luckily, no one was hurt.
On Sept. 23, a  student reported that she had been sexually assaulted by a male aquaintance on campus.
The next act of violence came on Sept. 26, when a male reported being struck from behind on the sidewalk in front of Nattinger-Bradshaw, and his wallet was taken.
I have even witnessed violence at my own home.
On Sept. 9, I woke up at 2 a.m. to see seven police cars parked in front of my house and about 10 police officers running through my yard, right outside by bedroom window.
They tackled a man to the ground and handcuffed him in my front yard, and then tackled a second man in my back yard.
A police report later showed that the two men were arrested for resisting an officer, robbery in the second degree, possession of alcohol by a minor and two accounts of assault in the third degree.
I later heard that they had been at a party, where they broke a man’s jaw and stole his wallet.
There are of course national stories of violence, such as the July 2012 “Batman Movie Massacre,” in Aurora, Colo. where James Holmes allegedly opened fire, killing 12 and injuring 58 others.
All of this leads me to the question, is humanity getting more violent?
Surprisingly, an article on nytimes.com states that the number of violent crimes in the United States has dropped significantly in recent years, to the lowest crime rate in 40 years, which is puzzling, even to experts.
“In all regions, the country appears to be safer,” said author Richard Oppel. “The odds of being murdered or robbed are now less than half of what they were in the early 1990s, when violent crime peaked in the United States.”
So what can we do  to lower the violence that we do see?
According to an article on  netwellness.org, violence prevention needs to occur at an early age, preferably before age 10. The article states that “behavior patterns become established and intervention becomes the goal beyond this age.”
Preventioninstutute.org says that violence is preventable, not inevitable.  “Changing the underlying conditions that contribute to violence—in homes, schools, and neighborhoods—prevents violence from occurring in the first place.”