Russell Hebets Sept. 4, 2013

James Francis Edwards, 15, Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and Michael Dewayne Jones, 17 are three teens that decided to end the summer by killing an Australian college student, 22-year old Chris Lane in Duncan, Oklahoma. This horrific incident took place on Tuesday, August 20th. However, a violent incident like this happens all too often in many parts of the United States and as well as elsewhere. At the moment, South Africa faces a high crime rate but is hardly making international headlines. They call it black threat: “Swart Gevaar”, in white neighborhoods of South Africa. For many South African blacks it is time for revenge or retaliation to lack of improvement of their poor living conditions. Murders, violent burglaries and killing of the white farmers is on the rise in South Africa but many of us are not aware of it.

Violence is increasing especially where social-economic hardship exists. There are many factors to be blamed for violence especially among the youth. Some may consider it a race war but others will argue whether parents are at fault for not teaching morals to their children. Violence has always existed since human beings learned to make a creative weapon but with the advent of the internet, we hear more often selective and thrilling news sensationalized by the news media. In the modern world, we have lobbyists or interest groups who benefit from sponsoring these stories. The main difference between the present and the “back in the good ol’ days” is that we live in a civilized world and very much connected by technology. We have the intelligence and resources to provide free education and other programs to our children, the future generation but it is simply not that profitable for the few.

In a civilized world, can we achieve free energy, free education, and free healthcare for all? It is possible to reduce disease and poverty if not completely eradicate it. We can provide food and shelter to the needy. We have the good example of Scandinavian nations where people are the happy and enjoy their freedoms. Netherlands has closed more than a dozen of prisons because it had a shortage of criminals. It is pragmatic to think we can achieve the same to reduce crime rate and make our communities safe. Collectively, we can build a strong society and a healthy environment not just for us but also for our future generation.