Violence in American Life

June 5, 1968

Report Outline
Prevalence of Violence in United States
Sources of Violence in American Life
Control of Aggression in Human Beings

Prevalence of Violence in United States

If violence, in the words of Negro militant H. Rap Brown, is “as American as cherry pie,” realization of that fact comes as a shock to a country which has prided itself on being “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” The nation's tremendous resources and the vigor of its polyglot population usually made it possible in the past to allay group tensions without great difficulty. That has become almost impossible in a time of nationwide outbreaks of racial rioting, student rebellions across the country, and endless anti-war and anti-draft demonstrations and parades.

Violence in the United States has become the subject of constant and at times obsessive discussion, not because it is new in American life but because it is different. “It is greater, more real, more personal, suffused throughout the society, associated with not one but a dozen issues and causes. It is invoked by the most rational, public and respected of our institutions, as well as by the most obscure and piteous lunatic.”

Horrors of the war in Viet Nam expand, rioting spreads in the ghettos, the assassination of a President is followed by the assassination of the leading Negro spokesman for non-violence, and suburban housewives go shopping for guns. “The sheer effort to hold things together has become the central issue of politics in a nation that began the decade intent on building a society touched with moral grandeur.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Violence in America
Apr. 29, 2022  Political Violence
Jun. 01, 2018  Gang Violence
Oct. 09, 2015  Fighting Gangs
Feb. 14, 2014  Media Violence
Nov. 15, 2013  Domestic Violence
Feb. 08, 2013  Preventing Hazing
Jan. 06, 2006  Domestic Violence
Oct. 31, 2003  Serial Killers
Sep. 03, 1993  Suburban Violence
Apr. 27, 1979  Violence in the Family
Jun. 05, 1968  Violence in American Life
Crime and Law Enforcement