Something highly incongruous is happening around the country. On one hand, the total rate of crime, including murder, is decreasing nationwide. On the other hand, what murders there are are becoming more spectacular:
- The random killing in Duncan, Oklahoma, of a young Australian baseball player by teens who were “bored”
- The murder of a World War II veteran who is beaten to death by teens in Spokane
- The shooting of four co-workers by a North Florida man who then took his own life
And that’s just within the last couple of days. Whether guns are involved or not, there seems to be a dangerous anomie among teens, and a total lack of conflict resolution skills among many of their elders.
So frequent are these stories that sometimes it is difficult to distinguish one occurrence from another: They merge into one another, with the result that it seems everyone is out there senselessly killing people—all the time!
For one thing, the news media obviously batten on to these stories so that people watching the news or reading the paper (wait—they don’t do that any more) are sickened. Each is accompanied by a news media orgy that continues until it is time for the next news media orgy to begin.
Since I have given up on watching the news, I don’t get as badly hammered by bad news as most people. But even following stories on the Internet causes sufficient consternation.
What must other people think when they watch our news program? I am reminded of Mexican newspapers giving gory details of murders and showing photos of the bodies. At least, that’s the way it was when I used to travel through Mexico in the 1980s.