Safety from Violence
Please note that this section contains my personal notes from my readings on this topic.
- In the last two years alone, more Americans died from gunshot wounds than were killed during the entire Vietnam War. By contrast, in all of Japan (with a population of 120 million people), the number of young men shot to death in a year is equal to the number killed in New York City in a single busy weekend. Our armed robbery rate is one hundred times higher than Japan’s. In part, that’s because we are a nation with more firearms than adults, a nation where 20,000 guns enter the stream of commerce every day. (The Gift of Fear (1997) by Gavin de Becker; page 7)
- Neither privilege nor fame will keep violence away: In the last 35 years, more public figures have been attacked in America than in the 185 years before that. Ordinary citizens can encounter violence at their jobs to the point that homicide is now the leading cause of death for women in the workplace. (The Gift of Fear (1997) by Gavin de Becker; page 7)
- While we are quick to judge the human rights record of every other country on earth, it is we civilized Americans whose murder rate is ten times that of other Western nations, we civilized Americans who kill women and children with the most alarming frequency. In (sad) fact, if a full jumbo jet crashed into a mountain killing everyone on board, and if that happened every month, month in and month out, the number of people killed still wouldn’t equal the number of women murdered by their husbands and boyfriends each year. (The Gift of Fear (1997) by Gavin de Becker; page 7)
- We all watched as bodies were carried away from the Oklahoma City bombing, and by the end of that week we learned to our horror that nineteen children had died in the blast. You now know that seventy children died that same week at the hands of a parent, just like every week — and most of them were under five years old. Four million luckier children were physically abused last year, and it was not an unusual year. (The Gift of Fear (1997) by Gavin de Becker; pages 7-8)