Why so much violence in Australia?

Why so much violence in Australia? Written by Bill Bradford

Why so much violence in Australia?

Increase in violent incidents and the severity of violence in younger people is a most disturbing trend in Australia. The "king hit" or "coward's punch" has been around for a long time, but now seems to be so common that you have no surprise when it is reported repeatedly on the nightly news, either in the notorious King's Cross area of Sydney or the night club area of Brisbane. Young people have died when they have been hit from behind, for no apparent reason. Then there are the regular brawls and fights among drunks who wander around on the streets of these booze flowing areas. I always wonder what the great attraction is to go to a nightclub anyway in order to imbibe in their expensive drinks and do sleazy dancing. That alcohol fuels this violence is not a mystery. Alcohol typically allows the true, deeper feelings and emotions to surface freely, and they are expressed without the restraint of sobriety.

The question is, why is violence so much a part of our way of life? The "coward's punch" and fights on the dirty, vomit drenched streets of such low places in our cities, is only one stop along the way. There will be worse to come, as we shudder from the news of another dead youth, or brain dead young person who was robbed of a potential life, from someone trying to gratify an unrestrained deep inner urge.

There has been plenty of analysis of why this is happening. There is a cause and it will get progressively worse. Most of us with any understanding of how human nature works can understand why.

Most studies explain this behaviour in terms of risk factors—individual characteristics, family factors, school/work factors, association with peers, and biological factors (I haven't figured this one out). Notice how this is analysed. Are these the real causes? Some would venture into relationship with parents—getting closer, but still off the mark, as if the little darling felt he was deprived in some way. There may be some validity to that, but this is really saying the individual is not taking responsibility for his or her own actions—someone else is to blame and in this case, parents. According to this logic, maybe the parents ought to be locked up when their child offends (now there's a thought).

Paul said that in the last days dangerous times would come. Men would be lovers of their own selves...brutal...despisers of good...lovers of pleasure...to name a few which tell us the level to which the "get" way and the unrestrained self pampering has come.

One can imagine the first child born to humans was made to feel special, privileged and unaccountable. When he was thwarted in some way he administered the first coward's punch. Abel didn't see it coming. Abel just didn't think the way Cain did. God warned Cain ahead of time to get a hold on his anger. The surging power within him to regain self-importance overcame any caution to control himself.

Most young people are out to prove to their peers they have what it takes. They so desperately want to be accepted and significant—powerful human drives. Anyone jostles them as they are exiting from a night club, is fair game. Anyone gives them a sharp word or a suspicious glance is fair game, especially if his back is turned. It's easier that way and full bragging rights are claimed. They will have a long time to think about it in jail. The momentary self-gratification it gives the perpetrator also gives the victim a lifetime of anguish.


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About the Author

Bill Bradford

Bill Bradford

Bill Bradford is a contributor to United Church of God publications in addition to being the pastor for several United Church of God congregations in Queensland, Australia.

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