Violence in America

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There are so many American icons you won't find in the nation's rustic Amish schools. There are no sports, no bands, no sex-ed, no guidance counselors, and no college recruiters.

But this week, two terrible American icons showed up with a sickening vengeance in Amish country — murder and the gun in a schoolhouse. Five little girls are dead. The Amish are remarkably forgiving, but this is the third deadly school shooting in a week.

Colorado. Wisconsin. Pennsylvania. And violent crime is on the upturn nationally, again. Why do we do this?

Hear about the heart of darkness — why Americans, from schoolyard to highway, reach for the gun.

Quotes from the Show:

"One thing that seems to be a factor [in triggering such shootings] is the saturation publicity that follows these events." Joel Dvoskin

"The difference between the United States and Western Europe is that our [American] culture allows for a far wider scope of violence by private persons." Richard Slotkin

"The murder rate within the Amish community is almost nonexistent. Violence is not an option in Amish culture." Diane Zimmerman Umble


Schott Gilbert, reporter for WITF.

Joel Dvoskin, forensic psychologist. He served as consultant to the state of Colorado following the Columbine school shootings.

Diane Zimmerman Umble, acting dean of Humanities and Social Science at Millersville University and author of "Strangers at Home: Amish and Mennonite Women in History."

Richard Slotkin, Professor of English at Wesleyan University and author "Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth Century America."

This program aired on October 4, 2006.


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