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Violence: Is It The Answer?

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Criminal Justice

Angie Tribeca

Goodwill Executives Arrested After Years Of Skimming Donated Goods Off Top

ROCKVILLE, MD—In what authorities are calling one of the most wide-reaching and deplorable cases of embezzlement in recent history, seven executives at Goodwill Industries International were arrested Thursday for allegedly skimming used clothing, old furniture, small appliances, and thousands of other donated items from the charitable group.

Neighborhood Busybody Reports Sound Of Gunshots

INDIANAPOLIS—Once again sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong, neighborhood busybody Sally Christensen, 54, reportedly took it upon herself to report the sound of gunshots to law enforcement early Tuesday morning, sources confirmed.

How Grand Juries Reach A Decision

The recent non-indictments of police officers Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo have shed light on the secret process of grand jury deliberations, by which a group of ordinary citizens hears a case from a prosecuting attorney and privately decides whe...

Thieves Make Off With Museum’s Most Valuable Docents

CHICAGO—In what is being described as a sophisticated and well-executed heist, thieves stole nine of the Art Institute of Chicago’s most valuable docents in broad daylight this morning, according to museum and law enforcement officials.

Police Pleasantly Surprised To Learn Man They Shot Was Armed

LEXINGTON, KY—Following a pedestrian stop Monday night during which they fired their weapons on a suspicious individual, patrol officers for the Fayette County Police Department were pleasantly surprised to discover the man they shot was armed, sour...

3-Day Waiting Period Leads To Far More Feasible Murder Plot

MASON CITY, IA—Saying that the past 72 hours offered him plenty of time to pause and reflect, local man Andrew Boyle told reporters Tuesday that the state’s three-day waiting period to purchase a handgun had allowed him to devise a far more pr...

FBI Raids Kennedy Fundamentalist Compound

HYANNIS PORT, MA—In a surprise predawn raid Monday, heavily armed FBI agents stormed the notorious Kennedy Compound in Massachusetts, reportedly arresting more than two dozen key members of the faction and exposing many of the bizarre inner workings...

Criminal Prosecuted To Fullest Extent Of Budget

STOCKTON, CA—Concluding proceedings of a case that will now be sent to a jury it lacked the means to properly vet, San Joaquin District Attorney James Willett told reporters Monday that he believes his office prosecuted a suspected murderer to the f...

Paranoid Oscar Pistorius Still Thinks Burglar After Him

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA—Insisting that the dangerous individual could be literally anywhere right now, a paranoid, wild-eyed Oscar Pistorius was reportedly overheard muttering to his defense lawyers numerous times during his murder trial Thursday tha...

Report: Local Gas Station Wouldn’t Be That Hard To Rob

LAWRENCE, KS—Citing a range of factors from the lack of security glass to the fact that the cash register is situated right next to the front door, a report published Thursday confirmed that robbing the BP gas station at Reynolds and Murray wouldn...

Highlights From Ariel Castro’s Courtroom Statement

Ariel Castro, the 53-year-old Cleveland man who abducted, imprisoned, and repeatedly raped three women over the course of 11 years, made a brief statement during a court hearing Thursday, shortly before he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Dick Van Dyke Finally Confesses To Zodiac Killings

MALIBU, CA—Saying he had wanted to talk about the subject for years but feared it would damage his career, beloved entertainer Dick Van Dyke confessed Wednesday to being the infamous Zodiac Killer, the serial murderer who terrorized Northern Califor...

Tim Tebow’s Former Teammate Charged With Murder

FRAMINGHAM, MA—Adding yet another wrinkle to the football player and media sensation’s eventful offseason, authorities confirmed today that a former teammate of New England Patriots quarterback Tim Tebow has been arrested and charged with murd...

The Case For And Against George Zimmerman

FOR Typed, signed letter from Martin confirming he attacked Zimmerman Americans have soft spot for nation’s rugged, rawly sexual neighborhood watch volunteers Actions fall within the letter of Florida’s “Get Out Of Your Car, Trac...

Athlete Arrested

HOUSTON—According to numerous sources, a star athlete of the city’s professional sports team was reportedly arrested in the late hours of yesterday evening. A police report confirmed that the high-profile player faces multiple charges, includi...

Popeye's Home Boiglerized

SWEETHAVEN VILLAGE—According to a report filed with the Sweethaven Police Department, the private residence of sailor man Popeye was violently boiglerized at approximately 4:30 a.m.

Co-Op Casino Robbed Again

ANN ARBOR, MI—The member-owned-and-operated casino known as the Sunshine & Sharing Gaming Cooperative was robbed Tuesday for the fourth time...
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Angie Tribeca

Violence: Is It The Answer?

Violence. The question of whether it ever really solves anything is, of course, nothing new. The value of violence has been fiercely debated, largely without resolution, since time immemorial.

A drug kingpin's problem is solved as his rival lies dead following a drive-by shooting.

But though violence has never gone entirely out of style, conventional wisdom over the last several decades has held that it is an unacceptable option. Ever since the anti-war and civil-rights movements of the Vietnam Era, the nation's cultural cognoscenti has regarded the human tendency toward violence as a cowardly, barbaric impulse, shunned by members of civilized society in favor of more diplomatic and compromise-based problem-solving techniques.

Yet, according to recent studies, all that has begun to change.

Increasingly, Americans are turning to violence—the use of brute, animal aggression against an opposing force—as a viable means of conflict resolution. From the inner city to the suburbs, from the boardroom to the bedroom, violence is making a stunning comeback. And, surveys indicate, more and more Americans are agreeing that it's about time.

"Whoever said that violence never solved anything obviously never met my wife Edith," says Nick Petrakis of Chicago. "For months, her constant nagging about my drinking, the bills, the drapes—you name it—drove me up the freaking wall. I tried marriage counseling, church, even so-called 'quality time,' but nothing worked. Then, one day, I finally hauled off and whaled her right in the solar plexus as hard as I could."

"And you know what?" he adds with a grin. "I haven't heard a peep out of her goddamn fat trap since."

The Petrakis case is far from unique, and it points to one of the main reasons behind violence's resurgent popularity: pragmatism.

"Sure, all of those 'talking it out' solutions look good on paper, but in real life, who has the time?" Harvard University sociology professor Dr. Hugh Brentley says. "Reasoned, calm conflict-mediation can exact a terrible toll on the patience of those involved. On the other hand, swift, violent action—such as the kind Alexander the Great employed in severing the fabled Gordian knot with one swipe of his sword—cuts right to the heart of a problem."

This direct, results-oriented approach is being put into practice every day across America. Children mercilessly beat one another on the playground, achieving instant social standing amongst their peers. In the political sphere, long-range bombing has proven an effective means of resolving marital-infidelity disputes. And the drug lords of the nation's blighted ghettos have long championed the merciless machine-gunning of competitors as an expedient solution to the seemingly insoluble dilemmas of urban poverty and racial discrimination.

Critics of violence say that such short-term approaches only leave other, greater problems in their wake. But as violence advocates are quick to point out, a great majority of these problems can easily be fixed with more violence. For example, the skyrocketing crime rate can be addressed through either the death penalty or vigilante justice, both of which are effective alternatives to expensive, complex social-reform programs that stress prevention over cure.

"We must also remember," psychologist and longtime violence advocate Jane Gelfand notes, "that emotional violence can, in many cases, be just as effective as actual bodily harm. Breaking a child psychologically, through generous, sustained helpings of verbal abuse, is a far more effective way of handling disobedience and misbehavior than a thousand hours of tedious positive reinforcement."

"Not that simple hitting or kicking should be ruled out, of course," Gelfand adds.

But whether hurling chairs at one another on daytime television or stabbing strangers to death in parking ramps for some quick cash, millions of Americans are giving violence a second look as a viable solution to the challenges with which life presents them. And, as savagery and brutality continue to capture the hearts and minds of the American people, one thing is certain: Violence, in all its forms, is no longer confined to the realm of escapist Hollywood dramas or video-game space-invader shoot-'em-ups. Whether we cower in fear behind the walls of gated communities or actively prowl the alleyways looking for rape victims, violence is a major part of our shared American experience, and it isn't going away any time soon.

Violence, it would appear, is something we can all rely on.

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