Time to Wake Up to Americans’ Violent Youth Culture

August 22nd, 2013

The murder of Australian exchange student, Christopher Lane, in Oklahoma by three teens who allegedly committed the crime to alleviate their “boredom” is tragically yet another example  in an increasing number of outrageous crimes committed by American youth.

While both Americans and Australians grapple with this tragedy, another court case is just beginning in Georgia where a teenager  shot a baby in the face while attempting to rob the baby’s mother. Citizens in Australia are doubting that it’s safe to visit America while Americans are increasingly wondering if our culture is becoming so violent that it will become unsafe to live here.

Lane’s murder is being described in the press as a “thrill kill.”  There is simply no other way to describe it than that it is a callous act born of sick and twisted minds.  How those young minds got that way in the first place is what we should all be asking ourselves.

To say that these sorts of acts are unique to this generation wouldn’t be entirely accurate.  In 1924, two wealthy teenagers in Chicago, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, murdered 14-year-old, Bobby Franks, for the sole purpose of experiencing the “thrill of the kill” and seeing if they could pull off the perfect crime.  At trial, they were represented by famed trial lawyer, Clarence Darrow, who managed to get them life sentences by convincing the court that they’d been unduly influenced by the instruction of some of their professors.

That trial shocked the nation.  Later, it became the subject of plays and films.  It was deemed that outrageous.

Today, these sorts of crimes are occurring with greater frequency.  Although we’re all talking about Christopher Lane today, it’s likely there won’t be much coverage of the case until it eventually goes to trial.  Even then, it’s doubtful it will prove to be something in which Nancy Grace decides to invest much airtime.

Sadly, we are now living in a culture where violence is more and more accepted and prevalent.  When I say “accepted,”  I’m referring mainly to television, music, and violent video games.  Clearly, if parents found these sorts of things unacceptable, they wouldn’t allow violent shows or music played in their homes or purchase violent video games for their children.  As a parent, you can’t lament our increasingly callous culture if you’re actively paying to support it.

Parents are also complicit in these sorts of acts when they essentially leave children to raise each other. When kids spend more time with each other in a single day on social media than they do in the presence of their own parents in an entire week, that’s a recipe for exactly the kind of disaster we’re experiencing now.

Hopefully, an event like the murders in Oklahoma and Georgia will wake Americans up to the cultural crisis we’re currently experiencing.

If we don’t, we are all at risk of becoming Christopher Lane someday.