Fear … or under whatever name you choose to call it, be it stress, anxiety, uncertainty, doubt … the kind of fear that cannot be confronted or evaded through physical means, that either gets repressed or denied, or at best, tolerated as an inevitable side effect of the pressures of living in a community, but by doing so, it is maintained and held inside, simmering below the surface. This is a major contributor to the causes of crime, especially violent crime.

Now this can be tackled 2 ways.

1. You put a greater fear of consequences in to the equation, but with this you risk the chance that for some, the greater fear will not be enough of a deterrent (and this is hardly a risk, more like a fact)

2. You work to ease people’s fears and reduce the fears people face and have to tolerate and repress in order to function in society. You educate people to better understanding themselves, and even a small amount of self understanding in the population will have a marked effect on the crime and violence in society. It is a well accepted fact that we learn and absorb things better and faster when we are young, so we need to catch these youths before they have tipped over the edge.

The first option will always have a repressed undercurrent and will lead to a consistent percentage of crime and violent crime in society. The second option, I believe, will have a great (and has been having already) effect on reducing levels of crime and violent crime.

There is a current problem that in a certain area of society, violent crime has been perceived to be growing, while on overall, national figures suggest that there has been a decline . People have, in looking for a reason, perhaps understandably, looked to point the finger of blame on the availability of weapons, parents, race, schooling, police, government. The Japanese have a way of dealing with things which focuses primarily on fixing the problem rather than looking for blame. We need to stop saying “It’s their fault” because this is really saying, “it’s not my fault, so I am not responsible, therefore I shouldn’t have to do anything” This is a lazy attitude. We don’t want to be involved, but this is societies problem, and like it or not, if we are a part of society ourselves, and not outcasts like many of those that commit crimes, then we are responsible and we should all work together in finding ways to reduce the burden of fear that is an unaddressed bye product of living in our communities. For while we turn a blind eye to our own fears and the fears of others, there will always be a shadow side to society, just as there is a shadow side to the communities in our own minds, and this will inevitably maintain the level of crime and violence in society. And if that undercurrent of repressed fear is allowed to breed, then it is also inevitable that the problem of violent crime is going to spiral in the areas worst affected by that fear.

The availability of weapons is not the problem here, weapons will always be available, make one weapon unavailable and there will be another weapon that takes its place. The desire to remove anything that can be used as a weapon is an understandable, but misguided area of focus. It is a natural kneejerk response “if your remove the offending item, then the problem will go away”. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence will know that this concept is absurd, but it is also a natural, instinctive response. The offending item is not the object used in offence, it is the motive inside the individual that is the true source of offence. Tackle the levels of fear in society, especially in the problem areas, by giving children a better understanding of themselves, so that they are better able to deal with the negative repercussions of repressing fears. So that they can manage themselves and their responses and projections, for violent crime is a projection, and become a contributing member of our society rather than an outcast and burden upon our society.

Individuals need to be taught how to deal with their individual shadow selves, so that the negative impact of the collective shadow side of society is better managed.