Based on Chapter 1, "The Lure and the Law of Homicide," in the textbook The Will to Kill: Making Sense of Senseless Murder, how can I use specific criteria I learned about in this chapter to...

Based on Chapter 1, "The Lure and the Law of Homicide," in the textbook The Will to Kill: Making Sense of Senseless Murder, how can I use specific criteria I learned about in this chapter to explain a plan to reduce youth violence?

Expert Answers
jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 1, the authors speak about the popularity of homicide in American culture. They write, "within popular culture, murder has become a cottage industry" (page 1), and they discuss the popularity of true crime books, magazine articles and films about killers, and even action figures of killers. Audiences of television news receive constant stories about homicides. As a result, the authors write that "some individuals...live vicariously through the exploits of sadistic killers" (page 2). Therefore, young people are constantly being exposed to stories of killers and may even be inspired by their exploits.

Part of reducing youth violence might involve curbing the amount of exposure young people have to films, television programs, books, and other media (including the internet). These can convince them that violence is more common than it actually is (for example, according to statistics cited by the authors on page 2, while stories of homicides make up one-third of crime stories on the news, homicides actually only make up 1% of violent crimes). As a result, the media normalizes violence or makes it seem more common than it is, perhaps influencing young people to believe that violence is acceptable. Therefore, one element of reducing youth violence is to reduce their exposure to violence, particularly homicide.