Why are we so violent?

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)--Shootings, beatings, carjackings. New studies show compared to other wealthy nations Americans live shorter lives because of violence.

We've been tracking crime in your neighborhood and it shows just how violent we really are. So many people choose shooting or stabbing over talking. So why are we so violent?

No matter which county we live in, we're surrounded by violence. A middle school student settles a score using a comb to stab another student, two brothers arguing over car speakers ends with a knife fight, a 5 year-old beaten to death after wetting the bed, a Cumberland County woman killed in her home, two Sevier County men shot during a home invasion, and perhaps the most violent of all in East Tennessee, the Christian Newsom murders. Channon Christian's Mom Deena Christian says, "Channon and Chris weren't doing anything wrong. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Brooke Morris' mom also knows the pain of violence. Brooke shot on the side of the road and left for dead. Tina Gregg says, "She didn't have to die; absolutely didn't have to die."

A new study shows life in America is more violent than in other countries. For every hundred thousand people about six die violent deaths each year. So why does this happen in the best country in the world?

Pastor Andy Ferguson thinks it's because we're isolated and live in a stressful world. Pastor Andy Ferguson of Church Street United Methodist Church says, "We're a culture that really enjoys our roots in the wild west; the hired gun, the gun slinger."

Homicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults aged 15-24. Most of the crimes involve firearms.
Psychologist Ron Brown says, "It seems we're easily provoked and have to defend ourselves."

Dr. Brown thinks video games and movies desensitize us. Some new surveys question that. No one argues that who we have around us can either diffuse or provoke violence. Dr. Brown says, "Violence usually stems from in home where parents mistreating."

The National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine produced the study. The researchers said there is little evidence that violent acts occur more frequently in the united states, but more have deadly results here than anywhere else. For uninsured Americans, there are fewer resources to help those battling mental illness, compared to those available for people living in European nations.