Monday, May 4, 2009

Nonviolent Americans, Unite!

Hello. My name is Ted (“Hi, Ted!”), and I am a Nonviolent American.

The preamble of the U.S. Constitution charges the federal government with providing for “domestic tranquility”. As Nonviolent Americans, our right to peaceful coexistence is being violated, directly and indirectly, by Violent Americans.

If Nonviolent Americans represent ninety percent of Americans (for the sake of discussion; the percentage may be higher or lower in your community), then we are being held hostage by the remaining ten percent of the population that represents Violent Americans. This violent minority has the ability to cramp the lifestyle of the nonviolent majority through sheer intimidation. Imagine an elderly, nonviolent woman trying to decide if she should walk to the market to pick up a few essentials or if she should stay home and avoid a potential confrontation with a Violent American. If 1 out of every 10 people she might encounter on the way to market is a Violent American (again, just for the sake of discussion), then there is a 10 percent chance that she could experience a violent incident. What would you do if you were in her walking shoes?

On the financial side, a good portion of our local, state, and federal taxes goes to finding, prosecuting, and incarcerating Violent Americans – but only after they have committed a violent act. As Nonviolent Americans, why should we have to pay a financial penalty because someone else chooses to be a Violent American? If you are the victim of a violent crime, what good does it do you to have the Violent American(s) who perpetrated the act prosecuted and locked up for an extended period? True, those Violent Americans who are locked up won’t be hurting anyone outside of the prison any time soon. But your right to enjoy domestic tranquility has already been trampled! And those Violent Americans are likely to be on the outside again someday. If they haven’t picked up new skills and chosen to join the ranks of Nonviolent Americans, the “Justice” system has done nothing to preserve the rights of NVAs.

To tell which side of the equation you are on, below are some of the distinctions that illustrate the differences between Nonviolent Americans and Violent Americans:

Nonviolent Americans

Violent Americans

People who watch hockey because of the competition and skill involved

People who watch hockey hoping a fight will break out

Fans of Olympic wrestling

Fans of WWF

Gun owners who want to protect their loved ones

People who own guns to kill and maim, to feel more powerful, and to intimidate

People who relish the diversity of life

Racists, sexists, ageists, homophobes

Adults who love, honor and nurture our youth

People who neglect and abuse children

Intimate partners who respect and cherish each other

People who abuse and dominate their loved ones

Neighbors who resolve their conflicts through dialog and compromise

People who use lawsuits as a first resort

People who use their physical strength to help others in need

People who use their physical strength to bully and intimidate

People who use their financial strength to help others in need

People who use their financial strength to dominate and create distance from others

Drivers who follow the written and unwritten rules of the road

Aggressive drivers who think the road belongs to them and everyone else should get out of the way

The Centers for Disease Control considers violence to be a public health problem. If you consider yourself to be a Violent American, I hope you will consider taking a twelve-step program (to be presented in an upcoming blog). The first step is to realize you have a problem, that you have control over the problem, and that their is a solution to the problem if you choose to accept it. It's not an easy journey, but the rewards are immeasurable for yourself and those around you.

If you consider yourself to be a Nonviolent American, I hope you will join me in helping create a welcoming and supportive environment for Recovering Violent Americans. They are going to need all the support we can offer as they make their way through this tremendous shift that will be required. One way to support their journey is to lobby Congress to pass legislation that will provide research and funding to develop and distribute tools to help Recovering Violent Americans. Two such pieces of legislation in the current Congress are H.R. 808 - the Department of Peace act - and H.R. 1064 - the Youth PROMISE act. Please contact your Representatives and Senators and ask them to support these and any other pieces of legislation that will help reduce violence.

To quote Bob Marley:

"Get up! Stand up! Stand up for your rights!"
("Thanks for sharing, Ted!")


  1. Thanks for sharing, Ted.

    Truly -- this is a great assessment of where we are, and the steps we must take to resolve the issues that we face. As a world community, the 90% needs to look at the 10% as those afflicted with a disease, and help to heal them and support them as they go through the process.

    Not one person in that 10% entered this life as a violent person. Somewhere in their path, they learned the behavior that they are exhibiting. If you believe that people have the capacity to change, then believe in the capacity of these individuals to change.

    We can do this, together.

  2. Case in point-

    There's an article in today's LA Times asking if people are afraid to go to Dodger Stadium because of violence:

  3. I really like the chart, Ted, thanks for posting. I look forward to your next post about a 12-step recovery plan. We all need to grieve and recover what has been lost.