"Who Shot Johnny?": A Portrait Of Youth Violence

1200 words - 5 pages

Who Shot Johnny?

As humans we strive to live in a utopian environment, free of elements of aggression, greed, and violence. Most of us try to live a healthy and satisfying life, gaining from opportunities that we have sought and worked hard for. We take life as it comes, and we accept the challenges and difficulties that life puts out as we continue on no matter how hard it gets. However, there are a multitude of people who tend to think that life is just too hard and that they should be handed everything on a silver platter. Greed and violence begin to factor into their life as they continue in their set ways. They think that the world should revolve around their every need and that life is unbearably hard and unjustly unfair. These are the people who think that rules are meant to be broken and cannot grasp the genuine idea of equal opportunity. Some feel jipped and decide that they will steal other people's gains to get through their miserable lives. Others take a much more drastic approach by turning to violence. They think that violence is the answer so that they may distribute fear throughout their neighborhood in order to gain the respect that they very much deserve. They think that negotiating by means of a weapon is a much more effective way of getting what they want they think that a gun will make them that much tougher than the next guy. These people are the convicts who plague our societies and make life that much harder for the rest of us. The idea of peace has never come across their minds; the only peace that they want is a piece of our pie that is in fact our slice that we have labored for throughout the years. What I want to know is what has violence done to contribute to the good of mankind? If destruction and devastation is considered good then I must be living in an alternate universe. Violence in itself has created nothing but chaos in a world that is capable of peace and prosperity.

In Debra Dickerson's essay "Who Shot Johnny?" she makes it a point to declare that who ever shot her nephew Johnny isn't someone that she has never encountered before. This person is not unlike many of the other negative people in this world, in fact this person can be effectively categorized as a negative trait in itself. Debra Dickerson says:

"When the call came, my first thought was the same on I'd had when I'd heard about Rosa Parks's beating: a brother did it. A non-job-having, middle-of-the-day malt-liquor-drinking, crotch-clutching, loud-talking brother with many neglected children born of many forgotten women. He lives in his mother's basement with furniture rented at an astronomical interest rate, the exact amount of which he does not know. He has a car phone, an $80 monthly cable bill and every possible phone feature but no savings. He steals Social Security numbers from unsuspecting relatives and assumes their identities to acquire large TV sets for which he will never pay. (234)

Dickerson realizes that this person isn't a...

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