Opinion / Op-Ed Contributors

Let's end the crimes of violence

By Liu Bo (China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-14 09:17

Serious violent incidents, like attacks on bus passengers or cult followers beating an innocent woman to death, have increased in the past few years. Such incidents reflect the social conflicts that have emerged during the social transformation of China. And although each incident has its own cause and effect, all cases have some common factors.

Most of the attacks have taken place during the day and in enclosed public spaces, like shopping malls and primary schools, and have mainly been carried out by individuals who feel marginalized in society.

Besides, the attacks have been sudden, making it impossible for victims to react and defend themselves or seek the help of witnesses. Most people would freeze with fear on seeing a fellow diner in a restaurant pull out a knife and lunge at them or some other person. Such violent cases last a few minutes but cause mass casualties and leave people with permanent physical and psychological wounds.

The recent tragedy of six cult followers beating a woman to death in Zhaoyuan, Shandong province reflects the rampancy of destructive cults. The perpetrators in several other cases had also fallen prey to destructive and disruptive ideas or were angry at society for their predicament.

To prevent such tragedies from happening, therefore, it is necessary to solve the social problems that force people to resort to such desperate measures to vent their anger. Perhaps the first step in this direction would be to offer a wider social security cover to people, so that no one feels left behind. Quite a large number of people in China are living in poverty and have no social security cover, and their accumulated dissatisfaction with society is already evident. The effort should be to prevent this dissatisfaction from becoming destructive for society.

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