In many ways, the United States sets the pace for other nations to follow. Yet on the most important human concern—the need to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from physical harm—America isn’t a leader. In his new book, “The Violence Inside Us: A Brief History of an Ongoing American Tragedy,” Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) explores the origins of our violent impulses, the roots of our obsession with firearms, and the mythologies that prevent us from confronting our national crisis. Senator Murphy comes to the conclusion that while America’s relationship to violence is indeed unique, America is not inescapably violent. Even as he details the reasons we’ve tolerated so much bloodshed for so long, he explains that we have the power to change.
On September 3, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted a webinar with David M. Rubenstein Fellow Rashawn Ray and Senator Murphy on his new book. The pair discussed the history of violence in America and its long-term impacts, as well as the concrete steps that must be taken to change the nation’s narrative.