LETTER: Unearthing the roots of society's violence

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From Mr Philip Cook

Sir: The findings of the Commission on Children and Violence defy common sense ("Experts urge ban on smacking children", 9 November).

Since the Second World War, violence in society has grown significantly worse. During this time, the guns controls have increased from relaxed to very strict. Boxing has become increasingly less acceptable. Teachers no longer use the cane and fewer parents smack their children. So it would seem that further restrictions on the above would be useless.

The reason for the increased violence is the decline in civilising influences on children: religion, education and respect.

In Switzerland, the story is different. Nearly every child is taught to shoot - it is seen for the non-aggressive, non-contact sport it is, and teaches children responsibility. Crime is very rare, as they preserved the social controls we so sadly let slip.

Yours faithfully,

Philip Cook

Thornton Heath,


10 November