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A summer of stabbings

It is not clear whether gun and knife crime is on the rise, but it does seem to be increasingly concentrated among resentful young males in thrall to the cult of cool

By David Robins   October 2007

What drives the recent wave of knife and gun killings involving young people? Some speak of spiralling violence associated with the drugs trade, others trace it back to the abolition of the “sus” laws, which makes it harder for the police to stop and search youngsters. Older commentators will remember the 1950s—flick knives, the rise of the juvenile delinquent, the teenager as the cuckoo in the nest of the postwar working-class family. And then there is the “cool” commercial culture—hedonism, a narcissistic concern with appearance, a macho detachment—to which many of today’s teenagers adhere.

But is knife and gun crime…

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