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Default Another shooting - 20 children killed

December 17th, 2012, 23:22
@dte + other americans, I do not think guns are the only problem, but can you really say that having (more) strict gun control laws will not at the very least reduce the amount of guns available to people and as such reduce the amount if deaths?

Of course other things need to be tackled too, but don't you think that people having rifles and assault weapons at home is excessive ? It's not like you will be getting an army of commandos attacking your house, is it ? Having a normal pistol/revolver/handgun would be enough to stop someone from harming your family in your house in my opinion.
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December 17th, 2012, 23:31
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
If you look at the politics and demographics, it is clear the areas that are proud of their guns - the same areas that are proud of their ignorance and intolerance … the bulk of states between the two coasts. And guess where most gun violence happens? Not in the inner cities, but in THOSE areas …
WHat? Definitely interested to see where you are getting your statistics. Everything I've read suggests per capita violent crime is far higher in coastal cities than in the more rural center of the country. Like it or not, gun-nut hicks in red states with looser gun laws are not the ones committing the most violent gun crime. Even if you just look at rampages like this one, which are a fraction of the total gun related homicides, they don't seem to be happening at schools in Bumfuck, West Virginia, and the profiles of the shooters are consistently young, male, socially,disengaged, bright and well educated, not the intolerant, ignorant gun toting stereotype you are suggesting.

Certainly within the US, the relationship between gun laws, gun culture, and gun crime is not as simple as "Ignorant backwards NRA members -> gun crime." If you could snap your fingers and vaporize every civilian gun in North America, sure, violent crime would plummet.* But short of magic, sequestering guns in the US on the scale necessary is a near political (including Constitutional), cultural, and logistical impossibility, it's not just the gun lobby holding us back. And you know, I'm glad that the constitution is not a flimsy thing that can be easily changed at a whim in a crisis (theoretically of course). Even compared to similar laws in other Anglo countries, the relative staying power and absolutism of the 1st amendment, for example, is for me a great defense of American constitutionalism.

I think the more disturbing cultural context of this tragedy is actually not gun proliferation but the mass media treatment of it. Since the incident, you can't turn on the news, look at the front page of the newpaper or open a facebook newsfeed without being hammered by the events. For corporate media, it really is the perfect story: emotional, violent, and with continuously emerging details to keep an audience coming back. But you have to think about why hopeless, isolated and mentally unstable young men choose to go out in this way. I am sure for many of them, the instant national (and international fame) is a huge part of it. These killers become household names within hours of their deaths, while the ones who killed only themselves barely ever register on the national stage. The next Adam Lanza may be watching the news right now, taking note. Unfortunately, there is really no feasible way to combat this problem with laws, only cultural evolution.

But really, if you want drastic, cut and dry national level measures in the wake of this tragedy, I think the simplest, easiest, most feasible and most effective for the US would be a requirement that educational institutions have several onsite faculty with training and access to guns themselves, for emergency purposes. The potential death tolls of incidents like these would probably be far lower, and the deterrents to potential shooters greater. Such a measure might leave a bad taste in the mouth, but in terms of actually saving lives, I think it would be better than dwelling on other various fantasies.

*I'm under the impression that Mao ended his nation's Opium problem in a similar spirit: he shot or send to camps everybody who touched the stuff. For a variety of reasons, this is not the type of move you could pull in the US, regardless of its effectiveness.
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December 17th, 2012, 23:54
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
@dte + other americans, I do not think guns are the only problem, but can you really say that having (more) strict gun control laws will not at the very least reduce the amount of guns available to people and as such reduce the amount if deaths?

Of course other things need to be tackled too, but don't you think that people having rifles and assault weapons at home is excessive ? It's not like you will be getting an army of commandos attacking your house, is it ? Having a normal pistol/revolver/handgun would be enough to stop someone from harming your family in your house in my opinion.
More strict gun laws will have almost no impact on firearm violence. You can check out the CDC study published in 03. (Their findings/methodologies/etc were published in the American Journal for preventative Medicine 28.2-S1) Also the Cato Journal (Issue 26.1) printed another study done quite locally to me. Both are fairly well known peer reviewed journals. I find it odd that they are so rarely mentioned, by I imagine that is mostly because the findings do not support either popular political parties narrative on the matter.

The only form of gun "control" that would likely impact gun deaths in any meaningful way is complete state repossession. And that could actually spark off a war. Coupled with the fact that there is no conclusive data to predict how effective such measures would be, no one is likely to go there.
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December 18th, 2012, 00:06
Originally Posted by CrazyIrish View Post
More strict gun laws will have almost no impact on firearm violence.
But would it hurt to try? At least you'd be doing something, and something that can be implemented in the relatively short-term. Restrict the little guns, ban and buy back the big guns.

All the talk of mental health is well and good but that's not a black and white issue that can be easily dealt with. Does a person have a mental illness that could cause them to be violent? Hmmm, maybe. Does a person have an assault rifle? Yes / no.
Last edited by badmofo; December 18th, 2012 at 00:43.
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December 18th, 2012, 00:22
Originally Posted by badmofo View Post
But would it hurt to try? At least you'd be doing something, and something that can be implemented in the relatively short. Restrict the little guns, ban and buy back the big guns.

All the talk of mental health is well and good but that's not a black and white issue that can be easily dealt with. Does a person have a mental illness that could cause them to be violent? Hmmm, maybe. Does a person have an assault rifle? Yes / no.
The thing is, gun laws are not a black and white issue either. If a martian came down and looked at American state gun laws and their correlations with gun crime rate, they would come away with the impression that more restrictive gun law causes more gun crime: New York, California, and DC top the charts in both. Obviously, that would be a simple minded conclusion to draw, there is a lot of underlying complexity that clouds causal relations. But that is my point.

I am all for smart gun laws, but in the US at least, this does not necessarily mean banning guns or classes of guns. It is immensely useful (i.e. potentially life-saving) for governments to be able to regulate and track the sale, ownership and movements of guns. As drug laws in the US suggest, outright prohibition and the creation of black markets makes this type of oversight very difficult, with debatable benefits.

As I mentioned in my above post, there are more feasible and probably effective ways to reduce these type of incidents than banning types of guns. Doing something just to "do something' is not good policy in general, and in the US at least it would definitely not be short and easy.
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December 18th, 2012, 02:16
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
@dte + other americans, I do not think guns are the only problem, but can you really say that having (more) strict gun control laws will not at the very least reduce the amount of guns available to people and as such reduce the amount if deaths?

Of course other things need to be tackled too, but don't you think that people having rifles and assault weapons at home is excessive ? It's not like you will be getting an army of commandos attacking your house, is it ? Having a normal pistol/revolver/handgun would be enough to stop someone from harming your family in your house in my opinion.
I can say with total confidence that strict gun control laws will reduce the amount of guns available to law-abiding citizens. Whether criminals would be affected in the slightest is open for significant debate. In fact, you could develop a very convincing argument that criminals would be emboldened since they'd face no plausible threat from the general populace. It's not like criminals will suddenly say, "Oh, I was going to shoot someone tonight and take their shit, but since it's illegal to have a gun now, I'm going to get a job tomorrow instead and become a productive law-abiding citizen. (insert wide-eyed teddybear face)"

My personal feeling is that assault weapons are overkill for both sport and protection. I also understand that once we start making relative judgments about firearms, there's a ton of opportunity for lefties to push it too far—the slippery slope I mentioned earlier. I also understand that I do not personally own any firearms and have no serious desire to purchase one, so I'm not the best person to argue on behalf of keeping assault weapons and my opinion probably shouldn't carry much weight on that particular issue. I further understand that many Euros do not share my appreciation for a 200+ year old document that formed this nation, making it far easier for them to piss all over it.

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December 18th, 2012, 04:08
Originally Posted by badmofo View Post
But would it hurt to try? At least you'd be doing something, and something that can be implemented in the relatively short-term. Restrict the little guns, ban and buy back the big guns.

All the talk of mental health is well and good but that's not a black and white issue that can be easily dealt with. Does a person have a mental illness that could cause them to be violent? Hmmm, maybe. Does a person have an assault rifle? Yes / no.
Don't take the easy way out, think!!!

Blame guns for violents is the same as blaming pencils for mispelling. It is a cheap shoot for demagogues to mislead the sheeple. Why are they to eager to take away guns from people who done nothing wrong? king george iii would have love to take the guns away from 76ers.

Just like the gun buy back programs here in Los Angeles, only politicians are dumb enough to think that criminals would take $200 or $100 gift cards for their weapons.

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December 18th, 2012, 05:29
Originally Posted by mudsling3 View Post
Don't take the easy way out, think!!!

Blame guns for violents is the same as blaming pencils for mispelling. It is a cheap shoot for demagogues to mislead the sheeple. Why are they to eager to take away guns from people who done nothing wrong? king george iii would have love to take the guns away from 76ers.

Just like the gun buy back programs here in Los Angeles, only politicians are dumb enough to think that criminals would take $200 or $100 gift cards for their weapons.
We're not talking about criminals here, we're talking about "regular" people who flip out and kill with guns.

Yes the criminals would still have their guns, and yes "regular" people will still flip out and kill people with guns. But if less guns are available and it makes it even marginally harder for someone to get their hands on one for this purpose, then it's a win.

Mass murders such as this boy will still hatch these horrible plans but c'mon, the tools he needed were sitting unlocked in his own home. Too easy.

Self protection, freedom, blah blah. It's time to get over this selfish crap, they're just guns! Find something else to play with.
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December 18th, 2012, 06:14
I guess it depends. If you want a system that assumes that all "normal people" are just waiting for the right moment to go crazy and murder children, then have at. I prefer to be judged by my actions rather than some misdeed I may carry out at some unknown time in the future under circumstances that may or may not occur.
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December 18th, 2012, 07:02
Sensible gun legislation is about the greater good, so what if you feel pre-judged. They're guns people! Designed for killing things.
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December 18th, 2012, 07:10
As terrible as these school shootings are, probably the far more serious effect of wide spread gun ownership are the number of accidental shootings, including many children. The number of cases of domestic violence turning deadly because of gun availability, and more violent criminals because they, too, know everyone has a gun.
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December 18th, 2012, 07:37
Originally Posted by badmofo View Post
Sensible gun legislation is about the greater good, so what if you feel pre-judged. They're guns people! Designed for killing things.
The irony!!! but why pick on the little people with their pee shooters, go advocate the legilatures legislate their own militaries out of existance for a much greater good… and build hospitals instead of those useless aircraft carriers.

Guns are not the most fundamental issue, otherwise swiss would have become extinct.

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December 18th, 2012, 10:26
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
And if it rained pizza twice a week, we'd solve hunger - it would most definitely work. It's foolish to claim that genuine gun prohibition wouldn't eliminate gun violence, but that grail can't exist outside of Jemy's textbooks, so what's the point? Even putting it out there as a goal undercuts the effort because the goal is clearly unattainable. You simply can't put the genie back in the bottle.
It's hard not to think in extremes, right?

It doesn't matter if total gun elimination is possible or not. That's not the goal. The goal is less people being killed by guns. If that's possible, then everything else can come later - if at all.

Oh, and about a goal that's not attainable undercutting the effort, what bullshit is that? Is that some imaginary scenario that you use as a weak tactic or something?

So, to me, it makes far more sense to hit the root cause. That's the cultural issues. We've got a culture that allows people to get so isolated and frustrated that they think grabbing a gun and shooting a bunch of innocents before shooting themselves is a reasonable response with no consequences. That's some sick shit, amigo, and we should be working on that post-haste. Why get bogged down in what's essentially a side-issue?
So, you have a shorter term solution for the root cause? Have you heard anyone say we shouldn't care about the root cause?

No, so what's the point?

Besides, if you "get society right with itself", you'll very likely find that gun control isn't really all that necessary anymore.
I agree, but I don't agree we should let so many people die while we wait a thousand years for society to get right with itself.

Maybe because I value lives.

Briefly, I'm not sure the economic stratification angle really gets you much in the end. Envy is always there whether it's ten million bucks or ten cents. Perhaps you get some bang-for-the-buck by reducing the magnitude, but the root issue doesn't go away. Now, I will say that the liberal class warfare approach has demonized what is a natural condition, making envy both worse and encouraged. To my mind, we should be holding those folks up as examples, not grabbing the pitchforks. Those are your winners. (I know you despise wealth as a measure, but such is the world today, and there are certainly worse motivators out there)
Why do you think Hitler managed to summon so many people to his cause? Do you think it was because of "envy" based on the Jews having ten cents more than the general population?

Visit reality sometime, and you'll find that when large amounts of people are going hungry or can't uphold a decent standard of living - and they're right next to people who have it all, bad things will happen.
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December 18th, 2012, 10:45
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
Bottom line is the liberal solution on this is to take away the tools (which won't work) since they refuse to expect people to shoulder some personal responsibility in owning those tools.

Some people are, quite simply, total washouts (most often by their own actions). These kids never get a chance to learn how to deal with failure, and in fact get stigmatized
I believe these are the two important components. Some look at statistics while others can't think beyond their own criteria of personal behavior. The latter category don't grasp the concept of determinitive statistics and they refuse to accept the evidence that yes, there are people who can't handle responsibility. Yes, they can't handle responsibility and no matter how often they say "they should", they don't. Thats really the problem with political reasoning that assumes everyone is as rational as they are when thinking about the problem.

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December 18th, 2012, 18:33
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Myth. Violence have steadily gone down. The only difference is that we now have worldwide media so one case in the world is debated. That didn't happen 30 years ago.
Not a myth. Speaking for the US, violent crime has gone down only since the early 90's (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States). It started rising dramatically in the 60's. If I recall correctly, crime rates in the UK have also skyrocketed in the second half of the 20th century. Now you could argue that in the grand scheme of things, on the scale of centuries, we are at a rather peaceful time in human history, i.e. most in the modern world don't regularly raid neighboring tribes for food, territory and women. But I think to ignore the psychological and social consequences of industrialization and urbanization/suburbanization is dangerous. In the types of behavior we are talking about here, suicide and murder-suicide, the rates have been going up over the last century. See how many school shootings you can find in the US around the turn of the 20th century. It's not like there wouldn't be records, and I'm sure even the media of that era would have picked it up (considering the rarity of the event).

It is not simply the nuclear family that has eroded, more importantly it's the broader community ties that have been atomized. Our minds evolved in the context of the extended family and the tribe and the social and material support of such units could provide. Suicide, depression, anxiety, social isolation, these are the marks of modern society, whatever its other benefits. These are not entirely artifacts of improved diagnostics either: compare the suicide rates of ethnic Russians and ethnic Chechnyans, both within the Russian Federation and their modes of life. Everything about the profile of the average school shooter aligns with these modern day ills: they are almost universally young, male, intelligent, and socially estranged. School shootings tend to be suicides with greater ambition.

Western Europe demolish your argument and whole line of reasoning. Please rethink your reasoning from scratch.
Actually, in the more relevant statistics, like suicide rates, Western Europe (along with the post Soviet countries) tops the charts. Modern western societies (not just the US) also dominate school shootings from what I could find. Please rethink your reasoning from scratch.

Becoming obsessed of danger scenarios to the point in which you feel the need to arm yourself isn't a sign of good mental health.
Depends on your situation. I am American and don't own a gun. I also live in a relatively safe area and I don't have kids, I suspect that might be the case for you too. The latter especially might change my perspective, and I certainly could never judge anybody for taking such precautions to defend their family. The 1/1000 tragedies still happen 1 out of 1000 times. The school shooting being discussed is a good example of that. So is human evolution.
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December 18th, 2012, 18:57
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I believe these are the two important components. Some look at statistics while others can't think beyond their own criteria of personal behavior. The latter category don't grasp the concept of determinitive statistics and they refuse to accept the evidence that yes, there are people who can't handle responsibility. Yes, they can't handle responsibility and no matter how often they say "they should", they don't. Thats really the problem with political reasoning that assumes everyone is as rational as they are when thinking about the problem.
So if I tell you water is wet, but you can't find statistics in a textbook that tell you that, you'll claim that you know better and I'm a simpleton. Got it.

Maybe it's an enlightened Euro thing, but over here we're not real big on "can't". When people say "can't" they really mean "don't wanna" or "not worth the effort it would take". Of course, you'll probably be hard-pressed to find statistics about that in one of your Euro textbooks, so you can safely disregard that pesky real world sticking its nose in again. If you feel better saddling people with endless limitations and telling people that they'll never achieve because you simply know they can't, then I sure as hell hope that you stay safely buried in your ivory tower and never actually have a real person come to you for help.

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December 18th, 2012, 19:02
C'mon, DTE, we are talking about individuals who have clinical mental health problems. Expecting these people to think rationally and act responsible even with treatment is ludicrous.
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December 18th, 2012, 19:38
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
C'mon, DTE, we are talking about individuals who have clinical mental health problems. Expecting these people to think rationally and act responsible even with treatment is ludicrous.
Unless the subject changed when I wasn't looking, we're actually not talking about the mentally ill at this point. I believe that group was carved out of the picture a while back as a special situation. We're talking about Joe Sixpack being able to responsibly own firearms. Or at least I thought that's what we were talking about now.

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December 18th, 2012, 20:06
It wasn't specific in his post, but that's what I thought Jemy was referring to. There appears to be a disconnect between you two. Surprise.
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December 18th, 2012, 20:47
My two cents:

Gun control is effective, but you can only reduce murders of passion (second degree and third degree murder) with it.

First degree murders are planned. If someone wants to kill, he will kill with some kind of weapon (not neccessarily firearms).

To arm someone with a gun (a teacher for example) to stop a trained shooter with an automatic weapon in an ambush is a movie illusion.

The best (and most difficult way) to reduce people running amok (people, who want to die taking other people's life with them) is to find the causes why there are running amok and reduce these causes in the affected society.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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