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Default Another shooting - 20 children killed

December 17th, 2012, 12:14
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
Liza Long, a writer based in Boise, says it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.
The "mental illness" is a statistical absolute meaning that mere chance cause it to happen. It's not that we do not have the science. We do. We know the profile well and we have done for a long time. We know the psychology behind terrorism, we know the psychology behind rampage killers. We know. We also know that it's as frequent in every nation.

Here's the problem:
Not even if you transform the states to Soviet or North Korea you will be able to monitor every single individual at the level required to deal with these individuals.
Gun control is a traffic sign compared to the level of state control necessary to deal with it as you pretty much have to psych-profile every citizen regularly.

It's as unlikely as it is to stop rapes or robbery.
The idea that we can avoid it is naive to the extreme and pretty childish too.

Sure, I wouldn't mind psych-profiling every child like we test near sightedness or color-blindness. It may actually help a lot. But it's ironical that people scream for the right to bear arms, yet want a system against "mental illness" that makes 1984 seem like Liberty City.

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An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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December 17th, 2012, 12:16
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.
That's not entirely fair. If I was a US citizen, I'd be much more inclined to want to carry a gun - especially in some of the more exposed areas. They've made guns a part of their culture - so naturally there's a much more significant chance of being in a situation where you might want a gun.

That's the culture they seem to be so proud of, ironically.

Which is why the step towards strict gun control is a brave one, albeit the most rational one.
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December 17th, 2012, 12:45
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
That's not entirely fair. If I was a US citizen, I'd be much more inclined to want to carry a gun - especially in some of the more exposed areas. They've made guns a part of their culture - so naturally there's a much more significant chance of being in a situation where you might want a gun.

That's the culture they seem to be so proud of, ironically.

Which is why the step towards strict gun control is a brave one, albeit the most rational one.
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 …

And something tells me that if you came here you would want to be in a center of culture and education … as opposed to the land of 'duck dynasty' and 'honey boo boo' …

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December 17th, 2012, 12:55
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 …
Yes, but it's not necessarily as simple as that. There are many intelligent and informed people who support the widespread access to guns - and I'm not sure it ties directly into ignorance. Maybe denial is a better word, though the concepts are closely related.

I'd say the cultural aspect is very powerful, and it's hard to entirely dismiss your own upbringing.

When something is an integral part of your culture - your position is less rational and cerebral than it would be, otherwise. Because tradition and the environment are such powerful factors.

It can become almost instinctual to want to hold on to tradition.

Ignorance is a universal trait that we all share. It's more about how our areas of ignorance vary.

And something tells me that if you came here you would want to be in a center of culture and education … as opposed to the land of 'duck dynasty' and 'honey boo boo' …
I don't know. I consider all human beings equal - and I'm just as comfortable with people who're seemingly primitive as with people who're seemingly sophisticated. The traits I value the most are empathy and sympathy. Naturally kind people with warm hearts are endearing to me, regardless of their level of ignorance.

That said, I consider widespread and easy access to guns so obviously non-utilitarian that I can't suppress my strong distaste for its support, and that will come out somewhat harshly when I'm having a debate on the topic.
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December 17th, 2012, 12:58
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
That's not entirely fair. If I was a US citizen, I'd be much more inclined to want to carry a gun - especially in some of the more exposed areas. They've made guns a part of their culture - so naturally there's a much more significant chance of being in a situation where you might want a gun.

That's the culture they seem to be so proud of, ironically.

Which is why the step towards strict gun control is a brave one, albeit the most rational one.
Still not mean it's healthy. The States have a neurotic war-culture that is very different from the rest of the developed world.

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An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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December 17th, 2012, 12:58
Absolutely agree … and I happen to be from a small part of the country where guns are not celebrated - so I share your distaste.

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December 17th, 2012, 13:01
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Still not mean it's healthy. The States have a neurotic war-culture that is very different from the rest of the developed world.
True, but culture is separate from the mental health of the individual. There's always a reason for culture - and it doesn't have to be overt or willful desire as the source. People are subject to their culture, whether they enjoy it or not - and it's only natural to want to defend yourself in a place where the risk of a deadly confrontation is higher.

Nazi Germany would have been populated by entirely insane people, if culture represented everyone.

But that's another story, and we probably shouldn't bog down the thread with such digression.
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December 17th, 2012, 13:02
Originally Posted by Humanity has risen! View Post
Honestly, this is exactly what I'm the most concerned about with this. All of this Minority Report kind of stuff.

Being an introvert is increasingly considered a suspicious thing, and if such paranoia goes ahead, public servants will be trained to screen them or something equally awry.

I don't think it's a good idea to try to categorize anyone who is withdrawn, and to be suspicious that anyone who strays slightly from the norm could become hostile at any moment. It is an exercise in futility, and ultimately only contributes to an increasingly poisonous climate.
Oh, I agree with you! I have linked this article because I am affraid that this is exactly what might happen. Since an opinion that "guns don't kill people" is so prevalent in the USA the knee jerk reaction might be to start a witch hunt for those who don't (or can't) conform. The intoverts, the Goths etc. etc. etc… Slippery slope if you ask me…
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December 17th, 2012, 13:06


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December 17th, 2012, 13:10
I don't often have a chance to say this, but I completely agree with D'Artagnans stance and arguments in this thread.

As others have pointed out, I currently assume that gun culture is so ingrained in the american psyche that you won't be able to reconsider gun laws at this time, not after this tragedy, nor after the next. It's not open to rational argument. Plenty of evidence in this thread. As long as more than 50% of your population are locked in the vicious loop thinking (attack with gun -> need more guns to protect from gun attacks!), things will not change. The price you pay for your last ditch chance to defend your life with a gun (with open outcome, if I may remind you), is that you are much more likely to be attacked with one in the first place. To me it's very sad, but it's a democratic decision that has to be respected.

Now I read that private gun ownership is actually slowly going down in the US. I could also imagine that maybe there could be some kind of consensus regarding some stricter regulations and enforcment regarding guns storage. If it would be less easy for "short fuse shooters" to organize a gun, because these are generally safely stored away, some harm could already be averted. in many of the school shootings I remember, including the german ones, the shooters had easy access to weapons, either through improperly stored weapons of their parents (as in the present case), or in the case of Erfurt, using a legal weapon ownership license and a little bit of manipulation to obtain weapons that he shouldn't have been allowed to purchase.

In the long run small inconveniences like this could help to further drive gun ownership down, maybe allowing stricter regulation of ownership itself in some more or less distant future.

And one word to dteowner: Looking at the societal circumstance of violence does not equate making excuses for the killer. I do not. But this tragedy is done, blaming the pepetrator will not help avoid the next tragedy, and even a supporter of the death penalty will probably admit that we can't kill him again.

And a final thought: how sad is it, that the school already had all these elaborate safety precautions in place that I read about (locked doors, video surveillance, etc.)? What does that say about your/our society?
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December 17th, 2012, 13:17
I wonder why every time someone agrees with me, they feel the need to point out how rare it is?
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December 17th, 2012, 13:20
Because you generally only speak at length if you disagree with someone?
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December 17th, 2012, 13:26
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Because you generally only speak at length if you disagree with someone?
I'm not sure I understand how that relates to what I said

But that's ok, hardly of vital importance. I've just noticed how it happens all the time these days.

It must be a badge of shame to agree with me, hehe. Woe is me!
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December 17th, 2012, 13:26
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
True, but culture is separate from the mental health of the individual. There's always a reason for culture - and it doesn't have to be overt or willful desire as the source. People are subject to their culture, whether they enjoy it or not - and it's only natural to want to defend yourself in a place where the risk of a deadly confrontation is higher.

Nazi Germany would have been populated by entirely insane people, if culture represented everyone.

But that's another story, and we probably shouldn't bog down the thread with such digression.
I never speak in absolutes, only dimensions. If you want absolutes, look at the majority win. Few people wish to be the sucker who takes the first step to an improvement. Most people simply follows the rest. So if you have a majority of people who would do wrong, conformity fixes the rest. So if a nation makes bad decisions on a nation-wide level, the nation is sick in my book and it may not be able to recover.

Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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December 17th, 2012, 13:31
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I never speak in absolutes, only dimensions. If you want absolutes, look at the majority win. Few people wish to be the sucker who takes the first step to an improvement. Most people simply follows the rest. So if you have a majority of people who would do wrong, conformity fixes the rest. So if a nation makes bad decisions on a nation-wide level, the nation is sick in my book and it may not be able to recover.
We agree that US as a nation is sick - but that's not what we were talking about.

Actually, I consider the world society as a whole to be very, very sick.

Again, however, that's another story for another thread.
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December 17th, 2012, 15:05
Originally Posted by Humanity has risen! View Post
I have not seen so far any signs that the shooter suffered from mental issues.
It's being widely reported now (although I'm not sure the media has done proper fact-checking at this point) that the kid had Asperger's syndrome. Bad enough that he had to be home-schooled, medicated, and appeared to have no plan to move out.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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December 17th, 2012, 15:11
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I am honest to myself since I have the facts; My behavior in a such situation is not a choice. You do not know how you will act either. How can I tell? Because there's tons of research on the subject and people in general behave very differently from what they imagine they would do once they are in that situation. Some freeze even if they imagined them to act as an action-hero. Some go the complete other direction.
It must be comforting to truly believe you have all the answers. Think of it this way- Sammy will at least have options during his crazed, irrational response. Best you'll have is to blockade a door with textbooks and hope somebody shows up to save your enlightened butt.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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December 17th, 2012, 15:15
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'd say the cultural aspect is very powerful, and it's hard to entirely dismiss your own upbringing.
You said it so well that I just felt the need to copy it. Oh, you mean you weren't explaining the Euro terror complex when it comes to any situation that could be remotely violent? Sorry, I must have missed the point.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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December 17th, 2012, 15:21
There is a world of difference between "answers" and "solutions" dte. As Jemy has pointed out earlier, we might have answers but no realistic solutions.
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December 17th, 2012, 15:32
Originally Posted by zahratustra View Post
There is a world of difference between "answers" and "solutions" dte. As Jemy has pointed out earlier, we might have answers but no realistic solutions.
See, that's where I start ranting again. An "answer" that cannot be realistically implemented isn't an answer at all—that's called a fantasy. Pointless navel gazing. Rainbows, unicorns, and deficits that go down… If the ivory tower types want to help, give us something we can actually do, otherwise get the hell out of the way and we'll do the best we can while you call us knuckledraggers from your well-worn seat on the sideline.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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