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Old 09-18-2013, 01:34 PM   #46
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This would lead to civil war - if it ever got passed - which it won't.

Like it or not - the guns are here to stay. We can't move forward in any meaningful way if people don't accept this.
They're here to stay because the gun lobbyists have a tight grip on DC. After the Sandy Hook shootings, supposedly 90% of Americans wanted gun regulations and Congress was going to pass some legislations, but it never happened. Lobbyists of all areas have far too much influence in the government, and many Americans don't seem to be aware of that. I read somewhere the lobbying influence is more stronger than it was 20 years ago. That is very telling.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:51 PM   #47
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They're here to stay because the gun lobbyists have a tight grip on DC. After the Sandy Hook shootings, supposedly 90% of Americans wanted gun regulations and Congress was going to pass some legislations, but it never happened. Lobbyists of all areas have far too much influence in the government, and many Americans don't seem to be aware of that. I read somewhere the lobbying influence is more stronger than it was 20 years ago. That is very telling.
As soon as the rhetoric turns to "banning" certain models and "limiting" magazines - and of course the comparisons to other countries - the conversation ends.

But if the focus remains on the mentally ill and their access to weapons - then I think we can see some progress.

Let's face it - someone really needs to be mentally ill to carry out these atrocities.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:10 PM   #48
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I think considering limiting/banning guns available to the mentally ill falls well short of where we need to be. Lots of reasons, but some being:

1. Does that apply to those who are diagnosed with a mental illness? What about those who haven't sought help or aren't in the system? What's the definition of mental illness that we'll apply to the gun scenario?

2. What about people who don't have a history of mental illness but "snap" in the heat of the moment or are clinically depressed but situationally so, etc?

3. What about those who have no documented history of mental illness but do have a long, documented history of aggression or unstable behaviour?

And even if you take the position that ALL the people who commit mass shootings are mentally ill, those deaths only comprise a small number of the total gun-related fatalities in the USA. The vast majority are committed by criminals, mentally healthy people with no records, domestic abusers, dumb teenagers, etc. and not by a paranoid schizophrenic who finally loses it.

TBH, I don't think you have any hope of any sort of reform. Whoever said that this is just how things are in the US is probably right. Sad, but true.

There are too many guns, too many special interest groups, too many people repeating the "2nd amendment is clear" like lemmings, too many people who seem to be professional contrarians and so on.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:47 PM   #49
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It's very sad that the OP put the ONGOING title on this one, yet it proves a valid point that these massive shootings represent the going down of US society every minute.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:53 PM   #50
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I will say, however, that 2-3 mass shootings a year in a country of 300 million people who lack universal health care but have easy access to a wide variety of firearms really isn't that bad.

It is extraordinarily rare. Crime rates have plummeted in most cities to levels not seen since 1960, at least.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:05 AM   #51
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The second amendment fucking sucks.
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:47 AM   #52
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The second amendment fucking sucks.
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The second amendment fucking sucks.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:32 AM   #53
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I will say, however, that 2-3 mass shootings a year in a country of 300 million people who lack universal health care but have easy access to a wide variety of firearms really isn't that bad.
I agree, and that was sort of my point - these mass shootings, however tragic, are the exception to the rule. So to the extent that we concentrate on mental health laws, it is relevant in this context but that does nothing to address the much wider and more serious problem of people shooting each other in America, on the streets of Chicago, in their own homes, etc.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:45 AM   #54
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I agree, and that was sort of my point - these mass shootings, however tragic, are the exception to the rule. So to the extent that we concentrate on mental health laws, it is relevant in this context but that does nothing to address the much wider and more serious problem of people shooting each other in America, on the streets of Chicago, in their own homes, etc.

i agree. the abject horror of this, or the Newtown shooting (which i'm still not over), aren't terribly helpful for overall gun policy. i think they are instructive when it comes to demonstrating how devastating semi-automatics and ammunition can be, and the commonality of mental illness shines a light on inadequacies in the system and brings up tough questions, as well as pointing out the uniquely American gun culture obsessions where rights and cultural resentments have ben conflated. but these cases serve more as a highlighter for deeper changes that need to be made rather than passing a law that, had it been in place, would have prevented said tragedy. it's never so neat and clean as that.

as far as this case goes, i really hope this doesn't get sidetracked into a discussion of security clearances. it's really irrelevant. he could have walked into CVS and shot 12 people.

i firmly place blame on the guns themselves. a gun is a crime waiting to happen. we'll always have mentally ill people. the difference is that in America they can easily get guns that kill many, many more people than sticks and knives.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:29 PM   #55
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NO TIME TO DESPAIR ABOUT GUN CONTROL
POSTED BY ADAM GOPNIK

So here we go again, right back where we started, or seemingly so—one more gun massacre in America. This time at the Washington Navy Yard, a military establishment where the “schoolteachers” are trained members of the military, many of them armed.

Nothing seems to happen in the wake of massacre after massacre. No legislation, just a preening, self-congratulatory dance among the members of the gun lobby, which wholly owns the Republican Party and too many chunks of the Democratic one: Not even twelve more dead can shake our grip! Yet I don’t detect despair on the side of the sane, though despair might be helpful. “Though we cannot out-vote them we will out-argue them,” Dr. Johnson once said, and it is fortifying, if not comforting, to know that the argument only gets stronger with each new day and each new study. Another one was just published, in that left-wing rag The American Journal Of Public Health, called “The Relationship Between Gun Ownership and Firearm Homicide Rates in the United States, 1981-2010.” It shows the same things that every other scientific, refereed, and peer-reviewed study has shown:

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We observed a robust correlation between higher levels of gun ownership and higher firearm homicide rates. Although we could not determine causation, we found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides.
The caution about causation, as I have written before, is not a sign of uncertainty but, rather, a sign of proper reserve: correlations are not causes, but they are the strongest evidence we will ever have. This one is about as robust a correlation as exists in the social science.

Now, one can get depressed having won an argument without winning a political fight, but that misunderstands the nature of political fights. Once the argument is won—gay marriage is a fine recent example—the action will go with it, sometimes far more quickly than one expects. The broken consensus is vulnerable to simple aging, at the very least. There are no more grounds for despair about gun control than there were grounds for despair about the persistence of lynching in the face of the fight against that horror. The truth is known, obvious and inarguable. It cannot be said too clearly, and it cannot be said too often: guns make gun violence happen, gun-control laws make it stop. Anyone who says that this is “dubious” or “uncertain” or “as yet undecided” or “up for argument” is a liar or a fool or—well, the third possibility is that he is a true “American exceptionalist”; that is, someone who believes that Americans are so intrinsically, genetically homicidal that the same gun laws that have alleviated violence and ended massacres in Canada and Australia and Great Britain and Europe won’t work here. The only way not to know that is to decide not to know anything. People can do that for a long time, but not forever.

The other argument is that, whatever the truth, all that death is the price we pay for the Second Amendment, which is fixed in place to privilege private gun owners. In fact, as also can’t be said too often, there are grounds for an endless argument about what exactly the Second Amendment does or does not ban. The argument that its preamble—that “well regulated Militia” bit—is meant to define the area of argument seems to many to be decisive. (Ask yourself, If there was no preamble to the Amendment and someone wanted to add it now, would the N.R.A. support or oppose it? It’s obvious, isn’t it?) Only recently has the Second Amendment come to mean a radical departure from previous interpretations.

After there is finally a change on the Supreme Court, the minority in District of Columbia v. Heller, one of the decisive gun-control cases, may well become the majority in some post-Heller case, and the sane interpretation will be restored or rearticulated. That’s the practical way that the American Constitution works. The argument goes on. (The other argument, that guns must be kept in place in order to oppose tyrants, is itself astounding: our children’s lives must be in perpetual danger so that someone can reserve the right to commit violent sedition against our democracy. As Abraham Lincoln said about a similar piece of secessionist blackmail, “That is cool.”)

Getting angry with the people who are actually responsible for the tragedy is tempting, but not helpful. The love of guns, the identification of gun ownership with liberty—these are irrational beliefs, but a rational standard isn’t what’s at stake. Other irrational beliefs—that life is worth preserving at the extreme end of old age, say, or that all children have a right to a high-quality education—are just as irrational, in the sense of being recent and constructed and far from universally accepted.

Jared Diamond’s book “Collapse” is a fine study of why societies persist in obviously irrational, sometimes suicidal, behavior, even when the reality of just how suicidal it is stares them in the face. Why do they continue to deforest in the face of floods, refuse to eat fish even at the price of starvation? Most of the time, he points out, the simple sunk cost of the irrationality helps it persist: we have always believed this, and to un-believe it is to lose our faith in ourselves. Yet sometimes things change. Diamond cites the success story of the Tikopia chiefs who presided over the decision to eliminate pigs from their tiny island, despite an ancient chieftain’s attachment to the destructive animals, and to turn instead to eating shellfish. Passionately held irrational values, even when they are hugely destructive, deserve empathy from all of us, since we all have values that are just as irrational, and just as passionately held. But it’s our job as grownups, not to mention as citizens, to learn the price of our pet irrationality and, like the Tikopians, to undo the animal forces, on our island and in our head, before they finish undoing us.

After the Navy Yard Shooting: Why This No Time to Despair About Gun Control : The New Yorker
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:00 PM   #56
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So here we go again, right back where we started, or seemingly so—one more gun massacre in America. This time at the Washington Navy Yard, a military establishment where the “schoolteachers” are trained members of the military, many of them armed.
There was, I think two(?) MP's that were armed at the scene, one of which he immediately killed and took his weapon. That's not "many." It's actually "next to none." Because unless you're an MP on duty, you are effectively disarmed on base. It's so contradictory. Were responsible enough to fight our nation's wars, handle much heavier firepower than the horrible killing machines civilians can buy, but were not responsible enough to safely carry our own weapons on base? It's a ridiculous policy that's borderline insulting.

On a side-note, none of the fatalities were active duty, they were all civilian contractors. Im sure many were former active duty, but at any rate there's very little training the Navy would have given them that does much good when someone's shooting at you and you don't have anything to shoot back with.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:09 PM   #57
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While we lament the tragedy at the Navy Yard, we continue to circle around the non-solutions of gun control and mental health care.

If we honestly take a look at what leads to these crimes, we would find a complex picture of a shooter’s motivations. The FBI studied this in the context of the “school shooter”. While not a profile per se, the study did cover an array of factors (under broad categories as family dynamics, school dynamics, social dynamics, etc.). Individually, none of the factors would be so unusual that it would trigger government action at any level. Even combined, the factors do not necessarily mean there is a potential shooter.

Gun control would have little or no effect in these situations. Over two thirds of school shooters don’t buy a weapon. They find a weapon at home or at a relative’s house.

The study does highlight one factor - a perpetrators sense of aggrieved entitlement. Non-dominant males who feel they should be on top of the pecking order and feel bullied by those who are on top of the pecking order.

As Anitram noted, the mental illness label is not easily applied. Unlike a broken leg, there is no clear, definitive line between the mentally healthy and the mentally ill. As little as a month before the shooting, Aaron Alexis visited a VA hospital twice.

Quote:
"On both occasions, Mr. Alexis was alert and oriented, and was asked by VA doctors if he was struggling with anxiety or depression, or had thoughts about harming himself or others, which he denied," the statement said.
We must be careful not to establish new laws depriving citizens of certain rights if they seek and received treatment for mental illness. Such laws would have a chilling effect and discourage people from seeking treatment.

We must move beyond the immediate need for simple solutions if we truly want to address this problem.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:29 PM   #58
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Gun control would have little or no effect in these situations. Over two thirds of school shooters don’t buy a weapon. They find a weapon at home or at a relative’s house.
Hmm... so you say that with even some gun control in place it's for about 30% of these shooters to have more difficult access to guns. Not counting the situations then where there are no weapons at home or at a relative's house as they also have no weapon due to some gun control.
No, it won't solve all problems, but I'd welcome any reduction. So I take it!

Can this also be extrapolated to all the firearms deaths in the U.S.A.? So that it'll lowers the estimated victims of this year from ~24,500 to about 17,000? I mean, a suicide by shooting yourself might not be reported so easily, but if it can be prevented it's one less death for the statistics. Again, it won't prevent all firearm deaths - something that's not possible at all - but it's a good first step.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:32 PM   #59
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We must be careful not to establish new laws depriving citizens of certain rights if they seek and received treatment for mental illness. Such laws would have a chilling effect and discourage people from seeking treatment.

We must move beyond the immediate need for simple solutions if we truly want to address this problem.
While I agree that "mental health" is a very large, ambiguous concept. However, there must be some line where we say, "this person obviously can't be trusted with a weapon until he is better."

In the end - it will probably technology that resolves this issue. As sad as it is - a person's behavior, from video game purchases to web sites visited to book purchases will one day trigger "pre-crime" flags.
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Old 09-19-2013, 02:12 PM   #60
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While we lament the tragedy at the Navy Yard, we continue to circle around the non-solutions of gun control and mental health care.

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Gun control would have little or no effect in these situations. Over two thirds of school shooters don’t buy a weapon. They find a weapon at home or at a relative’s house.


read this again.

if Adam Lanza's mother hadn't been in possession of a Bushmaster M17S, a semi-automatic, more kids would be starting the 2nd grade this fall in Newtown, CT.

i find the notion of "aggrieved entitlement" very interesting, and would point to the wide availability of guns in the United States -- as opposed to every other Western nation -- that helps translates such entitlement into mass death.

restricting access to guns reduces gun crime. there is no getting around that.
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