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Old 09-20-2013, 01:37 PM   #91
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I can only assume because these "rights"/cultural resentments are more important than dead Americans?
Are you referencing abortion?
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:37 PM   #92
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this beautifully remembers the victims, while at the same time gutting the mindless DC-scapegoating in the other thread and the broader, routine government worker bashing it implies and we see so regularly parroted on the right:



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This Other Town
Nobody from “This Town” ever met the victims of Monday’s Navy yard shooting. That’s a shame.
By John Feehery|Posted Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, at 11:14 AM

Mark Leibovich wrote This Town, a memorable book about official Washington, its fancy parties, its self-absorbed culture, the incestuous nature of lobbyists, journalists, pundits, strategists, party planners, and socialites.

But there’s a whole other town out there, right under the nose of This Town, and you could see the face of that town in the obituaries of those who died on Monday. Twelve people were gunned down at the Naval Yard, and I can pretty much guarantee that nobody from This Town had ever met them.

There are plenty of people in this other town in the Washington, D.C. metro area. Some serve at the Navy Yard, some at the Pentagon, some the Geospatial Agency, some at the Departments of Agriculture, Labor, Health and Human Services, and various other government agencies.

The people for this other town commute in from distant places like Woodbridge and Waldorf, Rockville, or PG County. They take the Metro, or the VRE or the MARC, or they catch the bus, or they slug their way in. By slug, I mean they basically hitchhike (in an organized fashion, of course), by jumping in other people’s cars at specific points on the highway, which allows the drivers to drive on the HOV lanes. It’s an ingenious system, mostly done organically.

That’s what folks do in this other town to get into work.

These folks work in the Federal government because it is good steady work and the benefits are pretty good, and they like what they do. Some are stirred by patriotism to serve their country in the military, while others like working in fields like health policy or with agriculture programs.

Folks in this other town don’t get to decide whether the government shuts down or not, although if they are deemed nonessential personnel, they don’t work on those days that the government does shut down. Many of these people in this other town got hit hard with the sequester. Some had to take unpaid days off because they were furloughed, all because the Congress decided that cutting discretionary spending was far easier than cutting entitlement spending. Because so many of these folks in this other town live in the suburbs, and because many of the housing prices in those suburbs crashed so substantially, it would be pretty fair to say that they have a better understanding of what the rest of America has been going through than the denizens of This Town.

The 12 who died in Monday’s attack pretty much typified this other town. They ranged in ages from 46 to 73. They mostly liked what they did for a living. Only one lived in the District of Columbia. Most had pretty long commutes into work that morning. They were a racially diverse group and they did all kinds of different things to help make the Navy run. Some were contractors, others were civilian employees, some were still in the Navy.

One of the victims had served as president of the local Rotary Club. Another coached the local girls Jaycees softball team. One was an immigrant from India who had lived the American dream.

Some had already been marked by tragedy. One victim had a son who had been shot dead in the back years earlier. Another’s house had burned down and had to start from scratch.

None of them really thought that when they woke up that fateful Monday morning that it would be their last. They worked for the Navy, but they weren’t on the front lines of whatever war we might be fighting at the moment.

Official Washington, the folks from This Town, have already moved on to the next thing. To them, like the various other needless and senseless violent gun attacks that have befallen the country, this is just another example of how tragedy hits folks outside the bubble. To the folks in This Town, this might have happened almost anywhere else in America, but it happened surreally in their back yard, to people they didn’t really know, but had probably run across in their daily travels.

The folks in this other town, as exemplified by those who died on Monday, are not so different than people in the rest of the country. They live for their families and they are doing the best that they can to make it through every day. Some people like to rail against Washington and Washington bureaucrats, but those folks who live in this other town aren’t getting rich at the expense of the taxpayers. They are trying to do their jobs the best they can, and they provide an essential role in the running of our federal government.

Navy yard shootings: Federal employees and contractors were the victims. - Slate Magazine
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:38 PM   #93
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Are you referencing abortion?

that was amazing. right out of the playbook. thank you.
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:50 PM   #94
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And we still fail to address the real problem.

When you consider how many millions of guns exist in the US, and the relatively minute number that are used in crimes, to blame the gun is empty rhetoric. Otherwise, we would see mass shoot-outs all over the country every day.
Well there's empty rhetoric on both sides. It's too bad no one listens to those of us in the middle, it's only the extremes that get heard. The amount of guns is a symptom not the problem. It's the gun culture. There are sectors of this society that have an almost unhealthy obsession with guns. They're toys, bumper stickers, fashion accessories in music videos, and celebrated in these circles. You have folks that are calling for more guns, championing teachers with guns, championing college campuses with guns without championing the background checks or training. And I'm not talking about training, "here's how to hold your gun", but real training about how to react in a public mass shooting. But no we can't have that, so now we get drunken college frat boys with guns and school full of accessible guns. Yay! So we just keep pumping more guns into the country, well guess what it just makes it that much easier... soon you won't even need a blackmarket.

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If you removed 90% of the guns in the US, you would not see a 90% drop in gun crime. The individuals who want to commit a crime using a gun will find a gun.
I think the issue is much more nuanced than that. Many of the mass shootings have occurred from mentally unstable, school age kids, or the disgruntle. These aren't usually the kind of folks that have ties to the blackmarket. Many of those instances where you hear someone say, "he just snapped" were not planned out weeks in advanced. The ease of access allowed these folks to react in the moment to their emotions or lack of clarity.
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:56 PM   #95
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that was amazing. right out of the playbook. thank you.
Let’s see if I can sum up your thread here.

You blame guns.

You acknowledge that nearly all gun owners are law abiding citizens (who don’t buy guns to commit crimes).

You don’t understand gun culture, so rather than focus on the criminal, gun owners’ rights are not valid/worth protecting.

Here is an editorial or list of children’s names (will their pictures be next?)

Will there be any effort to go beyond the forgoing?
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Old 09-20-2013, 01:59 PM   #96
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Well there's empty rhetoric on both sides. It's too bad no one listens to those of us in the middle, it's only the extremes that get heard. The amount of guns is a symptom not the problem. It's the gun culture. There are sectors of this society that have an almost unhealthy obsession with guns. They're toys, bumper stickers, fashion accessories in music videos, and celebrated in these circles. You have folks that are calling for more guns, championing teachers with guns, championing college campuses with guns without championing the background checks or training. And I'm not talking about training, "here's how to hold your gun", but real training about how to react in a public mass shooting. But no we can't have that, so now we get drunken college frat boys with guns and school full of accessible guns. Yay! So we just keep pumping more guns into the country, well guess what it just makes it that much easier... soon you won't even need a blackmarket.

I think the issue is much more nuanced than that. Many of the mass shootings have occurred from mentally unstable, school age kids, or the disgruntle. These aren't usually the kind of folks that have ties to the blackmarket. Many of those instances where you hear someone say, "he just snapped" were not planned out weeks in advanced. The ease of access allowed these folks to react in the moment to their emotions or lack of clarity.
We're on the same page.

All I've argued is that complex problems are not solved with simplistic, unrealistic solutions. Unless there is a call for confiscation of all privately held guns in the US (which is generally acknowledged as unrealistic), the gun side of the equation will always be there.

What drives the individual to utilize a gun in a criminal fashion (the one in X million) and how to prevent/stop/discourage that person will lead to a better solution.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:06 PM   #97
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Well there's empty rhetoric on both sides. It's too bad no one listens to those of us in the middle, it's only the extremes that get heard. The amount of guns is a symptom not the problem. It's the gun culture. There are sectors of this society that have an almost unhealthy obsession with guns. They're toys, bumper stickers, fashion accessories in music videos, and celebrated in these circles. You have folks that are calling for more guns, championing teachers with guns, championing college campuses with guns without championing the background checks or training. And I'm not talking about training, "here's how to hold your gun", but real training about how to react in a public mass shooting. But no we can't have that, so now we get drunken college frat boys with guns and school full of accessible guns. Yay! So we just keep pumping more guns into the country, well guess what it just makes it that much easier... soon you won't even need a blackmarket.
I agree that even if new gun laws came into place, there will still be a way for some people to get guns on the black marketplace. That's why the focus needs to be on gun culture, which is nothing to celebrate, whether you live in a small town or urban areas. It is bizarre and disturbing that guns are seen as a trophy when they are methods of killing people. It is also disturbing that some see guns as the solution to all our country's problems. Unfortunately, because of how fanatical some are about guns, gun culture will be around for a very long time.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:10 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by nbcrusader View Post

What drives the individual to utilize a gun in a criminal fashion (the one in X million) and how to prevent/stop/discourage that person will lead to a better solution.
I am having a difficult time understanding your position, so I'd like to clarify rather than misunderstand.

Are you in favour of NO restrictions on guns as things are now and only in favour of "preventing/stopping/discouraging" people from using them? I'm not sure what that even amounts to, it's such squishy language. Cognitive/behavioural therapy?

Surely there are reasonably restrictions that can be placed on gun ownership, but if even that is a point that you are not willing to concede on, then I'm not sure what else is left.

Like I said, I don't want to misstate what you've said.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:12 PM   #99
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I'd also like to know what is it that makes Americans so much more violent with guns than other nations if not the easy access to guns? Yes, you have more of them, but you have way more PER CAPITA, which is what matters, not the total number.

By the way, if you look into gun crime in Canada, guess where the bulk of those illegal guns originate? That's right, our neighbour to the south. So the implications don't even stop at your borders.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:22 PM   #100
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You blame guns.
yes. a gun is a crime waiting to happen. it probably won't, but when it does, it's of an order of magnitude worse than any other purchasable good. a gun is a killing machine, and if lawn darts are banned because a couple of kids died, it's because lawn darts don't have a massive industry lobbying in Congress on its behalf.



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You acknowledge that nearly all gun owners are law abiding citizens (who don’t buy guns to commit crimes).
yes.



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You don’t understand gun culture, so rather than focus on the criminal, gun owners’ rights are not valid/worth protecting.
given extensive travel in the US as well as exposure to very rural, very southern ways of life, i am actually quite familiar with gun culture. it's weird and strange to me, but i understand it likely much better than you do. and, no, i don't think it's a "right" worth protecting with the relentless "from my cold, dead hands" mentality of the NRA. i think the 2nd amendment is misunderstood, and i see no reason why it is absolute when the 4th amendment isn't.


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Here is an editorial or list of children’s names (will their pictures be next?)
given the fact that you think zygotes and the "rights" of Americans to own semiautomatics are apparently more precious than 1st graders, and the fact that Newtown is very immediate to me, there is no reason not to list the children's names. they were murdered because a woman chose to exercise her "right" to purchase a semi-automatic rifle while caring for her mentally ill son. had Mrs. Lanza not had such a weapon, those children would be alive today.


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Will there be any effort to go beyond the forgoing?
i've pointed to Australia. i've also stated that i think guns should be like cars -- everyone registered and, more importantly, insured. i think home owner's insurance should go up should one choose to register a gun in the home (it does if one owns a pitt bull). i'd register and limit ammo as well. i'd ban the purchasing of semi-automacit weapons as well. i also posted an article about gun manufacturers improving the safety of the guns themselves. fingerprint recognition might be an interesting angle to pursue.

i know some people live in a fantasy world where every criminal is a mastermind who can get any gun he or she desires and can never be stopped. but the reality is that the vast majority of gun crime -- the the shooting just a couple blocks from my house on Tuesday, no one dead, thankfully -- arises from the opportunity presented by a gun itself. most gun crime in DC come from either drugs or, more frequently, beefs between individuals. it's the presence of a gun that causes a beef, or a domestic dispute, to become something deadly.

and that's not even addressing mental health, something that could be ameliorated by universal health care.

better? it's a shame that i've had to list all that i've put forward, but i suppose it's necessary.

let's hear your solutions.
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Old 09-20-2013, 03:12 PM   #101
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I am having a difficult time understanding your position, so I'd like to clarify rather than misunderstand.

Are you in favour of NO restrictions on guns as things are now and only in favour of "preventing/stopping/discouraging" people from using them? I'm not sure what that even amounts to, it's such squishy language. Cognitive/behavioural therapy?

Surely there are reasonably restrictions that can be placed on gun ownership, but if even that is a point that you are not willing to concede on, then I'm not sure what else is left.

Like I said, I don't want to misstate what you've said.
Thank you for your questions.

I think we’ve got to step back and realize the United States has a crime problem, not just a gun crime problem. Compare the United States with India. India has 4X the population, much more severe income inequality, yet a crime rate that is significantly less that the United States. Culturally, we perpetuate or tolerate a way of life that does not strongly oppose crime.

We also have to deal with the cultural difference between the US and the rest of the world when it comes to the origins of our gun culture. Between the sound political basis for the Second Amendment and the expansion across a continent, the idea of a gun in the hands of an individual (as opposed to only government) is deeply rooted in our culture. The culture of the US has changed over time – more so in some areas than other – so I understand why some may not be interested or inclined to ever own a gun or see the need for one.

I’ve never advocated NO gun restrictions. There are gun control laws of various levels throughout the US, many of which make perfect sense. Criminal background checks, requirements for proper storage, reasonable waiting periods all have benefits. A gun control law that promotes sound behavior (like proper storage of a gun, basics of gun handling, etc.) helps anyone who buys a gun properly.

Unfortunately, none of these laws will impact those who do not follow the law. In California, it is illegal to own an automatic or semi-automatic gun. Yet, within a 50 mile radius of where I live, I would bet a year’s salary that you would find plenty of these weapons in the hands of various gangs. Gun laws don’t mean much to the criminal. Enforcement is lax and the deterrent for conviction must be too remote to be effective.

If we are going to impose pain on the citizens of the United States through laws addressing gun crime, I would prefer laws that impose significant pain on those who would misuse guns over laws that impose a lesser degree of pain to everyone in the hopes that it will deter the criminal.
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Old 09-21-2013, 02:59 AM   #102
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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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If you removed 90% of the guns in the US, you would not see a 90% drop in gun crime. The individuals who want to commit a crime using a gun will find a gun.
"(Proposed solution) won't solve the whole of the problem, so it's not worth attempting" is the single worst argument that can be made against that proposed solution.

"It's going to cost a lot of money!" is a close second.

I'm not saying that either of you are, in general, passive towards gun reform (I haven't observed that in this thread), merely that these individual posts have an either/or mentality when I personally believe taking several angles at this problem is more likely to increase safety than settling on one.
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Old 09-21-2013, 03:12 AM   #103
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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."
So where is the line drawn then? Now there just weren't enough guns? All the arguments after Newton seemed to be, "If only the teachers had had guns, they could have prevented this." Now you're saying that they might as well not have had guns because they were taken unawares and easily disarmed. Should all of the first graders have had guns too? If we all have guns, then and only then can we truly be safe.
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Yet, areas outside of Chicago and DC are not plagued with shootings.
That's a joke...right? Have you been to NW Indiana? I live here, buddy.

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Here is an editorial or list of children’s names (will their pictures be next?)
Yes. Their pictures should be posted all day, every day until something...anything happens to make this stop. I don't ever want to see another child die at the end of a gun. That's not going to happen, but until I actually see someone do something to make it better, keep posting their names, their pictures, the family they've left behind.

It makes me sick to my stomach, really, that you would even be so passe at the posting of their names as though it was just a bit of fluff journalism. It's reality. Those are dead children. Kids who had Christmas presents waiting for them at home. It's never going to go away, it's never going to be ok for those parents and family and friends. It just absolutely kills me that people can look at that list of names and basically say, "So?"
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Old 09-21-2013, 04:16 AM   #104
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What I don't get from those who argue against gun control is why there is an issue with a national database, real background checks, registrations, etc. etc.

Most "illegal" guns are legal somewhere in the US. We aren't taking about guys going around with bazookas here. If it wasn't so easy to buy guns in some of these states, there would be less illegal guns on the streets of our cities.

Will any real gun control legislation fully stop gun violence? No, of course not. Especially not at first; there are just too many guns on the street as it is. But in time the numbers will go down as old guns are taken off the streets and new guns become harder to come by.
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Old 09-21-2013, 05:17 AM   #105
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Why is it even an argument that because not EVERY gun can be confiscated, it shouldn't even be tried to get stricter gun laws?

When a kid can easily get a gun, something's WRONG with your country. If you make it harder for people to get a gun, less gun related crimes will occur. Simple as that. Sure, the big bad guys will still be able to get a gun, but they already can do that now? So if you can prevent a lot of gun related crimes, murders and mass shootings by starting to regulate guns, why the fuck wouldn't you want it?



It's like saying in sports, "oh we can't possibly beat all our opponnents, maybe we should just drop out of the competition"...
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