School Shootings And Other Tragedies: We're Approaching This The Wrong Way

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or alternatively The Real Question: How Do We Stop The Crazies?

So far back as I can remember, any discussion about mass school shooting (or even any massacre involving a gun) has always turned to gun control. This makes sense in the heat of the moment; crazy person used a gun to kill people, so if you keep the guns out of the crazy people's hands, they can't shoot people.

But...that's wrong, and in more ways than one. And I'll tell you why.

The problem is twofold, really. First is the problem of focusing on why or how the person responsible for these tragedies did these things. This always happens, and I don't just mean people talking about guns; remember when everyone thought Marylin Manson was to blame for the Columbine Massacre? Remember when people were blaming Call of Duty for the Virginia Tech Massacre?

Prevention, real prevention, is about information more than it is anything else. And the information we need to have is that, in these situations, there isn't a whole lot we can do. This is not what we're being told. Instead, we get damaging, biased information.

Sure, some people say that taking away guns is the answer, but then people will use bombs or knives or pointed sticks. If a person is intent on doing harm, the only way to stop them is to put them somewhere they can't harm anyone.

Some people say putting guards in schools is the answer, but I can't agree with that, either. This idea is a result of fear-mongering, of news and media saying over and over every time this happens, "THIS COULD HAPPEN TO YOU!" What's more, a great number of schools have guards already. I'm not certain how much this would help.

Some people have the audacity to blame music or movies or video games for the violence perpetrated in these cases. Ignore them. Heap ridicule onto them. Those that try to take advantage of a tragedy to push their own agenda deserve nothing but scorn and contempt.

The second problem is, related to the first, the victimizing of the person responsible for these crimes. A person who shoot twenty people is NOT a victim; they can be disturbed, mentally unstable, even pitiful, but they are NOT victims.

Tragedies are going to happen. They have and will continue to happen for as long as mankind exists. There is no law, no prohibition, no safeguard and no combination of the three which is going to be 100% effective, ever. There are always going to be cracks and there are always going to be people who slip through them. No amount of accusation or blame or finger pointing is going to bring back the people we have lost. It will always be a tragedy when it happens, but it will happen, regardless.

It is the responsibility of the Media to help carry us through these times, and they have, up to this point, failed miserably in this. They have, without exception, refused to focus on the true victims of these tragedies, and chosen to focus on the perpetrators of these massacres and whatever media or subject is under fire that week. This is not just bad journalism, this is irresponsible and ultimately damaging to our culture. Not liking something doesn't make it evil or despicable.

Lastly, when talking about these tragedies, we have to remember the victims. The real victims, the people who's lives were senselessly and abruptly ended. Beyond any debates on censorship or regulation, beyond any argument about who or what is to blame, these are the people we have, and continually, failed to save. We can't help all of them, and we have to know that, but grandstanding and finger pointing isn't going to help anyone.

IN MEMORAM

Victims of the Sandy Hook Shooting:

Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel D'Avino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Madeleine Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Rousseau, 30,
Mary Sherlach, 56,
Victoria Leigh Soto, 27
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6

So...how do we stop the crazies? Because all I got from your post is that no method is going to be 100% effective and things like this will always happen, implying we shouldn't even try and instead should just mourn the victims of each tragedy. Do you have an idea besides just taking it with a stiff upper lip? I mean, you did mention prevention, so I'm assuming you do actually think it's possible and have an idea for it.

LetalisK:
So...how do we stop the crazies? Because all I got from your post is that no method is going to be 100% effective and things like this will always happen, implying we shouldn't even try and instead should just mourn the victims of each tragedy. Do you have an idea besides just taking it with a stiff upper lip? I mean, you did mention prevention, so I'm assuming you do actually think it's possible and have an idea for it.

Well, no, my point was twofold; one (and more importiantly) that we were looking at the whole thing in the wrong light, and two, that we can't stop every single tragedy. We can try, but there always will be.

And we already have things in place to prevent these things from happening; psychiatrists, armed guards, we even send at-risk youth to safe schools. Beyond having every student home-schooled, no, I don't see anything else we can do.

The problem is misinformation. The fact of the matter is mass shootings don't happen nearly as much as people think they do; there have been less than forty in the last twenty years.

I'm not saying that we should just let things happen OR that we should just taking a stiff upper lip. What I'm saying is that instead of letting our emotions completely overwhelm us, why don't we take a deep breath, step back for a moment, and look at the larger ramifications of these kinds of things? And that's hard. I know it is, but we have to.

I think that people need to stop using the arguments of "It will happen anyway" or "Then they might do <this> instead" as an excuse to not attempt some method of at least reducing the chances of such things happening. The reason why gun control is such a hot topic to the issue is because of the overwhelming statistical disparity between crime fatalities in nations of similar social and political situations with differing gun laws.

According to the rest of the world it almost seems like the United States likes owning guns more than it likes having a society where guns aren't needed by civilians. Other nations of similar socio-economic status do not need armed guards to protect children and the last thing they would even consider is arming teachers.

As for the frequency, two a year is staggering when compared to other nations. There are also so many "failed" and prevented killing sprees in the United States also. The one constant is that mainiacs had too easy a time obtaining firearms, half of the time they were the easiest piece of the puzzle.

Other nations have proportionately just as many nutters as the United States of America but they have far less access to firearms and therefore far fewer successful/attempted killing sprees. It isn't just about obtaining legal firearms, it's about stealing one of the many-many-many legal firearms. Keeping guns out of the hands of crazies in the United States is an impossible endeavour because there are just -so many- guns there.

The rest of the world knows the United States won't try and reduce the number of guns in circulation, but it isn't going to stop them from calling them idiots for allowing there to be so many in the first place.

The "options" left to deal with it are incredibly costly and baffling. Arming teachers? Security guards at schools? MORE guns? More mental aid funding? With what money, America?

Then again considering how much the nation spends on the military why don't they just have two soldiers per school? Wouldn't cost any more since the soldiers are employed by the government anyway and I am certain most nutters would re-think their chances with an armed professional warrior on sentry duty. It isn't like America is hurting for soldiers. But I suppose there will be objections to the idea of the military having a presence in civilian society, because everyone knows that soldiers aren't civilians under the uniform.

000Ronald:

The problem is misinformation. The fact of the matter is mass shootings don't happen nearly as much as people think they do; there have been less than forty in the last twenty years.

Doesn't that work out to about one shooting every six months or so?

000Ronald:
or alternatively The Real Question: How Do We Stop The Crazies?

Well the first step would be to stop derisively calling them "crazies" and assuming they're some different kind of breed of a human being.

Then you develop an efficient mental healthcare system that helps people deal with their issues properly instead of a) just getting them high on prescription drugs or b) telling them to suck it up and grow a pair.

Some will always slip through the cracks, mind, but saying "Oh they're just crazy" instead of trying to understand why such things happen is the defeatist, least resistance path.

Vegosiux:

000Ronald:
or alternatively The Real Question: How Do We Stop The Crazies?

Well the first step would be to stop derisively calling them "crazies" and assuming they're some different kind of breed of a human being.

Then you develop an efficient mental healthcare system that helps people deal with their issues properly instead of a) just getting them high on prescription drugs or b) telling them to suck it up and grow a pair.

Some will always slip through the cracks, mind, but saying "Oh they're just crazy" instead of trying to understand why such things happen is the defeatist, least resistance path.

I'm sorry, but when you cross the line and start shooting up a school or set fire to your house to attract fire-fighters so you can shoot them you ARE a 'crazy'.

There's a time when someone is a misunderstood individual and there's a time when someone's just frigging psycho. Opening fire on innocents is clearly in the latter's camp.

Abomination:
I'm sorry, but when you cross the line and start shooting up a school or set fire to your house to attract fire-fighters so you can shoot them you ARE a 'crazy'.

There's a time when someone is a misunderstood individual and there's a time when someone's just frigging psycho. Opening fire on innocents is clearly in the latter's camp.

Uh huh. And how do you suggest to figure out which "camp" one is in before they do anything? Cause, you know, by your own logic here, if you want to call them "crazies" you kind of have to let them shoot up a school first, and why in blue blazes would you want to let that happen?

As I've said fifty billion times, it's not a gun problem. Every mass murderer has had severe mental health issues. People who were really concerned with reducing both mass murders and crime in general would be more concerned with improving our mental health system (as well as streamlining the method of reporting people to be taken in for reconditioning) as opposed to pushing for more gun control, which is a lost cause at this point.

Vegosiux:

Abomination:
I'm sorry, but when you cross the line and start shooting up a school or set fire to your house to attract fire-fighters so you can shoot them you ARE a 'crazy'.

There's a time when someone is a misunderstood individual and there's a time when someone's just frigging psycho. Opening fire on innocents is clearly in the latter's camp.

Uh huh. And how do you suggest to figure out which "camp" one is in before they do anything? Cause, you know, by your own logic here, if you want to call them "crazies" you kind of have to let them shoot up a school first, and why in blue blazes would you want to let that happen?

Clearly via the methods shown in Minority Report.

But to be serious it is impossible to tell. One person's mental trauma can be another person's Vietnam flashback. Many of the gunners have been youths with minimal signs of any mental issues - most are shown in some degree in every teenager anyway.

Then again, one doesn't need to be clinically insane to start shooting people. A person can just decide on their own free will or even under the influence of certain narcotics.

Of course, it's impossible to prevent such things in the United States - guns are so easy to acquire, the health care system is a joke, the nation is obsessed with its military, guns are considered a right and not a responsibility... it's the perfect place to breed such things.

What you've said is to improve the health-care to try and treat people who suffer from these problems before someone rotten happens and that the media should stop glorifying the perpetrators of said crimes. We romanticize these actions both in the way we 'remember' those dead and in the way we view our assailant. This is relatively new to the time because of the way current information is spread at the click of a button. Even if you can stop the presses, radio and television, the internet is a free-for-all arena.

Abomination:

As for the frequency, two a year is staggering when compared to other nations. There are also so many "failed" and prevented killing sprees in the United States also. The one constant is that mainiacs had too easy a time obtaining firearms, half of the time they were the easiest piece of the puzzle.

Other nations have proportionately just as many nutters as the United States of America but they have far less access to firearms and therefore far fewer successful/attempted killing sprees. It isn't just about obtaining legal firearms, it's about stealing one of the many-many-many legal firearms. Keeping guns out of the hands of crazies in the United States is an impossible endeavour because there are just -so many- guns there.

I'm unsure of this. Do other nations really have just the same amount of 'nutters', i.e people willing to go to extreme lenghts with violence in order to make a point (however minor or insane that point is)?
Maybe proportionally to population (maybe), but 'just as many'? I am unsure.
I don't think it is just the access to guns, and that isn't the main problem in my eyes. The main problem is that there seems to be such a culture of violence that inspires these things. Because honestly, if you want to get a-hold of a gun and start killing people in the EU, then you will. You just have to put some effort into it.
So maybe the problem isn't guns, but the culture in general? The lack of certain social nets? Or maybe that you have 300 Million people, while the rest of the western world has far less?

Realitycrash:

Abomination:

As for the frequency, two a year is staggering when compared to other nations. There are also so many "failed" and prevented killing sprees in the United States also. The one constant is that mainiacs had too easy a time obtaining firearms, half of the time they were the easiest piece of the puzzle.

Other nations have proportionately just as many nutters as the United States of America but they have far less access to firearms and therefore far fewer successful/attempted killing sprees. It isn't just about obtaining legal firearms, it's about stealing one of the many-many-many legal firearms. Keeping guns out of the hands of crazies in the United States is an impossible endeavour because there are just -so many- guns there.

I'm unsure of this. Do other nations really have just the same amount of 'nutters', i.e people willing to go to extreme lenghts with violence in order to make a point (however minor or insane that point is)?
Maybe proportionally to population (maybe), but 'just as many'? I am unsure.
I don't think it is just the access to guns, and that isn't the main problem in my eyes. The main problem is that there seems to be such a culture of violence that inspires these things. Because honestly, if you want to get a-hold of a gun and start killing people in the EU, then you will. You just have to put some effort into it.
So maybe the problem isn't guns, but the culture in general? The lack of certain social nets? Or maybe that you have 300 Million people, while the rest of the western world has far less?

Sorry, you're right. Proportionately it likely has the same number.

The difficulty of acquiring a gun in the EU is considerably more difficult than in the United States. It is so difficult it must serve as a deterrent as well as a limited of the extremity (one needs an ample supply of ammunition as well, backup weapons etc. to be truly effective). Certainly the most determined type of socio-path will still obtain the firearms he desires but the -lesser- determined or deranged would not be able to... and that reduces the death count and that's still a victory.

The thing is guns ARE part of the culture in the United States, it's a double whammy. The lack of social services and promotion of military (and its spending) in the United States is also a considerable factor. There are armed forces recruitment adds on CARTOON NETWORK. They are exposing almost every single child to the glory of warfare... other nations find that abhorrent. Such options and decisions should only be made apparent at an age where the mind has properly developed.

000Ronald:

LetalisK:
So...how do we stop the crazies? Because all I got from your post is that no method is going to be 100% effective and things like this will always happen, implying we shouldn't even try and instead should just mourn the victims of each tragedy. Do you have an idea besides just taking it with a stiff upper lip? I mean, you did mention prevention, so I'm assuming you do actually think it's possible and have an idea for it.

Well, no, my point was twofold; one (and more importiantly) that we were looking at the whole thing in the wrong light, and two, that we can't stop every single tragedy. We can try, but there always will be.

And we already have things in place to prevent these things from happening; psychiatrists, armed guards, we even send at-risk youth to safe schools. Beyond having every student home-schooled, no, I don't see anything else we can do.

The problem is misinformation. The fact of the matter is mass shootings don't happen nearly as much as people think they do; there have been less than forty in the last twenty years.

I'm not saying that we should just let things happen OR that we should just taking a stiff upper lip. What I'm saying is that instead of letting our emotions completely overwhelm us, why don't we take a deep breath, step back for a moment, and look at the larger ramifications of these kinds of things? And that's hard. I know it is, but we have to.

That's very depressing, then. I mean, with your second point, I don't think any rational person is going to disagree with that. Even people who are in favor of a broad gun ban realize that there is still going to be some gun violence even if the ban operates as intended. But more importantly, you said "I don't see anything else we can do" and I couldn't disagree more and I have difficulty understanding how someone can look at what we have now and see that as the best we can do.

Abomination:

Realitycrash:

Abomination:

As for the frequency, two a year is staggering when compared to other nations. There are also so many "failed" and prevented killing sprees in the United States also. The one constant is that mainiacs had too easy a time obtaining firearms, half of the time they were the easiest piece of the puzzle.

Other nations have proportionately just as many nutters as the United States of America but they have far less access to firearms and therefore far fewer successful/attempted killing sprees. It isn't just about obtaining legal firearms, it's about stealing one of the many-many-many legal firearms. Keeping guns out of the hands of crazies in the United States is an impossible endeavour because there are just -so many- guns there.

I'm unsure of this. Do other nations really have just the same amount of 'nutters', i.e people willing to go to extreme lenghts with violence in order to make a point (however minor or insane that point is)?
Maybe proportionally to population (maybe), but 'just as many'? I am unsure.
I don't think it is just the access to guns, and that isn't the main problem in my eyes. The main problem is that there seems to be such a culture of violence that inspires these things. Because honestly, if you want to get a-hold of a gun and start killing people in the EU, then you will. You just have to put some effort into it.
So maybe the problem isn't guns, but the culture in general? The lack of certain social nets? Or maybe that you have 300 Million people, while the rest of the western world has far less?

Sorry, you're right. Proportionately it likely has the same number.

The difficulty of acquiring a gun in the EU is considerably more difficult than in the United States. It is so difficult it must serve as a deterrent as well as a limited of the extremity (one needs an ample supply of ammunition as well, backup weapons etc. to be truly effective). Certainly the most determined type of socio-path will still obtain the firearms he desires but the -lesser- determined or deranged would not be able to... and that reduces the death count and that's still a victory.

The thing is guns ARE part of the culture in the United States, it's a double whammy. The lack of social services and promotion of military (and its spending) in the United States is also a considerable factor. There are armed forces recruitment adds on CARTOON NETWORK. They are exposing almost every single child to the glory of warfare... other nations find that abhorrent. Such options and decisions should only be made apparent at an age where the mind has properly developed.

But can we change legislation, without first changing the culture which supports said legislation? I doubt it, or it is at least very hard (it's like trying to legalize pot, or gay marriage, without there being a sufficient foundation for people wanting to accept such a legislation).
So maybe we should start at the cultural level, but that's even more confusing; How do we change the US gun-culture and similar mentality?
Because if we are looking at this from 'the wrong way', then I think that this is where we need to start.

Realitycrash:

Abomination:
Sorry, you're right. Proportionately it likely has the same number.

The difficulty of acquiring a gun in the EU is considerably more difficult than in the United States. It is so difficult it must serve as a deterrent as well as a limited of the extremity (one needs an ample supply of ammunition as well, backup weapons etc. to be truly effective). Certainly the most determined type of socio-path will still obtain the firearms he desires but the -lesser- determined or deranged would not be able to... and that reduces the death count and that's still a victory.

The thing is guns ARE part of the culture in the United States, it's a double whammy. The lack of social services and promotion of military (and its spending) in the United States is also a considerable factor. There are armed forces recruitment adds on CARTOON NETWORK. They are exposing almost every single child to the glory of warfare... other nations find that abhorrent. Such options and decisions should only be made apparent at an age where the mind has properly developed.

But can we change legislation, without first changing the culture which supports said legislation? I doubt it, or it is at least very hard (it's like trying to legalize pot, or gay marriage, without there being a sufficient foundation for people wanting to accept such a legislation).
So maybe we should start at the cultural level, but that's even more confusing; How do we change the US gun-culture and similar mentality?
Because if we are looking at this from 'the wrong way', then I think that this is where we need to start.

Tackling the social problems of America is something far out of my league. I am an outsider looking in. I can see WHAT the problems are, many symptoms and some causes but I can not determine how one would convince the United States to shy away from those causes. It is, unfortunately, a generational thing... but the media has strongly enforced that guns are awesome when they're in the right hands. The problem is almost every individual considers their hands to be the "right hands".

Realitycrash:
The main problem is that there seems to be such a culture of violence that inspires these things.

Japan has just as much violent imagery in it's entertainment, but school shootings are unheard of. Japan also has similar mental health problems to the US (or rather, slightly different problems that end up with the same result- people with mental health problems are often left untreated) and yet mass killings are exceedingly rare. There are occaisional incidents where someone flips out and murders a relative or a homeless person or a kid at school, but these incidents are far rarer than in the US. And the reason is because hardly anyone has access to guns, and therefore they can't do as much damage when they flip out. Yes, mass killing incidents do sometimes happen, but they are rarer and their casualty count is lower.

For example, gun advocates like to point out that the 2008 Akihabara massacre was perpetrated by a man who didn't have a gun, so he rented a van and plowed through a crowd and then began attacking people with a knife. What they don't like to point out is that he only managed to kill a total of seven people in one of the most violent incidents in recent Japanese history. And that incidents like this are far rarer than mass killings in the US. And of course, the homicide rate in Japan is 0.4 per 100,000 people, while in the US it's a whopping 4.2.

Eliminating guns won't prevent violence. A complete prevention of mass killings is an unrealistic goal. But anyone who excludes any talk of gun control from the discussion is not serious about solving this problem. If we're really serious about reducing violence (as opposed to just protecting our hobbies and interests from criticism) then we need a three-pronged approach:

1. Reduction of incidents (better mental health care)

2. Mitigation of the violence possible in an incident (restrictions on gun availability)

3. More effective response (EMT/facility administrator crisis response training)

And of course, anyone who thinks arming teachers would solve the problem deserves nothing better than to be laughed out of the room.

Happy Boxing Day

Kopikatsu:
As I've said fifty billion times, it's not a gun problem. Every mass murderer has had severe mental health issues. People who were really concerned with reducing both mass murders and crime in general would be more concerned with improving our mental health system (as well as streamlining the method of reporting people to be taken in for reconditioning) as opposed to pushing for more gun control, which is a lost cause at this point.

This is true. There are good arguments for better gun control related to this argument though, for example the proper mental screening of applicants for gun licences to control who gets to own a deadly weapon. This wont stop these people doing harm though, it would just limit it, so JUST introducing this only curbs the symptoms rather than the problem and it should NOT be the main focus of those who want to fix things. Its a tertiary thing that could help. Mental health treatment and attitude is a shambles as it is now. Its shameful, not talked about and no clear solutions are presented to those who feel troubled other than "Just be a social periah" which often leads them to reason "Id rather be dead and remembered than crazy and alone". Professional help and identification of these individuals is definitely the kind of thing we need.

Its easy to look at the perp and say "WE SHOULDA SHOT HIS STUPID EVIL FACE DEAD!" or "HES JUST A POOR SAD VICTIM OF AN UNCARING SOCIETY REMOVING ALL THE GUNS WILL SOLVE IT, HUGS FOR EVERYONE". These are both false. He was a sick person. He was ill, medically ill. He needed treatment desperately and for some reason it didnt make it to him. True he could have gone to get it but the worst thing about mental illness is that its symptoms sometimes actively make the patient opposed to treatment or fear treatment which is very counterproductive. You cant shoot this problem away. Or hug it away with flowers. It needs a real system change in the way we identify and help those who are sick in the unconventional way. It needs a system not to remove guns and all weapons but to try and keep those who will do harm with them away from them and closer to other options to help themselves. Kat kun outlined some good methods above.

Katatori-kun:

Eliminating guns won't prevent violence. A complete prevention of mass killings is an unrealistic goal. But anyone who excludes any talk of gun control from the discussion is not serious about solving this problem. If we're really serious about reducing violence (as opposed to just protecting our hobbies and interests from criticism) then we need a three-pronged approach:

1. Reduction of incidents (better mental health care)

2. Mitigation of the violence possible in an incident (restrictions on gun availability)

3. More effective response (EMT/facility administrator crisis response training)

And of course, anyone who thinks arming teachers would solve the problem deserves nothing better than to be laughed out of the room.

Happy Boxing Day

No, but without changing the culture, it seems far harder (as I pointed out) to actually change the legislation concerning gun-availability. I might be wrong, but have Japan ever had a gun-culture in the same way as the US? Has it been legal to own your own gun for 'self-protection', as in the US?
Not to mention how it seems far harder to import and smuggle guns into Japan, since it is an island nation.
I agree on the other points, especially about arming teachers.

And happy New Year.

Realitycrash:

Katatori-kun:

Eliminating guns won't prevent violence. A complete prevention of mass killings is an unrealistic goal. But anyone who excludes any talk of gun control from the discussion is not serious about solving this problem. If we're really serious about reducing violence (as opposed to just protecting our hobbies and interests from criticism) then we need a three-pronged approach:

1. Reduction of incidents (better mental health care)

2. Mitigation of the violence possible in an incident (restrictions on gun availability)

3. More effective response (EMT/facility administrator crisis response training)

And of course, anyone who thinks arming teachers would solve the problem deserves nothing better than to be laughed out of the room.

Happy Boxing Day

No, but without changing the culture, it seems far harder (as I pointed out) to actually change the legislation concerning gun-availability.

Okay, as long as when we talk about gun culture as opposed to culture in general, I can agree that the US and Japan are totally different. I only balk when people start trying to claim that there is something unique in Japanese culture that would make the two countries' violence statistics the same as they are now even if Japanese people were armed to the teeth. I've heard such arguments in anti-gun-control threads before (even on this board) and they smack of casual racism.

I might be wrong, but have Japan ever had a gun-culture in the same way as the US? Has it been legal to own your own gun for 'self-protection', as in the US?

It's actually legal to own firearms in Japan, it's just that the types of firearms available are heavily restricted, what can be done with the firearms is heavily restricted, and authorities have records on who is armed and who isn't. I believe all handguns are illegal, but rifles are permitted for sport shooting or hunting. It seems every year there is a story about some rural town where a wild boar comes down from the mountains and starts rampaging through the town and some old men in the town unlock their boar-hunting rifles from their gun safes and kill it before it does serious harm.

But getting back to gun culture, I think the notion that people need a gun to feel safe just doesn't exist there. There are definitely people with guns in Japan (I suspect actual Yakuza are pretty well armed for example), but because guns are so strongly restricted and because gun crime is so unheard of, anyone who would actually use a gun to commit a crime would attract so much attention that no one does it. People can go about their lives in actual safety, even if they're unarmed and some of the criminals are armed, because people who are likely to commit random violence can't get guns and the people who are likely to commit calculated violence may have guns but know they can't use them on innocents.

And happy New Year.

Thank you, you too!

Realitycrash:

But can we change legislation, without first changing the culture which supports said legislation? I doubt it, or it is at least very hard (it's like trying to legalize pot, or gay marriage, without there being a sufficient foundation for people wanting to accept such a legislation).
So maybe we should start at the cultural level, but that's even more confusing; How do we change the US gun-culture and similar mentality?
Because if we are looking at this from 'the wrong way', then I think that this is where we need to start.

We can and do, actually. Eisenhower is known for not championing desegregation because the culture wasn't ready for it. And he was right that the culture wasn't ready for it. However, Brown vs Board of Education forced the culture to be ready for it and it was effective. When it was decided, Brown was a very unpopular decision, however a decade later the opinion on segregation and Brown had done a complete 180. People do not like having their opinions and beliefs challenged, and thus will hold on to them for as long as they can and blind themselves to other possibilities. Waiting for those attitudes to naturally develop on their own takes an immense amount of time, whereas forcing them to explore those other possibilities gets the same end-result in a much quicker fashion. You can push a culture in the right direction, even if it's them kicking and screaming for awhile.

Edit: That said, it's not a path to mind control, only for breaking down a culture's resistance to considering new ideas. If they honestly consider the new idea and it is wanting, it will fail. Like with the prohibition, for example.

I think because of the sensationalism of school shooters, people forget just what a fluke they are. I actually looked up some numbers. There were six incidents in 2012 in the US. Three of them were suicides. One resulted in three deaths and three wounded. One, Sandy Hooks, resulted in 27 deaths with one taking place away from the school. The final resulted in two deaths, one murder and one suicide, with, I shit you not, a bow and arrow.

Now, not counting the suicides, that leaves 30 dead. In a year.

Three attacks at three different schools. There are over 100,000 k-12 schools in the US with 98,000 public schools.

When you consider that there were more shark attacks this year, you sort of realize how insane all this has become. Three crazed gunmen is not enough to justify demonizing video games, calling for armed guards, or legislating fire arms. Times of tragedy are when rational thought are needed the most. Emotional people do stupid things. Unfortunately, I don't see much of it.

Katatori-kun:
Snip

Same as with Sweden. It's perfectly legal to own a handgun (for sport-shooting) or a rifle (sport-shooting, hunting), and we actually have an extremely high gun-concentration per capita (one of the highest in the EU), but since gun-crime is very rare, and you can't use your weapon for self-defense (or you can, but you have a large chance of ending up getting arrested yourself. Itls a legal gray-area), the culture is very different. I don't know a single one who would even think about owning a firearm for protection, or anyone who wouldn't give such a person a wide-breath and consider them slightly unhinged.
It just isn't done here, not in that fashion.
I imagine the Civil War and Second Amendment started the whole thing, but how to reverse it?

LetalisK:

Realitycrash:

But can we change legislation, without first changing the culture which supports said legislation? I doubt it, or it is at least very hard (it's like trying to legalize pot, or gay marriage, without there being a sufficient foundation for people wanting to accept such a legislation).
So maybe we should start at the cultural level, but that's even more confusing; How do we change the US gun-culture and similar mentality?
Because if we are looking at this from 'the wrong way', then I think that this is where we need to start.

We can and do, actually. Eisenhower is known for not championing desegregation because the culture wasn't ready for it. And he was right that the culture wasn't ready for it. However, Brown vs Board of Education forced the culture to be ready for it and it was effective. When it was decided, Brown was a very unpopular decision, however a decade later the opinion on segregation and Brown had done a complete 180. People do not like having their opinions and beliefs challenged, and thus will hold on to them for as long as they can and blind themselves to other possibilities. Waiting for those attitudes to naturally develop on their own takes an immense amount of time, whereas forcing them to explore those other possibilities gets the same end-result in a much quicker fashion. You can push a culture in the right direction, even if it's them kicking and screaming for awhile.

Edit: That said, it's not a path to mind control, only for breaking down a culture's resistance to considering new ideas. If they honestly consider the new idea and it is wanting, it will fail. Like with the prohibition, for example.

Oh, I know that you CAN do it, but it requires some authoritative federal-level enforcement. You know, what a lot of the people who cry 'Freeedooooom!' in the US kind of loathe?
We do such things over here all the time (currently being done with a new Urban-Driving Tax, to reduce pollution and encourage communal-transportation-systems, and boy are people pissed) but people have a whole lot more respect and trust in Big Government over here too.

It's good to see katatori back

I think we're seeing a huge case of defeatism when it comes to the gun control issue. People identify the so called 'gun culture' or 'glory of violence' and see controlling it as impossible. They brush off any potential of controlling guns because they are so ingrained in American society, or because there are so many guns out there. This is simply a terrible mindset. If you agree or if you don't, this is giving up and shrugging... Saying the issue is unsolvable.

000Ronald:
Sure, some people say that taking away guns is the answer, but then people will use bombs or knives or pointed sticks. If a person is intent on doing harm, the only way to stop them is to put them somewhere they can't harm anyone.

No they don't. The reality in countries with gun bans proves this. Ban guns, and the crazies that you might occasionally have can't cause much of a massacre.

Just today details from Belgian murderer Kim de Gelder appeared in the newspapers. He's a narcistic killer, bittered, yet calculating, the worst possible type of spree killer. He planned the Dendermonde massacre for months, carefully planning, practising knife techniques, purchasing disguises, etc etc. He carefully planned entering a kindergarten with the intent of killing all the children. Had he been armed with firearms, no doubt dozens and dozens of people would've been killed.

But Belgium has tight gun laws. De Gelder noticed three men standing outside his target kindergarten talking, and knew they would overpower him if he started. Had he had guns, he'd have shot them and embarked on a crazy killing spree.

Instead he had to move on to his secondary smaller target. He killed a caretaker and two babies, and twelve people were injured. It's a great tragedy, but in the end he managed to do only a fraction of the damage he would've if he'd been armed with firearms. The guy was by all accounts a trained killer, yet he failed to even kill more than a fifth of the people he attacked, and he was mostly attacking small children.

Who in their right mind could argue banning guns wouldn't decrease violence if even a trained killer can't do as much damage against freaking babies and small children?


Also, why print a list of victims if you evidently don't care about stopping those massacres? Why pretend to care if you're unwilling to act on it? Many people will probably find that offensive, just like the gun lobby's suggestion of getting even more bullets flying around in classrooms was seen as deeply offensive.

The issue has no solution, but there are responses. Consider how strongly you, as a child, were educated about fire safety, prevention and trained to deal with the situation. You may have gone through a mock "smoke house" to learn to stay low and not stop to take your valuables. You were drilled to file orderly out of a burning building and knew your designated exits and your teachers kept track of you. There are fire alarms, sprinkler systems, fire-resistant materials and fire extinguishers in buildings and residences for good reasons. Society takes fires very seriously.

And there is a reason we don't see fire massacres at schools with high death tolls. There is a reason we see mass shootings at these institutions because the real problem is not access to guns, it's that society is still in denial.

If it took this threat as seriously as it does with fires and ensured the awareness, preparedness and yes, equipment to deal with it, should it occur, many lives would still be here today, many more that will be lost would not have to be.

It is incredibly unfocused and out of order to jump to health care as the issue. This is preventive care. The active care is to shoot the gunman. When someone steals firearms, murders his mother and breaks into a school to kill, we're a bit past the group therapy sessions.

Katatori-kun:

Realitycrash:
The main problem is that there seems to be such a culture of violence that inspires these things.

Japan has just as much violent imagery in it's entertainment, but school shootings are unheard of. Japan also has similar mental health problems to the US (or rather, slightly different problems that end up with the same result- people with mental health problems are often left untreated) and yet mass killings are exceedingly rare. There are occaisional incidents where someone flips out and murders a relative or a homeless person or a kid at school, but these incidents are far rarer than in the US. And the reason is because hardly anyone has access to guns, and therefore they can't do as much damage when they flip out. Yes, mass killing incidents do sometimes happen, but they are rarer and their casualty count is lower.

For example, gun advocates like to point out that the 2008 Akihabara massacre was perpetrated by a man who didn't have a gun, so he rented a van and plowed through a crowd and then began attacking people with a knife. What they don't like to point out is that he only managed to kill a total of seven people in one of the most violent incidents in recent Japanese history. And that incidents like this are far rarer than mass killings in the US. And of course, the homicide rate in Japan is 0.4 per 100,000 people, while in the US it's a whopping 4.2.

Eliminating guns won't prevent violence. A complete prevention of mass killings is an unrealistic goal. But anyone who excludes any talk of gun control from the discussion is not serious about solving this problem. If we're really serious about reducing violence (as opposed to just protecting our hobbies and interests from criticism) then we need a three-pronged approach:

1. Reduction of incidents (better mental health care)

2. Mitigation of the violence possible in an incident (restrictions on gun availability)

3. More effective response (EMT/facility administrator crisis response training)

And of course, anyone who thinks arming teachers would solve the problem deserves nothing better than to be laughed out of the room.

Happy Boxing Day

I'd like to note that Japan has a much higher suicide rate then a murder rate - IE: People are more likely to kill themselves then kill others when given the choice - just to add that to your point. (I believe that it's a cultural thing. Americans have and rank very highly on the 'international' list for higher self confidence/self esteem and therefore won't cause harm to themselves whereas Japan its lower and most negative emotions and feelings are turned inwardly due to have lower self esteem and are more likely to cause harm to themselves...but this is just based on a report I heard awhile ago.)

The US is known for it's whackos along with other things, and I am pretty sure whackos will kill in any other way than a gun. Plus even if you make gun control, people know how to make guns so that a bit of a problem as well. I did ask a officer along time ago what would happan if a gun with a gun came to me, and he said run, and I aksed what happans if I am mow down, so another one of my collegemates said to zigzack, but that still would not help as much. We need to find ways to inform the importance of a person's life, and what to do incase of a crazy guy with guns come to a school or building.

Angelblaze:
I'd like to note that Japan has a much higher suicide rate then a murder rate - IE: People are more likely to kill themselves then kill others when given the choice

While it's true that Japan has a high suicide rate, it's important not to overstate the difference. The murder per 100,000 people rate is over 10 times higher in the US than it is in Japan, while the suicide rate (compared to overall population size) is about 2 times higher in Japan. In other words, there are twice as many suicides in Japan (per population), but there are over 10 times as many murder in the US. That's a statistical difference that cannot be explained by cultural attitudes toward suicide.

Also, it's important not to overstate stereotypes about things like self-esteem differences between countries. While there are cultural differences in how Japanese people and Americans are expected to express how they feel, attributing this to an overall difference in emotional state gets you into dinosaur Japanology territory.

Midnight Crossroads:
Three attacks at three different schools. There are over 100,000 k-12 schools in the US with 98,000 public schools.

When you consider that there were more shark attacks this year, you sort of realize how insane all this has become. Three crazed gunmen is not enough to justify demonizing video games, calling for armed guards, or legislating fire arms. Times of tragedy are when rational thought are needed the most. Emotional people do stupid things. Unfortunately, I don't see much of it.

While you are correct in that mass-murders in schools are a statistical blip, once you start counting the number of mass murders anywhere in the country, the number starts climbing out of blip territory. And once you start counting the number of homicides by gun period, the number becomes plainly unacceptable.

Gergar12:
The US is known for it's whackos along with other things, and I am pretty sure whackos will kill in any other way than a gun.

Doubtfull. And if they manage it, definately not in such quantities. No matter how you spin it, a gun ban saves many lives.

New York for instance (that has to deal with being stuck inside a gun culture and not having border controls with the rest of the US) seems to be going towards the lowest murder rate in decades. Mayor Bloomberg's policies are aimed mostly towards gun control, and over 8000 firearms are confiscated each year. So even within the US where you're handicapped by the second amendment and not being able to have border control against weapons being taken to NY from the rest of the US, gun control is already working.


As to why gun control wouldn't work however, that's still a blank sheet of paper. The gun lobby arguments have been busted one by one.

Katatori-kun:

Midnight Crossroads:
Three attacks at three different schools. There are over 100,000 k-12 schools in the US with 98,000 public schools.

When you consider that there were more shark attacks this year, you sort of realize how insane all this has become. Three crazed gunmen is not enough to justify demonizing video games, calling for armed guards, or legislating fire arms. Times of tragedy are when rational thought are needed the most. Emotional people do stupid things. Unfortunately, I don't see much of it.

While you are correct in that mass-murders in schools are a statistical blip, once you start counting the number of mass murders anywhere in the country, the number starts climbing out of blip territory. And once you start counting the number of homicides by gun period, the number becomes plainly unacceptable.

Then it's a good thing all I was talking about were crazed gunmen attacking schools. That's not something people need to start passing laws over. Even considering the idea of a crazed gunmen just sounds silly. Now, real gun violence. That's a bit more rational. We as a society can address that, but, I believe, that's for another thread.

Blablahb:

Gergar12:
The US is known for it's whackos along with other things, and I am pretty sure whackos will kill in any other way than a gun.

Doubtfull. And if they manage it, definately not in such quantities. No matter how you spin it, a gun ban saves many lives.

New York for instance (that has to deal with being stuck inside a gun culture and not having border controls with the rest of the US) seems to be going towards the lowest murder rate in decades. Mayor Bloomberg's policies are aimed mostly towards gun control, and over 8000 firearms are confiscated each year. So even within the US where you're handicapped by the second amendment and not being able to have border control against weapons being taken to NY from the rest of the US, gun control is already working.


As to why gun control wouldn't work however, that's still a blank sheet of paper. The gun lobby arguments have been busted one by one.

Really than if gun control bans save lots of lifes what about the shootings in Mumbai with 150 deaths, and 300 wound where India is a strict gun control country. Also most people in the government who call for gun control don't known a thing about guns. And New York is also way from being peaceful with tens of thousands of robberys, and asssults , and 500 plus murders.

http://larrycorreia.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/an-opinion-on-gun-control/

I've gotta say, this looks like almost a copy-paste of TotalBiscuit's video on the shooting, from the arguments to listing the names of the victims at the end. Annoyingly, just like TotalBiscuit's video, it spends a lot of time talking about what other people are doing wrong and not much on what should actually be done.

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