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Parkland School - Gun Control; Has The Time Come Now?

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Feb 15 in Society & Culture by Virginia (7,565 points)

The 18th school shooting this year, I cannot see any other reasonable option than gun control. What was a nineteen year old (or anyone other than a soldier) doing with an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle?

I was shooting guns at the age of five, a crack shot by age twelve. I loved my guns, but gave them up after I was threatened near my home once....I was so frightened, but never wanted to be tempted to use a firearm on another human being. I gave my beloved guns to the police, and they destroyed some and sold the valuable ones to collectors who would cherish and care for them.

* * *

I saw this young man was adopted, with emotional issues. I almost wonder if his birth mother was addicted to drugs during her pregnancy? And the adoptive father died ten years ago, then the mother last November.

5 Answers

Rooster Feb 16

Hmmm. Lot's of gun laws in effect now but somehow these people still manage to buy guns. Virginia made a good point on just who is going to judge these people mentally unstable. Possibly Doctors who have treated some of these people should have to report to the Government directly that this person is unstable or whatever the cause.

I've dealt with guns all my life and never could even think of doing something like this. Quite possibly another wicked trend that we can do nothing about.

When vetting someone who wants to buy a gun? They should be checked out a lot more strict than they are now.

No, high power semi-automatic weapons really have no use except to kill people. Taking them off the market is a step in the right direction.

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TheOtherTink Feb 16

Well, at the very least, mentally unstable people should not have access to firearms of any kind.

O'Tink, after I posted this Q, I was thinking about the reclusive people here in Washington State (there is lots of wilderness still here) who are ultra-conservative and truly believe they must protect themselves against the government - with arsenals.  ANY compromise of our right to bear arms would be seen as the first step down a slippery slope...

The Oklahoma City bombing on the anniversary of the Waco disaster? The US government has indeed been too heavy-handed against its citizens. Could we even trust agencies to determine who is "mentally unstable"...? I feel certain you have given this some thought, do you see a way forward?

Well, Virginia, you may very well be right that government agencies would not be trustworthy.  In that case, the only other alternative is better security at schools, metal detectors, limited access, etc., a sad alternative.

I did serve on jury duty last month, and the government types certainly provide plenty of security for themselves.  It was like security at an airport.

And of course, there are examples of govt ham-handedness, as at the Bundy Ranch some years ago. I remember thinking at the time, haven't these govt idiots ever heard of liens?  They came in with about 100 armored cars to confiscate cattle in a rent payment dispute.


Hmmm...O'Tink, I appreciated the video, also looked up Bundy Standoff on Wikipedia, learned more about it than I knew even at the time, when I simply assumed Bundy was another instance of overdone government. 

I do tend to believe this video, it rings true...here in Washington State, I know of too many instances where government has over-reacted to people just trying to express their point of view, their (loyal) dissatisfaction. However, Wikipedia says InfoWars is a fake news website? Traveling through the American Southwest, I listened to conservative talk shows and found them (usually) unreliable. I read that Rush Limbaugh, when challenged about his inaccuracies, claimed that his show was only for entertainment, not for accuracy...well, I know lots of folks who totally believe everything he says.

Another point, I recall reading (long ago - so not sure the facts are fully accurate), that thousands of peasants made a pilgrimage to petition Czar Nicholas. They viewed him as a just father, who would hear and redress their injustices...well, the czar panicked and sent troops out to attack the peasants! And we know where THAT situation ended up...makes me wonder if over-reacting to a perceived threat from citizens might be a common mistake of governments?

Yes, you are right, Virginia, I should have used a source other than Infowars, but the basic facts they present are correct. The govt sent in massive armed forces to collect a claimed debt, and (fortunately) was stopped by a determined citizenry, otherwise there might have been yet another bloodbath.

And recently, the govt's case against the Bundys was dismissed because the govt prosecutors withheld important exculpatory evidence, an action that earned them a stern rebuke from the judge.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/08/us/bundy-ranch-standoff-case-charges-dismissed.html

These arrogant govt idiots never learn, it seems, probably because their intimidation actions often work.

O'Tink, I did not know that conclusion to the Bundy case, and my secret heart leaps with dark joy (schadenfreude or something) YAY BUNDY!!!

O'tink I DO think I have to revise that 3 million figure...just could not have been! Too many stories like this one I have heard them myself from the older generation...rural people took care of each other...game wardens looking the other way when they knew the poacher had a hungry family to feed...

"My father and his brother's family were share croppers in Eastern New Mexico. Their sweet potato crop failed and they had no food at all and neither did anyone around them. My grandmother wrote a letter to the local preacher asking him for help getting them back to Texas. He gathered up some food for them and collected enough cash to get them tickets to Texas." https://www.quora.com/How-many-Americans-died-of-starvation-during-the-Great-Depression

...and the cities? Yes perhaps more starvation there; I read several places now that the West African nation of Cameroon sent something like $3.77 to help the starving people of New York! 

But you DO read again about the denial; when someone died of starvation, the death certificate would list something else. "Something else" actually being the direct cause of death, but exacerbated by the starvation.

I don't doubt that there was death by starvation, Virginia, but not numbering in the millions.  I read of some cases in New York state (which at that time comprised about 10% of the country's population), maybe 100 in all, I don't remember exactly, but certainly orders of magnitude less than what the "historians" claim.

Oh you found that wayward comment I posted in wrong place. Yes, I saw that about NYC, 110 people died from starvation. Even if you multiply that by a factor of 100...well...doesn't pencil.

O'Tink, yes I am interested in this and you very sweet to keep on it with me, ty!

:) <3

Kninjanin Feb 16

It should not be legal

Virginia Kninjanin Feb 16

Your answer concise and to the point, thank you very much Kninjanin!

Marianne Feb 17

There are too many more or less extensive studies, theories, findings, analyses and assumptions about the various causes of violence and individual reactions or vulnerabilities. Depending on political, religious and cultural backgrounds, mentalities and situations (or circumstances), interpretations (and statistics) vary, as much as the explanations about why criminals and "unstable" people have so easily access to weapons of all kinds - even with stricter laws, and how psychology and the education sectors, in general, seem to lack means or lag behind in many regards - but again - "economic" ambitions tend to waste or cut budgets "on the wrong sides" - or social structures and "moral" values seem to fail, while propaganda and industrially produced fake news add to irrational opinions and superstitions, increasing the confusion ... And the big arms industries are not so innocent!


But what are the causes of violence - and gun violence?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangs_in_the_United_States

https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/domestic-violence

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_abuse

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_neglect

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_disorder

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8207735/Children-growing-up-with-lack-of-role-models-says-head.html

General info:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shootings_in_the_United_States

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shooting

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_violence


https://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-hartung/arms-industry-ramps-up-lo_b_7484338.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_trafficking

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_industry

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_control


Virginia Marianne Feb 17

Marianne, as I was preparing this question I found another long-ago question about gun control, maybe it was from Midnight Cowboy?

Anyway I cannot find the question now, but in it, Other Tink made the observation that Switzerland had a relatively low homicide rate, at the same time gun control very lax. The point being (I think) that Switzerland has better mental health? ...and she mentioned it would be interesting to hear from you about that, however I don't think you posted an answer to that particular question...do you have an observation about gun laws and gun violence in Switzerland now, by chance?

I did not go through all your links, your thorough workup, however just from living 73 years experience I have some theories - for example, both parents working and latchkey children. My own generation was, I think, the last one raised with a parent always at home. I was unable to open the Telegraph link, but that title mentioned lack of role models for children.

 I recall when I learned to use guns, safety safety safety was rehearsed and emphasized endlessly.

I also feel the increasing use of drugs has been a factor increasing violence.

Marianne Marianne Feb 17

Dear Virginia, here's the information (and yes, drugs are indeed one of the violence promoting elements):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_Switzerland

(There is no official English version of the corresponding Federal Law and the Federal Ordinance.)


And:

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/gangs-put-spotlight-on-geneva-border-security/29448468


Further:

https://www.pri.org/stories/2012-12-18/europes-surprising-regulations-guns-and-hunting

https://www.thelocal.ch/20160928/swiss-hunting-season-claims-human-lives

Drugs:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/inge-fryklund/the-link-between-drugs-an_b_11095430.html


Last but not least, little is said about hunting mentalities and accidents, even if guns are not always directly involved:

https://boris.unibe.ch/79088/1/284908.pdf

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/society/bearing-arms_how-gun-loving-switzerland-regulates-its-firearms/43573832


Marianne Marianne Feb 17

As to mental health, I cannot judge, as we would have to look first at the treatment gap and general estimations:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_mental_health

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_mental_health#/media/File:Neuropsychiatric_conditions_world_map_-_DALY_-_WHO2002.svg

Virginia Marianne Feb 17

Marianne, I found this in the Wikip article, maybe this relates to what Tink was mentioning on the Q: "Firearms legislation in Switzerland is comparatively liberal, more similar to gun politics in the United States than to that in most European Union countries. The reason is a long tradition of shooting (tirs) as a formative element of national identity

And then "The vast majority of firearm-related deaths in Switzerland are suicides....By contrast, gun crime is comparatively limited....There were 16 completed homicides with a firearm in 2016."

In the USA, the tragedy in Florida is already the 18th school shooting this year. I believe Tink was making the point used here by our NRA, that to reduce violence you must ultimately bring about social change, just controlling guns won't do it...in theory I agree, but idk at this point maybe like Rooster suggests at least taking the assault weapons off the market.

Virginia, that "18th school shooting this year" is an exaggeration of a situation that is quite bad enough, even without exaggeration.  Needless to say, that figure was widely and uncritically disseminated by the good old MSM and by certain liberal politicians.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/no-there-havent-been-18-school-shooting-in-2018-that-number-is-flat-wrong/2018/02/15/65b6cf72-1264-11e8-8ea1-c1d91fcec3fe_story.html?utm_term=.83105eaa2c0f

Marianne Marianne Feb 18

Yes, Virginia, and the "more liberal" policies refer either to members and professionals of our military, police and security services and their shooting associations or to "traditional" hunting lobbies.


Virginia Marianne Feb 18

O'tink, I could read only the first part of the article before it froze my computer, so I could not see if they gave a correct number...but I do recall a double-take when I read that number. That would be almost one shooting every three days this year!

I also saw the number came from a Bloomberg organization; wonder if that is typical of that group, because I have always tended to admire Bloomberg.

Hi Virginia, yes Michael Bloomberg is a co-founder of the group that publishes cases of firearms being discharged in or near schools, but of course the large majority of these cases are not mass murders.

From the article:

"Everytown has long inflated its total by including incidents of gunfire that are not really school shootings. Take, for example, what it counted as the year’s first: On the afternoon of Jan. 3, a 31-year-old man who had parked outside a Michigan elementary school called police to say he was armed and suicidal. Several hours later, he killed himself. The school, however, had been closed for seven months. There were no teachers. There were no students.

Also listed on the organization’s site is an incident from Jan. 20, when at 1 a.m. a man was shot at a sorority event on the campus of Wake Forest University. A week later, as a basketball game was being played at a Michigan high school, someone fired several rounds from a gun in the parking lot. No one was injured, and it was past 8 p.m., well after classes had ended for the day, but Everytown still labeled it a school shooting."

They didn't give a correct number, but I would guess the article would specify a "correct" incident as one in which one or more people were killed or injured, and these of course are the ones that would make the national news.

Virginia Marianne Feb 18

Whew! Another case of "working the numbers" to grind your agenda...

(@ O'Tink)

Marianne Marianne Feb 19

Lol, Virginia, yes - and there is the human nature.


Marianne Feb 18

It is also part of the common human nature to "see", on purpose or even unintentionally, things a bit more or less big, or small than they really are - depending on individual "perspectives", ambitions, temperaments, situations and circumstances.

As to fake news, systematic exaggeration is a very lucrative business.

image

:):angel::)


Virginia Marianne Feb 18

Points well taken, Marianne! I think it was one of our links I learned about the teenagers grinding out fake sensationalism for the sake of "pocket" money and very big pockets too...

Marianne Marianne Feb 19

Yes, Virginia, indeed, there is also the lucrative fake news industry.



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