Americans and gun control

This might be a hot, possibly prohibited subject.  I'm listening to a program called Ideas on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  Tonite, they're talking about Americans & their love affair or fascination with guns, their "entitlement" to them.  With all of the deaths caused by guns, how can Americans be so dense when it comes to gun control?  What don't they not "get" about restricting guns?  And why are Evangelical Christians so on board with their "right" to own, and use, guns?  I just don't get it.  Americans are so bright in so many areas, but not when it comes to this.  Any thoughts?  Or is this not an appropriate topic?

Original Post

I totally agree with Docmark, the whole thing is beyond my comprehension.

The subject, however, is hardly worth debating. There are 300 million lethal weapons in circulation, there's no way you're going to get people to hand them over. Massacres will happen.

Huge posted:

Australia succeeded.

Kind-of. Australia never had the same sort of gun culture and has always had a low gun-violence level. The Port Arthur massacre was huge anomaly. The statistical support for the efficacy of the semi-automatic ban is not super strong, but that's not to say that another massacre has not been prevented. Hand-guns have never really been a thing there either.

Note: The notion/claim that other violent crimes increased after the semi-automatic ban is complete nonsense peddled by ammo-sexuals.

It is also vanishingly unlikely that if you own a gun for self defence you will ever get to use it for that. About 70 million gun-owners cite "self defence" as their reason for owning a gun. Collectively, they kill about 2,000 "bad guys" per year (law enforcement kills about 1,000). So the average gun-owner waits 35,000 years for their moment to go all Dirty Harry on a perp. This of course ignores the deterrent factor that owning a gun might bring.

In the recent case where the Canadian police officer was able to arrest that van-massacre suspect in Toronto without firing a shot; a factor is that in Canada, it was less likely (than in the US) that the suspect actually had a gun. In America, the prevalence of handguns means that police are (correctly) very fearful of being shot. The guy would have died in a hail of bullets in the US. I prefer a society where the police are NOT required to be judge, jury and executioner, simply to assure their own safety

winkyincanada posted:

What's worth remembering is that even in America, that if you don't own a gun, don't hang out with people who do (hunters, criminals, gang members); and don't indulge in violent crime, then you're extremely unlikely to be shot.

Unless you’re sitting in a Waffle House minding your own biz, or at a c&w concert, or in high school...

But you’re partially right. Overall crime and violence is actually down in America, but mass murders up. We have not only a gun problem, but a mental health crisis, mainly among white males, to go along with it. Glad my children have dual citizenship with Germany as an escape route, though things aren’t perfect there, at least there’s no random massacres with assault weapons (vehicles yes, but that’s another issue). 

As XTC put it Melt The Guns! And turn them into affordable hifi for all! 

charlesphoto posted:
winkyincanada posted:

What's worth remembering is that even in America, that if you don't own a gun, don't hang out with people who do (hunters, criminals, gang members); and don't indulge in violent crime, then you're extremely unlikely to be shot.

Unless you’re sitting in a Waffle House minding your own biz, or at a c&w concert, or in high school...

But you’re partially right. Overall crime and violence is actually down in America, but mass murders up. We have not only a gun problem, but a mental health crisis, mainly among white males, to go along with it. Glad my children have dual citizenship with Germany as an escape route, though things aren’t perfect there, at least there’s no random massacres with assault weapons (vehicles yes, but that’s another issue). 

As XTC put it Melt The Guns! And turn them into affordable hifi for all! 

; or sitting in church

; or being in a night club

; or sitting on your front porch

; or being at work

; or { insert pastime of choice }

John Willmott posted:
charlesphoto posted:
winkyincanada posted:

What's worth remembering is that even in America, that if you don't own a gun, don't hang out with people who do (hunters, criminals, gang members); and don't indulge in violent crime, then you're extremely unlikely to be shot.

Unless you’re sitting in a Waffle House minding your own biz, or at a c&w concert, or in high school...

But you’re partially right. Overall crime and violence is actually down in America, but mass murders up. We have not only a gun problem, but a mental health crisis, mainly among white males, to go along with it. Glad my children have dual citizenship with Germany as an escape route, though things aren’t perfect there, at least there’s no random massacres with assault weapons (vehicles yes, but that’s another issue). 

As XTC put it Melt The Guns! And turn them into affordable hifi for all! 

; or sitting in church

; or being in a night club

; or sitting on your front porch

; or being at work

; or { insert pastime of choice }

Listing the locations where innocent bystanders have been shot doesn't make them any less rare. Each a tragedy, of course, but not a significant indicator of risk of doing any of those things.

 

Listing the locations where innocent bystanders have been shot doesn't make them any less rare. Each a tragedy, of course, but not a significant indicator of risk of doing any of those things.

The problem is those weren't innocent "bystanders" - they were innocent targets. That's what has people freaked out the most, the sheer randomness and cruelty of it. Of course people won't stop living their lives, but now there's always that niggle that no matter what you do it might be the last. I think it affects the younger generation a lot more - sure we had drills in case of a nuclear war, a looming yet abstract danger, but now my young (5 and 9) children have lockdown drills. Which isn't abstract because we read about school shootings in the paper every week.

A really good read about the state of mind of young people today is "The Spiral Notebook" which takes a close look at the James Holmes massacre in Colorado. The author's solution, which I actually reached before they expounded on it, is that society, and seep young males, needs more mindfulness training, or whatever you want to call it. There's a new breed of disconnectedness going on with these young men, that's not even in the DSM. You can see it in the eyes - a blankness. Obvious in the Toronto van killer yesterday and the Waffle House killer, and all of the others, Pulse, Aurora, Parkland and so on. It's not the typical bi-polar, or schizophrenia, which is typically more self harming than outwardly (my brother is schizophrenic). And of course easy access to guns just emboldens them. It's terrifying. 

charlesphoto posted:
 

Listing the locations where innocent bystanders have been shot doesn't make them any less rare. Each a tragedy, of course, but not a significant indicator of risk of doing any of those things.

The problem is those weren't innocent "bystanders" - they were innocent targets. That's what has people freaked out the most, the sheer randomness and cruelty of it. Of course people won't stop living their lives, but now there's always that niggle that no matter what you do it might be the last. I think it affects the younger generation a lot more - sure we had drills in case of a nuclear war, a looming yet abstract danger, but now my young (5 and 9) children have lockdown drills. Which isn't abstract because we read about school shootings in the paper every week.

Yep, we're shocked by the horror of it, and we imagine how we, but for luck could have been a victim. That's why it is important to analyze the true risk. So we don't freak out unnecessarily. The real tragedy here is how many young children are being taught that they could be shot at any time. Technically true, but the vanishingly small chance of it actually happening doesn't reassure them. It is absolute cruelty how the media and selfish, unthinking adults expose them to this.

winkyincanada posted:
Listing the locations where innocent bystanders have been shot doesn't make them any less rare. Each a tragedy, of course, 

Listing the locations where we have been shot indeed doesn't make us less rare (that requires less shooting...) 

 

 On the main subject, the OP has voiced my view pretty well.

Winky, you are correct. That’s why we don’t expose our children to much of this sort of news. And we let them know how small the true risk can be, though we don’t tell them it’s not real or not a risk at all, but that in their day to day, crossing the street safely is a bigger concern. My son is pretty freaked out about climate change, so we’ve had to tone down the doom and gloom on that one as well. And that is the true threat to this generation, the one they and us should all be truly be freaked out about. Also how poor the average diet has become thanks to corporations is a real concern, and may be contributing to the spike in mental illness and just plain all around nastiness we’re seeing. In Chinese medicine, the liver is the source of anger, and man we’re doing our livers in with all the crap being pawned off as food. 

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