Gun Culture. Long Term Strategy

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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09 November 2018 22:16
 

I couldn’t really think of which forum to put this in. Feel free to move it if deemed necessary.

American gun violence bothers me a lot. The death and injury toll obviously but also the way its used as leverage. The way its reported in sensationalist ways and disproportionate ways and racist or racially charged ways. It seems poised to become one of those boilerplate issues where the left and right dig their heels and make polarized opposition a point of honor and identity and pledge never to collaborate on anything useful.

I would like to reduce it. I would like sacrifice whatever ego or personal agenda or political loyalty I might need to in order to have the important conversation. If the NRA suddenly became an organization that was truly on the side of life I would support that. All parties welcome.

Now, I do believe that personal defense is very important both from a constitutional perspective but also from concepts that precede that. I do think the right to possess a personal firearm should be preserved for a number of principled reasons. I think there is a real and identifiable paradox here because we have areas in this nation where gun violence is actively, daily robbing people of personal liberty. I have no bright ideas about legislation or enforcement or penalties for the gun industry. I think we need something better but I’m at a loss to identify it.

My question is about culture. It occurs to me that we have, in our national history had some success with stemming epidemic violence. Rose colored glasses on my part perhaps but play out the string with me. I think we could name a few dozen cases in our history where some systemic root cause of violence was confronted legislatively and/or culturally and has mostly disappeared.

A big part of gun violence has to do with the inner city drug trade. Many regions have seen dramatic reductions through focused community involvement in conjunction with law enforcement resources. I’ll call an open ended truce with any church who wants in. This is long, slow, hard work. No question. But there is a way forward.

Now, what about spree violence? Is there some analogy here? Beyond restrictions on the weapons used how might we confront this as social malady, mental health, community policing issue? Is there some equivalent to fixing all the windows and planting a bunch of trees? Is there some way to change the landscape pro actively to eliminate root causes? I suspect there may be. I think this events sometimes happen in isolation but there is a thread running through the school shootings specifically. There is an identifiable sub culture(s) that many of these young men identified with. I know the FBI has identified some running conversations between people suspected of encouraging these acts. I believe that there are avenues for citizens to act here. I don’t yet understand exactly how.

I remember a sheriffs deputy being interviewed by a reporter at the scene a little over a year ago. He simply said that he needed to get on with his work and he wasn’t going to empower evil by speaking the shooters name on camera. I felt like this was a rare moment of insight and I wish the press would think more carefully about it. I wish we, collectively could think very hard about the small things we are doing or neglecting to do that feed it. I’m listening.

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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11 November 2018 11:48
 

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-depressing-absence-of-solutions-after-the-thousand-oaks-shooting?

Last paragraph in this article:  “Gun control in our country is not really gun control anymore—it’s people control,” Swanson said. “We have to figure out the people who are so dangerous that it’s justified to limit their Second Amendment right. That’s really hard to do.” Swanson contrasted the task in the United States with that faced by authorities in Western Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan, where guns are, by law, rare. In those countries, “do people have the right to walk around with a handgun for their personal protection? They say, ‘No, it’s too dangerous.’ ” The root of the gun-violence problem, Swanson continued, “is baked into our country.”  (end quote)

Q:  Are politicians dependent on the ‘baker’ to get elected?  (dependent on the NRA)  Angry students who watched their classmates being gunned down can’t even get bump stocks made illegal, let alone weapons designed for mass murder.

Watch what this ‘legal’ gun can do:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSizVpfqFtw  This is more than an accident waiting to happen; it’s cultural stupidity setting the stage for the next mass murder.  (in video, move forward to 2.5 minutes where he starts shooting and reloading)

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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14 November 2018 04:45
 

The problem of gun violence is, I think, an unsolvable problem in the US.  You indicate, perhaps correctly, a need for personal protection, one that should be enshrined in the Constitution.  Although I am not familiar enough with the history to be sure, I am still reasonably certain that enshrining this right in the Constitution, as opposed to relying on the state to provide it, is a—if not the—primary cause of gun violence in the US.  No Western European country, nor Japan, has ever had such an enshrined right to armed personal protection and its subsequent circulation of firearms in the civilian population, and none of these countries have anything even remotely approaching—not even remotely remotely approaching—America’s level of gun violence.  I think the equation realty is as simple as: so long as guns are widely available as an option for violence, that option will be taken.  Absent the widespread availability of guns, so goes the widespread gun violence.  It is hard for me to see how this doesn’t follow by more or less tautology, and the Constitution all but insured this tautology would come to pass, and that it will remain.

Either way, nothing short of repossession and a Constitutional amendment will reduce the number of guns in circulation, guns which despite all the arguments about “law abiding uses” somehow manage to end up in the hands of criminals (for it almost follows necessarily that every gun eventually in the hands of a criminal started in the hands of a law abiding citizen somewhere in the chain of ownership, since proven criminals clearly can’t buy guns).  In any case, since repossession and an amendment to prevent re-circulation are never going to happen, gun violence is never going to appreciably diminish.  In fact, the problem is both so obvious and so myopically missed that the debate in this country actually hinges around whether or not gun control laws even work, despite the fact that the gun control laws in every other Western democracy (and Japan) proves they do—so long as those laws actually control guns circulating in the population.  But for those kind of gun control laws in the US, that ship has long since sailed.

[ Edited: 14 November 2018 16:59 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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14 November 2018 07:02
 

Many Americans don’t even understand the 2nd Amendment.
It is not about personal protection at all.

It is specifically meant to allow people the means to fight against whoever is in charge of the state if they consider them to be Tyrants.

If people on both sides of the debate understood this, we would have a very different debate.

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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14 November 2018 07:09
 

Sadly, it appears that gun violence in the U.S. does seem to be an unsolvable problem.  Any major solutions would take time and a radical change in attitude.  However, in the meantime, many lives could be saved if there was effective pressure put on politicians/government for measures that the majority should/could agree on, promoted as permissible within the First Amendment.  For example:

— Banning of bump stocks, military weapons and high-capacity magazines.
— Mandatory and effective checks to ensure criminals and the mentally ill cannot purchase any weapon.
— Confiscation of weapons by police from anyone who has indicated that they are a threat to public safety.
— Laws regarding mandatory safe gun storage/ownership responsibility, with appropriate penalties.
— Educational programs/advertising promoting gun safety and procedures for confidentially reporting infractions.
— Gun turn-in programs (with amnesty/no questions asked).
— Increased funding for treatment of mentally illness.

Also sadly, it appears that Americans are making do with ‘thoughts and prayers’, a day or two of sympathy for victims of mass shootings (not much thought to other gun violence because that only happens to someone else), and then it’s back to business as usual.  Just forget about it until next time, it’s just the way it is, nothing can be done, oh well.

 
 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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14 November 2018 10:15
 
Jan_CAN - 14 November 2018 07:09 AM

Sadly, it appears that gun violence in the U.S. does seem to be an unsolvable problem.  Any major solutions would take time and a radical change in attitude.  However, in the meantime, many lives could be saved if there was effective pressure put on politicians/government for measures that the majority should/could agree on, promoted as permissible within the First Amendment.  For example:

— Banning of bump stocks, military weapons and high-capacity magazines.
— Mandatory and effective checks to ensure criminals and the mentally ill cannot purchase any weapon.
— Confiscation of weapons by police from anyone who has indicated that they are a threat to public safety.
— Laws regarding mandatory safe gun storage/ownership responsibility, with appropriate penalties.
— Educational programs/advertising promoting gun safety and procedures for confidentially reporting infractions.
— Gun turn-in programs (with amnesty/no questions asked).
— Increased funding for treatment of mentally illness.

Also sadly, it appears that Americans are making do with ‘thoughts and prayers’, a day or two of sympathy for victims of mass shootings (not much thought to other gun violence because that only happens to someone else), and then it’s back to business as usual.  Just forget about it until next time, it’s just the way it is, nothing can be done, oh well.

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

It’s sobering to read this 5 or 10 minute ‘history’ of the Sandy Hook massacre and think about what has been done since then to prevent such things from happening again.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2018/feb/23/donald-trump-give-teachers-carry-guns-bonus-video  (2 or 3 minutes)

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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14 November 2018 11:01
 
Twissel - 14 November 2018 07:02 AM

Many Americans don’t even understand the 2nd Amendment.
It is not about personal protection at all.

It is specifically meant to allow people the means to fight against whoever is in charge of the state if they consider them to be Tyrants.

If people on both sides of the debate understood this, we would have a very different debate.

Actually, I’m pretty sure the main intent was to insure a well-regulated militia as a means to avoiding standing armies, which—to your point—most of the framers saw as an inimical device for tyranny and oppression.  It’s not really about providing protection against tyranny directly (which if true would actually be a form of personal protection, albeit personal protection from the tyrannical government).

 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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14 November 2018 12:43
 

There can be no personal protection from the government - that was kinda what the American Revolution was about.

 
 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
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14 November 2018 12:58
 
Twissel - 14 November 2018 12:43 PM

There can be no personal protection from the government - that was kinda what the American Revolution was about.

I don’t follow.  Wasn’t one consequence of the American Revolution to assert rights that are de facto personal protections from government power; that is, that these rights are natively enjoyed, not granted by the state, and therefore irrevocable?  Isn’t that a form of “personal protection”?  It was certainly a protection of personal property from government interference.  That was a central motive for the Revolution, and they made sure it was acknowledged in our own Constitution.

[ Edited: 14 November 2018 14:22 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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14 November 2018 20:41
 

The term ‘Militia’ mean anything?

But actually, the Revolutionary War was about taxes.
Which just goes to show that the Founding Fathers thought it acceptable for people to go to war with their government when taxes seem too high.

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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15 November 2018 23:00
 

I think the point about the language and intent of the constitution is very germane. Folks who persistently quote one half of one amendment as if that were a source of dogmatic moral authority are definitely a root cause in my opinion.

A friend of mine had another point. Banning one variety of gun doesn’t not infringe upon the right to own ‘a gun’. The assault weapons ban; however useful you deem it to be, did not remove anyone’s right to own a gun just one sort of gun. Again, careful attention to language.

I do believe there are ways forward. I think we have working examples and precedents to draw from. Both in our own history and in the relative rates of such crimes in other nations. We can infer from analogy. We can derive causation. We can eliminate root causes. Whether or not we have the fortitude and wisdom to do so is another issue.

 
Skipshot
 
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Skipshot
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16 November 2018 03:07
 
Twissel - 14 November 2018 07:02 AM

Many Americans don’t even understand the 2nd Amendment.
It is not about personal protection at all.

Two recent Supreme Court rulings on the 2nd Amendment specifically interpreted the 2nd Amendment to be for personal protection.  While I agree with your interpretation of the amendment’s intent, we are now stuck with the court’s interpretation and the level of gun violence is now as American as apple pie.  1,000 six-year-olds could be sacrificed each month on the alter of the gun god and Americans would be cool with it as long as they get to keep their guns, because their guns are totally with it.

It seems there is no limit to the number of sacrifices for the worshippers of the gun god.

 
Jefe
 
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16 November 2018 10:22
 
Skipshot - 16 November 2018 03:07 AM

1,000 six-year-olds could be sacrificed each month on the alter of the gun god and Americans would be cool with it as long as they get to keep their guns, because their guns are totally with it.

I’m sad because I think this is largely true.
If Sandy Hook didn’t precipitate change, it seems to me that not much will.

 
 
unsmoked
 
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16 November 2018 10:58
 
Jefe - 16 November 2018 10:22 AM
Skipshot - 16 November 2018 03:07 AM

1,000 six-year-olds could be sacrificed each month on the alter of the gun god and Americans would be cool with it as long as they get to keep their guns, because their guns are totally with it.

I’m sad because I think this is largely true.
If Sandy Hook didn’t precipitate change, it seems to me that not much will.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/22/us/politics/trump-guns-school-shootings.html

In this clip Trump is suggesting that teachers who carry guns should get a bonus.  Can you imagine a teacher trying to get a handgun out of holster, drawer, or purse while the killer is spraying the room with an AR15?  Is Trump forgetting that most mass murderers and terrorists are on a suicide mission when they load up and head out?  If someone else doesn’t kill them they usually kill themselves before being captured.  Are such people turned away by a sign on the door saying ‘WARNING!  TEACHERS ARE ARMED!’  Doesn’t that just spice it up for them?

“He [Trump] will go on, at best, ignoring the mortal peril of gun violence . . . ”  - David Remnick, editor, The New Yorker - Nov. 15, 2018

In this video, move forward to 2.5 minutes to see what teacher with pistol is up against.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSizVpfqFtw

 

[ Edited: 16 November 2018 11:03 by unsmoked]
 
 
Twissel
 
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Twissel
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16 November 2018 11:43
 
Skipshot - 16 November 2018 03:07 AM
Twissel - 14 November 2018 07:02 AM

Many Americans don’t even understand the 2nd Amendment.
It is not about personal protection at all.

Two recent Supreme Court rulings on the 2nd Amendment specifically interpreted the 2nd Amendment to be for personal protection.  While I agree with your interpretation of the amendment’s intent, we are now stuck with the court’s interpretation and the level of gun violence is now as American as apple pie.  1,000 six-year-olds could be sacrificed each month on the alter of the gun god and Americans would be cool with it as long as they get to keep their guns, because their guns are totally with it.

It seems there is no limit to the number of sacrifices for the worshippers of the gun god.


Yep, Scalia is the greatest Activist Judge in US history.

 
 
Jefe
 
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17 November 2018 12:19
 
unsmoked - 16 November 2018 10:58 AM
Jefe - 16 November 2018 10:22 AM
Skipshot - 16 November 2018 03:07 AM

1,000 six-year-olds could be sacrificed each month on the alter of the gun god and Americans would be cool with it as long as they get to keep their guns, because their guns are totally with it.

I’m sad because I think this is largely true.
If Sandy Hook didn’t precipitate change, it seems to me that not much will.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/22/us/politics/trump-guns-school-shootings.html

In this clip Trump is suggesting that teachers who carry guns should get a bonus.  Can you imagine a teacher trying to get a handgun out of holster, drawer, or purse while the killer is spraying the room with an AR15?  Is Trump forgetting that most mass murderers and terrorists are on a suicide mission when they load up and head out?  If someone else doesn’t kill them they usually kill themselves before being captured.  Are such people turned away by a sign on the door saying ‘WARNING!  TEACHERS ARE ARMED!’  Doesn’t that just spice it up for them?

“He [Trump] will go on, at best, ignoring the mortal peril of gun violence . . . ”  - David Remnick, editor, The New Yorker - Nov. 15, 2018

In this video, move forward to 2.5 minutes to see what teacher with pistol is up against.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSizVpfqFtw

The thing is, the pro-teachers-with-guns folks think that increasing proliferation of fire-arms is ok.