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u.s. politics: sundowning on the american empire

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23 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

The US has 4.4% of the world’s population and 42% of the world’s guns. The reason you have so many mass shootings and gun deaths is because you have so many guns. All kinds of studies and analysis have shown over and over and over again that there is a direct correlation between the two. It’s been mapped on graphs - there’s a mass of dots in the lower left corner representing all the countries in the world and the US dot is way out there in the upper right hand corner.

It’s not a mental health issue, the US spends the same amount of money on mental health that other developed nations do. In fact, studies have shown nations with higher mental health issues have higher suicide rates, because, you know, mentally ill people kill themselves at higher rates. They don’t plan mass killings, buy body armour, write manifestos, drive for 9 hours and walk into shopping malls and gun down people. All the while playing video games.

 

Guns are a huge part of it, but it's not just guns. The US has always had tons of guns, but it's only in recent decades that mass shootings have become so prevalent. And the countries with civilian gun rates the closest to ours (not that they are that close) don't have anywhere near the relatively same rates of mass shootings. There's plenty of countries that have about 1/4 the per capita gun rate that the US does, they don't have 1/4 the mass shooting rate.

There's also the question of why is the overall gun violence rate down so much in the US? Mass shootings have gotten more and more common, but one person shooting one other person has gotten much rarer. 

We need better gun control. But we also need to address whatever else is going on.

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26 minutes ago, Fez said:

Guns are a huge part of it, but it's not just guns. The US has always had tons of guns, but it's only in recent decades that mass shootings have become so prevalent. And the countries with civilian gun rates the closest to ours (not that they are that close) don't have anywhere near the relatively same rates of mass shootings. There's plenty of countries that have about 1/4 the per capita gun rate that the US does, they don't have 1/4 the mass shooting rate.

It's gun culture.

You have lots of guns in Switzerland but no gun culture. You have always had lotsa guns in the US but gun culture, i.e. the adoration of guns, is a relatively new development.

Think of it as a kind of death cult and it should start making sense. You can draw links with the importance of the military as well.

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3 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

It's gun culture.

You have lots of guns in Switzerland but no gun culture. You have always had lotsa guns in the US but gun culture, i.e. the adoration of guns, is a relatively new development.

Think of it as a kind of death cult and it should start making sense. You can draw links with the importance of the military as well.

No its not. The mass shooters typically aren't the guys participating in sports shooting, or religiously attending gun shows or generally prominent members of the gun owning community. Instead, they are generally outcast loners, hanging around in their mom's basement, sharing their poisonous thoughts over the internet.

Yes America has always had lots of guns, and has always had a "gun culture". But now that ready availability of guns has intersected with the age of social media, inattentive parenting, the breakdown of the family structure, and a host of modern social ills that awkward misfits are unable to deal with psychologically.

Mix that with access to guns and you get the phenomenon of mass shootings.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Free Northman Reborn said:

No its not. The mass shooters typically aren't the guys participating in sports shooting, or religiously attending gun shows or generally prominent members of the gun owning community. Instead, they are generally outcast loners, hanging around in their mom's basement, sharing their poisonous thoughts over the internet.

Yes America has always had lots of guns, and has always had a "gun culture". But now that ready availability of guns has intersected with the age of social media, inattentive parenting, the breakdown of the family structure, and a host of modern social ills that awkward misfits are unable to deal with psychologically.

Mix that with access to guns and you get the phenomenon of mass shootings.

 

 

Deflect, deflect, deflect, that’s all you ever do on this subject. Just accept that you’ve been defending an ignorant position and evolve.

How are those marauding hordes of barbarians coming to attack your family, btw?

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2 hours ago, Fez said:

Guns are a huge part of it, but it's not just guns. The US has always had tons of guns, but it's only in recent decades that mass shootings have become so prevalent. And the countries with civilian gun rates the closest to ours (not that they are that close) don't have anywhere near the relatively same rates of mass shootings. There's plenty of countries that have about 1/4 the per capita gun rate that the US does, they don't have 1/4 the mass shooting rate.

There's also the question of why is the overall gun violence rate down so much in the US? Mass shootings have gotten more and more common, but one person shooting one other person has gotten much rarer. 

We need better gun control. But we also need to address whatever else is going on.

Where in heaven’s name did you see the gun violence rate in the US is down? I went looking and my search found article after article about the steadily increasing rates of gun violence in the US. Just a year or two ago you had a record high number of deaths by guns.

The reason you have so many mass shootings is because you have such easy access to guns, period. Other countries don’t have mass shootings because people don’t have easy access to guns. The UK has a lot of knife attacks, and the pro-gun crowd wags a finger and says see, take away the guns and the knives come out. People have access to knives, they use them.

If my neighbor gets into a fight with the loud and obnoxious family across the street, he doesn’t have a gun that he can pick up to use against 6 people in that house. If his teenage kid is a moody, depressed bastard who hates his school teacher and his fellow students, it’s extremely unlikely he can grab his dad’s gun and shoot up the school because his dad doesn’t own a gun.

 

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It’s nice to see the president tying gun control with immigration. What better way to reward the shooter for what he did.

Also, video games are bad, apparently. I killed a lot of people in RDR2 this weekend. I guess that makes me a potential murderer now……

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16 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Where in heaven’s name did you see the gun violence rate in the US is down? I went looking and my search found article after article about the steadily increasing rates of gun violence in the US. Just a year or two ago you had a record high number of deaths by guns.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/10/21/gun-homicides-steady-after-decline-in-90s-suicide-rate-edges-up/

Few years old, but in 1993 the gun violence rate was 15.2 per 100,000 people (7.0 were homicides), by 2014 that declined to 10.5 per 100,000 people (3.4 were homicides). Non-fatal violent firearm convictions (since its hard to get data on total incidents) declined from 725.3 per 100,000 in 1993 to 174.8 in 2014.

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/11/09/666209430/deaths-from-gun-violence-how-the-u-s-compares-with-the-rest-of-the-world

More recent data shows that has been a slight uptick since then, and that the firearm homicide rate in 2017 was 4.43 per 100,000. However, while that uptick is concerning and needs to be addressed, it is far below where things were. Furthermore, even if 2014 was the low point, we were already seeing a large increase in mass shootings by then.

ETA: The reason you see articles about gun deaths increasing is because suicide deaths are included in that count unless homicide is specified. The rate of suicide deaths by gun has been remained steady, and since the population has been rising, that means the number of suicide gun deaths has increased.

Edited by Fez

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4 minutes ago, Tywin et al. said:

It’s nice to see the president tying gun control with immigration. What better way to reward the shooter for what he did.

Also, video games are bad, apparently. I killed a lot of people in RDR2 this weekend. I guess that makes me a potential murderer now……

It sounds like you are socializing, and so we do not need to immediately arrest you, just kind of watch over you a bit.

If this is mental illness causing this, we should apply that to all forms of terror and then all crimes broadly. No more capital punishment. Everyone gets treatment instead of jail.

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5 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Oh for heaven’s sake, suicide with a gun is gun violence. Not including suicides, which Americans constantly argue shouldn’t be included, is total bs. 

Well, no. Because suicide is a mental health issue. Full stop. And can be addressed with mental health solutions.

Also, fine, even if you count the suicides; the gun violence rate decreased from 15.2 in 1993 to 10.5 in 2014. A decline. Which is exactly what I said.

ETA: It's also worth noting that the overall US suicide rate has been on the rise since 1996. The gun suicide rate is not on the rise. In fact, while I said it's steady, it's actually slightly declined, from 7.3 in 1993 to 6.7 in 2014. Guns aren't driving the increase in suicide rates.

Edited by Fez

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3 minutes ago, Fez said:

More recent data shows that has been a slight uptick since then, and that the firearm homicide rate in 2017 was 4.43 per 100,000. However, while that uptick is concerning and needs to be addressed, it is far below where things were. Furthermore, even if 2014 was the low point, we were already seeing a large increase in mass shootings by then.

I was coming here to agree with you that generally, gun violence has decreased with the overall decrease in crime, but this is kind of whitewashing the recent uptick.  It is not really "far below where things were."  In fact it's getting just as bad as where things were:  

Quote

Nearly 40,000 people in the United States died by guns last year, marking the highest number of gun deaths in decades, according to a new analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's WONDER database.

A similar analysis was first conducted by the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, a non-profit gun policy advocacy group.  CNN replicated that analysis and found that 39,773 people died by guns in 2017, which is an increase of more than 10,000 deaths from the 28,874 in 1999. The age-adjusted rate of firearm deaths per 100,000 people rose from 10.3 per 100,000 in 1999 to 12 per 100,000 in 2017.

This simple graph clearly shows gun suicide has been consistently going up for about 12 years and gun homicide is alarmingly increasing over the past 5 years.

Anyway, I don't think "gun culture" is the right language to put on it.  I generally think Michael Moore is grotesquely self-aggrandizing, but I agree with how he depicts Canada as having plenty of "gun culture" in Bowling for Columbine without anything approaching the same systemic problems.  The language, and issue, is ubiquity.  More access to guns leads to more suicides.  That just seems intuitive to me - lot harder to hang yourself, slit your wrists, or even take a bunch of pills than simply pulling the trigger.  Also pretty damn intuitive that more guns leads to more homicides.  

On a macro level, mass shootings don't really make a dent.  But if I were looking for any type of causal mechanism at work in that regard, I would start at Columbine.  I don't recall young white males shooting places up until then - does anyone else?  So, one could say it's even generational, starting with us early millennials.  Why is this a thing?  Fuck if I know, but that seems to be the inflection point.

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9 hours ago, Simon Steele said:

BUT, let's be fair, there is a well documented current of sexism and misogyny that runs through some parts of Japanese culture too. The difference is the violent actors, and I agree, this is a huge difference. But the hateful cultures still exist in both places, and I do not think Japan's online gaming culture is any less toxic in that regard. 

The difference is that it is so easy for people in the US to get weapons, and they do, millions of um.  No other country in the world has this kind civilian access to weapons of all kinds, including military grade weapons.  There are more deaths in the US from individual civilian on civilians gun violence than even in Middle Eastern countries.*

* Meaning, to make sure it's clear, that the civilian deaths in such countries that are caused by military and paramilitary groups, from insurgents to Boku Harem are not included in these stats.  We are speaking specifically of individual civilians shooting stranger civilians just because they can, even if it is racially or sexist inspired.  It's made a huge leap since tvillain filling everybody's heads 24/7.

I also believe that our 24/7 diet of televised and other screen murder, violence, rape, humiliation, degradation of all kinds in graphic detail have a role too.  To watch a television show without these things is very, very, very hard to find.

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28 minutes ago, DMC said:

I was coming here to agree with you that generally, gun violence has decreased with the overall decrease in crime, but this is kind of whitewashing the recent uptick.  It is not really "far below where things were."  In fact it's getting just as bad as where things were:  

This simple graph clearly shows gun suicide has been consistently going up for about 12 years and gun homicide is alarmingly increasing over the past 5 years.

My "far below things were" comment was specifically referring to the homicide firearm rate, which remains true despite the uptick. The changes since 2014 are of course extremely concerning and need further study (e.g. why has gun violence increased in some major cities but not in others? They generally have the same laws and ordinance), but it doesn't change my point that the mass shooting rate is not correlated to the gun violence rate. Mass shootings were already up a lot by then, with the frequency increasing dramatically beginning in 2011.

Also, I don't know if I'd call Columbine the tipping point. That's the first one I can remember getting major media attention, but that may just be a sign of my age. There were numerous school and other shootings throughout the early 90s, including 25 being shot (4 killed) at a high school in Oregon the year before Columbine. I sort of think of the post office shootings (there were what, four of them?) in the late '80s and early '90s as the first modern mass shootings. The difference being that these sort of people aren't waiting until reaching the workforce before acting anymore.

I know there are much earlier examples too, like the University of Texas shooting back in 1966. But that seems like more of an isolated incident to me; or maybe he really was just a harbinger of what was to come.

Edited by Fez

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It seems the poster who cites falling homicide by guns in the 1990's forgot about this:

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

Then the bushwahs rolled back this legislation and thus, BANG, a rise in homicides by guns and other gun-related deaths.

Also, abortion and other forms of contraception and reproductive health care has gotten progressively more and more difficult to access for more and more women in this same period.  That is not controversial, but fact.

However, there is a very controversial hypothesis that relate the rise and fall of crime to wanted / unwanted pregnancies:

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

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Fragile Bird said:

Oh for heaven’s sake, suicide with a gun is gun violence. Not including suicides, which Americans constantly argue shouldn’t be included, is total bs. 

No its not.

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