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maestro pistolero
April 4, 2009, 01:02 PM
This trend in the last few weeks is very bad. This latest guy in Pittsburgh was apparently upset about losing his job at a glass factory earlier this year. :confused: Three police officers dead and more injuries. It's horrible for everyone.

I don't know what the answer is. We all know it's not more gun bans, but what can we do? If there are people in your life who are on the edge, who have lost their jobs or are in despair, what approach is appropriate?

It is obviously beyond the scope of a gun blog to solve societies biggest challenges, but we better all start thinking about it. We may think it's not our problem, but it will be, if the end result is a loss of our rights.

I have always accused antis of being unwilling to look at the real causes of gun violence and being idealistic, and naive by insisting that gun control is a solution. I still think that.

But if we are just as unwilling as they are to ask the hard questions of how to solve the problem of gun violence, then we are as ineffective as they are, and we have a lot more to lose.

I am just going to throw some stuff out there for a reaction, you guys tell me what you think. I'd really like to hear everyone's thoughts on the REAL causes of gun violence.

I suspect some of the causes may be:

1. Too much time spent playing violent video games at an early age is brain-mapping 6-10 year olds to run combat scenarios, reinforced by thousands of hours of repetition.

2. The absence of real human interaction, texting and emailing as a primary form of communication robs us of a normal connection with other humans, which allows normal empathy and compassion to develop. This is at odds with millions of years of evolution where we actually had to talk with, or learn to play nice with another person to communicate.

3. The disintegration of the traditional, nuclear family, has removed normal role models from the picture so that no example is present for children to learn how a normal, mature adult (male in most cases) behaves. In the absence of a proper role model, TV characters, rappers, or other artificial role models have been adopted in their place.

These are some of my theories, what are yours?

THEZACHARIAS
April 4, 2009, 01:09 PM
Crazy economic conditions make normal people do crazy things in turn. Not that its an excuse for this level of violence, though.

And im sure the mainstream outlook on this is going to be "oh my god, gun crimes" when it should be "wow, the economy is killing off jobs and its making people desperate and angry".

Brian Pfleuger
April 4, 2009, 01:10 PM
"True for you but not for me."

The post-modern belief in relative morality is a significant part of the problem. As is the devaluing of human life.
The foundation of the problem is evil.

Video games are not the problem. I've been playing "shoot-em-up" games literally since they were invented and REAL violence still turns my stomach. Why? I know and understand the difference. I value human life. I know that it's wrong to murder people, always, everywhere.

thallub
April 4, 2009, 01:11 PM
The guy in PA was also afraid that Obama was going to take his guns.

Tennessee Gentleman
April 4, 2009, 01:11 PM
I think that the media plays them up and inadvertantly glorifies them. The nutty folks see the pain these shootings cause and misery loves company. Just a way to strike out at something too big or amorphous to fight, like unemployment. Not scientific but just IMO.

maestro pistolero
April 4, 2009, 01:18 PM
The guy in PA was also afraid that Obama was going to take his guns.

A self fulfilling prophecy? Behavior like his only makes Obama's job easier.

Maromero
April 4, 2009, 01:21 PM
A gun is a tool, a weapon. For what psychological reason a person flips his breakers and goes on a shooting spree is unknown to me. All I know is that the same deed most likely would be done with a different tool or weapon. Say a knife, explosives, a car, an SUV. I mean we all know what triggers the actions (economic hardship, stress,ext.), but I just don't know what possesses these individuals to commit these heinous acts.

dm1333
April 4, 2009, 01:25 PM
I dislike the term "gun violence". The gun is just the tool used to accomplish an act of violence. I think that the underlying causes of violence in our society can be traced back to changing values. I am sometimes shocked by the things that people half my age accept as normal, ok, cool, etc. I don't think that all younger people are like this but there seems to have been a real change over the last 20 years or so in what is acceptable behavior and what is not.

madmo44mag
April 4, 2009, 01:35 PM
IMO- violence is the lack of home training and moral and ethical values.
My ex-wife use to Bitch at me for pushing morals and ethic on our kids. She was of the opinion they need to get their own moral and ethics and not some out dated morals and ethic of mine.
Well she is now a falling down drunk with no place to live.
My oldest daughter is a LEO and volunteer Fire Fighter. My youngest daughter is married to a Marine and raising a family and my son just joined the army.
Seeing how my kids are turning out shows me that my constant hammering on morals and ethics has paid off.
If our children grow up without a strong moral and ethical fiber regardless of the current events and sociological BS surrounding them, they don't stand a fighting chance to survive in this world; or understanding what right and what's wrong.

44 AMP
April 4, 2009, 01:38 PM
The guy in PA was also afraid that Obama was going to take his guns.

No, all we really know is that a neighbor/"friend" told a reporter that. It could be the truth, or it could be someone with no connection to the shooter, who just wanted his 15 minutes of fame telling sound bites to a reporter.

Some people will focus on the tools used for violence, others on the supposed causes. But the reality is that it is the individual that is responsible, and thinking anything else is a waste of time. For every individual who commits violence there are dozens, likely hundreds in the exact same situations, same upbringing, etc. who do not. And Thousands to millions in similar situations, who also do not resort to violence by choice.

Blame anything you want, society, video games, guns, bread, anything at all, but goodness, never blame the individual!:eek:

Bottom line is that that are people who go off the deep end, and do violence. It has been happening as long as there have been people. Maybe it is happening more today, or maybe we are just more easily aware of it, since we have instant world wide communication.

Trying to find a root cause is an interesting intellectual exercise, but nothing more than that, as the real root cause is the human condition, and specifically the individual involved.

maestro pistolero
April 4, 2009, 01:39 PM
I dislike the term "gun violence"

I completely understand, violence is violence. But stabbings aren't going to help bring on an AWB. That's why it's the subject of this thread.

chemgirlie
April 4, 2009, 01:40 PM
Violence is violence and murder is murder no matter what tools you use to spread your evil.

That said, the simple act of saying hi to a neighbor or offering to help an old lady across the street goes a long ways. You never know if you might have provided that person with a little spark of hope that may have convinced them to keep on going.

As Gandhi put it "learn as if you were to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow."

chemgirlie
April 4, 2009, 01:45 PM
Blame anything you want, society, video games, guns, bread, anything at all, but goodness, never blame the individual!

99% of the time I agree. There are some cases though that truly are the result of somebody being mentally ill. I'm not talking about lawyers claiming insanity so their client can get off easy. I'm talking about real, true, honestly sick people who are not responsible for their actions due to a disease.

Re4mer
April 4, 2009, 01:56 PM
Probably the breakup of the family seems the most realistic. I'm not big on blaming video games or music but when there aren't good parents around kids tend to grow up with very few values.

Gun violence is just another form of violence perpetrated by people who are not satisfied or angry about something in life and they choose to take it out on innocent people. In order for people to act so evil they have to set aside all real moral values. The values that used to be inserted by family and church have gone away with the downfall of these same institutions.

maestro pistolero
April 4, 2009, 01:59 PM
Please, everyone, we all know the tool used to commit violence is irrelevant. You're preaching to the choir here.

Blame anything you want, society, video games, guns, bread, anything at all, but goodness, never blame the individual!

Blame, while appropriate, and completely understandable, is reactive, and by definition, will never be preventative. What I am asking is what are the root causes, and what can we begin to change in our society, or in our approach to have a positive effect on bringing down the numbers of these incidents?

We can say all day long what the solution isn't, and I've done my fair share of that. What, constructively, can we begin to do, to move this in the right direction?

Vanya
April 4, 2009, 02:00 PM
Yes, a gun is basically a tool, and like other tools, is safe in the hands of competent users and less so in the hands of the incompetent or deranged. That said, at least in this society, a gun is also a powerful symbol -- whether of freedom, as some on this forum have noted, or of manhood (we like to point this out about others, e.g. gangbangers with "fotays" in their waistbands, but I suspect there's often a "pots & kettles" issue here ;))... In general, to both pro- and anti-gun people, guns are a symbol of power.

So the anti's want to take power away from people they don't trust, and the RKBA folks want to keep the power they have. If guns were not such a potent symbol, I doubt that either side would get as worked up as they do.

And when you consider people who are desperate, fearful, angry, due to "economic hardship, stress,etc." -- as seems to be the case with those who commit these increasingly frequent "rampage" shootings -- it makes sense to me that going out with a gun is more attractive to them than, say, running people down with a car, or running amok with a knife.

And in the current climate of economic meltdown and utter hysteria over gun bans, etc., all of this gets ramped up even further. As noted above, the shooter in Pennsylvania does seem to have been one of those who bought into the "gun ban" mania... I'd hate to think that he started shooting, even in part, because he thought the police were coming to take his guns, but it does seem possible. And I'd note, in this regard, statements made on this board about giving up guns "ammunition first," and the like. Just how responsible does this make us look, in light of events like this?

jammin1237
April 4, 2009, 02:27 PM
i have often contemplated the reasons for gun violence, being in my mid 40s and single, i have plenty of time to apply to my interests(firearms being one of them)...i dont have cable or watch tv... i am however plugged into the world via the internet and my career has me out in the world every day working with countless numbers of people...

most would think that it is caused by being under educated and drug use, that would certainly make it "easier" for someone...

#1 personally i think it is driven by the attitude of the society we live in...have you seen what peoples kids are watching these days... there is gun violence on 90% of the shows...this has been going on for decades and now you start seeing the results...subliminally hammer in that type of audio/visual information into people brains for 10 or 20 years and whats the first thing they are going to do if they "snap"...go out in hollywood fashion " i'll be famous"...the "responsible/ethical media" business model is gone...who cares if the news and media industry is going bankrupt, we should kick em in azz on the way out!

#2 personally i think it is driven by the attitude of the society we live in...have you seen the way people in this country have been treating each other, they are there to help their fellow man(if your part of my religion, my union, my party, my ethnic background, my "label") the amount of greed, drugs, and corrupt behaviour has gone out of control in this country... remember stuff like ENRON? that little prick kenneth lay or whatever his name was... now he is dead and how many peoples lives did he destroy? just like the biased media, another bad apple...



#3 personally i think it is driven by the attitude of the society we live in...instead of concentrating on "gun" violence we should look at all forms of it, that guy in upstate NY could have easily just drove his his car at 100 mph into that building and probably killed more,the fact that he used a gun is of more concern to the general media ,and to me that is the only thing worse than the tragedy itself...

#4 personally i think it is driven by the attitude of the society we live in...from what i here, people are fustrated from being overtaxed, overworked,lied to and ripped off by greedy and so called intelligent people who are seemingly in power over them....i can understand why.

maestro pistolero
April 4, 2009, 02:31 PM
a gun is also a powerful symbol -- whether of freedom, as some on this forum have noted, or of manhood
Excellent point. I remember when my dad taught me to shoot, with all the accompanying safety lessons, etc, it was very empowering to be trusted by someone I respected so much. It inspired me as a child to be trustworthy.

Vanya
April 4, 2009, 02:43 PM
It inspired me as a child to be trustworthy.

Yup, me too -- I was so proud when my father started teaching me to shoot. But that's about feeling grown up, independent of gender -- which is a bit different from the way that guns, for some men (and as far as I know, all the rampage shooters have been men), are a form of, umm, "male enhancement."

mskdgunman
April 4, 2009, 03:11 PM
I'm also not a fan of the term "gun violence" What about "knife violence" or Broken bottle violence" or "pool cue violence"...violence is what it is. The manner in which it is applied is secondary. And, unfortunately there is no cure for violence and in general no predicting when some regular joe is simply going to snap. When that happens, folks always look back for a reason and we hear statements like "he was such a quiet man" or "we never had a clue that he was having problems". It's those guys that will end up snapping and since they are below the radar (as they've probably never been in much trouble) when they pop up suddenly and go critical mass, we never see it coming. We generally know who the "bad" bad guys are but the poor schmo who has that one last bad thing happen to him that drives him over the edge is nearly impossible to identify until it's too late.

The media plays these incidents up as it makes a good story and, some would say, furthers a political agenda. I've always felt that the media wraps itself in the first ammendment while trying to abolish the second. In the end, I have no answer to the initial question as to how to put a stop to the violence. Social and goverment workers and many others have spent countless thousands of dollars and hours on this very issue with programs, medication and awareness classes and guess what? We've still got the problem. You can't help those that either don't want the help or believe they don't need it. You can't force people to take the meds that may control their violent urges or go to classes or any of that other stuff so adamently proposed by some. You cant slap someone in a mental health unit because you "think" he may have a problem.

So, we're left with being aware of our surroundings, carrying a firearm if legally allowed to do so and praying that it doesn't happen all the while knowing it might. As a cop, I always wonder what the outcome would have been in one of these situations had there been an armed citizen or an off duty cop present. Could they have prevented it or at least minimized the number of dead (not counting the bad guy). It never seems to happen that way though. It's always one wack job with and a bunch of sheep who can do nothing else but try and run for their lives or hide when death walks in the front door.

Dave_Shotgun
April 4, 2009, 03:27 PM
1. Too much time spent playing violent video games at an early age is brain-mapping 6-10 year olds to run combat scenarios, reinforced by thousands of hours of repetition.

I agree with this. There was a time when realistic combat games were only played by people training for the military, because in the military, you have to be able to kill people when necessary. But now, all the kids play these games and it makes shooting people like second nature. Parents really need to make sure their boys aren't playing games rated M for mature. Those games are very, very realistic.

Kreyzhorse
April 4, 2009, 04:02 PM
I have always accused antis of being unwilling to look at the real causes of gun violence and being idealistic, and naive by insisting that gun control is a solution. I still think that.

I agree totally. I keep an eye on the Brady Campaign and it's interesting that they are willing to blame the violence in Mexico totally on America's "weak" gun laws. The really interesting thing is that they don't acknowledge that the violence is being caused by drug lords and their product. The fact that guns are used is secondary to the real issue at hand; a corrupt government that can't control the drug lords that are being spawned.

Banning guns will spot violence much the same as banning sports cars will stop DUIs.

hecate
April 4, 2009, 04:14 PM
I think Ian Colburn made some excellent points after the incident at Northern Illinois University (http://hecatescrossroad.blogspot.com/2008/02/at-least-somebody-gets-it.html):

"Shooters share three traits: they are unhappy, they blame others for their unhappiness, and they don't know how to express or deal with their problems within socially acceptable norms."

In the nanny state's rush to protect everyone from anything that just might upset their wittle feewings, they are preventing people from developing coping skills.

It has nothing to do with any decline of the nuclear family. I see plenty of stable, two-parent homes where the kids are coddled and indulged until it's enough to make you sick. I remember hearing a terrible kid-tantrum in a shopping center parking lot a while back. As I was thinking to myself how my parents never tolerated behavior like that in public (or anywhere else), I saw it was my boss with her kids that was the source of the disturbance.

Whether there's no family and the kids grow up to be barbarians, or there is a family and the kids grow up to be narcissists with no impluse control, the results are the same.

wingman
April 4, 2009, 04:26 PM
#4 personally i think it is driven by the attitude of the society we live in...from what i here, people are fustrated from being overtaxed, overworked,lied to and ripped off by greedy and so called intelligent people who are seemingly in power over them....i can understand why.



In the past 30 years we have had a total breakdown in our system, greed, corruption,lack of standards, moral, values whatever you wish to call it, we have a government who splits us apart via "special interest" groups our public school system is failing to teach about America, there simply is no common bond. We now have over 300 million people more then a third foreign born many do not assimilate nor want to as they feel no need living in their own communities, as California has failed so is the rest of our great country, now we have a administration who wishes to "remake" us in the European version that is so loved my the far left.

Sad to say with our leadership and the desire for power and money I do not see a change and if it does come it will certainly be difficult.

maestro pistolero
April 4, 2009, 06:34 PM
our public school system is failing to teach about America

Interesting, isn't it interesting that the values that made us so great are so out of fashion. To even discuss patriotism is seen as out of touch. The subject of firearms can not even come up in todays zero tolerance atmosphere. Eddie Eagle draws more disdain and less respect than the late Tupac Shakur. One promoted violence, and the other said simply "if you see a gun, stop, don't touch, tell an adult." We can no longer afford to let politics interfere with a non-political safety effort such as Eddie Eagle.

The lessons inherent in teaching the safe use of a firearm run deep, like learning about the preciousness of human life, and that once taken away, it cannot be returned. As a child that left a big impression on me.

Creature
April 4, 2009, 06:45 PM
The world went global...but we as a people have become more and more isolated. What ever happened to sitting down with the entire family every single night at the kitchen table? How about your neighbors? My guess is that 98% of us here do not know the first names of all of their immediate neighbors next door.

Tennessee Gentleman
April 4, 2009, 06:58 PM
Creature,
You are dead on! I know none of my neighbors. One Christmas we invited them over to our house and they didn't even respond, not even a Hello or Get LOst? Just nothing. I heard someone say once that we don't need each other any more and so we live in isolation. Sad but true and that generates fear.

alloy
April 4, 2009, 07:09 PM
Some people have no interlockiter, and it grows into a gimme attitude thru entitlements, and earlier...with no discipline because society says that's child abuse. Sorry...a mamby-pamby society protecting everyone has produced a few people that are cracked, and what's worse, they are given chances until they break. I'm glad my old man slapped some sense into me on a regular basis.:D
Point a gun and shoot somebody and blame them cause you need some cheetos? Overall, violence isn't new....the gun thing is only a development. Don't know what's wrong with some folks, and it's easy to recognize after the fact, but hard to know why.

maestro pistolero
April 4, 2009, 08:42 PM
Some people have no interlockiter

Don't know that word, help me out.

Wildalaska
April 4, 2009, 08:51 PM
The REAL causes of gun violence

are defective human units

WildnomorenolessAlaska TM

dm1333
April 4, 2009, 09:25 PM
I completely understand, violence is violence. But stabbings aren't going to help bring on an AWB. That's why it's the subject of this thread.

You make a very good point and I stand corrected.:D I don't blame video games, movies, rappers or music. When I grew up I read a lot of violent books, anything from The Hobbit to anything I could find on WWII, Korea and Viet Nam. I listened to the "wrong" kind of music and was obsessed with guns. The difference between me and some of the wackos out there today is that my parents gave me a strong sense of right and wrong, and reality. My a#$ got kicked numerous times when growing up and it never crossed my mind to pick up a gun and go avenge myself by killing a bunch of people.

SGHOTH
April 4, 2009, 09:34 PM
The post-modern belief in relative morality is a significant part of the problem. As is the devaluing of human life.
The foundation of the problem is evil.

Bingo

There has always been evil and there have always been evil people. When a society looses its will to proclaim moral absolutes and enforce them then this type of evil behavior gets more and more out of control.

The breakdown can be blamed on a bunch of factors but ultimately someone has to be responsible to teach and enforce ethics. If the parents are incapable, nothing in secular society is available to fill in. Even the church is walking away from calling evil evil.

Add the loose respect for life with the "glory & fame" our current media bestows on the perpetrators and this type of behavior is inevitable and will continue.

Pendragon
April 4, 2009, 11:07 PM
Is it video games this month? It used to be gangster rap or devil rock or drugs and for a while it was poverty and "injustice".

The "blame anything but guns" is just as irrational and unproductive and anti-freedom an attitude as the "blame guns first" people.

Has not the old "correlation <> causation" axiom not been hashed out hundreds of times? Well as long as your Ox is not the one being gored, who cares what wild accusations we throw out.

People are not computers. Playing video games, watching television or listening to music does not take away free will and it does not excise our knowledge of good and evil.

There is a large portion of the population on anti-depressants. I would bet that that segment of the population is growing as more people are anxious about the state of the economy and people are watching themselves or people they love become destitute.

Some people, when places on certain anti-depressants become suicidal and a small percentage of people have been found to become homicidal. Throw in the general political and economic turmoil of the last few months and season with the mental illness of the day - take your pick: narcissism (does not get near enough credit for violent crime) paranoia, psychosis, etc.

Additionally, some people are losing their insurance and their income - some people are not able to stay on medication that may be helping them and I can imagine that some of those people are at risk.

Let's stop blaming the things and start blaming the beings - shall we?

maestro pistolero
April 4, 2009, 11:29 PM
Let's stop blaming the things and start blaming the beings - shall we?

Blaming is easy, that's why the antis do it. They blame guns. We blame miscreants. Neither approach attempts to change anything in any substantive way. That's the point of this thread.

Some folks have offered some thoughtful insights. I am grateful to those who at least seem to get the questions posed here.

RamSlammer
April 5, 2009, 01:39 AM
Very, very good discussion on this thread so far folks! The like of which make this board great!

Personally, I don't know if there are any right answers as to why someone goes off his/her rocker and kills just to do so. The OP made some very good points which are spot on in my opinion. Humans will be humans after all. So much of the world, warts and all, is now right in front of us 24/7 unlike any other time in our history.

We learn behavior early and societally we have been pushing out at the boundaries that make a civilization civil in so many ways. This doesn't happen in a vacuum and the young are being shortchanged and altered in ways we abhor, but can't seem to get away from.

We are now in the information age and just getting a grip on the scope of how that will play out. So far, it's brought unbelievable advances, but do we really know the scope of how it will effect our species and ultimately alter our humanity?

Think about how you grew up and how that makes you who you are today. Then think about how today's kids are growing up and ask what they will become when our age? Nothing more or less than what we made them to be? I think so.

maestro pistolero
April 5, 2009, 03:12 AM
Is it video games this month? It used to be gangster rap or devil rock or drugs and for a while it was poverty and "injustice".

I would agree that none of these things, alone, would begin to cause an otherwise balanced, well raised person to snap on a fellow human being.

But if the foundation of a persons psyche IS bloody video games, gangster rap, devil rock, and drugs, combined with other risk factors, then we may have a problem individual on our hands. The challenge here would be how to identify and intervene before it's too late.

BillCA
April 5, 2009, 04:50 AM
I like WA's brevity -
defective human units

Let's face it - for the most part, if you read about the people involved, they are or have become "losers". And I don't mean that unkindly. Some of these folks may have been fine in prior years, even successful. But well before they "snap" they have gone through months or years of decline.

A child dies from a lingering illness and he's bankrupt and has to start all over. A relationship goes sour. An ugly divorce. Their own declining health or that of a close family member. Excessive stress at home and/or on the job become too much.

From what I've seen of most adults who do these things, they are having trouble with employment, often living with a relative (mother/father, brother/sister), have limited social contacts[1] and may be under treatment for some form of mental illness[2]. They feel like they've reached the "bottom" and will never get out.[3]

I'll also buy into the moral/ethical decline theory too. People who have good moral values and are taught good work ethic as a child tend to have fewer problems. Or they tend to work through the problems they face and get back on their feet.

As to influences from media, games, etc. Think back to the late 1930's and the emotion in the voice of the reporter talking about the Hindenburg disaster. People around the country were "horrified" and some cried while reading of the crash. Today, a 767 crashes and the only tears shed are by those who knew someone aboard. Why?

Before widespread radio and TV, people's lives centered around their neighborhoods and towns. Radio allowed many to feel connected to the country. But a "live" disaster like the Hindenburg was too much for most people. It was a tragedy if two people died in their town when an automobile overturned. But thirty-six people burned to death? They had no emotional defenses to that idea.

However, as a baby boomer, I've witnessed hundreds of murders and murder scenes. Likely so have you. On TV. We have been exposed all our lives to TV dramas that involve murder. From Gunsmoke to The Naked City. From Perry Mason to Matlock. From MacMillian & Wife to Murder She Wrote. Murder - the ultimate crime. It shocks us all (but now, only when it happens on our block).

We've come to accept homicide as inevitable. Someone, somewhere will kill someone else. It's part of society. Yet, two generations ago many people felt safe enough to go to sleep with their doors unlocked. Or at least leave them unlocked during the day.

The TV news mantra if it bleeds, it leads is partly responsible. It's like pandering to the human curiosity evident in a car crash. In fact, if you led the news with photos or video of a horrific car crash and the mangled cars, people would still tune in. The problem, of course, is that if everyone walks away, it's just an 10 second clip on the news. Never mind that the viewers are still interested, there's no death or blood to report. We've had decades to build up some defenses to the idea of senseless violence.

Solutions? I have none, other than instilling in youngsters the traditional values of integrity, morality, a good work ethic and a sound education.



[1] Social contacts often act as sounding-boards for ideas and the feedback can tell us when our thinking is unreasonable. Lack of contact with others can allow one to fall into paranoid or delusional thinking.
[2] Shrinks now call even mild depress a "mental illness" along with nail-biting and nose-picking. But this reference is for those who are actively seeing a professional and/or taking drugs to cope.
[3] It may be that "hitting bottom" includes self-induced shame for taking drugs to cope or for being unemployed. At the bottom, they start blaming others and believing in conspiracies aimed at keeping the person down.

bikerbill
April 5, 2009, 11:53 AM
I wonder what the response would be from govt and the media if one of these mass shooting idiots was stopped in mid-stream by somebody carrying concealed legally. Probably be ignored. I know I'm not breaking any ground here by warning that we are well and truly in the soup over these shootings, and I'm guessing more and more non-gunners are moving to the ban-'em-all side of the ledger.

maestro pistolero
April 5, 2009, 12:38 PM
I wonder what the response would be from govt and the media if one of these mass shooting idiots was stopped in mid-stream by somebody carrying concealed legally.

I have always contended that the first time a citizen is able to cut short one of these massacres, the tide will begin to turn on public opinion. Imagine if it happened right now, there would be a stark contrast between an event where a citizen could intervene, and where he couldn't.

While having more armed law abiding citizens doesn't get directly at the cause of these rampages, it certainly could minimize the damage.

THEZACHARIAS
April 5, 2009, 12:49 PM
We've seen the response from the media.

At new life church in Colorado in 07, a female usher had a CCW and took down a man with a rifle who had a grudge against the church, but not before he killed 4 people. The mainstream media actually made a pretty concerted effort to under-report to the greatest extent possible (nothing was heard after the initial story, if it was reported AT ALL). Not like these most recent shootings that are getting huge air time.

They dont want to demonstrate that guns can save lives because then they would lose ratings and viewers from the anti-gun community.

MedicineBow
April 5, 2009, 02:00 PM
Oh, the causes are complex and interrelated. They probably fall into three categories: stressors, feasibility, and culture. You could make a list as long as your arm. Here's some to add:

1. Increased population and its structure, particularly population density combined with transience.

2. Lots of available guns.

3. Violence celebrated as a way of life and approach to life. What are the numbers? Kids see 8,000 murders on TV alone before leaving elementary school. 200,000 acts of violence on TV alone before age 18. (America is bizarre: a woman's bare breast or a man's bare backside gets a movie an automatic R rating. There's virtually no limit, though, to the number of murders you can show and still be PG-13.)

The list could go on and on.

Enoy21
April 6, 2009, 01:02 PM
1. Too much time spent playing violent video games at an early age is brain-mapping 6-10 year olds to run combat scenarios, reinforced by thousands of hours of repetition.

I fully disagree with this as I spent many many hours playing video games , on top of many many hours in the woods playing "guns" with my neighborhood friends.

2. The absence of real human interaction, texting and emailing as a primary form of communication robs us of a normal connection with other humans, which allows normal empathy and compassion to develop. This is at odds with millions of years of evolution where we actually had to talk with, or learn to play nice with another person to communicate.

This is something I will agree with in that it changes peoples persepctives when they don't have any consequences to their personalities. The anonymity and relative safety of the Internet changes the way people interact with the world ... Without someone there to punch you in the face once in a while for being an idiot and Or to see how your actions effect people in a very real sort of way ... people lose the reality and harshness of their actions.

3. The disintegration of the traditional, nuclear family, has removed normal role models from the picture so that no example is present for children to learn how a normal, mature adult (male in most cases) behaves. In the absence of a proper role model, TV characters, rappers, or other artificial role models have been adopted in their place.


/Agreed.... in a way , but mostly with the italics part .... as regardless of the Nuclear family .... It's what I feel is liking in these cases.





I also agree with the person shortly there after in that violence in tough economic times is not really all that uncommon. ( look at riots throughout history )

Typically the poor are the most prone to violence ( look at any of the lower income neighborhoods in the country )

But on top of this I believe it is the results of the people not wanting to take their own responsibility for their happiness and wealth. The constant feeling of entitlement that has taken over this country ( and being fed by our President and congress ). Instead of accepting their situation and acting responsibly to fix it , they decide to steal, sell drugs and kill.

As mentioned above they blame everyone else for their problems and are filled with such anger and hatred.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 6, 2009, 01:45 PM
I fully disagree with this as I spent many many hours playing video games , on top of many many hours in the woods playing "guns" with my neighborhood friends.

To be our resident research designer - I might suggest that one's person experience is not up to evidential standards.

The idea of the media impact theorists is that media violence channels the operationalization of violent action by those pushed to it by various causes.

So without the reason to be violent, exposure does little. But if the reason exists, media and games might give it a specific form.

There is a controversial but large literature that exposure to violent depictions and more realistic depictions and games prime more aggressive behavior.

It is a mistake to view the media/games aggression link as all or none. Or view the availability of guns as all or none. Both may prime aggression behavior or channel it if the underlying pathology exists in a violent actor.

Just because you played with guns or didn't - isn't a compelling argument against the thesis.

maestro pistolero
April 6, 2009, 02:06 PM
That's what I'm talking about. The real truth on any matter usually lies somewhere in the middle. Thanks Glenn

Glenn E. Meyer
April 6, 2009, 02:14 PM
In medio stat veritas

Glad to be of help. :)

Enoy21
April 6, 2009, 02:35 PM
I thought the compelling argument is that It's my opinion , as prefaced with " I disagree "

:)

Not stating it as fact or fiction...

I believe the deeper issue though is that these kids were not taught TV, Games , Cartoons , etc ... are for entertainment value only and are not real.

Parents have no problems teaching their children about make believe like in Wizard of Oz , but seem to have a very real problem teaching their children that the entertainment of Television is NOT the same as taking someones life.

Teaching them to understand other lives effected and ruined , and giving them a little perspective of Real life vs TV and video games.

I mean really... Cartoon violence has been around since the 1930's. Watch Bugs Bunny and Silvester .... with good 'ol Yo Sammity Sam. The difference is back then the kids were taught not to see it as more than entertainment value.

It's the same with Video games to this day. Sitting in front of your PC/Console and firing off a couple fake rounds at a fake target is NOT the same as the raw power of a real gun and the destruction and death that can occur for not handling them responsibly.




For me the argument for game and Cartoon TV violence , would be more so about accidental deaths and discharges because the kids see the glorified gun , and don't understand it's danger potential.

ftd
April 6, 2009, 03:10 PM
Many of you are too young to remember. In the '60s the supreme court managed to completely remove God from the public schools. This left a big vacuum in regard even to "values" and such.

Through the '70s and '80s the teaching establishment managed to even remove EVERY trace of values based teaching. In the '80s and '90's they began teaching a "new morality" that permitted everything, and also managed to even eliminate teaching most critical thinking techniques - no rules (critical thinking is what allowed the little boy to recognize that the emperor was wearing no clothes). I remember my daughter coming home from school and explaining to me that any thing you did was OK as long as you had a reason for doing it.

The sizable vacuum began to be filled with the new morality, i.e. relative morality and the biggy, SELF-ESTEEM. The vacuum grew.

Because we had done away with critical thinking, no one noticed that self-esteem is a synonym for egotism and narcissism. The thinking was that if you didn't feel good about yourself that.. that.., well, that you would feel bad about yourself, which would cause you to struggle in life. Lack of critical thinking, of course, kept us from realizing that we are supposed to struggle and, in fact, that we NEED to struggle in order to develop properly.

Because we have done away with the idea that there are absolutes in morality that cannot be relativized, and because we have become so narcissistic, and because we cannot be bothered with the results of critical thinking, you'd think that we would be happy.

How is this working for us?

How is it working for you?

What can we do about it?

If you people don’t kick me out of TFL real soon, I’ll be back and say what I think and believe.

grymster2007
April 6, 2009, 03:14 PM
I think parents with no inkling of their responsibilities is the main root cause. But among the plethora of additional contributors to the causes are ones that are easily fixed. For instance, in the case of the Binghamton killer, why would we allow someone who has so miserably failed to integrate into our society to stay here?

maestro pistolero
April 6, 2009, 04:13 PM
why would we allow someone who has so miserably failed to integrate into our society to stay here?

How was that evident? A poor grasp of english isn't enough to deport a naturalized citizen. In any case, a failure to deport certain individuals who are naturalized citizens, hardly makes the list of fundamental causes of violence in our society.

#18indycolts
April 6, 2009, 04:23 PM
In the '60s the supreme court managed to completely remove God from the public schools.

thank God for that, no pun intended.

grymster2007
April 6, 2009, 04:27 PM
A poor grasp of english isn't enough to deport a naturalized citizen. He should never have been naturalized. We have no obligation or even rational interest in naturalizing people who can't/won't integrate. A functional proficiency in the language of the realm is key to integration and should be a requirement.

In any case, a failure to deport certain individuals who are naturalized citizens, hardly makes the list of fundamental causes of violence in our society. I said "among the plethora of additional contributors"; a bit different from "fundamental causes".

My point being that in the case of Jiverly Wong, it would have been an easy one to prevent and more than a dozen people would be alive today if this guy had been deported just as soon as he demonstrated that he wouldn't/couldn't integrate. That was a long time ago.

#18indycolts
April 6, 2009, 04:30 PM
We have no obligation or even rational interest in naturalizing people who can't/won't integrate.

not sure where you get your info from, but that statement couldn't be farther from the truth. People are naturalized who can't/won't integrate ALL THE TIME.

grymster2007
April 6, 2009, 04:43 PM
People are naturalized who can't/won't integrate ALL THE TIME. And our obligation and/or interest in doing so would be what?

grymster2007
April 6, 2009, 04:54 PM
Seung-Hui Cho; another example of a troubled individual who gave all sorts of clues that he was unstable and could have simply had his green card revoked, possibly saving the lives of 32 people. Again; my point is not that these people are the root cause, but rather that it would have been fairly easy to prevent the crimes they committed.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 6, 2009, 05:19 PM
This thread is starting to wander far afield.

Supreme Court decisions about religion, meanderings about immigrants when we have plenty of "American" shooters - the majority of them!

So it needs to get back on track to legit analysis rather than spouting off political opinions without validity.

As I said before - most of these cases fit a classic profile that has little to do with those factors.

I could easily say deport social conservatives as we had a couple of them go rampage lately - or is it because of an underlying pathology?

Geez.

maestro pistolero
April 6, 2009, 06:03 PM
There is some excellent discussion going on here, recent tangential points notwithstanding.

I think most of us would agree that a properly naturalized citizen, whether fully integrated or not, does not represent a significant threat of causing a mass shooting, and certainly not beyond the rate of risk that exists for natural born citizens. If there is a statistical difference, it is very small, and may even fall in favor of the immigrants.

If that's where this thread is headed, I'll close it myself, if a moderator doesn't beat me to it.

I hope we can continue, as this has been illuminating.

grymster2007
April 6, 2009, 06:19 PM
I have a valid point, but so does Glenn.... I'll concede that I was "meandering" off topic. Sorry maestro. :o.

I'll stick to my main point now; lousy parenting. I really believe this to be the largest contributing factor.

maestro pistolero
April 6, 2009, 06:36 PM
No apology necessary, thanks for chiming in.

jammin1237
April 6, 2009, 07:23 PM
in my previous post i think i expressed my distaste for the "general media"... just another thought --- all the negatives piled up on top of one another in ones life can lead someone to the edge or shall we say "snap"... that point at which they think they have no alternative but to make every one in their immediate "social bubble" feel their pain...

again we ask,,,,,why "gun" violence???????

i think it is nothing more than what has been impressed in their minds... where did they ever get the idea to grab a gun and do the things they do...if there were no guns, only swords, or maybe just clubs and or rocks, dont you think the same things would happen? (well it has)....

as a culture we need to start promoting more positives in peoples lives, everyone we "touch"...even the small things make a difference... we need to start doing it soon, so concentrate on it:D


cheers!

Glenn E. Meyer
April 7, 2009, 10:03 AM
Folks act out based on models they see in part.

Look at the guy who was flying the Cessna so that the USAF would shoot him down. If it weren't for 9/11 - it wouldn't come to mind most likely.

Social cognitive learning theory clearly shows us that people can observe the outcomes of actions and mimic them.

The repeated coverage of Columbine, VT and other rampages reinforces the next rampager. He or she is driven by their underlying pathology but models their action on what they learned.

Every memorial, weeping parents and friends and pundits discussing the rampager reinforces some next one who sees him or herself generating the pain, being psychoanalyzed by some schmuck Dr. Phil, etc.

Legit experts have been beating the drum of not doing this media blitz but it falls on deaf ideas.

When a school has a big gathering and everyone waves candles, Mom cries on TV how Victim Biff and Tiffany were good kids (he was on the team and she was a cheerleader), the police chief thunders that the shooter was a coward and Dr. Phil-oid says he was disturbed (and if only we helped the poor soul) - the pathological person is vicariously rewarded for planning the next action. Seeing Mom cry over Biff and Tiff is rewarding to them.

Unfortunately, the world of sensationalist TV - it won't stop. How many other shooters and Octo-Moms (ban hi-cap Moms?) are now planning their actions?

That's what's going on - not the looney stuff (antigun plots, Supreme court, immigrants, etc.)

1. Underlying pathology
2. Life stresses that exaggerate the stresses and increase patholology (so losing your job, going nuts over politics, problems as an immigrant, being ditched by YOUR LADY, etc. are examples of a stressor)
3. Anger at some group and/or society - felt picked on or not supported by something or someone.
4. Modeling a violent action - so that they become an expressive killer and/or plan a suicide with hostile intent. That can come from video games, watching coverage of past rampages, focusing on weapons related media. They can focus on gun culture and weapons. More exposure to weapons probably interacts with these folks to enhance their violent ideation.
5. They intend to die a 'warriors' death' as compared to a lonely suicide - they want to make a point with their death - Revenge, change society to take into account their concerns (a weird and perverted altruistic motive).

That's the package.

Croz
April 7, 2009, 10:37 AM
I think any gun owner has probably pontificated, either in person or online, that the current administration is going to try to either ban certain guns, make it difficult to buy, etc.

Using that fact, if anyone here went on a shooting spree, we could have dozens of witnesses saying that person was afraid, "Obama was going to take his/her guns."

Doesn't mean, in any way, that was the reason for the shooting spree. Just means that's the reason that will get spread through the media.

ZeSpectre
April 7, 2009, 10:56 AM
When people group together (form a society) they tend to develop something called "rules of civilization". These rules are all the little accepted social quirks that identify someone as A) Part of this social group and B) behaving within acceptable parameters.

Put simply, it was a group-survival defense mechanism.

Along came "political-correctness" and our current litigation-happy society. Now pointing out that someone is behaving on, or well past, the fringe of acceptable behavior will get you a lawsuit and other problems.

So people are getting re-programmed to just "mind their own business" and the natural protective and corrective actions of "society" are being impeded.

So is it any wonder these fringe cases are not being handled or even acknowledged until it is too late?

Combine that behavior with the fact that studies have shown that a certain tiny, but astonishingly consistent, percentage of ANY population is "fringe" and multiply that percentage by a population of 300 MILLION people.

Now add in a dose of economic hardship and the stresses involved.

I'd say that's a pretty explosive mix of elements in it's own right irrespective of guns, bombs, knives, or automobiles.

USAFNoDak
April 7, 2009, 11:43 AM
Hecate posted:It has nothing to do with any decline of the nuclear family.

The Columbine killers were both from "normal", well to do, nuclear families. As a matter of fact, one them had a mother who was very active in one of the local chapters of the Million Mom March which was championing more gun control. Maybe she should have championed more "kid" control. One of them had a lock on his bedroom door and there was the sawed off portion of a barrel from a shotgun on his dresser which was found during the investigation. If one of my kids had a paddle lock installed on his bedroom door, that lock would be sawed off post haste and the door would have been removed from then on. We aren't always our kids "friends". Sometimes, we have to be their parents.

Brian Pfleuger
April 7, 2009, 11:49 AM
The Columbine killers were both from "normal", well to do, nuclear families. As a matter of fact, one them had a mother who was very active in one of the local chapters of the Million Mom March which was championing more gun control. Maybe she should have championed more "kid" control. One of them had a lock on his bedroom door and there was the sawed off portion of a barrel from a shotgun on his dresser which was found during the investigation. If one of my kids had a paddle lock installed on his bedroom door, that lock would be sawed off post haste and the door would have been removed from then on. We aren't always our kids "friends". Sometimes, we have to be their parents.

Just because a family all lives in one house doesn't mean that they're not "broken" or part of the "decline of the nuclear family" and it most certainly does not make them "normal".

Allowing a kid to have a padlock on his bedroom door is only the beginning of the problems in that house hold. Those people were strangers living in the same house. They were NOT a nuclear family in any sense but genetics.

Broken families have a well proven relationship with criminal behavior. "Broken" doesn't always mean separated.

USAFNoDak
April 7, 2009, 11:52 AM
The Zacharias posted:We've seen the response from the media.

At new life church in Colorado in 07, a female usher had a CCW and took down a man with a rifle who had a grudge against the church, but not before he killed 4 people. The mainstream media actually made a pretty concerted effort to under-report to the greatest extent possible (nothing was heard after the initial story, if it was reported AT ALL). Not like these most recent shootings that are getting huge air time.

They dont want to demonstrate that guns can save lives because then they would lose ratings and viewers from the anti-gun community.

In addition to that event, there were two other events where people retrieved guns and then stopped further killings. One was in Jonesboro, AK I believe. There, a teacher retrieved a gun from car and stopped the shooter. I can't recall where the other one was, but in that case, two guys who were off duty law enforcement ran to their cars, retrieved their guns, and then stopped the killer. The media poo pood both of them. They don't want to steer their agenda off course by reporting the facts as they happened, unless those facts help to drive their agenda's forward and on course.

USAFNoDak
April 7, 2009, 12:02 PM
Just because a family all lives in one house doesn't mean that they're not "broken" or part of the "decline of the nuclear family" and it most certainly does not make them "normal".


I don't disagree. However, I don't believe that just because kids live with a single parent for whatever reason is necessarily a contributing factor to increased risk of violence. That was my point. There are certainly two parent homes (nuclear family in most people's minds) that are dysfunctional. That would appear to be the case with the Columbine killers.

Brian Pfleuger
April 7, 2009, 12:21 PM
However, I don't believe that just because kids live with a single parent for whatever reason is necessarily a contributing factor to increased risk of violence.

I agree, except that I will say that the lack of a father figure is unquestionably connected to criminal behavior. It certainly is not "just because" but it is undeniably a factor.

USAFNoDak
April 7, 2009, 05:02 PM
Peetzakilla posted:I agree, except that I will say that the lack of a father figure is unquestionably connected to criminal behavior. It certainly is not "just because" but it is undeniably a factor.


I do agree that lack of a father figure is a factor in increasing the risk of criminal behavior, especially for young males. This is where the feminization of males will have a serious detrimental affect on boys growing up.

My wife was describing a commercial she saw the other day. It had to do with reuseable, cloth, grocery bags. A young boy and his father were in the commercial which showed them using one of these bags. My wife said at the end of the commercial was an audible message which said something to the effect of "Helping to make him a better man". She thought this was just pathetic. (Of course, being married to a "real man" such as me has obviously set a bias in her :D ).

So, to be better MEN, we need to be green and get the reusable cloth grocery bags? By whose judgement are we then "better men"? That's rather silly if you ask me. Now don't get me wrong. I see nothing wrong with using those reusable grocery bags, or recycling the paper ones. But doing those things does not necessarily make a male a "better man". There are more important criteria than that, IMO. Teaching your son how to safely handle firearms would make one a "better man" as far as I'm concerned. Being a scout leader, teaching your son right from wrong, coaching sports, teaching your son manners, etc. are all more important than reusable grocery bags. Sheesh.

Glenn E. Meyer
April 7, 2009, 05:08 PM
Freudian misunderstood psychobabble and wandering off track.

Thus, I'm closing it down to maintain the integrity of earlier parts of the discussion.

I did warn that this was a path to the chopping block.