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Old April 4, 2009, 01:02 PM   #1
maestro pistolero
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The REAL causes of gun violence

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. 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?
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Old April 4, 2009, 01:09 PM   #2
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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".
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Old April 4, 2009, 01:10 PM   #3
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"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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 01:11 PM   #4
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The guy in PA was also afraid that Obama was going to take his guns.
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Old April 4, 2009, 01:11 PM   #5
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 01:18 PM   #6
maestro pistolero
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 01:21 PM   #7
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 01:25 PM   #8
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 01:35 PM   #9
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 01:38 PM   #10
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Maybe he was, but so are a lot of people

Quote:
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!

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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 01:39 PM   #11
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 01:40 PM   #12
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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."
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Old April 4, 2009, 01:45 PM   #13
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 01:56 PM   #14
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 01:59 PM   #15
maestro pistolero
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Please, everyone, we all know the tool used to commit violence is irrelevant. You're preaching to the choir here.

Quote:
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?
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Old April 4, 2009, 02:00 PM   #16
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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?
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Old April 4, 2009, 02:27 PM   #17
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 02:31 PM   #18
maestro pistolero
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 02:43 PM   #19
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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."
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Old April 4, 2009, 03:11 PM   #20
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 03:27 PM   #21
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 04:02 PM   #22
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 04:14 PM   #23
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I think Ian Colburn made some excellent points after the incident at Northern Illinois University:

"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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 04:26 PM   #24
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#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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 06:34 PM   #25
maestro pistolero
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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.

Last edited by maestro pistolero; April 5, 2009 at 03:05 AM.
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