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Old April 4, 2009, 06:45 PM   #26
Creature
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 06:58 PM   #27
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 07:09 PM   #28
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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.
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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 08:42 PM   #29
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Some people have no interlockiter
Don't know that word, help me out.
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Old April 4, 2009, 08:51 PM   #30
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The REAL causes of gun violence
are defective human units

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Old April 4, 2009, 09:25 PM   #31
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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. 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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 09:34 PM   #32
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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.
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Old April 4, 2009, 11:07 PM   #33
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Blaming video games?

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?
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Old April 4, 2009, 11:29 PM   #34
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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.
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Old April 5, 2009, 01:39 AM   #35
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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.
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Old April 5, 2009, 03:12 AM   #36
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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.
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Old April 5, 2009, 04:50 AM   #37
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I like WA's brevity -
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Originally Posted by WildAlaska
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.
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Old April 5, 2009, 11:53 AM   #38
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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.
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Old April 5, 2009, 12:38 PM   #39
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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.
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Old April 5, 2009, 12:49 PM   #40
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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.
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Old April 5, 2009, 02:00 PM   #41
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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.
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Old April 6, 2009, 01:02 PM   #42
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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 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.

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Old April 6, 2009, 01:45 PM   #43
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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.
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Old April 6, 2009, 02:06 PM   #44
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That's what I'm talking about. The real truth on any matter usually lies somewhere in the middle. Thanks Glenn
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Old April 6, 2009, 02:14 PM   #45
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Glad to be of help.
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Old April 6, 2009, 02:35 PM   #46
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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.
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Old April 6, 2009, 03:10 PM   #47
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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.
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Old April 6, 2009, 03:14 PM   #48
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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?
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Old April 6, 2009, 04:13 PM   #49
maestro pistolero
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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.
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Old April 6, 2009, 04:23 PM   #50
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In the '60s the supreme court managed to completely remove God from the public schools.
thank God for that, no pun intended.
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