Why Is Our First Reaction To Mass Shootings To Talk About Censorship?

from the avoiding-the-real-discussions dept

There were more mass shootings this weekend in the US. The Onion has been busy running more copies of its infamous ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens articles which run after every such shooting. And yet, it seems that many people want to talk about censorship. And this is true on both sides of the mainstream political aisle. Rep. Kevin McCarthy got the nonsense kicked off with the usual fallback for Republicans who don't want to talk about guns, by blaming video games. This happens all the time -- often from people who claim that they're "Constitutionalists." Of course, it's hard to see how you can be a Constitutionalist if you dump on the 1st Amendment to protect the 2nd.

But it's not just Republicans with an aversion to having any sort of actual discussion about gun control who jump to censorship. Given that some of the most recent shootings have involved angry, ignorant, idiotic rants posted on 8chan (stop calling them manifestos, guys), there's been a vocal discussion this past weekend on whether or not 8chan should be censored or shut down. 8chan, as you may recall, was founded as something of an alternative to 4chan, after some people (somewhat ridiculously) felt that that site was moderated too much. It was founded with the same hubris as the ignorant people who insist that there should never be any content moderation on any site, without realizing what that means in reality. And now, with even the site's own founder saying that it should be shut down (people might want to go back and look at what he was saying during the GamerGate era...), Cloudflare has now been pressured into cutting off its services for 8chan as well.

This is a perfectly reasonable move for the company to make, as part of being in society and providing services to society is determining what kinds of services you want to provide and to whom. I appreciate that Cloudflare is reluctant to get into the business of making any sorts of judgment calls on content, but no one can avoid those questions forever. However, as Cloudflare notes, it's not clear that a company like Cloudflare making this decision will change much in the long run:

Unfortunately, we have seen this situation before and so we have a good sense of what will play out. Almost exactly two years ago we made the determination to kick another disgusting site off Cloudflare's network: the Daily Stormer. That caused a brief interruption in the site's operations but they quickly came back online using a Cloudflare competitor. That competitor at the time promoted as a feature the fact that they didn't respond to legal process. Today, the Daily Stormer is still available and still disgusting. They have bragged that they have more readers than ever. They are no longer Cloudflare's problem, but they remain the Internet's problem.

I have little doubt we'll see the same happen with 8chan. While removing 8chan from our network takes heat off of us, it does nothing to address why hateful sites fester online. It does nothing to address why mass shootings occur. It does nothing to address why portions of the population feel so disenchanted they turn to hate. In taking this action we've solved our own problem, but we haven't solved the Internet's.

Indeed, by far the best take on this issue comes from Ryan Broderick at Buzzfeed, who notes that The Problem Isn't 8chan. It’s Young American Men:

Shutting down the site is unlikely to eradicate this new extremist culture, because 8chan is anywhere. Pull the plug, it will appear somewhere else, in whatever locale will host it. Because there's nothing particularly special about 8chan, there are no content algorithms, hosting technology immaterial. The only thing radicalizing 8chan users are other 8chan users.

There's a lot more in that article that is worth thinking about. As noted above, I have no problem with any particular platform deciding that it doesn't want to be a host to the horrible, racist, bigoted, hateful content found on 8chan -- but merely focusing on cutting off that conversation does literally nothing to deal with the people behind that racist, bigoted, hateful content. And that's an issue. Rather than focusing first on censorship, can we start talking about how to stop people from being so confused, ignorant, and hateful? Can we talk about ways to recognize alienated, disillusioned people, and seeking ways to actually do something positive, and keep them from becoming so hateful in the first place? Some will argue that part of that is shutting down the places where these people gather, but as the articles linked above noted, that's next to impossible. So it seems like a better plan is to figure out a way to arm people -- especially young people -- with knowledge and facts that will help them resist the lure of darkness, alientation, anger and hate.

Filed Under: 8chan, censorship, mass shooting


Reader Comments

The First Word

Can we talk about ways to recognize alienated, disillusioned people, and seeking ways to actually do something positive, and keep them from becoming so hateful in the first place?

We can, but it would require taking seriously two categories of people who our society prefers to avoid thinking about whenever possible. The alienated and disillusioned overwhelmingly come from among two types of people, with many of them falling into both categories: 1) the mentally ill and 2) the powerless.

First, the mentally ill. I don't know if it's still true, but several years ago I read that every single school shooter in the USA over the last X decades was on psychiatric medication. The author was trying to use this as ammunition for a wild theory that the meds were what caused them to snap and shoot up their schools, but there's a much more interesting (and much more logically consistent!) idea to be found behind that data: the system works, insofar as we allow it to. We are finding the problematic ones and getting them into some degree of treatment... but then it turns out to not be enough. With more research into causes, treatments, and effective therapy, and particularly with research into curative measures rather than all the emphasis on long-term medication regimens -- if we could muster the political will to push back against the pharma companies that make obscene amounts of profit on prolonging diseases rather than curing them -- we could make some real inroads on reducing the problem, and the knock-on effects it causes, such as societal unrest and hatred.

This is a topic that's very personal to me, as my wife works as a caretaker for adults with mental disabilities. She comes home on a regular basis with stories of bigotry, petty crimes, and low-level violence among her clients, and one day she even came home with bruises after being assaulted by one of them. She doesn't get paid nearly enough to deal with the crap she puts up with on a regular basis, and a serious initiative to tackle the issues of mental health would make her life a lot easier and safer.

And second, the powerless. I'll just come right out and say it: people like me -- the ones with a comfortable, good-paying job, a wonderful, loving wife, and a good support structure of family, friends, church, etc -- don't become radicalized and go on a shooting rampage. We can't; we don't have the time to! We're too busy with getting on with our normal lives and working towards the next goal. The people who cause these sorts of problems are generally those who see no realistic option to work towards the next goal; they don't have any power or control over their own destinies, generally because it's been stolen away from them by those who have all too much power. )Or if we're talking about school shootings, it comes from among the kids who get picked on and bullied while the administration stands by and does nothing.) And yet somehow, when they finally snap and lash out, they almost always target other people with very little in the way of power or control.

Dealing with this side of the issue might be even more difficult than dealing with the mental health side of the issue, because it requires consciously standing up to power and tearing it down where necessary. It requires a fundamental rejection of the all-too-American assumption that wealth and celebrity imply legitimacy. It requires teaching middle schoolers and high schoolers that bullying will not be tolerated, and then scrupulously acting on that principle, coming down on sadistic students who torment their peers like the proverbial sledgehammer, with no fear for potentially "ruining the lives of" little monsters who are learning to take delight in actually ruining the lives of those around them. It requires taking corporate executives who crash economies, push defective and deadly products, gouge the vulnerable among us with exorbitant medical costs, and so forth and actually sending them to prison for their misdeeds. In short, it requires a return to the fundamental American value that "all men are created equal," and an active, strong will to squash the parasites in our society that try to oppress others and place them beneath themselves.

Talking about ways to do something positive and prevent people from becoming disillusioned and radicalized is easy. Actually doing something about it, though... that would take some serious work.

—Mason Wheeler

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  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 10:36am

    How to is frustrated with what to

    "So it seems like a better plan is to figure out a way to arm people -- especially young people -- with knowledge and facts that will help them resist the lure of darkness, alienation [SIC], anger and hate."

    That may be the only way, along with better evaluation of the mental stability of our youngsters, which won't be easy and will come fraught with assumptions and diagnosis' by untrained and ideologically tainted authoritarians rather than psychologists trained to be objective.

    Changing the way guns are bought won't necessarily help, as the guns are already out there.

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      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 10:49am

      Other countries have people with mental illnesses. They don’t have mass casualty shootings like the United States does. This isn’t a mental health issue — it is, first and foremost, a gun availability issue.

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      • icon
        mhajicek (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:11am

        Re:

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        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:27am

        Re:

        Sorry Stephen, but if you think going someplace and shooting a bunch of people you don't know without any apparent provocation doesn't have mental health issues, then we will have to agree to disagree on that point. Whether this kind of behavior can be predicted is another matter.

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          Thad (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:42am

          Re: Re:

          Psychology Today: Mass Shooting and the Myth of the Violent Mentally Ill

          While certainly some shooters are mentally ill, taking it as axiomatic that all mass shooters are mentally ill reinforces negative stereotypes about mental illness. The vast majority of mentally ill people are not violent, and indeed they're far likelier to be victims of violence than perpetrators.

          Clearly there's something wrong with anyone who would commit such a heinous deed, and I can understand the desire to label that "something wrong" as mental illness. But it's not, at least, not by the clinical definitions of mental illnesses used by psychologists, and the trouble with making that sort of generalization is that it stigmatizes mental illness.

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            Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:15pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            I don't disagree with what you say, but I did not say that all mentally ill people are dangerous. And, there are many types of mental illness. These could be cases of clinical depression, or severe anxiety or being badly maladjusted or some sort of psychosis (I don't know all the definitions) and did not, nor would I try to diagnose what was wrong. And yes, to say mental health issues (which is what I said) is a generalization, but what more could a layperson say?

            At the same time, to ignore that there was something, emotional, mental, associative, or another wrong would be missing a possible solution, and I don't think we should leave anything on the table, though I don't think movies and video games belong on the table. They might contribute, but I don't believe they are causal. How to get those diagnosis' is part of the issue. Another part is getting an accurate diagnosis. Further, it is more than likely that there is no one cause.

            There could be many contributing factors, and there probably are. But somehow, these shooters seem to think it is OK to kill a bunch of strangers, and if there is no derangement in that thought process then how do you explain it, other than mental health issues?

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            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 2:03am

            Re: Re: Re:

            "While certainly some shooters are mentally ill, taking it as axiomatic that all mass shooters are mentally ill reinforces negative stereotypes about mental illness."

            Mental instability combined with severe societal pressure, bullying, and/or ostracism tends to be the ingredients found in every rampage killer to date. The wiki entry on "amok" sheds some light on the fact that "going postal" is not a US phenomenon.

            It's not really rocket science. Pressure someone enough and they will, eventually, lose their marbles. There's enough data out of Japan, for instance, to indicate that a sufficiently shitty job situation will eventually have a salaryman choosing between suicide or suicide by cop.

            At this point it becomes a chicken-egg debate whether the mental illness was congenital or acquired.

            The point being that the good way to prevent rampage killings is to ensure that if someone is in a state where they need help, they should get it. And the US system isn't that good at doing that, as the OP describes.

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              Thad (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 8:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              It's not really rocket science.

              No, it's psychology.

              That's why I cited a psychologist.

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                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 5:32am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "No, it's psychology. That's why I cited a psychologist."

                I wasn't contradicting that statement.

                What is known that rampage killers are considered mentally ill at the time they go berserk. That diagnosis is often lamentably made after the fact.

                More often than not investigations into rampage killers point, as the OP describes, to the perpetrator being on medication for some time before the event. Often accompanied by a diagnosis of failing mental health.

                But the diagnosis is very rarely one of a mental illness causing violence. It's pretty much given that whether the perpetrator started out in life with good mental health or not it's pretty certain that for a period of time before going on a murder spree something has happened to wreck their mental health and torch the remains.

                Serial killers like Ted Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer can be investigated and it is often found that they have serious mental health issues from childhood.

                Rampage killers, though, are more often than not perfect examples of John Doe until a point where something in their life sends them off the deep end.

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                  nasch (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 6:32am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Often accompanied by a diagnosis of failing mental health.

                  I'm not accusing you of this but just want to remind that the vast majority of mental health issues do not result in violence toward others. If we're not careful it's too easy to accidentally think "mass killers are mentally ill" means "maybe mentally ill people could become mass killers".

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                    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Aug 2019 @ 1:44am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "If we're not careful it's too easy to accidentally think "mass killers are mentally ill" means "maybe mentally ill people could become mass killers"."

                    Causation is not correlation. I'm aware people fail to realize this all too often.

                    What I'm saying is that at the time a rampage killer acts he is not in a state of good mental health. And usually he's had a ramp-up time of acquiring that condition, usually through intense stress which, if prolonged, will often cause mental instability.

                    The vast majority of cases of mental illness is about people being ill and often the targets of violence or ostracism. They are rarely perpetrators. I'm aware of that.

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          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:49am

          I didn’t say all mass murdering domestic terrorists don’t have mental health issues. But to act as if mental health issues are the primary reason for all the dead bodies in El Paso and Dayton is missing the broader point.

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            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 2:08am

            Re:

            "But to act as if mental health issues are the primary reason for all the dead bodies in El Paso and Dayton is missing the broader point."

            Actually...no.

            The point is that people who find themselves in a state of extreme stress are likely to act violently and impulsively. A rampage killer is someone who has been shaped into what he eventually becomes through exterior factors, and generally over a long time.

            At that point only the gun - or knife, heavy machinery, power tool, etc - comes into the picture.

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              PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 5:14am

              Re: Re:

              "At that point only the gun - or knife, heavy machinery, power tool, etc - comes into the picture."

              Yep, and most people would rather be at the business end of a knife than an assault rifle, especially if you're in a Las Vegas festival a significant distance away from where the potential killer is stood.

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                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 6:19am

                Re: Re: Re:

                "Yep, and most people would rather be at the business end of a knife than an assault rifle..."

                To be blunt, the death toll of a maniac running amok with a machete has exceeded the death toll caused by a maniac with a rifle numerous times in history. At least if the guy with the rifle didn't hit me with the first shot I only have to duck behind a concrete wall to be safe. The same does not apply if the maniac is 10 feet away swinging a knife.

                But that's going off on a tangent.

                Worldwide there are plenty of examples of people going on killing sprees - the US is FAR from alone. The phenomenon has been described for thousands of years.
                It doesn't happen much in places where societal pressure is alleviated. Places where you can't spot, in high school, that you have no future, are places where rampage killings are RARE.

                But the gun debate is completely irrelevant. Sure, I think that like driver's licenses or licenses to operate heavy machinery, a gun should similarly be licensed to a certain state of mental health and safety education...
                ...I just don't think it's sensible at all to go balls to the wall picking a fight with the admittedly odious big leaguers in the NRA when the issue at hand is something over which that triggerhappy crowd really has no control.

                Get the US to the point where the state of the mental health and health security of the citizenry resembles that of switzerland and there will suddenly be no issue if every household DOES have an assault rifle at home.

                And there's the problem. What the US needed was to spend every last cent of political capital on patching the infrastructure meant to keep the born losers from going off the deep end. Instead the effort got split over gun control, which is something which in itself has absolutely no meaning if the object is to keep people from going fucking nuts and try to kill as many of their peers as they can get away with in a final angst-party.

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                  PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 6:50am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "To be blunt, the death toll of a maniac running amok with a machete has exceeded the death toll caused by a maniac with a rifle numerous times in history."

                  Not in modern developed countries it hasn't.

                  "At least if the guy with the rifle didn't hit me with the first shot I only have to duck behind a concrete wall to be safe"

                  Again, ask the people who were at that Las Vegas festival. Not a lot of walls there as I recall, but plenty of distance to make a machete attack impossible.

                  "But the gun debate is completely irrelevant"

                  Then, why is yours the only developed country where this is happening and it's the only one where such lax restrictions on firearms are accepted. You must surely understand there's at least a correlation that can be death with even if you argue that it's not the root cause.

                  "Get the US to the point where the state of the mental health and health security of the citizenry resembles that of switzerland"

                  I'm not sure of the mental health state of Switzerland. What I DO know is that despite the relatively high level of gun ownership, that comes with strict conditions, something that your country is actively avoiding. To buy a gun in Switzerland, you need a permit, with conditions that also apply to selling ammunition. The gun once bought is registered. If I'm not mistaken, there are also strict rules about how the gun is stored in the home. These are all measures the US is actively opposing.

                  Mental health is an issue, certainly. But you're fooling yourself if you reject that gun availability is a major part of the reason why you have such a uniquely disturbing problem.

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                    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 6:20am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "Then, why is yours the only developed country where this is happening and it's the only one where such lax restrictions on firearms are accepted."

                    Assumption. I'm Swedish.

                    Hunting is pretty major here and the amount of high-powered rifles here is high.

                    Now for a few more of your assumptions to take exception with:

                    • "Not in modern developed countries it hasn't."
                      Really? Take one good long look at every mass murder case featuring someone running amok with anything from a hammer to a five ton truck. You'll find more than a few. A madman running amok with a knife in a school will rack up a tragic body count.

                    • "Again, ask the people who were at that Las Vegas festival."
                      Why not ask the people in various european capitals who died due to a criminal stealing a truck and ramming it across a crowded square? Guns are effective at killing - but so are many other available items. Once someone snaps and decides to kill a lot of people they'll go for the appropriate and available tool.

                    • "I'm not sure of the mental health state of Switzerland. What I DO know is that despite the relatively high level of gun ownership, that comes with strict conditions..."
                      I distinctly recall advocating licensing guns in my text. At least have the moral courage to respond to what i wrote rather than what you assumed i said because i had the guts to doubt the existence of guns magically conjures mass killings.

                    • "Mental health is an issue, certainly. But you're fooling yourself if you reject that gun availability is a major part of the reason why you have such a uniquely disturbing problem."
                      No, mental health is THE issue. In the US there is a massive problem in that large minorities of the population are quite literally born to lose, or, having failed to get on the right track to start with, are guaranteed to live out their lives as failures.

                    Rampage killings are the consequence, most often, of people simply snapping over too much pressure, for too long, with no perception of hope in sight. The US did not invent the concept of rampage killing. It's written off in early greek and roman memoirs, and even back then the cause wasn't exactly unknown.

                    The NRA and their stooges win on walkover in the US whenever anyone tries to link mass shootings to guns. Because all they have to do is start with the truth - that guns do not magically conjure killers - and then tack their own twisted agenda of preventing any and all restrictions to gun ownership on top of what is essentially demonstrable fact.

                    Meanwhile the anti-gun lobby loses from the start when they try, by any means, to make the "gun" a supernaturally potent agent of malice in their narrative.

                    The real issue is that people snap and go out to kill other people. The anti-gun lobby is putting all their effort behind the idea of reducing the easy availability of killing tools while completely ignoring the fact that people snap and go out to kill other people.
                    That's fucking weaksauce.

                    Meanwhile the pro-gun lobby are claiming that if everyone was armed and trained the killers would be stopped before great harm could be done. And in this they are at least correct. Historically speaking rampage killers in heavily militarized societies were unable to cause much harm before being taken out.
                    Of course this assumes that every citizen should receive paramilitary training which poses a big bag of other issues. Not least of which is that it assumes a willingness to accept a casual death toll due to minor conflicts much higher than anything we've seen since dueling was abolished.

                    Licensing guns is a great idea.

                    But the legal state of firearm ownership is NOT related to the high statistics of rampage killings in the US. At best you can link the availability of guns to somewhat higher casualty rates.

                    The anti-gun lobby in the US has fought this war on the wrong battlefield for decades and after all that effort they haven't managed to make a single inch of progress. Not a single one of their proposals would ever manage to tangentially affect the availability of powerful firearms to a suicidal rampage killer.

                    What the anti-gun lobby needs to do is simple - either man up and systematically aim to amend the second amendment...or push for increasing the base level of living conditions of the lower income classes, focused on health care.

                    Because right now, whether by cynicism and populistic gaslighting or by sheer ignorance, the US anti-gun lobby is trying to win a war by fighting on the wrong battlefield and using weapons which can neither take nor hold ground. When the disease is cancer and the symptom is internal hemmorhaging the colorful and expensive band-aid they try to administer won't even help as moral support.

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                      nasch (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 6:36am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      But the legal state of firearm ownership is NOT related to the high statistics of rampage killings in the US.

                      Whether your claim is correct or not, rampage killings are more or less a distraction from the real problems, which are one on one handgun murders, and suicides. Mass shootings account for hundreds of deaths a year, and single gun murders and suicides tens of thousands (I think I'm remembering that right).

                      either man up and systematically aim to amend the second amendment...

                      Not politically feasible.

                      or push for increasing the base level of living conditions of the lower income classes, focused on health care.

                      Amen to that.

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                        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Aug 2019 @ 2:00am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "Mass shootings account for hundreds of deaths a year, and single gun murders and suicides tens of thousands (I think I'm remembering that right)."

                        Thanks for bringing that up. It brings us to the other part here. That rampage killings are an aberration. Murder and suicide do not require guns and there is ample reason to believe the access to guns isn't the quantifiable factor in either.

                        But there are numerous red flags which stand out as conditions which seriously bolster the amount of murders.

                        • A sizeable minority of the citizenry is born to be permanent losers in life due to being born in the wrong area.

                        • No or a seriously flawed social security net ensuring someone hit by a sufficiently harsh stroke of bad luck is basically left with crime as sole option.

                        • Sufficient draconian legal system to motivate murder as a viable option to living witnesses.

                        • A society which accepts that for every winner someone must lose and lose hard.

                        • A society where violence is seen as a universal solution to every problem.

                        • The myth of the gun as the great equalizer.

                        The hard truth is that in the US what leads to a higher murder rate is not the access to guns - it's a cultural issue where a sizeable proportion of the population "knows" violence is the answer to any problem and the gun is the holy grail which gives power to the powerless.

                        And those who realize that this is an issue, rather than try to go for something which might work, choose to busy themselves with implementing "gun control" in a nation where free access to guns for every citizen is guaranteed by their constitution. They might as well stand in circles singing "Kumbaya" all day and it would do as much good.

                        If taking down the second amendment isn't politically feasible - and I agree that it isn't - then what CAN be done is to work real hard on removing the mythology of violence being an answer and making sure as few people as possible are left with the perception that the only thing left for them is to take as many of life's winners with them into the grave when they decide to suicide by cop.

                        Gun control is, and has always been, completely irrelevant in the US. And will remain so until the supreme court isn't mandated to explicitly overturn any legislation which manages to accomplish any such control.

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                      PaulT (profile), 9 Aug 2019 @ 5:36am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "Assumption. I'm Swedish."

                      OK, well it is very unusual for some non-American to try and trivialise the way that the hugely disproportionate and easy access to guns has an effect on the hugely disparate levels of mass shootings in the US com pared to the rest of the world, so I hope you understand my wrong assumption.

                      "You'll find more than a few"

                      But still far, far more rare than US mass shootings.

                      "Why not ask the people in various european capitals who died due to a criminal stealing a truck and ramming it across a crowded square?"

                      The ones that were part of co-ordinated terrorist group attacks, rather than being a lone nutter? You seem to be missing the context.

                      "I distinctly recall advocating licensing guns in my text."

                      Good for you. But Americans do not. In fact, large groups of them actively fight against such things.

                      "No, mental health is THE issue."

                      No, it's not. It's a major point to be sure, but unless you're aware of mental illnesses that only apply to Americans it's clear that they have a much larger problem with these kinds of attacks, and that there must be other factors involved. Perhaps one of these factors is how trivial it is to obtain guns and how easy it is to kill large numbers of people without thinking too hard?

                      Plus, of course, mass shootings are not the only issue caused by easy gun access - kids are killed all the time in accidental shootings in the home and other place, suicides are demonstrably more common, you're much more likely to get shot by police who assume you have a gun than you are in other countries, and so on.

                      "The real issue is that people snap and go out to kill other people."

                      Yes, but again why is that so much more common in the US than other countries?

                      "What the anti-gun lobby needs to do is simple - either man up and systematically aim to amend the second amendment...or push for increasing the base level of living conditions of the lower income classes, focused on health care."

                      OR do all of them. Why do you think that only one thing at a time can be done, or that nobody is trying those other things right now. Remember - the people who fought hard against healthcare reform in the US are also the people pushing the NRA agenda.

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                        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Aug 2019 @ 4:11am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "OK, well it is very unusual for some non-American to try and trivialise the way that the hugely disproportionate and easy access to guns has an effect on the hugely disparate levels of mass shootings in the US com pared to the rest of the world, so I hope you understand my wrong assumption."

                        With the "rest of the world" you mean the G20? Then you'd be correct. Otherwise no. Guns are restricted in much if the civilized world, but there is a much more significant correlation to the state of basic health care. The US is, basically, the one country in the developed world where universal health care is considered controversial.

                        "But still far, far more rare than US mass shootings."

                        No, not really. rampage killings are far less ordinary in Germany, Sweden and France, for instance...
                        ...but the great correlation is when you compare the US rate of rampage killings with countries which share that unique trait of the US - complete lack of basic universal health care - at which point you start seeing that the US has TWO points at which they parallel with third world hellholes.

                        "The ones that were part of co-ordinated terrorist group attacks, rather than being a lone nutter? You seem to be missing the context."

                        Well, mea culpa. I agree that I should have kept europe out of it.
                        My argument still stands on my hypothesis that rampage killings is not a gun-promoted phenomenon but one promoted by real or perceived class issues.

                        "No, it's not. It's a major point to be sure, but unless you're aware of mental illnesses that only apply to Americans it's clear that they have a much larger problem with these kinds of attacks..."

                        That's the whole point. The US is unique in that they, alone among EVERY other member of the G20, lack most semblances of a universal health care system. To find a similar state you need to look at the 3rd world instead - at which point you'll find that the US is no longer unique. And suddenly you find rampage killing statistics resembling that of the US - though with less impact in western news.

                        "...mass shootings are not the only issue caused by easy gun access - kids are killed all the time in accidental shootings in the home and other place, suicides are demonstrably more common, you're much more likely to get shot by police who assume you have a gun than you are in other countries..."

                        No argument there. As I said I do advocate licensing guns. Something similar to how the swiss do it would suffice.

                        "Yes, but again why is that so much more common in the US than other countries?"

                        It is when you use countries which, by comparison, ALL have generic baseline healthcare options.
                        Once you move into developing countries which don't, you start seeing similar statistics on rampage killings as in the US.

                        "OR do all of them. Why do you think that only one thing at a time can be done, or that nobody is trying those other things right now. Remember - the people who fought hard against healthcare reform in the US are also the people pushing the NRA agenda."

                        Because, frankly speaking, going after two hares at the same time means you catch neither.
                        This especially holds true when one of the hares is invincible.

                        You MIGHT get universal health care on the table - again - because Obama managed to get about halfway.

                        There's not a chance in hell you'll manage to get anything with actual effect done on gun control because 2nd amendment.

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                          PaulT (profile), 13 Aug 2019 @ 6:00am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          "With the "rest of the world" you mean the G20? Then you'd be correct"

                          Well, yes. It would be fairly foolish to try and directly compare 3rd world countries with unstable governments and regular warzones with modern Western countries.

                          "The US is, basically, the one country in the developed world where universal health care is considered controversial."

                          Yes, and it's a major factor in the problems there. Not as big a problem as all the people with or without mental health issues who get hold of weapons that allow them to kill way more people than countries where they don't have such easy access, but nobody is saying it's not a factor.

                          "No, not really. rampage killings are far less ordinary in Germany, Sweden and France, for instance..."

                          Yes, and one of the reasons for that is that it takes a lot less thought, planning and risk to use guns than it does other forms of weaponry.

                          "Well, mea culpa. I agree that I should have kept europe out of it."

                          Yeah, funny how the argument is falling apart when you're considering the actual factors involved, isn't it?

                          The problem is that you're obsessed with one side of the argument, not understanding history and pretending that it's only possible to address one issue at a time. Start dealing with complex issues and complex solutions, and you'll be taken more seriously. With or without better mental healthcare, the massive amount of guns available in the US is still a big problem. Mass shootings are just one thing of many that's exacerbated by them. It's not the only issue, it's just one that obviously wouldn't be happening if people couldn't get guns as easily.

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                            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Aug 2019 @ 2:27am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            "Well, yes. It would be fairly foolish to try and directly compare 3rd world countries with unstable governments and regular warzones with modern Western countries."

                            And yet where rampage killings and the state of baseline health care, the US does compare to exactly this. That's my point. The US is a modern western country - except in the two aforementioned areas where it's still at a level usually found only in the 3rd world.

                            "Not as big a problem as all the people with or without mental health issues who get hold of weapons that allow them to kill way more people..."

                            Stop, please, and think about what you just said. I refuse to believe that access to weaponry or not, people in a good state of mental health and with actual options on the table will, to any degree, go on killing sprees.

                            Restricting guns to only the part of the population which is rational and not in a desperate state is one way to ensure a madman on a short fuse won't kill a lot of people.
                            But in the US that type of restriction is not going to happen. And even if it did you only have to look at most gun murders, mass shootings or not, to find that any restrictions likely to be enforceable won't help at all.

                            That leaves making sure the madman is defused before blowing up - and this has a good chance of getting through, given sufficient sustained political will. It will mean taking on the AMA and Big pharma but that's a lot less of a fight than taking on the NRA and the entire right wing along with parts of the left.

                            "Yeah, funny how the argument is falling apart when you're considering the actual factors involved, isn't it?"

                            No. The argument still stands because the US is still the only country among the G20 with the class divisions and baseline health care of 18th century England.
                            Your counter there comes dangerously close to the Hamilton standard and doesn't bring much to the table.

                            "The problem is that you're obsessed with one side of the argument, not understanding history and pretending that it's only possible to address one issue at a time. Start dealing with complex issues and complex solutions, and you'll be taken more seriously."

                            Really? Funny how I can say exactly the same.
                            From your argument it looks like the existence of weaponry magically conjures homicidal madmen out of thin air while you point at the G20 members lack of easy gun access as the whole point while ignoring the fact that there are precisely two other areas where the US has an even greater deviation from those examples you point out, with a far more solid correlation.

                            Here's one tidbit for you; Browse the proportion of murder which ISN'T gun-related between the US and, say, switzerland or Sweden. If guns were the big issue for the high US murder rate then you'd expect the per capita general murder rate not involving firearms to be the same. Well, basic math and a wiki search later we find that even if we take the firearms out of the equation, the US still has a massive problem with murder - and aggravated assault/attempted murder.

                            "...the massive amount of guns available in the US is still a big problem."

                            I agree completely.
                            But that also happens to be the problem you don't get to address in any meaningful manner until you fix the political perception that gun access is a necessity. And we're back to the second amendment again.

                            "Gun control" is that easy "fix" proposed by one side of the US debate which first of all isn't realistically possible and secondly won't fix much of anything.

                            Fix your core infrastructure and the baseline default options of your citizenry and not only will the incentive to murder disappear in many cases, it's likely to shift the perception that the gun is a necessity.

                            All complex issues have a simple origin and that origin is, for the US, fairly obvious.

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              nasch (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 7:38am

              Re: Re:

              Not to say we shouldn't do anything about it, but these mass shootings are a very small part of the problem. Most gun homicides are one person shooting one other person. And most gun deaths are suicides. Easy access to a handgun makes it much easier for a suicidal person to impulsively end their lives, but there doesn't seem to be any viable way to reduce the number of handguns out there. Maybe a requirement to have them locked up could happen, but how could it be enforced?

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                Mason Wheeler (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 8:12am

                Re: Re: Re:

                And most gun deaths are suicides. Easy access to a handgun makes it much easier for a suicidal person to impulsively end their lives, but

                No buts please. This is a very important point.

                I have a friend who, at one point several years in the past, was going through a very rough time and decided to end it. He took a bunch of pills, then called me to say goodbye.

                I managed to talk him out of it, get him to see a bit of reason, and he ended up calling 911. They were able to help him deal with the overdose, and he's still around (and a lot happier) today. We were just talking about some stuff he's working on this morning.

                If he had used a gun instead... yeah. The story would have worked out very differently.

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                  nasch (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 8:19am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I have a friend who, at one point several years in the past, was going through a very rough time and decided to end it. He took a bunch of pills, then called me to say goodbye.

                  I have had a very similar experience. I'm not sure if this person would have used a gun had it been around, but I'm glad one wasn't anyway.

                  No buts... so do you have an idea for how to get rid of these handguns? One that would be politically viable in the US we're currently living in?

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                    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 7 Aug 2019 @ 5:28am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    The politics is the problem, nasch. Public opinion is beginning to change but it'll be a long time before there's enough will to find a way.

                    Countering gun lobby speech with anti-violence speech is one way. Perhaps a charity dedicated to gun buy-backs and amnesty for people handing in guns would be a good idea. That'd get the guns out of the hands of the more reasonable people, it's the hardcore you'd have to worry about.

                    A nationwide campaign to instill a sense of responsibility for others might also help but the sooner you accept that the problem is cultural, the better. You'll have to change the culture around guns and gun possession to change the behaviour and attitudes that lead to gun violence.

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                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 7:10am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "That'd get the guns out of the hands of the more reasonable people, it's the hardcore you'd have to worry about."

                      A gun in the hands of a reasonable person is rarely a problem. A reasonable person is the type of person who will cheerfully accept taking a gun license education and test, and who will have to be in an extreme situation before using it in unwarranted situations.

                      The hardcore types - the ones likely to abuse guns - are the main issue, and you don't get to those easily.

                      Part of US culture - not just gun culture but the mindset of dividing the world in losers and winners - is at the heart of why so many americans snap under a perceived hopeless situation and proceed with a suicidal killing spree.

                      If you want to deal with mass killing in the US through gun restrictions then the only viable way is to go all out and rewrite the second amendment. Anything short of that means no matter what the restriction the ways around it will be all too easy.

                      The problem of that being, of course, that the polarization of US politics today are a few riots short of effective civil war as it is, as demonstrated by the nationwide reactions to events such as the Charlottesville riots or the Ferguson shooting.

                      Eventually some form of civil conflict may be inevitable - the "alternative" right has been gaining ground to the point where, by now, there is no longer a functional political difference between the GOP and the extremists on the right wing.

                      Functional gun control in the US is, today, not a viable political option, as can be shown by the numerous US politicians whose last act in their career was trying to implement it.

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                        nasch (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 4:06pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Part of US culture - not just gun culture but the mindset of dividing the world in losers and winners - is at the heart of why so many americans snap under a perceived hopeless situation and proceed with a suicidal killing spree.

                        "So many"? It's exceedingly few, which is one of the reasons it gets such massive news coverage.

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                          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Aug 2019 @ 2:04am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          ""So many"? It's exceedingly few, which is one of the reasons it gets such massive news coverage."

                          For any member of the G8, or even the G20 it's disproportionally many, as even a cursory wiki query will show.

                          In order to get to a proportion of rampage killings equivalent to what occurs in the US we actually have to go dig up statistics from the developing world or places noted for political instability.

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                            nasch (profile), 9 Aug 2019 @ 9:11am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            For any member of the G8, or even the G20 it's disproportionally many, as even a cursory wiki query will show.

                            True, relatively speaking it's a lot.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 9 Aug 2019 @ 6:04am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          "So many" - way more than any other country, even taking into account population. You're certainly far more likely to get killed by one in the US than by Islamic terrorism, yet your foreign policy is driven by the latter. Why doesn't this kind of thing help drive domestic policy?

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                          • icon
                            nasch (profile), 9 Aug 2019 @ 9:12am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Why doesn't this kind of thing help drive domestic policy?

                            Because it's mostly white Christian men? I don't know.

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                              PaulT (profile), 10 Aug 2019 @ 4:31am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              That's as good a reason as any. These politics are driven by fear, and it's easy to get people afraid of "the other". It's hard to have them afraid of something they're familiar with. So, foreign policy is driven by fear of Islam that's largely effective in communities that have never seen a Muslim, while domestic policy that directly effects Bill next door doesn't get traction, even though Bill is the one who actually fits the terrorist profile.

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                      • icon
                        PaulT (profile), 9 Aug 2019 @ 5:42am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "A gun in the hands of a reasonable person is rarely a problem"

                        The problem is - how do you tell who is "reasonable"? The Las Vegas shooter was apparently a fine upstanding member of the community up until the point where he decided to use his arsenal of high powered weaponry to shoot as many people as possible, all with legally obtained tools to enable him to get more people in a shorter amount of time..

                        "Functional gun control in the US is, today, not a viable political option"

                        Which is very concerning, but not a reason to accept that everybody going to school or a public event should have to assume they might be shot dead for it.

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                          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Aug 2019 @ 4:20am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          "The problem is - how do you tell who is "reasonable"? The Las Vegas shooter was apparently a fine upstanding member of the community up until the point where he decided to use his arsenal of high powered weaponry to shoot as many people as possible..."

                          Same as Breyvik in Norway, who managed to detonate a bomb outside a public building, then hunted a political youth convention down like fish in a barrel. There's always that one monster bucking the statistics.

                          However, it's a fact that gun control in the US won't work. The 2nd amendment basically mandates SCOTUS to overturn any legislation which practically keeps guns out of the hands of any citizen. That being the case, try to focus on what might actually work and can be achieved instead.

                          "...not a reason to accept that everybody going to school or a public event should have to assume they might be shot dead for it."

                          Unless 2/3 of the body politic in congress and senate agrees with you, that'll be something you might not accept but will have to live with regardless.

                          There are things you can spend money and effort on with the hope of gaining a viable result...and there are those who end up complete lame duck legislative efforts which do nothing. Gun control being the latter, but getting to the issue of why so many americans in particular go off the deep end might be achievable.

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                            PaulT (profile), 13 Aug 2019 @ 6:04am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            "There's always that one monster bucking the statistics."

                            There's always outliers, yes. How many similar incidents have Norway has vs. the number of incidents in the US?

                            "However, it's a fact that gun control in the US won't work"

                            I'd look at the history of it if I were you. Things have been greatly unrestricted over the last few decades, it didn't used to be this open.

                            "The 2nd amendment basically mandates SCOTUS to overturn any legislation which practically keeps guns out of the hands of any citizen"

                            That's one interpretation. There are others. It's already restricted, the argument is simply about where to draw the line, and it's clearly in the wrong place right now.

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                              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Aug 2019 @ 3:02am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              "There's always outliers, yes. How many similar incidents have Norway has vs. the number of incidents in the US?"

                              And oddly enough the focus in Norway was NOT "where did he get the guns" but "How did this guy slip through the system"?
                              It was pretty much assumed and openly admitted by the investigating police that if someone truly decides to kill then that person will obtain access to the necessary tools.

                              "I'd look at the history of it if I were you. Things have been greatly unrestricted over the last few decades, it didn't used to be this open."

                              Uh...the national firearms act was implemented 1934, before of which full-auto machine guns, hand grenades, and silencers were freely available. The "restrictions" have been largely unchanged on federal level for quite a long time. If you have any examples or links stating otherwise I'll happily go read them. The only thing I'm aware off is various state regulations on handgun purchase waiting periods and gun show sale restrictions swinging back and forth.

                              However, the market supply of firearms has exploded in the last decades. But that's a very loose fact to use as that market closely mimics the expansion of other consumer markets, such as SUV cars, home electronics, and network/computer technology.

                              "That's one interpretation. There are others."

                              According to the judges and legislators, no. There is some ambiguity in the infamous wording but almost every judicial expert agrees that even if the 2nd amendment puts up the existence of a well-regulated militia as a justification, the injunction on infringing the right to own and bear arms is very explicit. Common sense - or your and my personal opinion - may beg to differ with what is explicitly stated.

                              "It's already restricted, the argument is simply about where to draw the line, and it's clearly in the wrong place right now."

                              On that I think we can both agree.

                              The problem is that VERY few legislators and judges in the US are willing to challenge the current interpretation for good reason.

                              • "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

                              Although it is difficult to guess the intent of the founders after a few centuries the legal meaning of the above sentence is VERY hard to interpret as anything other than as a flat-out explicit ban on restricting firearms possession. That it provides the justification as to why is actually irrelevant.

                              You and I may look at that sentence and say that it's an argument for the states National Guard - a well-regulated militia. I think most people would do exactly that.

                              But that's not how language works in a legal text where the interpretation in the end comes down to the hard logic of what is or is not explicitly stated. SCOTUS can not read between the lines unless there is actual ambiguity.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 5:13am

          Re: Re:

          "if you think going someplace and shooting a bunch of people you don't know without any apparent provocation doesn't have mental health issues"

          He didn't say that. He said that people with the same mental health issues in other countries don't shoot up large groups of people.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 7:01am

            Re: Re: Re:

            They run over crowds with cars and burn down workplaces instead when they decide to go out with a bang...

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 7 Aug 2019 @ 3:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              True, but how many of those incidents have there been compared to gun massacres in the US? Not many, and that's even assuming those incidents were similar lone nutbag attacks, whereas there's a good argument that most car attacks were ideological terrorist attacks rather than someone taking their frustrations out on random strangers.

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              • icon
                Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 7 Aug 2019 @ 5:30am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                They're also incredibly rare. The last one didn't kill anyone, people dived out of the way in time and the driver was arrested before he could do any real harm.

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                  PaulT (profile), 7 Aug 2019 @ 5:53am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "The last one didn't kill anyone, people dived out of the way in time"

                  Yes, even though such an attack has the potential to do real harm, they often do not. That's why they're usually terror attacks - the psychological impact is often greater than any actual damage. Given also that the driver usually survives and faces real consequences, they don't fit the same pattern as a mass shooting, where the shooter usually gets to die in a blaze of glory, or have time to take himself out before arrest.

                  Once again, while it would be nice is car attacks, mass stabbings, bombings and arson also didn't exist, most people would probably prefer those to mass shootings, if only because they're nowhere near as common and your likelihood of surviving is much greater. Giving these as a reason for not addressing the gun issue is like refusing to look at the opioid epidemic because some people accidentally overdose on other drugs. That may be true, but it's hardly a good argument for ignoring the elephant in the room.

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                  • icon
                    Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 7 Aug 2019 @ 6:38am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I daresay it's the right time to bring this up again: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolverhampton_machete_attack

                    It's easier to defend yourself from a nut with a knife than from a nut with a gun. Why? Knife nutters have to get up close and personal to get at you. Gun nutters don't. They can kill you from a distance.

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                  • icon
                    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 7:27am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "Giving these as a reason for not addressing the gun issue is like refusing to look at the opioid epidemic because some people accidentally overdose on other drugs."

                    A better analogy would be that the reason you shouldn't address the opioid epidemic is because there's a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the access to opioids, rendering most attempts to restrict access meaningless.

                    In the US we can clearly see that thanks to the second amendment almost every attempt to restrict gun ownership must fail. If gun control is the chosen road then the unescapable requirement to do anything even remotely meaningful will have to involve rewriting that part of their constitution.

                    And that's a manifest impossibility today given that you need 2/3 of congress and senate both to push it through.

                    THAT is why most gun control attempts in US politics are nothing more than cynical attempts by dishonest politicians to placate their voter base. They know damn well it'll fail and if it doesn't it will be because the NRA and their stooges recognizes the attempt as inherently impotent.

                    The reason it isn't viable to attempt to adress US rampage killings through gun control, therefore, is simply because in the US political climate that's a total waste of effort until you first change the underlying conditions. Which is in itself a monumental job.

                    There's a slim chance to improve baseline state of health in the US, alleviating the desperation which causes people to snap. There's absolutely no chance at all to implement meaningful gun control of any kind while they have a supreme court bound to overturn any legislation which actually accomplishes "control".

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              • icon
                Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 7:16am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "True, but how many of those incidents have there been compared to gun massacres in the US? Not many"

                That's...not exactly correct.

                In most european nations rampage killings are rare. Anywhere where life is tough and societal pressure high rampage killings rapidly become more common.

                Japan changed its legislation to include enforced minimum vacation and maximum working hours due to the amount of "normal" blue-collar workers going off the deep end and either suiciding or going into high noon slasher mode.

                I maintain that the clearest correlation to rampage killers is the lack of adequate mental health care for the vulnerable lower tier of the population, combined with high societal performance pressure.

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                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 9 Aug 2019 @ 5:48am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "That's...not exactly correct."

                  Which part isn't correct? You didn't say anything that contradicts what I said.

                  "I maintain that the clearest correlation to rampage killers is the lack of adequate mental health care for the vulnerable lower tier of the population, combined with high societal performance pressure"

                  ...and in the mean time before generational changes are being implemented, maybe it's also a good idea to ensure that people can't easily get a cache of military weapons when they do snap? Why do you think that only one thing at a time can be done?

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                  • icon
                    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Aug 2019 @ 4:30am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "Which part isn't correct? You didn't say anything that contradicts what I said."

                    Mea Maxima Culpa. It's true...but only if you're using europe (where universal health care exists in just about every EU member state) as an example.

                    "...and in the mean time before generational changes are being implemented, maybe it's also a good idea to ensure that people can't easily get a cache of military weapons when they do snap? Why do you think that only one thing at a time can be done?"

                    Because unless you're already at the stage where you've got 2/3 of the body politic on your side and can get to the 2nd amendment you are essentially wasting all your efforts.

                    And to get to the point where enough people are on your side, you first need to get them to where that generational change already exists. Europe does many thing ass-backwards but we HAVE gotten to the point where we've realized that if the infrastructure isn't in place, nothing building on it will work.

                    You can't do both because you've in that case taken on one impossible job and one very tough job...with limited resources barely enough to tackle one. Lobbyism is expensive and the few politicians with the energy to persistently tackle the braying alt-right "death squad" crowd will have their hands full with that even before the NRA gets involved with their rather more advanced tactics in sniping down political threats.

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                    • icon
                      PaulT (profile), 13 Aug 2019 @ 6:07am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      "It's true...but only if you're using europe (where universal health care exists in just about every EU member state) as an example."

                      So, like healthcare - the thing you insist will be so much easier than gun control?

                      "Because unless you're already at the stage where you've got 2/3 of the body politic on your side and can get to the 2nd amendment you are essentially wasting all your efforts."

                      So, like healthcare, the thing you insist will be easier, but has already been proven to be extremely difficult to get passed, and Republicans have been working tirelessly on undermining all changes passed since the PPACA became law, to the point of destroying the access its citizens already had to healthcare?

                      You really are destroying your own arguments, I'df step back and consider them more carefully if I were you.

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                      • icon
                        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 16 Aug 2019 @ 3:16am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        "So, like healthcare - the thing you insist will be so much easier than gun control? "

                        Yes. The US stands alone among the G20 in not having ANY form of social security net in place, or even a basic healthcare platform.

                        And no kidding it will be easier than gun control. Gun control in the US has to fight an actual constitutional amendment guaranteeing the citizens right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. To overturn this requires a 67% majority in both senate and congress.

                        A social security net and basic healthcare only requires a president to maintain control over congress for two terms. Obama managed to get halfway even lacking that aspect.

                        "So, like healthcare, the thing you insist will be easier, but has already been proven to be extremely difficult to get passed..."

                        But which has already been passed once, meaning that it is possible, even lacking the support of either house or congress.

                        "You really are destroying your own arguments, I'df step back and consider them more carefully if I were you."

                        You are saying I'm destroying my own arguments because I insist that it's easier to get something done which requires 51% of congress for two presidential terms than it is to get something done which requires 67% of BOTH house and congress just to get the constitution changed to a point where it'll accommodate the required legislation?

                        I'd step back and check my basic logic by now, were I you. At least, before you provide a counter, don't risk going down the Hamilton route of asserting facts very much in CONTRARY evidence to what you claim.

                        I'll take being challenged on the feasibility on healthcare being seen as politically inflammatory in the US, or even on healthcare being infeasible, same as gun control...
                        ...but I don't think I'll cave because shit rhetoric.

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      • icon
        Cdaragorn (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:11pm

        Re:

        Like so many others you only present half the facts and then pretend you can make a conclusion based on that.

        Those countries do have a similar percentage of killings and deaths as the US. The guns are not the cause or the problem. People are the cause and the problem. But then that's a far more difficult problem to address. Much easier to just attack whatever tool those people happen to be using.

        Removing people's freedoms to prevent people from being able to do bad things is always the wrong way to approach any problem. It is always the wrong thing to do because there is no way to ever do that and have liberty at the same time. It is a path that only leads to the loss of all freedom.

        We must accept that bad things will sometimes happen if we care about having liberty. The attempt to just prevent bad things from ever being able to happen is childish and selfish.

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        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:44pm

          People are the cause and the problem.

          People are the disease, yes. Their easy access to weapons of mass murder once relegated exclusively to the military is a symptom. And since curing the disease would mean, under the most extreme interpretation, the genocide of the entire human race, I’ll accept chipping away at a rather nasty symptom until we can find a less destructive “cure” for human nature.

          Removing people's freedoms to prevent people from being able to do bad things is always the wrong way to approach any problem.

          Tell that to the assholes trying to blame shootings on video games or feminism or whatever. Their whole point is to have those things regulated in ways that remove our freedom to engage with speech they don’t like. You won’t get rid of evil by stopping people from playing Doom. (And no, you won’t do it by having 8chan booted from Cloudflare, either. But whereas the government going after protected speech is a First Amendment issue, Cloudflare telling 8chan to fuck off is not.)

          We must accept that bad things will sometimes happen if we care about having liberty. The attempt to just prevent bad things from ever being able to happen is childish and selfish.

          We cannot prevent all bad things from happening. Nor should we curtail all our liberties and freedoms in an attempt to do so. But making the purchase and ownership of a gun into a privileged responsibility rather than a guaranteed civil right — making gun ownership a costly endeavor on multiple fronts — would go a long way in helping prevent gun violence of all kinds (including suicides). When we treat gun ownership as a civil right instead of a privilege, we’re saying someone’s legal right to own an AK-47 is more important than the life of a person who was killed by Some Asshole using their legally purchased AK-47 to commit mass murder.

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          • identicon
            Dan, 5 Aug 2019 @ 3:43pm

            Re:

            Their easy access to weapons of mass murder once relegated exclusively to the military is a symptom.

            You're certainly entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts. No military in the world uses, or has ever used, the scary black rifles that the left particularly likes to call "assault rifles". Consequently (and obviously) they've never been "relegated exclusively to the military."

            Now, if you're going to talk about rifles that are capable of fully-automatic fire (which have not been used in any of the mass shootings), then yes, some of them are used by military forces. But even then, they have never been "relegated exclusively to the military," and they're very tightly controlled (and consequently very expensive--thing "price of a new car") today.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 5:53pm

              Re: Re:

              “the left ”

              You know how I know you’re full of shit?

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 2:27am

              Re: Re:

              "No military in the world uses, or has ever used, the scary black rifles that the left particularly likes to call "assault rifles". "

              The debate would be easier if you didn't drop a clear political axe in the middle of the debate.

              For the record both sides on the debate are wrong because the anti-gun lobby is barking up the wrong tree focusing on the guns and the pro-gun lobby is touting the firearm as the solution to a societal problem.

              The only causal correlation to be solidly found across the world to the phenomenon of running amok, going postal, or going on a killing spree is the lack of consistent social services combined with mechanisms enforcing high, sustained stress on individuals.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 3:09am

                Re: Re: Re:

                Yes, it would be so much simpler to talk about gun control if we could just leave the politics out of it...

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                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 6:32am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Yes, it would be so much simpler to talk about gun control if we could just leave the politics out of it..."

                  It would be much simpler if we left BAD politics and dishonest arguments out of it, no doubt.

                  The concept of gun control isn't necessarily a "leftist" idea.

                  People opposed to todays GOP are surprisingly often liberal conservatives - you know, like Eisenhower or Benjamin Franklin, for instance?

                  And it doesn't take a leftist to describe an AR-15, say, as an "assault rifle". All it takes is someone, irrespective of politics, who happens to be fuzzy on the difference between a single-shot and selective-fire gun and thinks anything which looks a bit like the iconic M16 must be an assault rifle.

                  To be fair, by sight alone it's pretty tough to tell.

                  I personally don't think of myself as leftist - more like a conservative liberal. But I am in favor of the concept that anything with the capacity to easily kill people should be considered a licensed privilege which has, at the very least, some form of basic required standard which the average citizen could easily fulfill. Like a driver's license which requires you to demonstrate that you are at least able to pilot a vehicle without killing people accidentally.

                  But that's tangential, my personal opinion, and completely irrelevant to the issue of rampage killers who aren't magically conjured out of the woodwork by the existence of guns.

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                  • icon
                    PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 7:02am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "To be fair, by sight alone it's pretty tough to tell."

                    Also, to non-gun humpers it's a difference without distinction. It's pretty clear that mass shooters seem to favour certain types of weapons, and stating this while making some minor mistakes on the technical difference between models does not undermine the actual argument.

                    To give an analogy - if a person has an issue with a specific movie, we can discuss the merits or otherwise of the criticisms. But, if the only counterpoint that's being made is that the people complaining keep referring to it as a DVD when clearly it was only released on Blu Ray, you're not actually countering the criticism.

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                  • icon
                    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 12:33pm

                    conservative liberal

                    “I don’t want homeless gay people to die because they’re gay. I want them to die because they’re homeless.”

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                    • icon
                      Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 7 Aug 2019 @ 5:32am

                      Re:

                      I'm fairly liberal and conservative, Stephen. I don't want any homeless people to die at all. House them and help them find work.

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                    • icon
                      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 7:36am

                      Re:

                      "“I don’t want homeless gay people to die because they’re gay. I want them to die because they’re homeless.”

                      That's not what it means, no.

                      I consider myself conservative in the sense that before changing legislation I want to know that any side effects of changing the legislation are known and intended.

                      I'm conservative because I want my taxes to go to health care, education, law enforcement and core infrastructure. Not to pork barrel trophy projects hastily shoved under the public's noses.

                      And I consider myself a liberal because one of the reasons I'm conservative about legislation is because I know just how damn easy it is for lobbyists to fundamentally undercut civil rights by running bad populistic legislation past lawmakers.

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 2:18am

            Re:

            "Their easy access to weapons of mass murder once relegated exclusively to the military is a symptom."

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

            Not even that. There are plenty of countries where access to firearms is even less regulated than in most US states. And some of those countries still boast the lowest gun-related murder rates in the world.

            The problem of rampage killings is not exclusively a US issue but it is definitely at a higher rate in the US than you'll find outside many developing nations.

            Put those two facts together and the inescapable conclusion is that the hypothesis that gun access == mass murder is immediately falsified.

            For the record I support gun ownership being a privileged responsibility - much like a driving license or license to operate heavy machinery the legal access to a tool capable of casually taking lives when abused should be conditional.

            It just won't do much at all for the rate of people going amok, postal, on rampage killings, or berserk.

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          • icon
            Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 7:29am

            Re:

            "We cannot prevent all bad things from happening. Nor should we curtail all our liberties and freedoms in an attempt to do so. But making the purchase and ownership of a gun into a privileged responsibility rather than a guaranteed civil right — making gun ownership a costly endeavor on multiple fronts — would go a long way in helping prevent gun violence of all kinds (including suicides)."

            Essentially you are correct on all points.

            It is also a useless argument until you can get 2/3 of the house and senate behind changing the second amendment.

            Until you've got that fixed any legislation which actually accomplishes any of what you say must be overturned by the supreme court.

            So gun control is - today, and for the foreseeable future in the US - not a realistic option.

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        • identicon
          Rocky, 5 Aug 2019 @ 3:09pm

          Re: Re:

          Those countries do have a similar percentage of killings and deaths as the US.

          Not at all. If you look at the developed countries the USA ranks in the top just below Russia.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 5:16am

          Re: Re:

          "Those countries do have a similar percentage of killings and deaths as the US"

          They really don't.

          "We must accept that bad things will sometimes happen if we care about having liberty"

          So, your freedom to own something that can kill 100 people before you're taken down trumps the right of those 100 people to not be shot by a raving maniac.

          If you could maybe see why someone else would have those priorities reversed maybe you'd be able to take part in a real conversation non the subject.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:21pm

        Re:

        They may not have mass casualty shootings, but that does not stop them from having mass casualty events (arsons, vehicle attacks, and so on).

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      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 1:55am

        Re:

        "Other countries have people with mental illnesses. They don’t have mass casualty shootings like the United States does. This isn’t a mental health issue — it is, first and foremost, a gun availability issue."

        Wrong. Sweden and Switzerland, to name but two examples, both stand out as having more high-powered guns per capita than the US. Mexico city has some of the most draconian gun laws around and yet one of the highest murder rates among capital cities.
        Gun ownership visavi rampage killings are two entirely different debates.

        This is not a new issue but a very old one. Take away all the guns and you end up with the age-old phenomenon of people running amok with bladed weapons instead once they hit the point of desperation. Described in detail by historians and anthropologists as far back as written history can reach. 1849 western psychologists even classified rampage killers as a syndrome in itself. Roman and greek historians detailed people down on their luck going postal and taking a gladius or spata to the street in fury. It's not a US phenomenon.

        The US has, as sole nation, a prevalent mythology surrounding the gun as the "great equalizer" and this mythology does not assist - but the core issue isn't the myth surrounding guns or the guns themselves. It's the fact that a small part of the population are literally born to lose and end up bringing as many other people as possible with them on the ferry over the styx.

        An argument can be made that the gun, being a tool primarily made for killing, should require a license based on psych evaluation and safety education, as it is in much of the world. But that won't help contain or even mitigate rampage killers who in many cases would get themselves an even bigger body count by, for instance, running an 18-wheeler into a crowded square than by using a rifle or handgun.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 7:04am

          Re: Re:

          Two vehicle and knife attacks in London, while creating a lot of injuries, did not create the deaths of a gun attack, See:-

          Westminster attack

          2017 London Bridge attack

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 8:01am

          Re: Re:

          The Vegas massacre only reached #5 on the bodycount chart in terms of US intentional mass casualty events. Numbers 1 through 4? A bombing (OKC, of course), and 3 arsons (Happy Land, Hartford circus, and Our Lady of the Angels).

          Furthermore, assuming a "mass casualty" threshold of 7 fatalities (arbitrary, but needed to be drawn somewhere), we get 612 fatalities due to US mass gun violence (at least as of the standing of Wikipedia's list of rampage killers at this time), and 734 due to US mass violence of other types (excluding transportation sabotage such as trainwrecking or aircraft bombing, which would add another 174 fatalities, as well as the unresolved West Fertilizer fire and explosion and the act of war known as the City Point blast, but including the one notable pure bombing I found, the Bath Township school bombing).

          So, restricting guns might make a dent in the low-hanging fruit (quite a few shootings with only a handful of fatalities), but I suspect it would just as well channel folks truly bent on taking as many people on the ferry with them as possible into getting their mass-murder weapons at the gas pump instead...

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 12:09pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            (Note with this post, I intentionally excluded organized terror activity on US soil, which is why 9/11 isn't counted.)

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:39am

      Re: How to is frustrated with what to

      Let me say first that it's refreshing to come to a site where the initial response to these tragedies is to correctly identify the root problem: alienation and disillusionment with society.

      This isn't a mental health issue, it's a societal issue. It's an issue of how kids treat each other, picking winners and losers in the popularity game and reveling in heaping shame on the losers. And where do kids learn this behavior? By watching society at large and the way the media demonizes people who are seen as low or unworthy of our love and respect.

      Well, guess what, if you demonize people long enough, eventually they turn into demons. Especially when it begins during a person's most vulnerable adolescent years.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:48pm

        Well, guess what, if you demonize people long enough, eventually they turn into demons.

        Hi. I was treated like shit by my peers throughout my entire childhood, all the way up to my last year in high school. I’ve never killed anybody or committed any crime as a result. (Well, other than a little copyright infringement here and there.) Did I think about getting violent revenge on those who wronged me? Sure. Show me someone in my position who says they didn’t, and I’ll show you a goddamn liar. But the idea of going through with that revenge never once crossed my mind because I’m not a fucking sociopath.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 2:34am

          Re:

          "But the idea of going through with that revenge never once crossed my mind because I’m not a fucking sociopath."

          ...hence the idea that people going on rampage killings are not exactly mens sano.

          I'm pretty sure that in your example the possession of a firearm wouldn't magically propel you over the cliff either.

          The phenomenon of rampage killings is not a US phenomenon, but it IS more common in the US than in many other places. There just isn't any correlation to guns, even viewed as a symptom.

          What we DO have is a heavy correlation between rampage murder and societies where extreme societal pressure combined with ostracism and a flawed health care system. Worldwide.

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          • icon
            nasch (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 7:47am

            Re: Re:

            There just isn't any correlation to guns, even viewed as a symptom.

            Yeah, there really is, especially if you consider "Western" countries with otherwise similar cultures and economies.

            The US is somewhere around 10th in mass shooting deaths with 12.21 per 100,000. Every country above it is a Central or South American country where the drug war has produced rampant violence, except for Swaziland. The next industrialized country below it is South Africa at 8.3, or if you don't count them I don't know because I only found a list of the top 20. Suffice to say Europe and Canada are way, way down in the basement.

            The US has 120 guns per 100 residents. The next highest is Yemen with 53. The next highest industrialized country is Canada with 35.

            So there's your correlation.

            https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41488081

            http://worldpopulationreview.com/coun tries/mass-shootings-by-country/

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 7:40am

              Re: Re: Re:

              "The US is somewhere around 10th in mass shooting deaths with 12.21 per 100,000."

              Obviously if you are talking about SHOOTINGS guns are involved to 100%.

              I was stating that the access to guns has no causal correlation to the amount of rampage killers.

              The phenomenon of a person snapping and deciding to take as many other people as possible with him to the grave has nothing to do with the access to guns, as shown by about 2000 years worth of written history.

              It has everything to do with the societal issue of extreme pressure with lacking mitigation or alleviation.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 9 Aug 2019 @ 5:53am

                Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "It has everything to do with the societal issue of extreme pressure with lacking mitigation or alleviation"

                ...so, in a society with those kinds of problems, it's probably a good idea to ensure they can't quickly get hold of a gun when they snap?

                You might be right that the mental health issue is more important, but that's NOT being ignored and you're being wilfully obtuse if you don't think that gun availability is a major factor. If these guys had to work harder to get guns or had to use a more close and personal weapon, many of these attacks simply would not be occurring, no matter the societal pressures.

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                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Aug 2019 @ 4:39am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "...so, in a society with those kinds of problems, it's probably a good idea to ensure they can't quickly get hold of a gun when they snap?"

                  And when you convince 67% of your senators and congressmen of this, that should be done.

                  Until that time any hour wasted on gun control legislation is one hour lost on walkover.

                  "If these guys had to work harder to get guns or had to use a more close and personal weapon, many of these attacks simply would not be occurring, no matter the societal pressures."

                  You actually believe that at worst having to wait two weeks for a handgun or having to go on a one-hour bus drive across a state line to circumvent waiting periods will actually help when you're looking at a person who's been boiling over for a few years and is dreaming up his way to kill his way into a school?

                  Any meaningful gun control will, in the end, involve the same type of licensing the swiss have. And that's not happening in the US until you've got the population fully on board for rewriting the constitution.

                  Up until then you can try to spring for getting the mental health issues fixed and demolish the myth surrounding firearms and violence. That, at least, is what you can do now and lays the groundwork for the next step.

                  But right now and here, to get to gun control is like marching half your army against the tides.

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          • icon
            Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 7 Aug 2019 @ 5:34am

            Re: Re:

            You forgot the fact that violence as a solution is a notion so deeply embedded in your culture that you don't even notice it's a problem, SDM.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 7:52am

              Re: Re: Re:

              "You forgot the fact that violence as a solution is a notion so deeply embedded in your culture that you don't even notice it's a problem, SDM."

              As a swede I have to say that's not exactly accurate these days. We no longer go viking or hold berserkers in high regard.

              I fully acknowledge that in the US the culture of violence as a solution is a key part of the problem.

              But i must maintain that US gun control is not a viable or realistic solution for multiple reasons.

              • It doesn't affect the amount of people going genocidal over societal pressure.
              • Any legislation to restrict guns which proves effective will be overturned by the US supreme court instantly.

              So if you want to implement gun restriction of any kind in the US you'll need to build a 2/3 majority for this in the US congress and senate both in order to break the second amendment. That's not going to happen any time soon.

              Attempting to socially engineer away the US concept of violence as a solution now...tough, but assuming some hardcore social engineering possibly doable within a century or two.

              Ensuring there's health care and social safety nets to alleviate the type of pressure which causes american men to break and go on a homicidal rampage? That's tough, but probably doable, if enough assets are focused on it.

              My beef with the concept of US gun control is simple - it's literally a core function of their constitutional law that any legislation which actually accomplishes such control must be overturned. Effectively it's useless labor which in the end will amount to a colorful band-aid which is only allowed to be administered because it can't even alleviate the symptom.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 10:50am

    Why is there never any mention of the number of people shot, stabbed, blown up, drowned, eaten or whatever other horrible possible way to die in slmost every movie that has been released since the film 8ndustry started business? I guess it can only be because the movie industry 'donates' more money to the various politicians than the video game industry does!!

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 10:54am

      Re:

      Movies don’t kill people. Gaping bullet holes in vital organs do.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:21am

        Re: Re:

        I think previous AC's point was that video games get trotted out as a scapegoat all the time, and movies are just as violent, if not more so, and previous AC is proposing that the lack of "blame" directed at Hollywood has to do with how much money politicians get from it.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I don't agree that movies or games are causing the "problem".

          But in response to the OP's allegations that Hollywood lobbies harder, I'll counter that video games are interactive, and often times serve as a "simulation" for the player.

          I could imagine, for example, that someone (stupid) might get done playing a realistic racing game and then go out and drive recklessly in their real vehicle thinking that they have the skills and capabilities to do so. Does it actually happen? I wouldn't know, I don't have the statistics - but it seems like something that could happen.

          Likewise, the premise that a game simulating combat and/or shooting could inspire people to go out and do it in the real world seems like something that could possibly happen. It seems this has been studied, and the overwhelming evidence is that it doesn't happen.

          Movies are a lot less interactive (for now), and therefore don't engage the "player" in quite the same way - which I think differentiates them somewhat from video games.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 3:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I'll counter that video games are interactive, and often times serve as a "simulation" for the player.

            In some instances you can make that argument. To date there is no actual realistic simulator for firing a gun and killing someone (though VR is getting pretty close, but VR also doesn't have as large a user base as most CoD players). A better "simulator" for that would be airsoft and paintball. Pressing buttons on a keyboard and moving a mouse is not the same as actually holding a gun in your hand, aiming, firing, and killing someone.

            I could imagine, for example, that someone (stupid) might get done playing a realistic racing game and then go out and drive recklessly in their real vehicle thinking that they have the skills and capabilities to do so. Does it actually happen?

            Yes. In fact, it's not even "stupid" people. Racing simulators are now ubiquitously used to train actual racers. With a proper setup, the only difference between a good simulator and actual racing is the additional feedback you get from g-forces and other stimuli in an actual car.

            the premise that a game simulating combat and/or shooting could inspire people to go out and do it in the real world seems like something that could possibly happen.

            Unless you are mentally ill, most normal, sane people are able to tell the difference between annihilating some pixels on a screen and ending a human life. Unlike racing or flight sims, there is very little 1-1 correlation between FPS games and real life, other than perhaps strategy and tactics, but definitely not muscle memory and training.

            It seems this has been studied, and the overwhelming evidence is that it doesn't happen.

            Exactly. You're more likely to get aggressive and violent from being overly competitive than the type of game you play.

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    • icon
      frank87 (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 1:05pm

      Re:

      I think movies are worse than video games. They tell the story of normal people in trouble, solving all their problems with violence.
      "If you're in trouble and have nowhere else to go call the A-team" is better propaganda for violence than flying body parts in GTA.

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      • icon
        Mason Wheeler (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 1:11pm

        Re: Re:

        The A-Team. Heh. I watched that on one of those cable channels that shows old TV shows. They had a great commercial for it, promoting at as the show with "the safe, friendly violence where no one gets hurt!"

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      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 5 Aug 2019 @ 6:53pm

        Re: propaganda for violence

        Other countries get those same movies and video games. Yet it is the USA that has the violent crime problem.

        What’s different about the USA? The guns.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 5:21am

        Re: Re:

        "I think movies are worse than video games."

        I think people being killed with actual guns is worse than either. But, what do I know? I'm just someone from a country that consumes the same movies and videogames, yet don't have to worry about our children being massacred during an average school day. You know, with the lack of guns and all.

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        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 7 Aug 2019 @ 6:41am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yep.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 7:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "I'm just someone from a country that consumes the same movies and videogames, yet don't have to worry about our children being massacred during an average school day."

          Pretty sure if the children in european schools found themselves divided into "winners" or "forever losers" and could recognize this at an early stage...we'd have similar issues as the US.

          In the end there are very few reasons a person who was once normal decides to go on a killing spree. The most often portrayed is desperation and a sense of disillusionment with all of society so deep the only thing they have left is the empowerment of taking out a few of the perceived winners in life.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 9 Aug 2019 @ 5:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So, you agree with me that videogames are not a problem here. Good.

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            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Aug 2019 @ 4:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "So, you agree with me that videogames are not a problem here. Good."

              Err...i don't think i ever disagreed with that...?

              Video games, roleplaying games, and action movies have consistently stood as scapegoat every time some mentally unstable person assaults another.

              The truth is that to every person not already about to flip their lid, escapism is a necessary venting mechanism. There's a reason we have imagination to begin with.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 5:20am

      Re:

      If you have enough of problem distinguishing between fiction and reality to make this seem like a reasonable comparison in your mind, might I suggest that it's not a good idea for you to be owning any guns?

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  • icon
    Gary (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 10:52am

    Call for action

    And maybe the orange buffoon could stop encouraging his followers to go after their enemies.

    These are all very fine people going on shooting sprees, sending bombs to the press. It's almost like they are doing what he tells them to do.

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:29am

      Re: Call for action

      Interestingly, Connor Betts was apparently, a "leftist", a Democrat, and a Trump hater. He was also pro-gun control, but anti-law enforcement.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:00pm

        So what? Not all mass murdering domestic terrorists are right wingers. (But in America, they are primarily White men.)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mason Wheeler (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:18pm

          Re:

          So what? Americans are primarily White. That's what "majority demographic" means. In Jamaica (just mentioning it because it was already mentioned in another comment as being a high-crime nation) most of the violent criminals are black. Why? Because most people in Jamaica are black. In China, the vast majority of violent criminals are... you guessed it, Chinese! And so on.

          If you're going to cite some sort of facts, make sure they actually have something relevant to say. Otherwise it looks like you're just spreading around innuendo.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:36pm

            If you're going to cite some sort of facts, make sure they actually have something relevant to say.

            I did. If the overwhelming, near-exclusive majority of mass murdering domestic terrorists in the United States have been White men, that says something about domestic terrorism in the United States. One thing it says? A specific demographic of people who might have even the slightest sense of justification for lashing out at American society because of indignities suffered at the hands of the majority demographic aren’t pulling a Columbine or a Pulse every other day. But the FBI still wants to investigate and combat “Black identity extremists” instead of, y’know, violent White supremacists like Some Asshole who shot up El Paso.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 2:30pm

            Re: Re:

            “Otherwise it looks like you're just spreading around innuendo.”

            Mason that’s exactly the rep you have when it comes to anything having to do with race and the implications thereof.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 5:25am

            Re: Re:

            It's not "white men", but a certain subset of such:

            https://www.upworthy.com/most-domestic-terrorism-comes-from-white-supremacists-fbi-tells-lawma kers

            That is statistically significant.

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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 10:52am

    The only thing radicalizing 8chan users are other 8chan users.

    8chan isn’t where people go to be radicalized into right-wing extremism. It’s where they go after they’ve been radicalized by right-wing assholes on Twitter and YouTube. 8chan is the result, not the process.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 1:25pm

      Re:

      8chan was the original process for this modern wave of Nazi asshattery and was still very much part of the process, at least until it thankfully and hopefully finally got shut down for real recently. 8chan spun off of 4chan because 4chan's owner at the time, moot, saw GamerGate for the festering shitpile it was and banned discussion of it. The people that left 4chan and made 8chan helped galvanize and popularize ideas and people that would go on to become the all-star team of the alt-right, many of them being those right-wing assholes on Twitter and YouTube. The right-wing assholes and 8chan ended up helping each other out to recruit and grow their user and viewer bases; it was a recursive loop, a whirlpool of Nazi shitheads sucking in almost anybody who dared to get too close or curious. 8chan was not the result; 8chan was the process and the shooters posting their manifestos to 8chan before they go on murdering sprees is the result.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        bob, 5 Aug 2019 @ 2:56pm

        Re: Re:

        And if 8chan didnt exist extremist groups would just be some other site.

        Sure enough now that 8chan is offline, people will go make h8chan or 16chan or 8.2chan or whatever name you want to call it. At least having a site like 8chan allows you to more easily monitor what extremist groups are talking about.

        Unfortunately until we can get people to change how they think and react to stuff 8chan and it's ilk will keep poping up.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 6:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "And if 8chan didnt exist extremist groups would just be some other site."

          If I don't have a wasps' nest in my garden, there would still be wasps around to sting me. That doesn't mean I need to put up with a wasps nest in my garden.

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      identicon
      digitari, 6 Aug 2019 @ 6:24am

      Re: Curious

      Sounds like you know alot about 8chan, how often do you visit?

      Oh right you can't anymore

      very enlightening that you visit such a site, I have never been there or any other "chan" site.

      How did you get such good intel on 8chan Stevie?

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 6:55am

        Re: Re: Curious

        "I have never been there or any other "chan" site"

        Good for you, I suppose. Many other people have visited 4chan at least, and backed out quickly when they saw what was happening. Fortunately or unfortunately, the world is comprised of far more than the places you have personally chosen to visit.

        "How did you get such good intel on 8chan Stevie?"

        You do know that there's ways of getting information about a venue without personally visiting, right?

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  • identicon
    FMHilton, 5 Aug 2019 @ 10:54am

    Anything but guns and hate

    You can always tell the backstops to any discussion of white supremacist violence in the reasons that Republicans give for them:

    1. Lack of family ties-I actually heard one Republican claim that having better family relations would do the trick. (maybe, but it's not high on the list of reasons)
    2. Violent video games! Of course they're going to drag this old war horse out. Just because Japan and S.Korea have millions of players must mean that they're all gonna go insane tomorrow. Right.
    3. Not enough guns-"Hey, let's just arm the people and it'll take care of itself." Sure. Texas is an open-carry state. Tell it to the families of the victims.

    As an American I ask myself what did we do to deserve this hellscape with DT and the Republicans literally pointing to anything but assault weapons and white supremacist ideology.

    But of course we won't mention the fact that the NRA gives millions in contributions to the GOP every election year.

    Banning assault weapons? What a silly idea!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:14am

      Re: Anything but guns and hate

      You can always tell the backstops to any discussion of white supremacist violence in the reasons that Republicans give for them:
      Lack of family ties-I actually heard one Republican claim that having better family relations would do the trick. (maybe, but it's not high on the list of reasons)
      Violent video games! Of course they're going to drag this old war horse out. Just because Japan and S.Korea have millions of players must mean that they're all gonna go insane tomorrow. Right.
      Not enough guns-"Hey, let's just arm the people and it'll take care of itself." Sure. Texas is an open-carry state. Tell it to the families of the victims.

      Check out this article: Apparently the reasons for the shootings are... let's see... anything she doesn't like.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Cdaragorn (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:23pm

      Re: Anything but guns and hate

      I'm glad to see you admit that it's a silly idea. Now maybe we can talk about the problem of people wanting to kill other people rather than pretend getting rid of the tools they happen to be using right now ever accomplishes anything?

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:31pm

        Get rid of assault weapons and people will still kill other people, yes. But getting rid of assault weapons will help ensure that fewer people die when the average domestic terrorist asshole feels the desire to commit an act of mass murder. Remember, Some Asshole in Dayton managed to kill 9 people and wound a couple dozen others in less than a minute. Imagine how many fewer victims we would have there if Some Asshole lacked access to the weapon he used in that mass murder.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 5:36am

          Re:

          It's always worth trotting out - on the same day as Sandy Hook, there was a school attack in China involving a knife. In Sandy Hook - 28 dead, 2 injured. In China, 24 injured, 0 dead.

          Even if you somehow think that attacks are inevitable no matter what the weapon (and there's really no evidence from other countries to say that this is the case - frequency of any kind of attack is much lower elsewhere), the evidence of the lower damage caused should still be in support of less firearms access.

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          • icon
            Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 7 Aug 2019 @ 6:45am

            Re: Re:

            Also, limiting the number of bullets a gun can fire would also lower casulaties. If the shooter had to reload after six shots, people would have more time to get to safety.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Mason Wheeler (profile), 7 Aug 2019 @ 7:17am

              Re: Re: Re:

              Well, the seventh person would, at least.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 8:09am

              Re: Re: Re:

              "Also, limiting the number of bullets a gun can fire would also lower casulaties. If the shooter had to reload after six shots, people would have more time to get to safety."

              In quite a few cases, not so much. One rampage killer a few years back crossed a state line to circumvent a two week waiting period for his firearm, then shot up the train car he was in on the trip back, reloading his glock handgun twice.

              The average semi-auto handgun already holds a clip of 12-30 rounds and is reloadable in 3 seconds.
              A revolver holds six, but with a speedloader the same time to reload applies.

              Assuming the rampaging maniac chooses any place OTHER than an open square to attack in, the only time a reload time makes much of a difference is if there's someone nearby capable of reacting to take him out in that time. Which ironically favors the argument of the NRA stooges of arming everyone.

              A rampage killer has many options of going to a place where the option to get away simply doesn't exist.

              Now, in any country where the constitutional law doesn't expressly forbid the state from limiting the citizen's access to arms there are viable options...

              ...but in the US there's a major issue when you can't restrict gun manufacture, gun remodelling kits, gun sales, or gun ownership in any ways without having the supreme court overturn your hard-earned gun control legislation on the spot.

              It has to be understood that gun control in the US won't ever happen until they manage to rewrite their constitutions second amendment. That's a fact, no matter how unpalatable.

              So what can you - realistically - do? That's the question which needs an answer.

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 9 Aug 2019 @ 5:58am

                Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "One rampage killer a few years back crossed a state line to circumvent a two week waiting period for his firearm"

                Your holier-than-thou ranting is losing focus. He talked about the number of bullets a gun can hold, not the number of bullets a person can buy.

                "reloading his glock handgun twice"

                Good, so he couldn't fire as many bullets as he could have done if he had a firearm with a larger capacity, such as the ones used by many other shooters. That was his point, you realise?

                "expressly forbid the state from limiting the citizen's access to arms"

                The second amendment doesn't do that either by the way, it's just been interpreted by the courts to essentially ignore the militia aspect. It can be re-interpreted or restricted in ways that do not violate the text.

                "So what can you - realistically - do?"

                Americans did not use to have this kind of problem, and mass shootings have only really been this kind of problem for the last couple of decades. In that time a number of things have happened - including but not only a massive rise in private firearm ownership. That might be a place to look.

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                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Aug 2019 @ 4:58am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Your holier-than-thou ranting is losing focus. He talked about the number of bullets a gun can hold, not the number of bullets a person can buy."

                  That number being - for a handgun - about 15-30 depending on what sort of clip it has. Hence crossing the stateline to escape the waiting period (and, incidentally, many of the restrictions surrounding gun stores) was pretty important.
                  I suggest a more moderate tone when you try to pin me down on things i wasn't saying.

                  "Good, so he couldn't fire as many bullets as he could have done if he had a firearm with a larger capacity, such as the ones used by many other shooters. That was his point, you realise?"

                  False argument. The glock used in this case already held 17 rounds which means he was free to shoot the train car up as much as he liked.

                  "The second amendment doesn't do that either by the way, it's just been interpreted by the courts to essentially ignore the militia aspect. It can be re-interpreted or restricted in ways that do not violate the text."

                  It could, but not in any conceivable US political climate today. I dare you to state there's a real hope to remove that comma or re-interpret current case law there.

                  "Americans did not use to have this kind of problem, and mass shootings have only really been this kind of problem for the last couple of decades. In that time a number of things have happened - including but not only a massive rise in private firearm ownership."

                  There's been MASSIVE change in those decades - including the abolition of most of the US job market, staggering increase of medical costs, consolidation of the lower class, etc.

                  One thing that stands out is that the american dream is dead. You get born in, say, Flint, your choices and options are known. Barring a miracle you'll live in the ghetto for the rest of your life, from paycheck to paycheck.

                  The access to guns is not the issue. The access to guns by the desperate and hopeless, or by people so steeped in hate they haven't much else to live for. THAT is an issue.

                  And you can't fix the access to guns issue. You're actually trying to put out there, as an argument, that reducing the amount of bullets a gun can hold is likely to be meaningful in a place where half the action movies around glorify just strapping half a dozen firearms to yourself to save you the trouble of reloading, and guns can still be obtained on the cheap by any venue from mail-order to gun show visits...

                  That's not going to work. The swiss solution might, by licensing and restricting actual ownership. But that's not happening in the US. Not until you get rid of the underlying reason as to why americans glorify guns

                  ...and we're back to mental health being the root cause. Again.

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        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 8:18am

          Re:

          "But getting rid of assault weapons will help ensure that fewer people die when the average domestic terrorist asshole feels the desire to commit an act of mass murder."

          Assault weapons - selective-fire ones - are already prohibited in most of the US. The mass shootings are generally carried out with semi-automatics.

          "Imagine how many fewer victims we would have there if Some Asshole lacked access to the weapon he used in that mass murder."

          That's common sense - which unfortunately has no bearing on the argument. In the US that suggestion of yours automatically fails since the highest court in the land will automatically overturn any legislation which leads to the restriction you envision.

          Gun control in the US which actually works is not realistic while the second amendment exists in its current form.

          Social engineering to abolish that concept of solving every issue with violence would be tough. Possible, perhaps, but tough. And would take a long time, looking at how long it took europeans to abolish dueling.

          Boosting core infrastructure - health care and education - to the point where people don't risk getting to the point where going out in a blaze of other people dying isn't preferable to a perceived future of...having no future...that's tough but might be doable.

          If we want to armchair our way into solving the problems of the US then we may want to start by focusing on the options which are actually available rather than the ones which don't exist.

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  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 5 Aug 2019 @ 10:59am

    Let see what other countries have video games.
    Japan - No mass shootings
    South Korea - Nope
    Taiwan - Nope
    And many others.

    I think it might be something else.

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    • icon
      Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:46am

      Re:

      Let's look at some other countries that have strict gun bans:

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

      (a murder rate several times the USA's)

      Apparently that is not an automatic fix, either.

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      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:54am

        Anyone who believes banning guns will somehow stop murders from happening is a fool. But stricter gun control can (and does) help prevent a not-zero number of murders, suicides, and accidental shooting deaths. I’ll take that over hopeless “we can’t stop all violence so why try stopping any violence” cynicism any day of the week.

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        • icon
          Cdaragorn (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:19pm

          Re:

          He literally just showed proof that it DOESN'T prevent ANY deaths at all, and you still prop up the excuse that it will? How can we make any progress when you refuse to even care about evidence contrary to what you want?

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:28pm

            it DOESN'T prevent ANY deaths at all

            It doesn’t prevent all deaths. But it can prevent gun-related deaths, and not just murders. That you see the idea of gun control as pointless because “it doesn’t end all death” is your cynicism-laden personal problem.

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            • identicon
              bobob, 5 Aug 2019 @ 6:51pm

              Re:

              I'm rather skeptical of how much good it would do to make gun control stricter. (I neither own a gun nor have any desire to ever own one, so I'm not a gun fanatic in the least.) There are so many guns already out there, that if someone wants a gun and wants to evade the controls, it's not going to be a lot of effort.

              If someone is determined to acquire something to do something illegal, the legality involved in obtaining it is not going to be much of an impediment. The illegality of trafficking in drugs has not made much of an impact on people obtaining them, for example. People in many European countries own guns and in fact, in many European counties, silencers and supressors are legal (and the use of those is in some countries, encouraged for hunting), yet those countries do not have the kinds of problems we have here in the states.

              The problem in the US goes beyond the mere ability to obtain guns. The real problem is the attitude of people in the US about guns and some weird idea that guns are the answer to whatever the question is and the fact that a lot of people here take pride in ignorance and reach for their guns to settle grievances.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Aug 2019 @ 8:26am

              Re:

              "It doesn’t prevent all deaths. But it can prevent gun-related deaths, and not just murders. That you see the idea of gun control as pointless because “it doesn’t end all death” is your cynicism-laden personal problem."

              You are assuming several things which aren't realistic for your argument to be true:

              • That a gun ban is possible in the US.

              • That a gun ban is enforceable in the US.

              • That even if the two arguments above were true, it would mitigate murders.

              Neither of the above holds credibility. The second amendment guarantees that every effective gun restriction will fail.
              And the US holds a deep attachment to the concept that violence is a solution to problems.

              "Gun control" isn't possible to begin with until you get the majority of the US on the side of banning guns which simply isn't going to happen until you hit the problem at the root - by having the entire country realizing that violence is rarely an answer.

              That's why i think both the pro-gun and anti-gun faction are storming in a waterglass of pure irrelevance because at the end of the day whatever legislation is pushed to do anything about gun availability will be overturned on the spot by SCOTUS.

              So finding another solution to mass shootings - one which works - might be preferable. Gun control, whether it might work or not, is not currently an option.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 5:39am

            Re: Re:

            "He literally just showed proof that it DOESN'T prevent ANY deaths at all"

            No, he really, really didn't. He might have shown that it's not a panacea, but it didn't say what you just claimed it said.

            Also, have a quick guess - where do you think Jamaicans are getting the guns from? (Hint: it's a large nearby country that's obsessed with the things)

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        • icon
          Cdaragorn (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:36pm

          Re:

          Even if it could prevent any number of deaths, pretending that the equation is that simple or that there are no other effects worth being concerned about is not being honest with those who disagree with you.

          There are many ways to prevent bad things from happening. The problem is that doing so comes with a very real cost in personal liberty. This is not a zero-sum game and preventing deaths is not more important than anything else. There are some things more valuable even then that.

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          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:49pm

            preventing deaths is not more important than anything else

            I’ll be sure to tell that to the families of the victims in El Paso and Dayton.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 3:12pm

              Re:

              Many who served have given their lives to preserve that liberty. they believed that it was more important.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 5:44am

                Re: Re:

                The men who chose to sacrifice their lives for freedom would probably disagree that the reason for their sacrifice was so that people could own guns in order to massacre people in schools. I dare say that many of them would say they fought to protect those children rather than place them directly in harm's way.

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            • identicon
              Digitari, 6 Aug 2019 @ 6:33am

              Re: gun free zone

              when you tell those folks in Texas, remind them that they were in a Gun Free zone, so the gun was illegal anyways.

              (gun free zones were even in a manifesto, imagine that)

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              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 7:09am

                Re: Re: gun free zone

                Yes, so clearly the answer is not to better enforce gun free zones, it must be to make sure everybody is armed at all times. What a depressingly, uniquely American attitude.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 9 Aug 2019 @ 2:12am

                  Re: Re: Re: gun free zone

                  "Yes, so clearly the answer is not to better enforce gun free zones, it must be to make sure everybody is armed at all times. What a depressingly, uniquely American attitude."

                  Gun free zones do exist. Airports, for starters.

                  But mandating public areas where the only access is through a border post with a detector raises a whole lot of other issues. Not the least of which is "This will be expensive, so in the US we'll just have those areas for the rich, well-adjusted, wealthy".

                  There are solutions for high murder rates, but very few of them can be easily implemented in the US.

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          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 5:40am

            Re: Re:

            "The problem is that doing so comes with a very real cost in personal liberty"

            The person liberty not to be shot while attending a school or a frigging garlic festival trumps your liberty to own weapons of greater destruction that could be imagined when the second amendment was written.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:38pm

        Re: Re:

        It’s not a quick or easy fix but it does lower the suicide rate.

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK223849/

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:55pm

        Re: Re:

        If it lowers the rate, I'll take it.
        Otherwise, if nobody has any other ideas, then I am for amending the amendment.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 3:00pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Since we have added a War on pain treatment to our various other Wars on drugs, I am not certain obstacles to suicide are always an unalloyed good.

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      • identicon
        Rocky, 5 Aug 2019 @ 3:21pm

        Re: Re:

        You can't compare two countries where the difference in average income is about 20x, that's just disingenuous.

        If you are going to do a comparison you have to compare gun-deaths in the USA to other countries that has a somewhat similar average income and societal development. Ie. make the comparison against other developed countries.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 5:33pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The USA is a much more diverse society than the northwest European social-democracies that anti-gun people like to compare it to. Non-Hispanic whites have similar low homicide rates on both sides of the Canadian border. The US South has an honor culture, meaning higher homicide rates among all racial groups. Japanese, forbidden access to guns, have a low homicide rate, but so do Japanese-Americans, with easy access to guns.

          The surest way to bring a dramatically lower homicide rate to both Jamaica and the USA would be to end our unwinnable War on (Some) Drugs.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:05am

    Rather than focusing first on censorship, can we start talking about how to stop people from being so confused, ignorant, and hateful? Can we talk about ways to recognize alienated, disillusioned people, and seeking ways to actually do something positive, and keep them from becoming so hateful in the first place?

    That would be nice. The problem is that's difficult, time consuming, and expensive. It also requires that people on both sides confront some hard truths about themselves and their policies, and accept that they aren't saints.

    Blaming a scapegoat on the other hand? That's easy, even if they've broken no laws.

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    icon
    Zof (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:33am

    Well, um, we have an election coming up

    And very unethical people are determined to make sure the poor people don't have a say. Censorship in the US is typically about shutting up those annoying poor people mad at the empire.

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  • icon
    Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:51am

    Copycat effect

    To dampen copycat hysteria, I suggest a temporary blackout of all reporting of mass shootings on all media. The democratic precedent was Britain's blackout of specific target reporting during the 1940 Blitz and the 1944 V-1 attacks. Let law enforcement and researchers continue to gather data (just as they do for the thousands of ordinary murders we have each year), and let sober evidence-based policy-making proceed, unnoticed by the mentally-unbalanced.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 11:58am

      let sober evidence-based policy-making proceed, unnoticed by the mentally-unbalanced

      That isn’t possible. Lawmakers have to pass the policy, after all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      TwiztidJuggla420 (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 2:08am

      Re: Copycat effect

      This isn't 1940. The Internet exists. You can't just pretend something like this didn't happen and not show it in the MSM and expect people to not know about it. If anything it would probably be spread even faster and talked about online even more because the MSM wasn't covering it.

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  • identicon
    MindParadox, 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:03pm

    stop making the perps celebrities.

    One thing that would probably help this situation is to quit making the shooters famous.

    A lot of these idiots are doing it so that the news will carry their name, beliefs and goals to the national community, basically instant celebrity status. Cut that off and you'll see a lot of this go away.

    Columbine was in the 90s, and after making those kids famous, it's only gotten worse.

    I cant wait till we have some moron who wants everyone to become a vegan go and shoot up a grocery store so that they can spread the word of how badly animals are treated, or something equally as stupid. Cut off their voice(the instant sensationalism of the press giving them celebrity status) and this shit will, maybe not entirely go away, but definitely become much less prevalent.

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  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:12pm

    Can we talk about ways to recognize alienated, disillusioned people, and seeking ways to actually do something positive, and keep them from becoming so hateful in the first place?

    We can, but it would require taking seriously two categories of people who our society prefers to avoid thinking about whenever possible. The alienated and disillusioned overwhelmingly come from among two types of people, with many of them falling into both categories: 1) the mentally ill and 2) the powerless.

    First, the mentally ill. I don't know if it's still true, but several years ago I read that every single school shooter in the USA over the last X decades was on psychiatric medication. The author was trying to use this as ammunition for a wild theory that the meds were what caused them to snap and shoot up their schools, but there's a much more interesting (and much more logically consistent!) idea to be found behind that data: the system works, insofar as we allow it to. We are finding the problematic ones and getting them into some degree of treatment... but then it turns out to not be enough. With more research into causes, treatments, and effective therapy, and particularly with research into curative measures rather than all the emphasis on long-term medication regimens -- if we could muster the political will to push back against the pharma companies that make obscene amounts of profit on prolonging diseases rather than curing them -- we could make some real inroads on reducing the problem, and the knock-on effects it causes, such as societal unrest and hatred.

    This is a topic that's very personal to me, as my wife works as a caretaker for adults with mental disabilities. She comes home on a regular basis with stories of bigotry, petty crimes, and low-level violence among her clients, and one day she even came home with bruises after being assaulted by one of them. She doesn't get paid nearly enough to deal with the crap she puts up with on a regular basis, and a serious initiative to tackle the issues of mental health would make her life a lot easier and safer.

    And second, the powerless. I'll just come right out and say it: people like me -- the ones with a comfortable, good-paying job, a wonderful, loving wife, and a good support structure of family, friends, church, etc -- don't become radicalized and go on a shooting rampage. We can't; we don't have the time to! We're too busy with getting on with our normal lives and working towards the next goal. The people who cause these sorts of problems are generally those who see no realistic option to work towards the next goal; they don't have any power or control over their own destinies, generally because it's been stolen away from them by those who have all too much power. )Or if we're talking about school shootings, it comes from among the kids who get picked on and bullied while the administration stands by and does nothing.) And yet somehow, when they finally snap and lash out, they almost always target other people with very little in the way of power or control.

    Dealing with this side of the issue might be even more difficult than dealing with the mental health side of the issue, because it requires consciously standing up to power and tearing it down where necessary. It requires a fundamental rejection of the all-too-American assumption that wealth and celebrity imply legitimacy. It requires teaching middle schoolers and high schoolers that bullying will not be tolerated, and then scrupulously acting on that principle, coming down on sadistic students who torment their peers like the proverbial sledgehammer, with no fear for potentially "ruining the lives of" little monsters who are learning to take delight in actually ruining the lives of those around them. It requires taking corporate executives who crash economies, push defective and deadly products, gouge the vulnerable among us with exorbitant medical costs, and so forth and actually sending them to prison for their misdeeds. In short, it requires a return to the fundamental American value that "all men are created equal," and an active, strong will to squash the parasites in our society that try to oppress others and place them beneath themselves.

    Talking about ways to do something positive and prevent people from becoming disillusioned and radicalized is easy. Actually doing something about it, though... that would take some serious work.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 1:40pm

      Re:

      The whole "pharmaceutical companies make their money on prolonging diseases" is just plain an ignorant trope and has only become more so over time. First off it makes no goddamn sense to spend money researching cures only to never use them or reveal them for any competitor to stumble upon and release themselves. Really the reason they are rare is figuring out full fledged cures is /very/ hard and it isn't like they lead the research anyway - they do the last expensive step of turning workable theories into approved drugs. They don't just look at the complex biochemistry and decide "and here we take a quarter of the dose needed to wipe out a bacterial infection to keep it chronic". It just plain doesn't work like that.

      Hepatitis C has a cure now and they can charge huge ammounts with minimal objection because their competition are organ transplants. Besides when have publicly traded corporations been shy about destroying long term profits for quarterly earnings?

      If there is anything to complain about psychiatric care quality and drug companies it is that meds are too often given when they are just the "easy and cheap" option instead of the best one.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 2:46pm

      Re:

      Why do I get the feeling that you used your own "Make it First Word" as a techdirt insider to promote your post to being first word.

      Totally sounds like a Mason thing to do.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 6:09pm

      Re:

      Personally, I like a quote from Mark Ames on the subject of bullying. There's plenty, but here's a few I think is most apropos:

      "One reason why our society has failed to curb bullying is that we like bullies. Hell, we are bullies. Research has shown that bullies are not the anti-social misfits that adults, in their forced amnesia, want them to be. Rather, bullies are usually the most popular boys, second only on the clique-ranking to those described as friendly, outgoing, and self-confident."

      "I don't know a single useful lesson that I or anyone else ever learned from getting bullied - it only brought shame and debilitating memories. Getting bullied always leads you to wrong decisions and wrong conclusions. You compensate in all the wrong ways. You wind up looking for someone weaker to bully yourself, you lose confidence and hate your weakness, and you fear and distrust the wrong people, all of which are reasons why bullied kids overwhelmingly wind up as failures in the real world, according to recent studies. You have to have never been bullied to think that it teaches something valuable and necessary and makes you a stronger person."

      "I know that I learned far more valuable lessons when I was the bully than when I was bullied. The lesson was simple: it felt better to be the one dishing it out. The pangs of remorse after pummeling a scrawny dork wore off pretty quickly; the humiliations of being on the receiving end, however, were replayed over and over and over, for years and years. I cannot imagine what kind of callous moron could possibly see anything in being a victim of bullying. Maybe the idea comes from our cultural propaganda, where the bullied nerd, like Back to the Future's McFly, always fights back in the triumphant climax, becomes a stronger person for it, and goes on to be a successful patron of a nuclear family, while the bully winds up washing his car. Bullying, in our cultural propaganda, is simply a dramatic plot device which the hero overcomes. Rarely, if ever, is it represented as it really works - as something privately eating away at kids, flat and uninteresting, and never overcome."

      And for those whose first frantic response is to say, "I was bullied and I turned out fine", two things. One, good for you. Two, whoop dee fucking doo. Bullies are so protected, so insulated from consequence, they're a special class all unto themselves. Saying that bullying is fine because some made it out okay is like saying that because a vaccine exists, smallpox infections are acceptable.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 3:44am

        Re: Re:

        This is exactly right. To people of the right age, the prototypical TV bullies are Bulk and Skull from Power Rangers. And they were depicted as everything we all wish bullies would be: insecure losers who could be defeated by standing up to them with a bit of confidence and just waiting for them to trip over their own two feet. The show even went a bit overboard on that aspect a few times, to the point where, if it hadn't been made so absolutely clear that these guys were jerks who totally had it coming, you could almost see them as the victims being bullied by the main characters.

        Even back then as a middle-schooler, I recognized that as easily the most unrealistic part of the show. (And that's saying a lot, considering that we're talking about a show where American high school kids magically transform into Japanese superheroes to fight rubber-suited alien monsters who then grow into giant kaijus so the heroes can fight them again in a giant mecha made by combining a bunch of other giant dinosaur mechas together!) None of the bullies I encountered growing up were losers; they were the powerful and the popular. The football and basketball stars, (or, on the female side, the cheerleaders,) the rich kids whose dads were politicians or successful local businessmen, the ones who had lives everyone else wanted to have and they knew it. And Mason's totally right that no one ever smacked them down, and so they learned they can get away with it and grew up to become adult bullies, the kinds who cause misery on a much larger scale than schoolyard bullies are capable of.

        Though now that I think about it, maybe that explains what happened to Bulk and Skull. They did keep getting smacked down, by karma and by their intended victims, and it was good for them. They eventually had a bit of a change of heart, and over the course of several seasons they slowly grew, developed, and transformed into halfway decent people, eventually becoming heroes themselves (in their own small way) at the climax of season 6.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:44pm

    ... In real terms a population that used to be able to support a family on a single income now mostly requires two incomes, and most of them would struggle to pay even a thousand-dollar emergency expense.

    Americans have gotten much poorer in terms of real income and income inequality has been exploding...

    Be white male born into a world where doors are already closed.

    The workplace of the future does not want you for effort to promote diversity projects.

    Owning a home or starting a family off the table.

    Grade school shackles you to a desk restraining energy and enthusiasm to explore intellectually, or move physically outside, pressuring medication to keep you quiet and attentive. A prison system to keep you contained.

    Eat your ramen and watch monstrous student debt accumulate to attend university, shackling you to owing interest to the banks.

    And the media hates you, reminding you every single day that all lifes inconveniences are your fault.

    Aggressive prejudice against, and disdain for your very existence drilled in at every turn.

    No adult figure to guide and advise you through that crucible as result of effort to weaken the family unit over prior decades.

    Withhold any depiction of positive contribution to society to hold up as role model. No path describing what positive contribution might look like. Just don't be a white male, you should have considered that before being born into privilege.

    And we wonder why suicide is up and people begin to snap after media nips at their heels from youth into adulthood.

    The media, (along with Twitter and tech giants who facilitate 'authoritative sources'), constructed the pressure cooker. Then absolve themselves by pointing fingers at small platforms.

    Evil.

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    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 12:51pm

      White male here. If all this shit is true, how come I haven’t become Some Asshole?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 1:02pm

        Re:

        [Asserts facts not in evidence]

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          TFG, 5 Aug 2019 @ 4:48pm

          Re: Re:

          White male, here. Also not Some Asshole. Not seeing much evidence of "Aggressive prejudice against, and disdain for your very existence drilled in at every turn."

          Mostly I see this claimed by the occasional fanatic. These fanatics are sometimes white males, and noticeably can only claim that there's a systemic oppression without showing actual tangible evidence of systemic oppression.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 3:46am

        Re:

        Because you took the other route, internalizing all the lies and becoming part of the racist machine yourself, as evidenced by your long history of ugly, bigoted posts on here. You just became Some Different Kind Of Asshole.

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        • identicon
          Digitari, 6 Aug 2019 @ 6:45am

          Re: Re:

          You are correct.

          ever notice when stevie writes it come across as elitist

          like he is "the Authority"

          I try not to read his posts that way but it comes across that way

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        • identicon
          Digitari, 6 Aug 2019 @ 6:45am

          Re: Re:

          You are correct.

          ever notice when stevie writes it come across as elitist

          like he is "the Authority"

          I try not to read his posts that way but it comes across that way

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        • identicon
          TFG, 6 Aug 2019 @ 8:19am

          Re: Re:

          And me? White Male, not an asshole, etc.

          Don't see evidence of doors being closed by default, save for those that are closed to everyone who is poor (important note, those same doors are also closed to poor black, hispanic, and middle-eastern folks).

          If you want positive white male role models in modern media, take a look at the majority of the MCU (Tony Stark, Captain America, Thor, Dr. Strange, Spiderman, etc.). Or Stranger Things.

          Certainly haven't experienced systemic, aggressive prejudice. There's been the (very rare) occasional asshole, but the causes you speak of, I can't find. Can you provide actual examples of this prejudice? Can you provide indications that it is, in fact, systemic?

          And can you provide something to back up the assertion that it's racial prejudice and not economic prejudice? Because if you're going to say that there is a pressure cooker environment on people who are poor, then I am in agreement with you.

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    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 5 Aug 2019 @ 1:58pm

      Re:

      In what country is this?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 5:59pm

      Re:

      “Be white male born into a world where doors are already closed.”

      Did you copy this poor white boy manifesto off 8chan or is this your own sad pathetic attempt at being the voice of a generation of basement dwelling incels?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 6:30am

      Re:

      Another white male here. Still not an asshole after 30 odd years of watching "violent" tv and movies and 15+ years of playing "violent" video games.

      Be white male born into a world where doors are already closed.

      That's not how it is in the US.

      The workplace of the future does not want you for effort to promote diversity projects.

      That's not how it is in the US.

      Owning a home or starting a family off the table.

      I own a home and have a family.

      Eat your ramen and watch monstrous student debt accumulate to attend university, shackling you to owing interest to the banks.

      Student debt is a problem but people have been dealing with it. Mine is almost paid off at this point.

      And the media hates you, reminding you every single day that all lifes inconveniences are your fault.

      Not sure which media you are talking about but it's definitely not any that I've seen or heard of.

      Aggressive prejudice against, and disdain for your very existence drilled in at every turn.

      Also have not seen this except in very rare circumstances where someone has massive anger issues.

      No adult figure to guide and advise you through that crucible as result of effort to weaken the family unit over prior decades.

      I had a mom and dad who taught me the value of family and raised me to not be an asshole. The kids I grew up with also all had moms and dads to guide them into not being assholes as well.

      Withhold any depiction of positive contribution to society to hold up as role model.

      Uhhhhhhh, seriously? I'm beginning to think you DON'T actually watch any media or don't actually live in the US. Because there's a LOT of holding up of positive role models.

      No path describing what positive contribution might look like.

      No, that's pretty clearly defined. Don't be a jerk, be nice to everybody, don't go on a killing spree. I mean, seriously, this isn't hard.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 6:31am

      Re:

      FU cracker

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 2:03pm

    We can arm younger people with proper Internet literacy techniques and facts and knowledge to prevent them from falling in with nazi shitheads while simultaneously banning and shutting down the sites that nazi shitheads use to congregate and recruit whenever they pop up alongside the social media accounts and YouTube channels of their biggest stars. Keeping existing nazis lost in the shuffle of where and how to congregate and recruit and also depriving their YouTube and Twitter celebrities of the ability to spread their hate on easily-accessible platforms is a valid tactic. People who are too busy jumping from site to site are likely also too busy to the point where they can't dox and harass people, write manifestos, or recruit impressionable individuals into the fold.

    An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, yeah. But sometimes dropping a metric shitton of cure is a pretty good source of prevention.

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  • identicon
    bobob, 5 Aug 2019 @ 2:15pm

    Although the problem is not 8chan, per se, but the people who post on 8chan, refusing to host sites like 8chan, does serve a purpose as does hosting sites like 8chan. That allows others who are wanting the services of companies like cloudflare to have one more pro/con item to use when deciding which company to choose for their own businesses.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 2:24pm

    This excuse about violent video games make s no sense ,
    south korea, japan, france ,italy, have no mass shootings .
    In those countrys video games are very popular .
    they happen in america because its easy to buy guns and rifles and machine guns,
    They system of background checks is not working or its not being used
    to good effect .
    There needs to be a strict background checks,
    if someone has a record of domestic violence ,commits a serious felony,
    or a mental health problem, they should not be allowed to buy
    any guns or ammo of any type .

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    • icon
      Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 5:39pm

      Re:

      The perp in Dayton Ohio qualified for a gun after his conviction for a juvenile crime was expunged. If you want your record expunged, you should give up any hope of owning a gun for twenty years.

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  • icon
    tom (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 2:34pm

    IMO - a large part of the problem is the intolerant behavior and lack of statesmanship by US leaders(in both parties). When your leaders set such a poor example, hard to blame some young minds for feeling helpless and frustrated.

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  • identicon
    David, 5 Aug 2019 @ 3:02pm

    Manifestos

    Given that some of the most recent shootings have involved angry, ignorant, idiotic rants posted on 8chan (stop calling them manifestos, guys),

    Well, "manifesto" is reminiscent of Karl Marx "Communist Manifesto". It is very important to label such ramblings as communist speech because otherwise you'll have a pretty hard time telling them apart from presidential addresses. It's basic search term optimisation.

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  • icon
    nerdrage (profile), 5 Aug 2019 @ 5:18pm

    That's funny, my first reaction is to talk about gun control.

    Other countries have mentally ill losers who play violent video games and post idiotic rants on the internet. Other countries don't have the murder rate America does. What is the one and only difference? Gun control. Hard to kill a lot of people at once when you have to do it with a knife. Rocket science this is not. We need to get rid of the corrupt politicians who the NRA have in their pocket or this will never end. Discussing anything else is pointless. Save your thoughts and prayers. Useless.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 8:40pm

      Re: That's funny, my first reaction is to talk about gun control

      Yeah, good thing knives are the only other option.

      Oh, wait...

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 12:13pm

      Re: That's funny, my first reaction is to talk about gun control

      Why does everyone assume that mass killers will uniformly turn to melee weapons if guns are banned? Vehicle rammings and arsons are just as accessible as means of attack (if not more so), and easily capable of being as deadly as a mass shooting, if not deadlier.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 12:33pm

        Re: Re:

        Because in a lot of cases that's what mass killers do.

        Maybe the better question is why don't more mass killers turn to rammings and arsons rather than knives when guns aren't a viable option?

        Or, why not just make a bomb? It's not that hard and arguably more destructive than any other method.

        Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they don't, but if they are looking for maximum damage, there are better ways to do it. But I guess if you are planning to murder a bunch of people en masse, I'm guessing your thought process is already pretty screwed up and your ability to think logically is already greatly impaired.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 7 Aug 2019 @ 4:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Maybe the better question is why don't more mass killers turn to rammings and arsons rather than knives when guns aren't a viable option?"

          The advantages of mass shootings is that people don't get time or opportunity to escape or defend themselves, there's little warning before the start, and the killers can do maximum damage from a distance before being taken down in a blaze of glory.

          Other methods of violence involve getting in close and personal, require more planning, enable more people to get away before the start, enable more heroes to step and stop the attack either before or during and make it more likely that they'll be taken alive and made to serve for their crimes.

          Cowards won't use the other methods, while enough mistakes are made by those who try to enable them to be stopped beforehand. This might be an oversimplification, but I think that also the shooter fantasy is specific enough that nothing else quite scratches the itch - if they can't kill in a specific way, other types of killing don't really meet the urge for that kind of person.

          "Or, why not just make a bomb? It's not that hard and arguably more destructive than any other method"

          Islamic terror attacks have taken the shine off. Had 9/11 not happened, some of these guys might be trying to top McVeigh's high score, but they don't get the glory they want if people just assume it has to be some jihadi attack rather than see their names in the headlines.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 13 Aug 2019 @ 7:02am

      Re: That's funny, my first reaction is to talk about gun control

      "What is the one and only difference? Gun control."

      That's not the only difference. How about a sizeable minority of the citizenry born to lose? Or a society where one bad break later the rest of your life is gone?

      One major difference between the rest of the G20 and the US may be gun control, but that the US is also the one country in the developed world without any form of basic health care coverage is also pretty damning.

      If this was all about guns, fine, but it isn't. The US amount of murders by knife and other implements is similarly disproportional when compared to, say, most european countries.

      If guns were the reason then you'd expect the amount of knife murders in the US per capita to be similar to the knife murders in, say, Germany or France.

      But it isn't. Irrespective of murder instrument, even removing gun killings completely, you find that murder in general is far more common in the US than in europe.

      "We need to get rid of the corrupt politicians who the NRA have in their pocket or this will never end."

      Those politicians are rarely corrupt in that regard - more like shit-scared. The NRA has a viable tactic when they find a concerted effort made on gun control. They single out the spokesperson - and proceed to destroy that person's life with all legal or gray area means at their disposal.

      More to the point, however, is that 2nd amendment which, unlike any other national constitution i know of guarantees the right to gun ownership for every citizen.

      • "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

      Although interpretations have varied, current and past US legislators and judges have been quite adamant that no matter the interpretation this means that any form of realistic gun control means you need to rewrite that constitutional amendment.

      Personally I think gun control is a necessity for any nation, but even as a non-american I can see that gun control in the US is a pipe dream.

      Basic health care coverage and an infrastructure ensuring the nutcases get caught and treated before detonation, otoh...that might be achievable.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2019 @ 8:38pm

    Was it 8chan or guns?

    Obvious one or other made him do it. Which was it? Or maybe both?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TwiztidJuggla420 (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 2:43am

    Mass shooters vs. law enforcement officers

    In 2018, there were 387 firearm fatalities due to mass shootings in the U.S.
    In 2018, there were 995 firearm fatalities by law enforcement in the U.S.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), 6 Aug 2019 @ 2:56am

    The view from outside

    Why Is Our First Reaction To Mass Shootings To Talk About Censorship?

    "For reasons passing understanding, [Americans] do not relate guns to gun-related crime." - President Andrew Shepherd

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 4:31am

    Rather than focusing first on censorship, can we start talking about how to stop people from being so confused, ignorant, and hateful? Can we talk about ways to recognize alienated, disillusioned people, and seeking ways to actually do something positive, and keep them from becoming so hateful in the first place? Some will argue that part of that is shutting down the places where these people gather, but as the articles linked above noted, that's next to impossible.

    I certainly couldn't imagine how "shutting down the places where these people gather" could possibly make them feel anything but even more alienated.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 10:12am

    1st ammendment and responsibility = censorship?

    I have pretty much read all the comments, skipping the echoes, and still have the same question.

    At what point does responsibility in regards to the 1st amendment become censorship?

    I can remember that yelling "FIRE" in a crowded movie theater was used as an example of non protected speech.
    The premise being that not all speech is protected.

    I have always believed if that if a particular thing , be it a newspaper, movie, tv show or whatever. was odious to me I just never viewed it again. It's 2019 and there are places on the internet that are sure to offend someone.

    Here in the United States the Bill of Rights addresses how the federal government interacts with it's citizens. The 14th amendment made it applicable to the state governments.

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    All platforms that are not owned by the government have no responsibility or requirement to publish or not publish anything since the 1st amendment does not apply.

    When a tabloid or newspaper or TV show, website makes slanderous or libelous statements there is remedy under civil law.

    I am presuming that the intent of the article was to point out how calling for censoring in order to protect your pro or anti 2nd amendment position is a ludicrous. That censorship itself is something to be approached very carefully and with much aforethought. I agree.

    But at what point does that free speech cross the threshold to yelling fire in that movie theater? When does a crowd protesting cross the line and become a mob?

    Where do we as individuals or a society delineate what is to be accepted and what is not? More importantly how and who makes that decision.

    While I personally find some speech and actions distasteful or abhorrent you may not. That's why there's a back button on the browser.

    I have never been to 8chan. Once long ago I went to 4chan. It took about 30 seconds to realize that it was not anything I wanted to see. To each their own

    But the question still is where is the line drawn and who decides?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 11:05am

      Re:

      I have pretty much read all the comments, skipping the echoes, and still have the same question.

      Well then you didn't read all the comments then did you? And I'm guessing the "echoes" that you skipped are probably the ones that explained it all for you, but for funsies I'll respond to this.

      At what point does responsibility in regards to the 1st amendment become censorship?

      As soon as the government gets involved. For example, a new law requiring platforms to treat political content neutrally. That is censorship under the First Amendment. What's NOT censorship is private platforms dictating what will and will not be allowed on their platforms. It doesn't involve the government, therefore it's not censorship.

      I can remember that yelling "FIRE" in a crowded movie theater was used as an example of non protected speech.

      Then you heard wrong because yelling "fire" in a crowded movie theater is absolutely protected speech. For example, when there is actually a fire.

      The premise being that not all speech is protected.

      The amount of speech that is not protected is probably about 1% or less of all speech. It's a very narrow exception and mostly includes speech that is designed to incite violence against other humans or deliberately cause harm (libel, slander, defamation, etc...). Other than that, it's pretty much a free for all.

      I have always believed if that if a particular thing , be it a newspaper, movie, tv show or whatever. was odious to me I just never viewed it again. It's 2019 and there are places on the internet that are sure to offend someone.

      And you continue to have that right to not go to those places online or view those tweets you find offensive. Nothing has changed.

      Here in the United States the Bill of Rights addresses how the federal government interacts with it's citizens. The 14th amendment made it applicable to the state governments.

      Exactly. None of which applies to what private corporations allow on their online platforms. Since, you know, they aren't the government.

      All platforms that are not owned by the government have no responsibility or requirement to publish or not publish anything since the 1st amendment does not apply.

      Correct.

      When a tabloid or newspaper or TV show, website makes slanderous or libelous statements there is remedy under civil law.

      Also correct.

      I am presuming that the intent of the article was to point out how calling for censoring in order to protect your pro or anti 2nd amendment position is a ludicrous. That censorship itself is something to be approached very carefully and with much aforethought. I agree.

      Actually it's not to be approached at all, not just very carefully. It is a thing that should not be done since it would directly violate the 1st Amendment.

      But at what point does that free speech cross the threshold to yelling fire in that movie theater?

      None since that is actually a thing you can do as protected under the 1st Amendment.

      When does a crowd protesting cross the line and become a mob?

      As soon as they break the law. Protesting is protected speech. As long as they are not harming anyone or performing other unlawful acts, they can protest and say whatever they want for as long as they want.

      Where do we as individuals or a society delineate what is to be accepted and what is not?

      That's a legitimate question and as individuals and a society we can make those calls. And social media platforms have made those calls on what is and is not accepted on their platforms and made it part of their TOS. It should NOT be something the government gets involved in.

      More importantly how and who makes that decision.

      Anyone except the government. I am free to determine what is and is not acceptable on my property the same as social media is free to determine the same for their platforms. As a society we should band together and decide what we do and do not want to be acceptable and pressure corporations to follow suit. It should NEVER be made into a law, however.

      While I personally find some speech and actions distasteful or abhorrent you may not. That's why there's a back button on the browser.

      And that's why what is or is not acceptable should not be made law or dictated by the government. What is offensive to one is acceptable to another.

      But the question still is where is the line drawn and who decides?

      You've essentially answered your own question, and I've followed up on it. It's up to each person to decide what is and is not acceptable. Then as a society we can agree on a specific code of conduct that we can say is acceptable and establish as a standard.

      Where the line is drawn is having the government come in and make that standard the law and forcing people to comply or be punished with fines, jail, or some other punishment. That is the line that should never be crossed because there is no way to objectively analyze all speech and say what should be acceptable or not.

      I hope this sufficiently answers your question, despite you seemingly having answered it yourself.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2019 @ 6:25pm

    Speaking as a person who frequents 8chan, a lot of people are operating on ignorant assumptions about what the site actually is. Sure, people post things that are offensive, sometimes even downright hateful; but to pretend that's all 8chan has to offer is disingenuous. Cloudflare made a mistake by bending to peer pressure, especially when you consider the manifesto that catalyzed this entire thing was actually first posted on Instagram.

    Considering that fact, is anyone going to start ranting about how we need to take down Instagram, for providing a platform for hate? No, nobody is going to do that, because this was never about that; this is about people who have been told that they should hate 8chan wanting a casus belli to take down 8chan.

    Is 8chan a platform for hate? Yes it is; but so is Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and ever other place where human beings are allowed to express themselves; because in the end, we are the source of all the hatred in the world, not the platforms we choose to express that hate on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Aug 2019 @ 1:16pm

    part of being in society and providing services to society is determining what kinds of services you want to provide and to whom. I appreciate that Cloudflare is reluctant to get into the business of making any sorts of judgment calls on content, but no one can avoid those questions forever.

    ...Why?

    Why is it nobody can simply refuse to engage with that kind of 'question' at all, like Cloudflare was doing right up until 2017?

    Why are you just taking the premise of guilt by association in this ridiculously punitive culture we live in for granted. You kind of just glide right over this point completely.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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