Guns Don’t Make Americans Violent, America Does

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  1. As a former military person, NOTHING can prepare you for the day when someone is shooting back at you with real bullets. NOTHING.

    How Very True! But what has truth ever had to do with anything?

    Especially when it comes to being “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, ….” but after that it’s all down hill and dog eat dog. Some talk of Gun Culture whilst others wonder at the “War Culture”.

  2. AnonymousDog says:

    Stop allowing fat cat media corporations to send their ghouls to communities like Newtown Ct to stick their microphones, cameras and notepads into the faces of people already traumatized by random violence, just so they can grab a bigger share of audience.

    Stop allowing politicians to insert themselves into the grieving process of communities like Newtown.

    Stop using these kinds of tragedies as cover for long0-standing political agendas.

  3. Wow, this started out pretty good but went a little off the deep end. I’m not a war supporter by a long shot but I think it’s ignorant and insulting to say we went to war “for one reason only.” There were many motivators to go to war, some of them spurious, some of them valid. War profiteering is among them, but not the only reason.

    I was discussing Switzerland’s gun policy and gun culture with my mother (born and raised in Switzerland) yesterday, and discussing the huge difference in attitudes. In Switzerland, guns are symbolic of responsibility, duty to country, and citizenship. Gun ownership is high (depending where you get your stats, it’s higher than in the US) but gun violence is virtually nonexistent. In America, guns are about power, SELF-defense (vs. country/community), autonomy, and violence. There’s no separating guns from violence here.

    While they’re not entirely to blame, I think violent movies, TV and video games, specifically those centered around crime, are no help. In so many of these storylines, guns are the solution to whatever problem the protagonist faces. Faceless, nameless bodies get shot and fall flat, maybe some blood and gore depending on the media – or maybe the camera cuts away, a gunshot is heard, the problem is resolved. The shooter is rarely exhibiting safe and responsible gun use – how many movie shooters fire off ten rounds without any ear protection, maybe even while holding a conversation?

    No, entertainment media isn’t entirely to blame, but it doesn’t give us anything CLOSE to the full picture about guns. And the conversations that need to happen, filling in the blanks and calling out the mistakes/fallacies/bad logic, that’s just not happening. So guns become a tool for getting your way, not a deadly weapon worth your respect.

    • @KKZ I’m actually interested about this common assertion that, despite Switzerland’s high gun ownership, it experiences very little gun crime, because it’s actually inaccurate. It’s true that it doesn’t experience problems to the scale that the US does. However, if you look at the number of gun homicides per 100,000 people, it’s one of the worst in Europe. Only tiny Liechtenstein is ahead of it in western Europe and, elsewhere in Europe, the Balkan states of Macedonia and Albania have worse positions in the list. This suggests that, in fact, there is a link between the number of guns in Switzerland and the number of gun homicides, though, without the training acquired during military service, the numbers would no doubt be even worse. This is before you even mention the well-documented link between domestic abuse and Swiss gun ownership- many Swiss women apparently feel threatened by (and are often reminded of) the presence of a gun in the house. The stats are here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/jul/22/gun-homicides-ownership-world-list

    • I was discussing Switzerland’s gun policy and gun culture with my mother (born and raised in Switzerland) yesterday, and discussing the huge difference in attitudes. In Switzerland, guns are symbolic of responsibility, duty to country, and citizenship

      Which is precisely what I learned at home, and from the editorial columns of gun magazines as a boy. Hunting and target shooting are fun, self defense is an unfortunate necessity at times, but the core reason is so you’re ready to fight for freedom like the 1776 patriots you’re taught to venerate. The scenario in the movie “Red Dawn” never happened, but, for a good chunk of my childhood, there were honest, real world reasons to believe that it MIGHT.

      (It really DID happen in Afghanistan; the Russian commander’s speech in Red Dawn, given in Russian, was a direct rebuke to the atrocities that the Russians were committing in Afghanistan at that very moment.)

      Back on topic…yes, the Swiss do manage to combine widespread gun possession with a low crime rate. If the government is serious about fixing the problem, “COPY SWITZERLAND”. The military rifles in almost every home, will allay the fear of tyranny that energizes the progun Right, and low crime is the publicly stated goal of the antigun Left and is desired by both sides.

      • (It really DID happen in Afghanistan; the Russian commander’s speech in Red Dawn, given in Russian, was a direct rebuke to the atrocities that the Russians were committing in Afghanistan at that very moment.)

        2 postscripts…
        (1) I mean the original 1984 Red Dawn (haven’t seen the new one).
        (2) I was once acquainted with an Afghani immigrant, who was a teenage boy when the Russians rolled into his country. Yes, he really was a teenage guerilla. Red Dawn literally, really came true over there.

      • I’ve just told you that the view that Switzerland has very low gun crime despite having widespread guns is a myth and shown you the data that proves it. Though ‘copying’ Switzerland would undoubtedly improve the embarrassingly bad situation in the US, it would still make it worse than almost any other western country- still an embarrassing situation, I think you’ll agree. What’s more, it’s only outside Switzerland that this is a myth- in the last 5 years, there’s been a growing movement to tighten gun control. Some cantons have withdrawn their population’s ammunition, for example. There have been some very high profile shootings, such as the murder of a very famous skier. It is, quite frankly, hilarious (in a dark comedy kind of way) to suggest that Switzerland is the country that should be aspired to. Why not ‘copy’ the UK (to name one of many examples)… a country where guns are almost completely illegal and has extraordinarily low gun crime? Fewer guns=less gun crime. The United States is the only wealthy country in the world that is yet to work out this equation.

  4. Sanity is disturbing. Telling people things they don’t like to hear is unpleasant. If it is going off the deep end to say things people pretend aren’t an issue or create false equivalencies for, so be it. If people want to rationalize war in a way that makes them feel good, they can. But I won’t do it. I certainly don’t intend to give the indication that war profiteering is the only reason either. But whenever I find atrocity in human action, my first rule is: follow the money.

    Where money is a key ingredient in any event or series of events, someone is profiting from the suffering of others. Is profit the only reason we go to war? No. But if you were to look around at most wars, you will find profit as the number one or number two reason, no matter what rhetoric gets thrown around so people can feel better about the atrocities being committed in the name of patriotism, nationalism, or religion which masks the profit motives involved.

    I say again, there is no good war. I do not subscribe to the idea there are good reasons to go to war. There are none. See enough of your friends die for no reason you can discern and you understand this. If we waged peace with the same effort, zeal and motivation we waged war, humanity would have already colonized the moon, certainly cured diseases, established solar energy as our primary power source for all of humanity, solved the food crisis worldwide, ensured the reduction of greenhouse gases, figured out that humane employment for people to have a decent quality of life is preferable to creating a civilization powered by human slavery and suffering.

    Impress me by turning swords into plowshares and Wage Peace. Otherwise, rationalizing war and needless destruction is just another form of insanity. I am not saying we should never fight wars. I am saying we CAN and SHOULD do better.

    • With all due respect, Thaddeus…

      “I certainly don’t intend to give the indication that war profiteering is the only reason either.”
      From the article: Our soldiers die on foreign soils for one reason only: profit.

      Whether you intend to give the indication or not, your words in the article were pretty clear, and that’s what I was responding to.

  5. I take it to mean that this gentlemen does not believe in privet property rights let alone capitalism.

    • Let’s assume you aren’t trolling, and say: What gave you the indication I don’t believe in private property or capitalism? Because I don’t believe in extracting every drop of life force from an individual for the least amount of money possible? Or is it because I don’t think we should wage war with the intellectual and physical cream of the crop of our civilization’s youth?

      Personally, I am all for war, IF you send the people who think it’s a good idea out there to die first. If Politician X or corporation leader Y, thinks fighting a war is a good idea, he and anyone who agrees with him should go out there first and lead the charge. Then we educate our youth to make better decisions about wars and other forms of communication, negotiation, and collaboration should be used and when they become politicians later in their lives, they are LESS likely to think war is the only viable and profitable exercise a civilization should engage it.

      As far as private property is concerned, I do not condone the idea our only solution is to SHOOT people who enter on “our” property. We could ensure society was better structured so there were fewer people out wandering, potentially being forced into lives where stealing becomes an option. If we took responsibility as a society, perhaps there would be little or no reason to steal, rob, or otherwise force another person to give up their material goods to another person. You have also heard of dogs, right? A domesticated ally we have been hanging around with, oh for maybe 10,000 years, give or take?

      And yes, there is always the possibility you might need to use a gun. So why not design guns with safety protocols and hardware (it is possible and has been so for quite some time, see Skyfall for an example) so IF your gun is lost or stolen it does not become a weapon for someone ELSE to use to harm people, since we cannot be bothered with educating, employing and feeding anyone else who isn’t already in a position to do that for themselves. Oh wait, there is no profit in making smarter, less dangerous, more expensive firearms.

      Hmm. We keep ending up on profit as a motivation for NOT doing things as well as FOR doing things. Capitalism is fine right up until it decides that human lives and the quality of those lives matter less than making profit FROM them, either by exploiting or exterminating those lives. I am not opposed to capitalism. I simply want it to be more responsible, more accountable, more effectively managed, more regulated and more responsive to the lives of the people who ultimately buy, use, or are affected by the results of its interaction with society. Anyone who says otherwise is getting paid and thus it is profitable for THEM to do so.

      And yes, I am aware capitalism with all of those additions means things cost more. A cost I would gladly bear to prevent atrocities like the spate of killings taking place across the country, all the time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and we never hear about them because they happen one or two at a time, or they happen to people in inner cities that few people care about. Or maybe we have just become so jaded and disconnected the lives of other people simply don’t mean that much to us anymore.

      • The problem with living in an idealized world is that eventually reality gets in the way. For example, the guns you’re referring to are already available but are reliant on batteries and software to keep them from locking up. That is a death sentence if you ever need your weapon. Also,the United Stated was founded on a notion of individual sovereignty meaning you can’t compel the citizens of individual states to purchase items like National Health Care ( F.Y.I.States are refusing to collect the Affordable Care Act’s Tax penalty on the federal governments behalf) or compelling citizens to purchase “Safe Firearms” over the readily available 200 million weapons out there in the free market today.

        Sorry but There are no easy answers, there’ll probably be another shooting from now to December 25 and wealthy old men will continue to send poor young men to war. It’s just how the world works.

  6. Bay Area Guy says:

    50,000 people a DAY starve to death all over the world. That by itself is enough to cause needless anger and suffering. We don’t lack the ability to feed people across the world. We lack the will or desire. Hungry people make a ripe natural resource to harvest their labor.

    Please tell me you’re joking.

    What the hell does that have to do with school shootings. Most countries don’t bother to assist or feed the world’s poor, but they don’t have killings the way the United States does.

    You’re really reaching here.

  7. Calvin Dodge says:

    Kindly explain how El Paso, TX, with lax gun laws and higher-than-average poverty has a far lower murder rate than gun control heaven (aka “Chicago”).

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  1. [...] them. Thaddeus Howze sees the violence as not only too much and not merely as too pervasive, but as characteristic of our society; that our focus as parents and mentors should not be on the games we play, but on the reality they [...]

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