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It’s dangerous to be young in the US
Posted: 17 December 2012 07:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 106 ]
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Scott Mayers - 16 December 2012 06:22 PM

Why should there be any rules for the public to hear the data? I just saw on our news that websites here are being censored for people browsing the name of the killer of the Connecticut school shooting because the governments feel that the attention should be drawn toward the victims. Now I think this is just emotions rather than reason dictating reality because although it is unfortunate for the victims, it wasn’t the victims who drew the attention to this ugly event in the first place. Do you propose that they put only happy news on the air too? Because certainly if people never heard of this event in the first place, then it would be WAY less likely that any copycats could occur. The victims were anonymous to me before this event and they will remain anonymous to me. They didn’t deserve what happened to them. But neither does any arbitrary individual in the world. So their particular stories are not relevant to the significant information to the event. I’m not being cold. I’m being realistic and logical.

There need to be rules because not all evidence is evidence. Our courts have rules of evidence in an effort to make a trial as fair as possible. For example, graphic images of a victim can only be shown under certain circumstances because the horrific nature of the images in themselves may prejudiced the jury. Hearsay is generally not permitted to be used as evidence because its validity can not be ascertained and the source can not be cross examined. I’m not a lawyer but if you give this a little thought you can pretty quickly see why you don’t want any old evidence being submitted in a trial. The media has no such safeguards in place and will present anything they feel will garner ratings. if you were accused of something I dont think you would want a trial by media. When someone’s future is on the line we presume innocence and must require some reasonable standards for the evidence presented or anyone can bring up anything no matter how unreliable, prejudicial, or irrelevant.

Scott Mayers - 16 December 2012 06:22 PM

The majority of the public may not be sufficiently wise enough in your eyes to judge, but if you are presuming that only those already present in authority are the sufficiently wise ones of society, you’re missing something. Who is the determiner of who should hear what? And to me, if the public is blinded, I’m one of those public too and I believe that I’m being told that I’m dumber than “they” are.

 

I am sure there are members of the public who are wiser than those in office but simply publicizing the personal details of a suicidal killer and then expecting the public to come forth with great ideas to solve this problem isn’t going to work. It hasn’t worked. I don’t think the public should be left out of the equation entirely but releasing these details to the public at large serves no useful purpose. It may make you feel better to know the details and as I said above it may make people feel better because they either think it will help them recognize the next shooter or it allows them to marginalize this person and believe that the shooter was some sort of aberration or monster that is a rarity. Unfortunately both of these ideas are self deceiving and neither leads to a safer society.

Again, I am not saying my idea is the answer. Its just one idea but its one that would be easy to implement and try at virtually no cost. There may be other ideas that are better but we need to start looking at things besides the obvious.

Scott Mayers - 16 December 2012 06:22 PM

I think this is a large debate in its own right. I think constitutions can be problematic because they are no different than a set of fixed commandments set by a people of a specific time that believe that they can impose a reality on all of posterity and the sheep must follow.

I dont believe the authors of our constitution intended to “impose” anything on the people of this country. Our constitution was the first in history that was put up to a vote of the people who wre to be governed. As I already stated, the original intent was to have it reviewed and rewritten from time to time through constitutional conventions. I think it is just too impractical and too risky to throw out the whole thing and start from scratch in the world we live in. Gradual incremental change through amendments when needed makes more sense.

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Posted: 17 December 2012 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 107 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 16 December 2012 07:42 PM

The question of a constitutional amendment may be moot if this doesn’t stop. ...

Cap’t Jack

I appologize Cap’t, I didn’t understand what you meant by this. Were you saying that a constitutional amendment is irrelevant in such cases as these events will continue to occur regardless of a change? Or…?

McGyver,

I understand where you’re coming from and agree with it in many ways. I am coming from a perspective of what I feel is most of the opinions here who are sufficiently wise enough to recognize the truth behind the smoke and fog of rhetoric and motives of media. Even if we are in the minority, I don’t want to see a future where we are censured collectively on the assumption that everybody is as stupid as the lowest common denominator. I just think that it would be more prudent to teach people how to observe and reason intellectually and responsibly and allow the media to continue to do as they do until society becomes wiser rather than censure us and keep people dumb.

P.S. My comment on constitutional amendments was worded with lower lettered terms to indicate constitutions of a general nature. I wasn’t specifically targeting any one country’s constitution. As I’ve said earlier, I think that the American Constitution is admirable. I am certain that law school definitely has a whole study in this area due to its complex nature and its philosophical advantages and disadvantages. So I know I could be way off base and change my tune if I invested better knowledge in that area.

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Posted: 17 December 2012 08:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 108 ]
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I appologize Cap’t, I didn’t understand what you meant by this. Were you saying that a constitutional amendment is irrelevant in such cases as these events will continue to occur regardless of a change? Or…?


Precisely Scott. Amending the constitution won’t change the gun culture here. We do need to ban all military style assault weapons and limit ammunition clips (Even Sen. Manchin of Wv. a true friend of the NRA mentioned it) to less than 10 rounds but even that won’t solve the problem of people’s insatiable love of violence here in the U.S. Beefing up security in high traffic public areas such as malls, schools and even churches may help but who pays the bill? Who would vote to raise taxes to pay for tighter security and less freedom? We have cameras everywhere now but that doesn’t stop the unpredictable crazed gunman either. We could also better track potentially violent mental patients, but run into the right to privacy issue that those on the right fear the most. As to schools, metal detectors and bullet proof glass would help as would armed guards or arming a fully trained teacher or administrator but once again, who would want to send their kid to a school with an armed guard at the door? I guess I have more questions than answers and like all of us we’ll just have to see how this plays out. All I really hope for is an effective way to prevent this from happening again and again and no we don’t need more god in our schools.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 17 December 2012 08:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 109 ]
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mid atlantic - 15 December 2012 04:44 AM

Assault rifles should be banned, and the ability to buy guns at gun shows, and to buy online gun paraphernalia, virtually unchecked, should be banned.  Gun ownership itself should not be banned, IMO.  Even in this event, I will not support that.

Do you still support your assertion that most people who die from gun violence deserved to die? How do you explain that to the parents of the 20 innocent children who died in this tragedy? How can you defend your opinion when five teachers died trying to protect the children at this school? Have you studied the percentage of people who die from gun violence to determine whether they were involved in criminal activities or were innocent victims of violent people? If so, please show me the studies backing your position that most of them deserved to die.

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Posted: 17 December 2012 08:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 110 ]
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I go along with banning semi-automatic weapons and limiting them to a small number of rounds in a clip or in the gun, however, since ownership of any of the insane ones available now means the person may be an incipient murderer, discovery of such ownership should carry with it, say, a ten year prison term, and ten years additional for each additional weapon owned. 

The question of the huge cost of additional security is valid, so a simple solution is that, since such security would only apply to those with firearms, a tax of, say $1,000 per year for each one owned.

We might also pay $1,000 for each one turned in on the gun buy-back programs.

Finally, use of a firearm in any robbery, burglary or other crime should make it a capital offense.

Occam

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Posted: 17 December 2012 08:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 111 ]
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Why not ban all guns, Occam?

If I went crazy one day, I wouldn’t know where to get a gun. Any gun. And it calms me to know that the vast majority of Canadians would have the same difficulty obtaining a gun. I just don’t get why the Americans don’t want to understand this.

[ Edited: 17 December 2012 09:02 PM by George ]
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Posted: 18 December 2012 03:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 112 ]
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George - 17 December 2012 08:57 PM

Why not ban all guns, Occam?

If I went crazy one day, I wouldn’t know where to get a gun. Any gun. And it calms me to know that the vast majority of Canadians would have the same difficulty obtaining a gun.

Fully ack.

George - 17 December 2012 08:57 PM

I just don’t get why the Americans don’t want to understand this.

It is in their genes… No, sorry, silly joke.

Serious: I think the psychology of being able to have a gun is the illusion of control. If you own a gun, you are able to defend yourself against others who own a gun, or are just stronger than you and are threatening you. It is simply true that who really wants to have a gun, can somehow get it in the criminal circuit (Europe is no exception). The idea that you as a normal civilian cannot defend your self against armed criminals is not pleasant.

However, freely available guns do not really help:
- an armed criminal standing against a civilian with a gun might shoot faster. When the criminal knows the civilian does not own a gun, he is less inclined to shoot
- just the risk that every civilian might own a gun makes the decision to shoot anyway easier
- also small criminals can easily obtain a gun
- when civilians can easily obtain arms, then the crazy and dangerous ones can also, as remarked by George
- and then there is the risk of ‘improper use’: the domestic violence mentioned by Darron

All together, all these firearms make the USA to a more dangerous place than any other: the statistics of homicide show this clearly. After a amok shooting in Australia arms laws became much more restrictive. Result: amok shootings and other killings decreased drastically.

It is a shame to see people arguing here for having the right to own a gun for everybody.

[ Edited: 18 December 2012 03:04 AM by GdB ]
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Posted: 18 December 2012 04:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 113 ]
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DarronS - 17 December 2012 08:12 PM

Do you still support your assertion that most people who die from gun violence deserved to die? How do you explain that to the parents of the 20 innocent children who died in this tragedy? How can you defend your opinion when five teachers died trying to protect the children at this school?

I shouldn’t have used the terminology deserved to die because it’s too loaded with quasi mystical implications - even for many non-theists.  I’ll rephrase that a lot people who are victims of gun violence could have avoided it by not engaging in negligent, stupid behavior.  Generally, I feel no sympathy for these people.

This includes -

Gang violence
Handling guns under the influence
Imitating violent movies,t.v. shows,etc.
Unnecessarily engaging in other peoples problems, that have nothing to do with you
Being in avoidable intimate relationships with violent individuals
Vigilantism

(I acknowledge that some gang members join gangs as a result of social alienation; also I acknowledge that domestic violence victims are often trapped in those relationships.) 

Regarding the school shooting, those kids were unlucky as hell.

That’s all there is to it. Seriously.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 04:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 114 ]
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GdB - 18 December 2012 03:01 AM

It is in their genes… No, sorry, silly joke.

This is actually true.

Americans are more violent, wild, impulsive, and crazy then Western Europeans.

I know it’s over - generalizing, but you could make accurate predictions of behavior with it.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 05:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 115 ]
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GdB - 18 December 2012 03:01 AM

It is a shame to see people arguing here for having the right to own a gun for everybody.

Say what???

No member of this discussion has argued for everyone to own guns - I sure as f*** don’t agree with that.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 05:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 116 ]
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GdB - 18 December 2012 03:01 AM

Serious: I think the psychology of being able to have a gun is the illusion of control. If you own a gun, you are able to defend yourself against others who own a gun, or are just stronger than you and are threatening you. It is simply true that who really wants to have a gun, can somehow get it in the criminal circuit (Europe is no exception). The idea that you as a normal civilian cannot defend your self against armed criminals is not pleasant.

However, freely available guns do not really help:
- an armed criminal standing against a civilian with a gun might shoot faster. When the criminal knows the civilian does not own a gun, he is less inclined to shoot
- just the risk that every civilian might own a gun makes the decision to shoot anyway easier
- also small criminals can easily obtain a gun
- when civilians can easily obtain arms, then the crazy and dangerous ones can also, as remarked by George
- and then there is the risk of ‘improper use’: the domestic violence mentioned by Darron

 

Exactly right.  Control is essentially what it’s about.

It’s kind of a version of the old saying - “Speak softly and carry a big stick”.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 05:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 117 ]
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mid atlantic - 18 December 2012 05:00 AM
GdB - 18 December 2012 03:01 AM

It is a shame to see people arguing here for having the right to own a gun for everybody.

Say what???

No member of this discussion has argued for everyone to own guns - I sure as f*** don’t agree with that.

The problem here is that Adam Lanza didn’t own a gun. Even if he didn’t have an access to his mother’s guns, he could have easily walked into a store and buy one.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 06:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 118 ]
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mid atlantic - 18 December 2012 04:48 AM
DarronS - 17 December 2012 08:12 PM

Do you still support your assertion that most people who die from gun violence deserved to die? How do you explain that to the parents of the 20 innocent children who died in this tragedy? How can you defend your opinion when five teachers died trying to protect the children at this school?

I shouldn’t have used the terminology deserved to die because it’s too loaded with quasi mystical implications - even for many non-theists.  I’ll rephrase that a lot people who are victims of gun violence could have avoided it by not engaging in negligent, stupid behavior.  Generally, I feel no sympathy for these people.

This includes -

Gang violence
Handling guns under the influence
Imitating violent movies,t.v. shows,etc.
Unnecessarily engaging in other peoples problems, that have nothing to do with you
Being in avoidable intimate relationships with violent individuals
Vigilantism

(I acknowledge that some gang members join gangs as a result of social alienation; also I acknowledge that domestic violence victims are often trapped in those relationships.) 

Regarding the school shooting, those kids were unlucky as hell.

That’s all there is to it. Seriously.

That I can agree with. I wish you had stated your views that way originally.

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Posted: 18 December 2012 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 119 ]
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Does any one of you here, who lives in the U.S., like to see all guns being banned?

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Posted: 18 December 2012 07:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 120 ]
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What scares me the most are the white supremacists who demand guns in fear of the American government. 

When I became aware of this right wing supremacists growing in my own family, I was so distressed that I left home.  The source of this new thinking came from the John Birch Society.  This influence from the Birchers fell into my very obsessed Mormon family.  My loving grand father had died and his children became owners of many killer guns.  Many came home with his sons from WW2.  They also came home as drug users washed down with heavy booze.  They were all filled with Jesus Christ and their every action was done in the name of God.

If I had just started thinking as an Atheist, this family attitude pushed me into a total non-believer.  To confirm my new attitude, I found Darwin’s book in my school library.  The Book of Mormon became science fiction. 

Looking at the Conservatives who took over the GOP with their madness made me question the core of the Constitution and how it could be interpreted by a group of crazy people in search of a white America loaded with assault weapons. 

For years, assault weapons were banned and I will never understand why this was allowed to lapse. 

Many political discussion forums are so divided that a decent discussion on New Town is nearly impossible.  It is in the hands of the heads of households to lead our families through this.  CFI is needed and could expand across the ‘net.  I learned on Morning Joe this morning that gun sales have increased in great numbers since Friday.  Is this good or bad news?

Friday’s slaughter did not change my mind about guns.  My eyesight is weak and if somebody broke in here, it would take me 20 minutes to find my damn glasses so I would probably put on the coffee and ignore the intruder.

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