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Posted: 14 June 2013 11:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Scott Mayers - 14 June 2013 11:28 PM
TimB - 14 June 2013 09:42 PM

It is true that income inequality is associated with more violence as well as a host of other health and social problems.  It is also true that higher per capita gun ownership is associated with higher rates of homicide.  If we were able to effectively address one and only one of these two problems, I would suggest that the clear choice would be to address income inequality.

BTW, countries with left-leaning legislatures tend to have less economic inequality.

It is not accurate to presume Canada is sufficiently ‘left’-leaning as you may think. First of all, for the last decade, we’ve had a conservative government (called, the “Conservatives”) who is as right-winged and protestant as George Bush. The only big difference that distinguishes us (not considering the ‘formal’ name of our type of democracy = Constitutional Monarchy) is the fact that we have instituted assured medical care for most significant needs. But this also varies within provinces because health care is actually handled on the Provincial level. Just a a note: we spend less per capita on our health care than the U.S. which I was at first surprised at. (But let’s just leave that for a different topic)

Equity differences certainly do have an impact on some suicide and homicide rates but Canadians have the same relative imbalances that the Americans do. Both of us also have means of helping out those on the very bottom—just in slightly different ways. Whether you only had an exclusive option to place your concern for inequality or gun violence should not affect your decision whether to pay attention to it or not because that is not the actual case and so is irrelevant.

[Edit = bolded my point]

What I’m saying is that inequality explains the majority of a developed country’s violence, not just “some” of it. Secondly, it’s my understanding that Canada’s lean to the right has been much more gradual than the US.

[ Edited: 14 June 2013 11:44 PM by Cloak ]
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Posted: 15 June 2013 12:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Cloak - 14 June 2013 11:42 PM

What I’m saying is that inequality explains the majority of a developed country’s violence, not just “some” of it.

That’s an acceptable likelihood. But does it imply that given two identical economic conditions of inequality, would the difference of personal gun possession affect in one to the other causing differences in statistical death rates?

Cloak - 14 June 2013 11:42 PM

Secondly, it’s my understanding that Canada’s lean to the right has been much more gradual than the US.

Whether this is true or not, it is irrelevant to the issue. Are you presuming that given the above ideal comparison (One U.S.A. with the present gun laws VS another identical U.S.A. with a prohibition of personal ownership) , there would certainly be no differences in death rates?

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Posted: 15 June 2013 12:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Scott Mayers - 15 June 2013 12:06 AM
Cloak - 14 June 2013 11:42 PM

What I’m saying is that inequality explains the majority of a developed country’s violence, not just “some” of it.

That’s an acceptable likelihood. But does it imply that given two identical economic conditions of inequality, would the difference of personal gun possession affect in one to the other causing differences in statistical death rates?

Cloak - 14 June 2013 11:42 PM

Secondly, it’s my understanding that Canada’s lean to the right has been much more gradual than the US.

Whether this is true or not, it is irrelevant to the issue. Are you presuming that given the above ideal comparison (One U.S.A. with the present gun laws VS another identical U.S.A. with a prohibition of personal ownership) , there would certainly be no differences in death rates?

I think you’re missing my point. I’m not just talking about gun related deaths. I’m talking about violence in general. I’m trying to zoom this discussion out a bit to see what may or may not be the overarching issues here.

And is inequality in the USA and Canada the same? I was under the impression that it was not. My readings have led me to believe that inequality was much higher here in the States than in Canada. I do realize that the inequality gap between Canada and the USA is slowly closing, but does that mean that both of our economic conditions are now “identical”?

I’m not arguing with you. I’m just trying to get some clarification here.

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Posted: 15 June 2013 01:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Cloak - 15 June 2013 12:19 AM

I think you’re missing my point. I’m not just talking about gun related deaths. I’m talking about violence in general. I’m trying to zoom this discussion out a bit to see what may or may not be the overarching issues here.

And is inequality in the USA and Canada the same? I was under the impression that it was not. My readings have led me to believe that inequality was much higher here in the States than in Canada. I do realize that the inequality gap between Canada and the USA is slowly closing, but does that mean that both of our economic conditions are now “identical”?

I’m not arguing with you. I’m just trying to get some clarification here.

It’s okay to ‘argue’ here (argue => discuss or debate an issue with rational or logical reasons). For the most part, I think people’s emotional nature here is understood only as heightened interest or passion to communicate. I don’t take offense from anything you’ve said or could say in the least. Outside of forums is another matter…(some people confuse debating with aggressive confrontation.)

Economic differences has always been understood to be the major issue and cause for most problems. Solving economic differences is burdened with way more complexity than dealing with some of the more specific expedient issues, like gun control. Also, although economic differences is a big causation, even if this could somehow be solved, gun use for violence would not necessarily be solved because we still have other environmental and genetic differences that would just replace itself as major causes. That is, people within the same comfort of wealth still have other major imbalanced differences to be conflicted towards one another with. For example, the major police issues that supersede all others are the domestic related ones. If everyone had the same infinite wealth, we’d only be left with more time to concentrate on our other differences more.

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Posted: 15 June 2013 03:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Lois - 14 June 2013 07:34 PM
mid atlantic - 14 June 2013 06:46 AM
Lois - 14 June 2013 12:01 AM

So that’s a reason to keep them available to anyone who wants them?

At least automobiles are not made with no other use in mind but to kill.  A good percentage of those suicides could have been avoided if a gun were not handy and lethal. 

 

The amount of suicides with guns doesn’t really pertain to the gun issue. If a person wants to commit suicide they can, what they use to accomplish it is not important - unless it harms others, of course.

It is impolite to the first responders, however.


According to the citation I provided, the number of guns available does affect overall suicide rates.  Where guns are not available, the number of suicides by any means go down, not just gun suicides.

The citations you provided are dead links, so we can’t see what your talking about.

Talking of suicides is a derailment of the original topic of this thread, but…...how are suicides comparable to people killed by gun violence? I mean, suicidal people want to die, but not every one killed in a gun induced massacre wants to die.

Why are the two even comparable?

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Posted: 15 June 2013 06:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Scott Mayers - 14 June 2013 11:28 PM
TimB - 14 June 2013 09:42 PM

It is true that income inequality is associated with more violence as well as a host of other health and social problems.  It is also true that higher per capita gun ownership is associated with higher rates of homicide.  If we were able to effectively address one and only one of these two problems, I would suggest that the clear choice would be to address income inequality.

BTW, countries with left-leaning legislatures tend to have less economic inequality.

It is not accurate to presume Canada is sufficiently ‘left’-leaning as you may think. First of all, for the last decade, we’ve had a conservative government (called, the “Conservatives”) who is as right-winged and protestant as George Bush. The only big difference that distinguishes us (not considering the ‘formal’ name of our type of democracy = Constitutional Monarchy) is the fact that we have instituted assured medical care for most significant needs. But this also varies within provinces because health care is actually handled on the Provincial level. Just a a note: we spend less per capita on our health care than the U.S. which I was at first surprised at. (But let’s just leave that for a different topic)

Equity differences certainly do have an impact on some suicide and homicide rates but Canadians have the same relative imbalances that the Americans do. Both of us also have means of helping out those on the very bottom—just in slightly different ways. Whether you only had an exclusive option to place your concern for inequality or gun violence should not affect your decision whether to pay attention to it or not because that is not the actual case and so is irrelevant.


The relevance is in the numbers of gun deaths.  Whether the country is conservative or liberal makes no difference and whether similar imbalances are present is of no consequence. Canada passed the right laws in this case and the statistics prove they were right. The statistics tell the story. There is nothing else.

[Edit = bolded my point]

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Posted: 15 June 2013 06:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Cloak - 14 June 2013 11:42 PM
Scott Mayers - 14 June 2013 11:28 PM
TimB - 14 June 2013 09:42 PM

It is true that income inequality is associated with more violence as well as a host of other health and social problems.  It is also true that higher per capita gun ownership is associated with higher rates of homicide.  If we were able to effectively address one and only one of these two problems, I would suggest that the clear choice would be to address income inequality.

BTW, countries with left-leaning legislatures tend to have less economic inequality.

It is not accurate to presume Canada is sufficiently ‘left’-leaning as you may think. First of all, for the last decade, we’ve had a conservative government (called, the “Conservatives”) who is as right-winged and protestant as George Bush. The only big difference that distinguishes us (not considering the ‘formal’ name of our type of democracy = Constitutional Monarchy) is the fact that we have instituted assured medical care for most significant needs. But this also varies within provinces because health care is actually handled on the Provincial level. Just a a note: we spend less per capita on our health care than the U.S. which I was at first surprised at. (But let’s just leave that for a different topic)

Equity differences certainly do have an impact on some suicide and homicide rates but Canadians have the same relative imbalances that the Americans do. Both of us also have means of helping out those on the very bottom—just in slightly different ways. Whether you only had an exclusive option to place your concern for inequality or gun violence should not affect your decision whether to pay attention to it or not because that is not the actual case and so is irrelevant.

[Edit = bolded my point]

What I’m saying is that inequality explains the majority of a developed country’s violence, not just “some” of it. Secondly, it’s my understanding that Canada’s lean to the right has been much more gradual than the US.

But it makes no difference.  The numbers are all that counts. What difference can it possibly make what is behind it? Numbers don’t lie. Whatever Canada is doing and for whatever reason, they have better gun death ststistics than the US has and they have similar demographics.  The US has the most abysmal gun-death record of every country in the Western world. The laws or lack of laws and attitudes toward guns tell the story.

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Posted: 15 June 2013 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Lois - 15 June 2013 06:14 AM
Cloak - 14 June 2013 11:42 PM

What I’m saying is that inequality explains the majority of a developed country’s violence, not just “some” of it. Secondly, it’s my understanding that Canada’s lean to the right has been much more gradual than the US.

But it makes no difference.  The numbers are all that counts. What difference can it possibly make what is behind it? Numbers don’t lie. Whatever Canada is doing and for whatever reason, they have better gun death ststistics than the US has and they have similar demographics.  The US has the most abysmal gun-death record of every country in the Western world. The laws or lack of laws and attitudes toward guns tell the story.

Actually it makes a significant difference. The real issue here is inequality, and if Canada has enjoyed decades of less inequality than the USA (however, the gap is starting to close recently), then that explains it.

The UK has an abysmal violence record for a country with significantly less border problems and less access to firearms than the US. Yet, our inequality numbers are relatively similar. If you don’t factor this into a decision whether or not to further restrict gun laws in the US, then you could potentially be taking away one of the last things that people like me have to protect my family with, against a inevitably growing problem in both the UK and the US. The fact is, the guns are already here, and their presence is increasing. I’m still not convinced that removing them from the hands of those who use them responsibly (as if the criminal won’t be able to get one) is going to magically solve the problem.

It will become just another prohibition issue in which the very thing that you are trying to eradicate just gets pushed further underground and into the hands of the criminals.

You want to fix this issue, then fix inequality

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Posted: 15 June 2013 11:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Cloak - 14 June 2013 09:13 PM

I don’t think you’re understanding my point though. If the real issue is inequality, then just trying to remove guns doesn’t solve the issue. Violence will still increase. Has not Canada enjoyed a lot more equality than the US until recent years? If so, then those numbers still support my point: inequality makes societies more violent. All this talk about guns, in my opinion, is really beside the point.

The US is one of the most stressed and unequal countries in the developed world. Violence is going to happen. Knowing this, I’d rather have something to protect my family with.

The United States actually has one of the most equal societies on the planet. And you have to be careful how you define inequality. There is relative inequality and absolute inequality. Relative inequality is really irrelevant. In the United States, most everyone is rich by global and historical standards. That does not cause social instability. What causes social instability is when you have absolute inequality, i.e. one small group very rich while everyone else is very poor, i.e. 18th century France and Russia on the eve of its revolution.

Real economic inequality in the U.S. existed back in the 19th century, when people like Carnegie, Rockefeller, Morgan, etc…were worth the modern equivalent of hundreds of billions of dollars and controlled whole sectors of the economy. Rockefeller alone controlled about one-third of the U.S. economy at one point for example. These men lived in enormous (even by the standards of today’s rich) mansions, built to standards of craftsmanship that are actually unavailable today, had access to fine clothes, fine food and drink, etc…all the basic comforts.

How did the average person live? By modern standards, in squalid poverty. Read up on how a middle-class person in Victorian England lived. It was dystopian by modern standards, in heavily-polluted cities, poor hygiene, no running water, etc…today, a “poor” person lives a standard of living that is in many ways superior even to what the richest people in the world lived back then. Market capitalism, as it continues to commoditize goods and services that used to be luxuries, continually closes the inequality gap.

Think about what the average person one hundred years from now will have. They will live in cities less polluted than todays, as industrial pollution will have further diminished and automobiles will be far cleaner (just as today’s cities are far cleaner and less polluted than ones in the 19th century—-in the 19th century, there was extreme industrial pollution, and horses dropped thousands of pounds of feces and thousands of gallons of urine onto city streets each day). A poor person on welfare will have access to healthcare that today is only available to the rich or not even invented yet. The average person will have access to computer technology that the government today doesn’t have access to. And so forth. Amazing to think about really.

Thus economic inequality is really at the lowest level it has ever been in human history in the modern United States. There will always be relative economic inequality however (“poor,” “middle-class,” “rich”).

[ Edited: 15 June 2013 11:23 AM by LogicMan ]
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Posted: 15 June 2013 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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TimB - 14 June 2013 09:42 PM

It is true that income inequality is associated with more violence as well as a host of other health and social problems.  It is also true that higher per capita gun ownership is associated with higher rates of homicide.  If we were able to effectively address one and only one of these two problems, I would suggest that the clear choice would be to address income inequality.

BTW, countries with left-leaning legislatures tend to have less economic inequality.

There is no such thing as “income inequality.” That is just a construct created based on reading the statistics in a certain way. Income is not something that gets produced in some fixed supply that is then distributed out to society by a central authority like for example Social Security checks, and more of the income of society is going to one group and leaving less available to another. That’s not how it works. Income is what one earns in exchange for what they have to trade in the economy.

Is there an “income distribution?” Sure. There’s also a “height distribution” and a “weight distribution.” Obesity is in particular concentrated among poorer people. Doesn’t mean that the poor are being shafted and forced to carry a majority of “society’s weight” though.

What causes gun violence is the violent crime, much of it due to gang violence and drugs, and the gang violence itself due to a breakdown in the family unit, in the inner cities. This is a highly complex problem that goes back a long ways, to the days of the formations of these gangs as groups of blacks to fight off racist groups of whites, and then various government programs that inadvertently only increased poverty.

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Posted: 15 June 2013 11:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Scott Mayers - 15 June 2013 01:45 AM

Economic differences has always been understood to be the major issue and cause for most problems. Solving economic differences is burdened with way more complexity than dealing with some of the more specific expedient issues, like gun control. Also, although economic differences is a big causation, even if this could somehow be solved, gun use for violence would not necessarily be solved because we still have other environmental and genetic differences that would just replace itself as major causes. That is, people within the same comfort of wealth still have other major imbalanced differences to be conflicted towards one another with. For example, the major police issues that supersede all others are the domestic related ones. If everyone had the same infinite wealth, we’d only be left with more time to concentrate on our other differences more.

As I’ve said to Lois, taking guns away from responsible citizens in a country with a ridiculous level of inequality, border problems, and firearm access, is going to do nothing but further complicate matters for the people who have to live there. Ask Chicago.

And the real reason that seems “so complex” to deal with the inequality problem is because there are people in power who simply don’t want to solve it.

“Environmental and genetic differences would just replace itself as major causes”?

What exactly are you talking about, and why do you think it’s so constant/static?

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Posted: 15 June 2013 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Cloak - 15 June 2013 11:16 AM
Scott Mayers - 15 June 2013 01:45 AM

Economic differences has always been understood to be the major issue and cause for most problems. Solving economic differences is burdened with way more complexity than dealing with some of the more specific expedient issues, like gun control. Also, although economic differences is a big causation, even if this could somehow be solved, gun use for violence would not necessarily be solved because we still have other environmental and genetic differences that would just replace itself as major causes. That is, people within the same comfort of wealth still have other major imbalanced differences to be conflicted towards one another with. For example, the major police issues that supersede all others are the domestic related ones. If everyone had the same infinite wealth, we’d only be left with more time to concentrate on our other differences more.

As I’ve said to Lois, taking guns away from responsible citizens in a country with a ridiculous level of inequality, border problems, and firearm access, is going to do nothing but further complicate matters for the people who have to live there. Ask Chicago.

And the real reason that seems “so complex” to deal with the inequality problem is because there are people in power who simply don’t want to solve it.

“Environmental and genetic differences would just replace itself as major causes”?

What exactly are you talking about, and why do you think it’s so constant/static?

Just check out the gun deaths in countries with strict gun-control laws.  They have far fewer gun deaths than the US. Why is it that in countries with gun control and fewer gun deaths hasn’t caused “a ridiculous level of inequality and border problems”?  Are Americans just more stupid than the people in all other countries with gun control laws and fewer gun deaths?  Why would the same restrictions in the US have different results than in other countries!  Are Americans just naturally more violent?  If so, that is an additional reason to have strict gun control laws. Why arm a naturally stupid and violent populace?

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Posted: 15 June 2013 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Lois - 15 June 2013 11:24 AM

Just check out the gun deaths in countries with strict gun-control laws.  They have far fewer gun deaths than the US. Why is it that in countries with gun control and fewer gun deaths hasn’t caused “a ridiculous level of inequality and border problems”?  Are Americans just more stupid than the people in all other countries with gun control laws and fewer gun deaths?  Why would the same restrictions in the US have different results than in other countries!  Are Americans just naturally more violent?  If so, that is an additional reason to have strict gun control laws. Why arm a naturally stupid and violent populace?

Criminologists have been studying this issue for years now and have mostly concluded that there is no direct relationship between gun control laws and gun violence in a society.

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Posted: 15 June 2013 11:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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LogicMan - 15 June 2013 11:10 AM
Cloak - 14 June 2013 09:13 PM

I don’t think you’re understanding my point though. If the real issue is inequality, then just trying to remove guns doesn’t solve the issue. Violence will still increase. Has not Canada enjoyed a lot more equality than the US until recent years? If so, then those numbers still support my point: inequality makes societies more violent. All this talk about guns, in my opinion, is really beside the point.

The US is one of the most stressed and unequal countries in the developed world. Violence is going to happen. Knowing this, I’d rather have something to protect my family with.

The United States actually has one of the most equal societies on the planet. And you have to be careful how you define inequality. There is relative inequality and absolute inequality. Relative inequality is really irrelevant. In the United States, most everyone is rich by global and historical standards. That does not cause social instability. What causes social instability is when you have absolute inequality, i.e. one small group very rich while everyone else is very poor, i.e. 18th century France and Russia on the eve of its revolution.

Most everyone in the USA who is not rich is in debt, working jobs that they hate just to make it, or are unemployed. They are getting increasingly crappier insurance policies, stagnant wages, and absolutely horrible public education. And things are gradually getting worse. On top of that, nobody wants to address the growing elephant in the room that is going to become both the destroyer of jobs and the biggest argument for the increasing irrelevance of labor: the exponential rate of technological advancement. Whatever favorite word you want to use (relative vs absolute), this is the end result of such economic systems.

“Market capitalism” while it does, for a time, help to spread wealth more equitably, is ultimately a game system in which the name of the game is profit. As with any competitive game, there is always the problem that someone who knows how to play the game better and even circumvent the rules will rise above the rest and exploit the others. This is what we see happening right now, and it will continue to increase until the problem is dealt with at its core.

In a situation like this, violence will inevitably increase. The last thing I want to deal with in such a situation is someone taking my protection away.

[ Edited: 15 June 2013 11:40 AM by Cloak ]
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Posted: 15 June 2013 11:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Lois - 15 June 2013 11:24 AM

Just check out the gun deaths in countries with strict gun-control laws.  They have far fewer gun deaths than the US. Why is it that in countries with gun control and fewer gun deaths hasn’t caused “a ridiculous level of inequality and border problems”?  Are Americans just more stupid than the people in all other countries with gun control laws and fewer gun deaths?  Why would the same restrictions in the US have different results than in other countries!  Are Americans just naturally more violent?  If so, that is an additional reason to have strict gun control laws. Why arm a naturally stupid and violent populace?

I didn’t say that “gun control and fewer deaths causes a ridiculous level of inequality and border problems”. What I’m saying is that inequality is one of the chief causes of violence, thus making gun access a secondary issue. There needs to be a priority here, and I don’t see guns as the main issue. Focusing all of our energy on secondary issues can often lead to unintended consequences as I’ve already mentioned. Is this so hard to understand?

And you haven’t done anything to prove that “Americans are a naturally stupid and violent populace”. Do you have any references in genetics or neuroscience to support your claim or are you just pulling that one out of nowhere?

[ Edited: 15 June 2013 11:53 AM by Cloak ]
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