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Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:51 AM

Gun violence debate - exploring our own culture and what we can change...

The reasons for the violence are not clear-cut. The circumstances of the shooters vary but it's no wonder that we have as much violence as we do...this violence includes not only these mass shooting events but also the DAILY gun violence in cities - especially poor neighborhoods.

--We have no universal health care. And certainly no universal mental health care.

--We have a pressure cooker economy where money to live on has been siphoned out of the middle and working class.

--The housing bubble has left many home owners on the verge of foreclosure and bankruptcy.

--Young adults can't find work and are still living at home or have returned home. Their parents are economically unable to continue to support grown children and in some cases their families living at home.

--Reliable contraception is not cheaply and readily available to all men and women - especially those without health insurance. Women who have no desire to have and love kids are shamed into keeping kids that they don't want or are denied abortions. Many kids are neglected and live emotionally and physically tortured lives.

--In most families, both parents have to work to make ends meet. The tax deduction for daycare runs out at age 13. Many kids are left alone in the summer after age 13. Lots of time for video games. (many are "first person shooters" - these are especially popular among adolescent males.) Single parent families have it even worse.

--The NRA is maniacal in their support of the gun companies' right to sell arms. The NRA scorecard will make or break a campaign in the red states.

--Community centers and youth programs have been cut from budgets. (meanwhile money for prisons increases)

--We have a never ending supply of TV shows where viewers laugh at people getting hurt - many seriously hurt.

--We have a growing number of TV shows about how great guns are. (And how anyone who want's to limit access/use is evil.)

--Drug addiction is treated as a crime rather than an illness. (Unless you're Rush or the President (the last 3) or any number of wealthy and well-connected individuals - then it's ok.)

--We no longer have a department of corrections that's goal is to prepare inmates to re-enter society. Rather, it's a for-profit system where taxpayers are paying corporations to pen humans in and then release them WORSE then they were when they entered.

--Our media consists of talking heads that just let lobbyist correspondents/pundits/contributors/"reporters" just ramble on with their talking points - unchallenged by anyone who can speak to the issues objectively. They rarely bring on actual economists, inmates rights advocates, environmentalists, peace activists, to counter the oligarchs' narrative. No more lies on any news show or news networks. Mandate corrections for false reporting. (Require multiple on-air/in print corrections - not just a footnote or late night mention.) Take away license for network owners that condone lying on their network.

--We have people that think the violence in schools is because we "took god out of schools." Somehow the schools deserve what's happening. So if it's divine intervention that made the shooters kill, we have no responsibility to stop future shooters - just get the teachers to lead the kids in prayer. Yeah, that will fix it. (sarcasm of course)

--We have people that think that god is "testing" individuals and providing an "opportunity" for more people to get their hears right so that they will "survive" the end of times. (yes, someone actually told me that today.)

--Gangs provide perceived protection from other gangs. If a 17 gang member shoots a 15 year old kid on gang leader's orders he's a murderer. If a 17 year old in the us army shoots a 15 year old Iraqi on orders, we thank him for his service.

Solutions:

--Single payer health (including mental) care. For those that say that you don't want to pay for other's care. Realize that 20 kindergartners and 6 staff and their families are paying for the lack of mental health care today. More will pay for it next month. This is the new normal unless we DO something.

--Don't take away all guns. Require registration and licenses - with safety testing. The in-person safety testing gives the tester an opportunity to interact and assess the applicant. Limit the size of magazines. No auto or semi-automatic for civilians. Anyone with more than 5 guns = red flag. Requires additional monitoring. The military screens new recruits and although it's less lately, they'll turn mentally unstable recruits away. Start with the military's standards and make it even more stringent for who can have guns.

--Support the middle and working class. Support children from 0 to 18 with not only a safety net but programs that enrich their lives. Quality education for all - NOT vouchers that are designed to put money in the hands of the for-profit educators at the expense of students.

--Tax everyone. If the upper 2% takes in half of the annual wealth then they should be paying 1/2 of the annual taxes. If they take in 3/4 of the wealth then they should be paying 3/4 of the taxes. Put a tax on guns and bullets so that the money coming in pays for the system to register, license and monitor guns. Keep tax deduction for first home - not the second or the third or the ones that are part of the flipping business. Determine what we want government to do and then raise enough revenues to pay for it.

--Change back to department of corrections. Teach life skills and job skills. And NOT under some slave labor system. Treat inmates respectfully like human beings because that's how we want them to treat us.

--Legalize marijuana so that police departments can focus on violent crimes and not drug arrest quotas. AND marijuana can be used as a gateway drug OFF the harder drugs.

--Support more programs to engage the public - young and old - in getting together as a community. Support the arts in school. Not every kid is going to college for math and science.

--Separate church and state. That includes the military.

--Stop the military's support of life-like violent video games. Yes, they help develop mainstream violent video games.



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Reply Gun violence debate - exploring our own culture and what we can change... (Original post)
ReasonableToo Dec 2012 OP
pipoman Dec 2012 #1
ReasonableToo Dec 2012 #12
pipoman Dec 2012 #15
ReasonableToo Dec 2012 #16
pipoman Dec 2012 #18
love_katz Dec 2012 #2
moondust Dec 2012 #3
2naSalit Dec 2012 #4
ananda Dec 2012 #5
ReasonableToo Dec 2012 #10
ohheckyeah Dec 2012 #6
Justin_Beach Dec 2012 #7
ReasonableToo Dec 2012 #9
Justin_Beach Dec 2012 #11
ReasonableToo Dec 2012 #17
Justin_Beach Dec 2012 #19
ThoughtCriminal Dec 2012 #8
Kablooie Dec 2012 #13
ReasonableToo Dec 2012 #14

Response to ReasonableToo (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:15 AM

1. I agree with much of this...

gun control is a constitutional issue which can never be simple any more than tests for voters, or poll taxing.

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Response to pipoman (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:33 AM

12. It's tricky. I hate the idea of limiting freedoms and rights

But we have to figure out something that makes sense.

Now that there are drones all over the country, do private citizens need surface to air missles to protect themselves from a rogue police force?

These assault rifles are just crazy killing machines!

It's funny that when we want Iraqi's to give up their guns, we tell them that civilized societies don't need guns.

I'd like some honesty and consistency in our policies.

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Response to ReasonableToo (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:46 AM

15. There are literally

millions of 'assault weapons' (which differ from "assault rifles" by definition) which is I believe what you mean...they are overwhelmingly used for completely lawful purposes. They are 19th century technology in a 21st century package. They are no more dangerous than any other gun, in fact most are less powerful than a typical deer rifle. Rifles of all variety account for less death annually than hands and feet according to the CDC. The 1990's assault weapons ban had statistically no impact or effect on violent crime or murders.

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Response to pipoman (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:51 AM

16. I don't know all the exact terminology.

The rapid fire weapons/cartridges are what I take issue with. They were banned until right before the Giffords shooting in AZ.

Concealed handguns without a reason (law enforcement, bodyguard, restraining order filer) are a bad idea too.

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Response to ReasonableToo (Reply #16)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:00 AM

18. They were never banned..

but the assault weapons ban expired in 2004 Giffords was shot in 2011, by a pistol not an assault weapon. Concealed carry is in 49 states and there have been few if any problems with it.

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Response to ReasonableToo (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:17 AM

2. Yes.

After the theater shootings in Aurora, CO, a DUer suggested that people read the following book: Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion - From Reagon's Workplaces to Clinton's Columbine and Beyond. Written by Mark Ames.

Mr. Ames makes similar points.

You made some great suggestions.

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Response to ReasonableToo (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:41 AM

3. K/R

Some good points.

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Response to ReasonableToo (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:44 AM

4. ...

Someone asked, on another thread earlier today...

What good is all our Homeland Security when we allow things like this to happen

We claim to be a Judeo-Christian nation. Why don't we have a culture that values patience and forgiveness?

Guns would not be an issue if we simply valued patience, developed it in ourselves and forgave ourselves and others more readily.

The anger that pervades our society is the result of impatience, meanness and the unwillingness to forgive. What is the solution for that? Certainly not more vindictive religious rhetoric. And increased law enforcement won't do it either. Overly dramatic TV shows make it worse. Any ideas, DUers?




And my response was:


When violence comes to a peak like this, all too frequently these days, we as a people and as individuals need to work with those around us to seek more peaceful endeavors. Convince each other that there is more to life than the latest violent game, TeeVee show, popular music, movie and try to wean each other off the blood-lust and adrenaline rush of anger and resulting angry reactions. Stop buying the products that promote this.

Adrenaline appears to be the drug of choice these days, a drug that desensitizes most and allows for a skewed rationale that finds acceptance for bringing harm to others, regardless of the species. But since we are dealing, today, with the ruthless death of so many children, we need to focus on how we can start acting like our lives and those of others have meaning for ourselves and those we claim to care about and showing it to each other through our words and actions.

That's what comes to mind in my world at the moment with regard to your question.

NRA = No Reasoning Allowed.

A very sad day indeed.

There are several Ravens loudly jumping around on my roof as I write this, in my culture they are messengers of the spirit world... I hope that these words are considered and acted upon by those who have been at a loss about how to bring about the changes we need in our society.

I hope that these ideas can take hold in our society and be utilized in a good way to heal us from this disease and to help heal those who have been terribly wounded by it.

Fear is the opposite of Love...

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Response to ReasonableToo (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:44 AM

5. My answer to any poll on guns.

Outlaw, completely ban, all ownership of automatic, semi-automatic weapons and ammo.

Make all other gun ownership restrictive and dependent on: expensive and extensive licensing, training, and background checks.

Outlaw concealed carry everywhere.

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Response to ananda (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:26 AM

10. Yes, there's a graphic

In another thread that basically says if you want guns then join military/guard.

I don't want to take away hunting guns but we've GOT to find a middle ground between all and none.

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Response to ReasonableToo (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:45 AM

6. Thank you for the thoughtful post.

The problem is not simple and the answer isn't either. You make many important and good points.

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Response to ReasonableToo (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:53 AM

7. I think, to an extent, it goes deeper ...

What I said here:
First there is the love of firearms, it is a huge problem and yes it makes killing easier. But the second amendment is only part of the problem. Violence is pervasive in American culture both as a way to solve problems and as a form of entertainment. The American love affair with violence dates back to the beginning of the country - the US won its independence through violence, preserved the union (civil war) through violence and accumulated real estate through violence. I would even argue that the US is the most war like nation since, at least, Rome. A look at the timeline of US military history shows few breaks in violence and those only for a year or two.

American folk heroes were not only violent but frequently criminals - Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger etc., and American entertainment is rife with violence (at least the profitable forms of entertainment) - Football, boxing, the WWF, UFC, etc., - the highest grossing films tend to be violent and the protagonist's are frequently criminals or 'cops who don't play by the rules'.

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Response to Justin_Beach (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:22 AM

9. Yes, sadly, violence permeates our culture.

Many examples.

Maryland now has the war of 1812 on their license plate.

I remember rocking a newborn in the middle of the night thinking about the mothers in Iraq who huddle their children together as the US dropped bombs on their towns. Imagine the pain of the Connecticut community - but inflicted in the name of "shock and awe".

The "greatest country in the world" label has not fit for quite some time. Do we want to earn the title again or just claim it.

We need to push our leaders to be good citizens of the world and not just good stewards of multi-national corporations.

I'd like to take back the Dem party. It's platform should be closer to the green parry's and stop being Repub-lite


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Response to ReasonableToo (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:28 AM

11. I haven't been there but

from what I understand, Ireland - despite it's bloody history, has very few monuments to soldiers - the public statues are of artists, poets, authors, musicians (and the public buildings are named after artists and politicians). There are memorials to the fallen, but no monuments to killing or combat.

I also think, or hope anyway, that as the GOP continues to fall apart that the Dems will drift back to the left. The new generation, under 30, are voting in larger numbers and they believe in peace, the environment, equal rights and social justice.

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Response to Justin_Beach (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:58 AM

17. I think the current green party platform is closer to ...

...the dems of old.

Yes, R obstruction blocked lots of good intentions but dems have been starting in the center and working their way right.

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Response to ReasonableToo (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:01 AM

19. I felt the same way about Clinton

When he was first elected he had a Dem House and Senate and was, I felt, timid and too easily intimidated by the Republicans. Then, after he lost congress it was like he decided to become a moderate Republican.

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Response to ReasonableToo (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:01 AM

8. Stop glorifying "Revenge Culture"

We love "Just Revenge" and make heroes of both real and fictional vigilantes. I'm pretty sure most of these mass killers see themselves as heroic, even when killing children.

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Response to ReasonableToo (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:36 AM

13. One more option ...

Complain for a few days and then everything continues exactly like it did before with no changes.

This is by far the most popular option in America.
It's the one thing we do really well and very consistently.
I see no reason why this incident would any different.
People say this is the last straw every time.
It's never the last straw.
It's just one more in an infinite line of tragic and horrifying straws, never the last.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:45 AM

14. Unfortunately, this may be the new normal

Unless we can get our reps to do something.

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