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Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:57 PM

Scientists baffled by Canadians' ability to watch movies, play video games and not shoot each other



Maybe the problem is neither of those two things.

Hm?

73 replies, 7310 views

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Reply Scientists baffled by Canadians' ability to watch movies, play video games and not shoot each other (Original post)
WilliamPitt Dec 2012 OP
Chorophyll Dec 2012 #1
Eric the Reddish Dec 2012 #37
Chorophyll Dec 2012 #38
Eric the Reddish Dec 2012 #40
Chorophyll Dec 2012 #50
Eric the Reddish Dec 2012 #72
Brickbat Dec 2012 #2
Barack_America Dec 2012 #11
laundry_queen Dec 2012 #45
RobinA Dec 2012 #60
RegieRocker Dec 2012 #3
laundry_queen Dec 2012 #46
RegieRocker Dec 2012 #70
Jefferson23 Dec 2012 #4
jberryhill Dec 2012 #5
smackd Dec 2012 #6
Skip Intro Dec 2012 #7
WilliamPitt Dec 2012 #8
Skip Intro Dec 2012 #10
Spider Jerusalem Dec 2012 #30
uppityperson Dec 2012 #12
Barack_America Dec 2012 #13
uppityperson Dec 2012 #9
u4ic Dec 2012 #20
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Dec 2012 #55
KittyWampus Dec 2012 #14
fujiyama Dec 2012 #16
JackRiddler Dec 2012 #21
laundry_queen Dec 2012 #47
Iggy Dec 2012 #33
KittyWampus Dec 2012 #62
Iggy Dec 2012 #73
HappyMe Dec 2012 #35
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2012 #41
KT2000 Dec 2012 #15
malthaussen Dec 2012 #17
KT2000 Dec 2012 #22
Zorra Dec 2012 #18
white_wolf Dec 2012 #24
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #27
white_wolf Dec 2012 #28
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #31
Zorra Dec 2012 #63
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #65
Zorra Dec 2012 #66
nadinbrzezinski Dec 2012 #67
white_wolf Dec 2012 #68
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Dec 2012 #39
Zorra Dec 2012 #64
OldEurope Dec 2012 #19
CanSocDem Dec 2012 #42
laundry_queen Dec 2012 #48
KittyWampus Dec 2012 #61
Fearless Dec 2012 #23
Mel Content Dec 2012 #25
exboyfil Dec 2012 #34
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #26
whistler162 Dec 2012 #29
Dont_Bogart_the_Pretzel Dec 2012 #32
laundry_queen Dec 2012 #49
HereSince1628 Dec 2012 #36
BootinUp Dec 2012 #43
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #44
laundry_queen Dec 2012 #51
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Dec 2012 #56
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #57
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Dec 2012 #58
whatchamacallit Dec 2012 #52
yellowcanine Dec 2012 #53
rbixby Dec 2012 #54
randome Dec 2012 #59
white_wolf Dec 2012 #71
Jamastiene Dec 2012 #69

Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:59 PM

1. Is it because they have... round bacon?

Better access to maple syrup? Hm...

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Response to Chorophyll (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:35 AM

37. It's not becon, it's ham!

 

How can we trust a country that cuts ham into circles and calls it bacon?















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Response to Eric the Reddish (Reply #37)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:37 AM

38. Also, they call Kraft Macaroni and Cheese "Kraft Dinner."

Also, they have gun control! They are truly terrifying. Scary people.

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Response to Chorophyll (Reply #38)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:41 AM

40. Don't forget their Evil Free Health Care!

 

SOCIALISTS!

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Response to Eric the Reddish (Reply #40)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:01 AM

50. Terrifying socialists!

Named Alanis!

Hey, thanks for being silly with me today. Welcome to DU!

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Response to Chorophyll (Reply #50)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:03 PM

72. Thanks!

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:59 PM

2. They play hockey.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:28 PM

11. Mmm hmm. So it's not like they're unaware of violence.

But seriously, the lack of gun violence in Canada is even more puzzling when you think of how close most Canadians live to the American border, able to pick up American television in many instances.

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Response to Barack_America (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:25 AM

45. Pretty much all Canadians get American television

because most, even far up north, have cable or satellite that has pretty much all the American channels you get. And even our Canadian channels play mostly American programming (except for CBC).

If we want to get into a big culture analysis, I still think it has a lot to do with how our countries were founded. Yours was founded on war and revolution, ours on negotiation and compromise. Also, our constitution is more about the collective good of the country than yours, which is more individualistic. I think a lot about American culture is geared towards everyone for themselves. As another Canadian poster here on DU remarked, it's hard to be individualistic when your car breaks down in -40 weather. People help you out, because they know they could be next. And when it is them, you DO help them out.

And as mentioned, perhaps we burn off all our steam with hockey. I dunno. There are so many compare & contrast statements I could make.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #45)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:35 PM

60. Now There's a Key Difference

Americans NEVER think they could be next. When an Amercan sees a guy with a broken down car they immediately start to count the reasons that would never happen to them.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:59 PM

3. Medical system.

 

Could it be better at mental health?

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:36 AM

46. Not really...

...you still can't commit an adult child. My friend's son was severely schizophrenic and was going through multiple psychotic breaks and it took him stabbing himself to get him committed. And he was out in a week. He's been in and out since, as medication doesn't work for him. My friend said he's a complete shell of the person he used to be. There's not much she can do.

My dad's co-worker also has a schizophrenic son that stabbed himself, and was out in 2 days. He had many run ins with the law (including assaulting my SIL who was an on-duty cop at the time). His parents found it very difficult to get after-care after he was discharged. He's doing okay now because he's on his meds, but it will probably repeat should he go off them.

My best friend's brother has, what we think, is schizophrenia. He refuses to get help. He was on street drugs for awhile, then went completely off the walls. His parents, unable to commit him, and unable to live with him, bought him a small house. He promptly destroyed it by ripping out all the new hardwood, as he imagined there were demons in the floor. He eventually got so out of control that police were called at least once and he holed himself up in his house, threatening to kill people. It was on TV. He still wasn't committed after that. His parents live in fear. My bf moved far away. Her sister lives near me and refuses to be around her brother. He still refuses to try to get help. There's nothing anyone can do.

Note that none of these men had access to guns. THAT is the difference.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #46)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:38 PM

70. My sister

 

has tried to commit my nephew for 20 yrs now to no avail. He is also schizophrenic. Been in jail more times that I can count. They keep releasing him and won't admit him to any institution.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:00 PM

4. Ha ha! well done. n/t

K&R

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:09 PM

5. It's too cold to go outside

Don't most Canadians live in sealed tunnel complexes or something?

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:17 PM

6. america's violence fetish

thats one of the differences

we're ingrained from birth

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:20 PM

7. Violence is glorified in our (US) society. Do you disagree? nt

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Response to Skip Intro (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:22 PM

8. I do not.

But they play the same video games and watch the same movies north of the border. Mayhap something else is going on around here.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:27 PM

10. Therefore, a sincere effort to find causes for gun homocide must include

our society's glorification of violence. Do you disagree?

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Response to Skip Intro (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:39 AM

30. Because violent action films and violent video games are NOT hugely popular in other countries?

"Call of Duty: Black Ops" is the best-selling videogame in the UK, ever. Worldwide sales are in the billions of dollars and tens of millions of copies. In no developed country save the US is there a similar problem with recurrent mass shootings and general gun violence. Correlation is not causation; saying "well it's our society's glorification of violence" is bullshit when every other Western, English-speaking country has similar profiles of consumption of "violent" entertainment yet only the USA has the gun problem. It really is that simple.

ON EDIT: And frankly, there is nothing at all sincere about "trying to find causes of gun violence" while discounting the possibility that hey, maybe it's the guns!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:28 PM

12. Extreme bipolarizations throughout our society? Us vs Them? Feeling you don't belong? Hm

They watch the same stuff, play the same stuff, have political and economic divisions but are those as extreme as we have? Do they have hate radio making them all so fearful? I am just musing here.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:30 PM

13. Frequently the same television too.

Most Canadians live fairly close to the American border. My husband grew up on American television.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:26 PM

9. As I am curious, I googled Canadian mass shootings and found only 1.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Guns+notorious+Canadian+mass+shootings+still+prohibited/7717118/story.html
Guns notorious for use in Canadian mass shootings still not prohibited


BY JENNIFER DITCHBURN, THE CANADIAN PRESS DECEMBER 18, 2012 10:40 PM



OTTAWA - Just as the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle has become a grim household name in the U.S. after the Sandy Hook massacre, a pair of semi-automatic firearms evoke similar memories — and debate — in Canada.

In the 1989 massacre of 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal, Marc Lepine used a Ruger Mini-14 rifle, at the time equipped with a substantial magazine.

And in 2006, Kimveer Gill used a Beretta Cx4 Storm to shoot 72 rounds at Montreal's Dawson College, injuring 16 and killing student Anastasia DeSousa.

Neither the Ruger Mini-14 nor the Beretta Cx4 Storm are prohibited in Canada, despite the outcry from victims and their families, the occasional political grumble, and a pointed coroner's report in Montreal....(more)



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rampage_killers#Americas

School shootings
Lépine, Marc, 25 Dec. 6 1989 Montreal, Canada, Killed 14, Injured 14, committed suicide

The only other 2 that showed up were an arson that killed 40 and someone bombed a passenger plane

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:14 AM

20. Another one

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayerthorpe_tragedy

He was a notorious cop hater.

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Response to uppityperson (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:51 AM

55. There was a shooting at a mall in Toronto six months ago

Strangely enough, one of the Aurora victims was there that day.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:38 PM

14. Canada is ranked 13th in gun ownership but are 56th in homicides via guns.

Switzerland has the third highest rate of gun ownership in the world, but is 45th in the world for homicide with a firearm.

How is it other countries can have considerably high rates of gun ownership and yet not have as many gun related homicides?

Could there be something different in their cultures?

Something to do with violence? Social injustice/poverty which is itself a form of institutionalized violence?

Many DU'ers desperately want to keep the conversation solely focused on gun control when the problem here in America goes much, much deeper.

And banning automatic weapons wouldn't/won't make a dent for quite a while.

What is required is a cultural shift in our mindset. How we think about violence and how we accept it in our lives.

And what is really strange is it's always "play video games" as if there is no difference between marble poppers like Sparkle and Grand Theft Auto.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:31 AM

16. I agree it goes beyond guns

but even when it comes to culture, all these other countries love American popular culture.

I assure you Canadians watch violent popular American shows like Dexter, Homeland, the Sopranos, The Wire, and whatnot. And I'll also guarantee the Swiss like playing Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty.

So what's the issue? Well, yes we have incredibly lax laws regarding who can buy weapons, especially weapons designed for warfare. We also have no real regulations regarding how people store their guns.

But beyond that? I'm going to take some wild guesses for why our country is so violent - I might guess broken homes (lack of an influence of two parents) may be a cause of violence. It helps to have two caretakers (whether it's a mom and a dad or two moms/two dads). I think families are probably more distant in this country than many others, even other individualistic countries in Europe, and Australia. We're more fragmented from each other and it's easier to get isolated as well, partly due to the geography and our lower population density. It forces people to bond less (even in basic situations like dealing with a milk man or mail man), possibly making people less empathetic to others. Our culture does popularize violence from a young age. We grow up watching cartoons with guns. I grew up on GI Joe. I absolutely loved it...and I'll guarantee most other males did too. Our social safety net is also weaker. Group all the above, a tough economy, easy access to very powerful firearms, and frustration brews. People take it out on others, and if a distant and seemingly uncaring family is out of reach, well other random and innocent people are.

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:23 AM

21. Plenty of killers come from two-parent households.

Scandinavian and northern European countries have a very high proportion of single parents without the stigma that you are so obviously attaching here, and a lot less violence to deal with. Of course, they don't have a culture that glorifies macho violence as the solution to everything -- althouth they also love to watch the same violent entertainments, play the same video games, etc.

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:44 AM

47. Sorry, but that's all poopy

Canada has a divorce rate that is similar to the US. Our social safety net may marginally stronger, but not excessively so. We have poor people and hunger in our inner cities too. We grew up watching GI Joe (well, my brother did, I watched the Smurfs), Hercules, Bugs Bunny, Transformers....We have a very low population density compared with the US and our family is spread out from coast to coast, as are many others.

I still say it's the guns. Guns just aren't as readily available here. You need a license to be able to buy them, and then you must register every single gun you own. You are limited to 5 or 10 capacity magazines (depending on the gun). And you must renew your license every so often (which always includes more background checks). The big difference is the gun laws here. The culture here isn't THAT different. Really.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:31 AM

33. Back to the Mental Health Issue

 

I'm guessing, but assume nations like Switzerland and Canada have a MUCH better mental health care system than we do-- which isn't hard to do since our system sucks, is barely funded-- particularly now that we are in "austerity" mode.

Is there a social worker or psychiatrist on staff at the high school Mr. Lanza attended? I doubt it.

FAIL.

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Response to Iggy (Reply #33)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:40 PM

62. It's been proposed that mass shooters are essentially suicidal and similar to suicide bombers.

So in the case of mass shooters, mental aberration is a valid topic.

As for unnecessary violence, it's ubiquity in our lives points to a mindset in need of evolution.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #62)

Thu Dec 20, 2012, 07:41 PM

73. Right.. I get WHY Some People Want to Committ Suicide

 

the problem is they decide to go on a rampage and take 20-30-40 innocent people WITH them (as a final F*** You to us all) -- and this pathetic bullcrap is made easy by ready access in our nation to multiple weapons, hundreds of rounds of ammo, and high capacity magazines/clips.

Japan has a high suicide rate-- but since it's nearly impossible for citizens to own guns there, they don't have the rampage killer problem we do.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:26 AM

35. It goes beyond the guns.

It goes past the video games. It's the culture. It's how people are raised. It's how people treat one another in general. I think our willingness to quickly place blame on external factors rather than squarely on our shoulders says something about who we have become.
Before anyone jumps all over me, I am not talking only about the recent tragedy.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:12 AM

41. OMG. Rational thought supported by reality. Begone you evil usurper!

 

We don't do rational well here in the U.S.

I'm sure it has nothing at all to do with the fact that ours is the only leading nation on earth that happily sacrifices a significant portion of its population on the alter of The Individualism Fantasy.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:24 AM

15. "We" are more self-centered, selfish

They were able to adopt a health program for all because their national character involves caring for others. They are willing to give up something so everyone can have access to healthcare.

Tha national American character involves worshipping the individualist myth. The US is getting to the end of its rope in the belief that "I AM" is the most important thing in the world. A big share of the population harbors anger and resentment towards others they feel are below them.
Think Fox and the other RW media haven't figured that out?

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Response to KT2000 (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:11 AM

17. You may have something there,

... but it would be hell trying to demonstrate it satisfactorily.

I'd point out one pretty obvious thing: the US has a far greater population than Switzerland or Canada. If one person in, say, a million were disposed to walk into a school and start shooting, clearly there would be an order of magnitude more such people in the US than in those countries, and thus an order of magnitude more such incidents.

I was born in 1956, and played war with Mattel guns throughout my childhood. I was a wargame fanatic in the '70s, and have studied history, and particularly military history, all my life. I have been exposed to all the cultural influences that promote violence in the US, but I do not own a firearm, have no wish to own a firearm, and have never felt any intention to indiscriminately murder multiple strangers. What's wrong with me, dammit? Well, somewhere I have picked up the sense that meum is not more important than tuum, but I'm damned where I picked it up. And I'm an atheist, even.

-- Mal

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Response to malthaussen (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:39 AM

22. Yeah, but

you grew up!

Not to be glib, but when I think about some of these events, I see weaponized temper tantrums. There is just so much in American society that feeds the immature, self-centered state of mind - advertising, religion, RW media. And probably brain damage has prevented some from maturing.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:20 AM

18. So, like, who is Danny Zuker?



Personally, for what it's worth, I believe that all violent media should be banned. It's pure flat out sick. What kind of a mind desires to watch humans, or other beings, get harmed or killed, or play games(huh?!?) where the objective is to simulate killing or causing harm?

oh, yeah


It's really kind of, well, weird and freaky, don't you think?


Violent Video Games Lead To Aggressive Behavior, APA Says
Group asks industry to cut back on violence in light of new study.

Childhood Exposure to Media Violence Predicts Young Adult Aggressive Behavior, According to a New 15-Year Study


I mean, seriously, what's the point? What is the motivation behind watching violence, or participating in games where satisfaction from committing simulated acts of violence is, if we are to be honest, the objective?


IMO, it's totally, seriously, fucked up in the head, IMO.

Who needs it?

Let's just ban all firearms, and ban the visuals that may lead to any type of violence also.

Let's eliminate all violence to the greatest degree possible from the consciousness of our species.

Let's eliminate both the stimuli that may lead to the desire to cause harm, and the material means with which to cause harm, to the greatest degree possible.

The truth is, guns really don't kill people.

Emotionally, psychologically, and mentally disturbed people use guns, (and other means as well), to kill people.

Guns actually just sit there, and are not used to commit acts of violence, until some disturbed wacko uses them to harm or kill.

I'm totally amazed at all the people who desperately want to take the favorite toys away from the gun owners, yet are desperately defending their right to use their favorite toys that have been proven to be a factor in causing aggressive and violent behavior.

"It appears my hypocrisy knows no bounds."
............



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Response to Zorra (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:29 AM

24. You know Zora me and you probably agree on 99% of the issues, but this is the 1% where we differ.

I like you and I respect you, but we differ here and we differ strongly. I'm going to ignore the fact that there the evidence for your claims that videogames or movies actually lead to violence are mixed at best and I can cite studies that contradict yours.. I'm going to ignore the fact that the guy who shot up the Dark Knight Rises opening looks nothing like the Joker, because we are discussing something more important than the very debatable facts here. We are discussing freedom of expression and speech, the very cornerstone of any democracy.

You and I differ so strongly on this issue not merely because you don't like what you consider violent media, that's fine and your choice. However, the fact that you wish to ban all violent media is a step too far. It violates the first amendment and beyond the mere legal issues it violates the very right to freedom of speech and expression. That is the very cornerstone of any democracy. You want to ban violent movies and videogames because you think, without any hard data or facts to back it up, that they might be dangerous. Well how long before someone comes along a decides your ideas and opinions are dangerous to society. The 1% would probably love to ban the Occupy movement if they could or discussion of the works various philosophers such as Marx or John Rawls if they could, because in their view those things lead a dangerous society. But they can't because we as a society have decided that freedom of expression and speech is sacrosanct, but the moment you get your way in banning violent media you open the door to every other kind of censorship.

Once you advocate for censorship of things you don't like or approve of you then you can no longer claim to believe in freedom of speech and expression. You are advocating for the banning of what you consider a dangerous influence on society, that's the same thing the Catholic Church did when it burnt the works of authors they considered heretics, it's the same thing that has been done by tyrants the world over. It is an attack on the very foundations of a democratic and free society and it cannot be allowed to open. To quote Voltaire " "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Either you believe in freedom of speech and freedom of expression even for things you find deplorable or you don't believe in it all. That is the true test of freedom of expression whether you can look at something that you hate and still say "yes that person has a right to create the art they wish to create and preach what ever worldview they wish to preach, no matter how strongly I disagree with it."

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #24)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:05 AM

27. yet in fact we do know that both children and adults imitate what they see and experience.

 

yet somehow that doesn't apply to violence?

not the only factor, but a factor.

as for the 'art' argument, i find it sort of laughable, because finance capital is the final arbiter of what 'art' gets produced & seen via mass media channels.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #27)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:16 AM

28. What gets mass produced or not isn't the point.

Zorra is advocating that the government ban violent media. That is the point. You cannot claim to be a proponent of democracy and freedom of expression while at the same time calling for a ban of media and ideas you don't approve of. It's as simple as that. Either you are free freedom of speech and expression or you are not. You can hide behind the argument that it causes violence and harms society, but that is the exact same argument that has been the slogan of tyrants throughout human history. History is full of examples the works being banned because they were claimed as negative influence on society. Once again it comes down to one simple question: Do you believe in freedom of speech and expression or do you not believe in freedom of speech and expression?

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Response to white_wolf (Reply #28)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:55 AM

31. but it is the point, to me. only the wealthy have freedom of expression. i personally am not

 

hiding behind anything; i'm just pointing out that everything people see & hear affects them and it's silly to say that videogames and movies don't affect kids. the degree may be debated, but not the fact that they are affected. you can see it in how they play and what they talk about.

the whole framework within which 'freedom of expression' takes place 'disappears' the way that capital itself constructs that very framework. this seems to me a serious lacuna.

in a similar way, most discussions of 'the drug problem' 'disappear' the involvement of capital at the very roots of that 'problem'.

it's just not so simple as 'do you believe in free expression or don't you.'

we can't even conceive of 'free expression'. in fact, i think it is an impossibility.



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Response to white_wolf (Reply #24)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:51 PM

63. Excellent response, thanks, white-wolf.

(I think you know that I like and respect you as well. My post was partly in response to the irrationality and hypocrisy that I have been observing here at DU for the past few week. I almost slapped a sarcasm tag on my post because the reality is that banning all firearms ain't gonna happen, and banning all violent media ain't gonna happen either).

OK, in response to the content of your post:

So, then, can we apply the same reasoning you used in your response to folks who wish to own firearms for recreational, self-defense, or hunting purposes? I'm sure that we can find studies that prove that firearms ownership cause violence/don't cause violence as well; certainly the overwhelming majority of people who own firearms do not use them to harm others. Certainly, the overwhelming majority of people who watch violent or play violent media do not go out and harm others simply because they watch or participate in digital media violence.

I'd like to make an interesting observation here:

The number of mass murders has spiked enormously beginning with the Reagan era (1980). It would be interesting if there were a study done on a possible correlation between mass murders and Reaganism/conservatism. (Well, ya know...)

Anyway,

Mass Murders Are On The Rise

According to the 2010 FBI crime data, since 1980, single victim killings have dropped by more than 40 percent. While that's very good news, there's a new sobering trend: Mass murders are on the rise. This New York Times article researched the frequency of mass murders. It found during the 20th century there were about one to two mass murders per decade until 1980. Then for no apparent reason they spiked, with nine during the 1980s and 11 in the 1990s. Since the year 2000 there have been at least 26, including the massacre in Aurora, Colorado.


Aurora: Holmes, age 25

Killed: 12
Injured: 58

The police said that when he was arrested, Mr. Holmes compared himself to the Joker character in the Batman movies.

http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/james_holmes/index.html


Newtown: Lanza, age 20

Killed: 27
Injured: 2



Oslo, Norway: Breivik, age 33

Killed 77
Injured 242

Anders Breivik Played World Of Warcraft 'Full-Time' For A Year

Columbine: Klebold, age 17. Harris, age 18

Deaths 15 (including both perpetrators)
Injured 21

Jerald Block, a US psychiatrist, has differed with the FBI opinion of psychopathology and depression, arguing that the killers' actions are not well explained by such diagnoses. Rather, he believes that the students' immersion in video games caused them to feel most gratified while playing in a virtual world.

Both Harris and Klebold were fans of video games such as Doom and Wolfenstein 3D. Harris often created levels for Doom that were widely distributed; these can still be found on the Internet as the Harris levels. Rumors that the layout of these levels resembled that of Columbine High School circulated, but appear to be untrue. Harris spent a great deal of time creating another large mod, named Tier, calling it his "life's work." The mod was uploaded to the Columbine school computer and to AOL shortly before the attack, but appears to have been lost. One researcher argued that it is almost certain the Tier mod included a mock-up of Columbine High School.

Harris and Klebold were fans of the movie Natural Born Killers, and used the film's acronym, NBK, as a code in their home videos and journals.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbine_High_School_massacre#Video_games


Totals for the 5 mass murderers, in 4 respective incidents, whose violent actions were probably influenced, in varying degrees, by violent media:

131 people murdered
323 people injured


Harmless folks that own firearms don't believe that they should have their firearms made illegal and confiscated.

Harmless folks that enjoy interacting with violent media don't believe they should have their sources of violent media made illegal and confiscated.

Certainly, these different phenomenon can only be conflated to a certain degree, but still, there are valid arguments pro and con for both.

I still own a rifle. It's a .270 caliber Remington Gamemaster pump action rifle. A hunting rifle. I haven't fired it since 1984. It's packed in wheel bearing grease and buried in a plastic case approximately 800 miles from where I currently live. I don't really need it anymore, and because I've done a fair amount of traveling and moving since 1984, I did not want to drag it around, but did/do not want to sell it. I grew up in the country, and used that rifle to help feed my family. I hate killing animals for food, and have been a vegetarian for decades now. But back then, I was a woman from a unique rural background placed by fate in very unusual circumstances and needed to feed my family. A deer is a lot of free meat, especially if you poach them and can often walk out your back door and shoot one in a matter of hours. But I have never had any desire whatsoever to ever to use a firearm to harm anyone. And the world has changed drastically since then.

I don't play video games, and I try to avoid other violent media. I don't enjoy these things, and I don't want the violent images or simulations to affect my consciousness. However, if I did enjoy violent media and interaction with violent media, would the pleasure and satisfaction I got cause me to fantasize on the rush and thrill of translating my fetish for media violence into real life? I like to think I'm not that person, that it wouldn't. I have no proclivities toward violence, no mental illnesses, and am actually certifiably sane, healthy, and "well within the normal range" (well,ok, maybe they got that one wrong, lol ...) according to several in depth psychological evaluations and tests that I have had access to and engaged because I wanted to. But if I had been immersed in violent media, would I be a different person? Would I not not be certifiably well within the normal range"? Or if I had some latent mental illness or proclivities toward violence previous to watching/interacting with and enjoying violent media, would they have caused me to consider translating my desire into some fantasized higher degree satisfaction of acting it out in real life violence, and then getting a gun or bomb and living out the fantasy?

Thoughts generally precede actions, and we learn from our experiences. An unstable person might very well translate violent media interaction into violent fantasies, go get some guns, and then translate their violent fantasies into acts of violence in real life. We know how destructive sexual fantasies in the minds of unstable people can result in physical harm to others. There is no reason to believe that destructive fantasies of violence would be much different.

So what do we do? Mass murders are increasing at an alarming rate.

It seems a compromise of carefully and effectively regulating both may be the most constructive means of reducing the number of occurrences of mass murders/acts of violence in the future. A transformation from lingering Reagan/Bush conservatism into a much more progressive national collective consciousness might play a big part in reducing the violence as well.

But it is crystal clear that something must be done.

The hearts of every decent person in the world were broken by the loss of those beautiful children, and all the ramifications of their loss to their families, and indeed, all of us, because of that awful tragedy Connecticut. Personally, I'm even willing to ban both firearms and violent video media if that is what it takes to ensure that no more beautiful little kids will be taken from us in this manner. I'm done.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #63)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:04 PM

65. Your argument is that violent games do this

The few studies have been critiqued by fellow scientists for weak methodology at best.

If they had a point they will have to explain why South Korea is not knee deep in blood. Their adult games, some of them would be adult only in the states. Translation, they put even grand theft auto to shame.

You also will have to explain why the rest of the developed world can watch these movies and pay these games, and they seem not to have any issues.

Also it strikes me as funny these calls come after every mass shooting...I guess having to go at it daily (34 average a day) would become tiresome. Slightly higher than half from suicide.

You also want to ban the mirror to a violent society instead of dealing with the actual violence? For an Occupier I am surprised you missed that connection. We deal with the real social violence, I guarantee a good percentage of the content you object to, if not all, will go away.

Oh and kids playing grand theft, rated M, do you blame the studious when they take their little tykes to nc-17 movies?

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #65)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:42 PM

66. No. My argument is that violent video games CAN do this.

As far as what happens in other countries, it would be reasonable to speculate that unstable people who wish to commit violent media influenced acts of real life violence don't do so because it is much more difficult, in their respective circumstances, to procure a gun or other weapon that can be used for mass murder.

We don't live in South Korea.

SEOUL, South Korea — When news of frequent shooting incidents comes out of the United States, Koreans let out a small sigh of relief for living in a place where gun ownership is strictly illegal.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/12/strict-gun-control-laws-in-south-korea/


We live in the United States, where firearms are easy to procure, and firearms are definitely not going to be made illegal any time soon.

Reality. End of story.

Psychological Science Agenda | October 2003
SCIENCE BRIEFS
Violent Video Games: Myths, Facts, and Unanswered Questions

The new debate frequently generates more heat than light. Many criticisms are simply recycled myths from earlier media violence debates, myths that have been repeatedly debunked on theoretical and empirical grounds. Valid weaknesses have also been identified (and often corrected) by media violence researchers themselves. Although the violent video game literature is still relatively new and small, we have learned a lot about their effects and have successfully answered several key questions. So, what is myth and what do we know?

Myths and Facts

Myth 1. Violent video game research has yielded very mixed results.
Facts: Some studies have yielded nonsignificant video game effects, just as some smoking studies failed to find a significant link to lung cancer. But when one combines all relevant empirical studies using meta-analytic techniques, five separate effects emerge with considerable consistency. Violent video games are significantly associated with: increased aggressive behavior, thoughts, and affect; increased physiological arousal; and decreased prosocial (helping) behavior. Average effect sizes for experimental studies (which help establish causality) and correlational studies (which allow examination of serious violent behavior) appear comparable (Anderson & Bushman, 2001).

Myth 2. The studies that find significant effects are the weakest methodologically.
Facts: Methodologically stronger studies have yielded the largest effects (Anderson, in press). Thus, earlier effect size estimates -based on all video game studies- probably underestimate the actual effect sizes.

Myth 3. Laboratory experiments are irrelevant (trivial measures, demand characteristics, lack external validity).
Facts: Arguments against laboratory experiments in behavioral sciences have been successfully debunked many times by numerous researchers over the years. Specific examinations of such issues in the aggression domain have consistently found evidence of high external validity. For example, variables known to influence real world aggression and violence have the same effects on laboratory measures of aggression (Anderson & Bushman, 1997).

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Response to Zorra (Reply #66)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:48 PM

67. Yes, there is a small group of studies

That has found any correlation. They are a particular branch in psychology. Their fellow scientists have called them for researcher bias, bad methodology and inability to reproduce results.

That is a problem.

You still need to explain why nations with a far better safety net, a lesser level of wide spread forms of social violence, who consume the exact same media, don't seem to have these issues with wide spread gun violence and the now frequent massacre.

For the record, SSRI use actually has a much stronger correlation, by the way.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #63)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:00 PM

68. I don't think you can compare guns and free expression, though.

While it is legally true that both are protected constitutionally I don't think they are of anywhere near equal importance. That is the mistake the right-wing makes. While the 2nd is equally important from a legal perspective as all the other amendments, I really feel that on a deeper level it is the least important amendment. Most modern democracies get along fine without anything like the second amendment. It simply isn't near as important to a democracy as freedom of speech and expression. If the government tried to completely ban guns, there is a good chance I'd vote for the law, because guns simply aren't that important to a free society. The whole right wing argument that guns defend us from a tyrannical government is just laughable, and I'm sure you agree. I mean we both know these guys aren't going to take on the U.S. army no matter what guns they have. So I really don't think you can compare the two simply because one is far more important than the other. One is the cornerstone of democracy and is necessary for the creation of art, literature, music, culture in general, and the other serves no purpose but to kill.

As to the rise of Reganism I think you have a point and here is my theory. The vast majority of gun crimes, but not this recent one, occur in poor urban areas. There are sections of LA and other major cities where streets are controlled by gangs and people, both gang members and bystanders, are killed in gang wars. The conservative mindset of being tough on crime and the drug war have fed this problem. If we would focus as much effort on education and reducing poverty as we did on law enforcement I think gun crime and crime in general would sharply decline. Hell, simply legalize drugs and you've severely reduced the gang problem, because without the drug trade they don't have any money or anything fight over.

Finally , we do need strict gun control. I'm not sure if an outright ban is the way to go or not, but at the very least assault rifles, extend clips for handguns should all be banned. I personally think a single weapon kept in the home for self-defense, a shotgun or handgun, with a limited number of rounds would suffice. If you take it outside you're home it's confiscated and you would face heavy fines. I'm still wary of this though simply do to accidents happening. As for hunting weapons well, first of all you should be required to either eat the meat or donate it to someone who will senseless killing can't be encouraged, the weapons themselves should be stored in a government facility. You can go check them out when you want to go hunting, but are required to bring them back as soon as your trips over or face criminal charges. That is the bare minimum of gun control that I think we can accept to stop tragedies like this.

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Response to Zorra (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:38 AM

39. He's the producer of Modern Family

My guess is he's having three minute hate for himself for being from Hollywood.

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #39)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:53 PM

64. Thanks. nt

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:39 AM

19. Beating children.

Today I read in a German newspaper (sorry, no link available) that in 21 states of the USA it is allowed for teachers and parents to batter children. And not only is this legal - it is considered a good means of education. The article cited a survey from Human Rights Watch that in 2009 in the USA 200.000 children were battered by their teachers. Too many American children learn from their parents and their teachers that violence is the only possible solution for conflicts. Also, they learn that abusing the weak is ok for the strong one. But they do not learn to find alternatives to violence when in conflict. They grow up in constant fear and wishing to be once on the other side of the club.

Perhaps America should outlaw all violence against children as did many European countries. I don't know about Canada though. In Germany all violence against children has been forbidden since 2000. The number of murders sunk form 1158 in 1997 to 614 in 2011, other violent felonies also dropped significantly. And I can tell you that violent films and brutal video-games have been played here all the time, too.

By the way: in 18 of the 24 states that voted for Romney teachers are beating children legally. Abusing children causes brain damage even if you only beat their butts.

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Response to OldEurope (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:17 AM

42. Well said. (eom)

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Response to OldEurope (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:50 AM

48. I'm not 100% sure

because I've never had to think about it because I don't spank, period, but there are no laws against spanking in Canada as far as I know. I know plenty of people, still, who spank their kids. I was spanked/borderline beat as a kid. While I agree it's a piece of the puzzle, I still maintain the MAIN difference between the US and the rest of the developed world is the availability of guns.

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Response to OldEurope (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:37 PM

61. Americans are 3x more likely to give their kids psychotropic drugs. 8 million kids

are prescribed drugs for psychiatric reasons and very few also get behavioral therapy.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:47 AM

23. It's vastly more about culture and what is acceptable in societies.

That and poverty. Funny thing, when people are doing well for themselves, there's less violence. Imagine, having a future is a deterrent to committing crimes.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:54 AM

25. Finland too. It's mostly about social/economic equality.

 

and having a fairly homogenous population is a big factor as well.

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Response to Mel Content (Reply #25)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:08 AM

34. Remember the size of the countries

We have 9 times the population of Canada and 59 times the population of Finland. If the rate of mass shootings were equivalent, then we would expect to see 9 times more shootings in the U.S. than Canada, and 59 times more shootings in the U.S. than Finland.

Using Wikipedia since 1966 (Charles Whitman) the U.S. has had 17 mass shootings in school, Canada has had 3, and Finland has had 2.

U.S. has 4 times the population of Germany. Germany has had 7 shootings since 1964.

Granted the U.S. population has grown much faster than the other countries so the earlier shootings are on much closer population basis. If we only look at shootings since 1999 (Columbine):

U.S. - 9
Canada - 1
Finland - 2
Germany - 4

For workplace shootings since 1967
U.S. - 18
Canada - 0
Finland - 0
Germany - 0
Canada (5 times smaller) -2

If you look at a chart of mass killers excluding above two groups (these are rampage killers so not single events):

U.S. (since 1980) - 44
Canada - 1
European Union (1.6 times larger than U.S.)- 35

These mass killings are one off events, and I don't think you can necessarily conclude anything about these statistics. For overall homicide rates though, the U.S. is much greater (4.2 versus 2.2 for Finland, 1.6 for Canada, 1.2 for U.K, and 1.1 for France (all other large Western countries are at 1 or below).





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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 04:58 AM

26. also baffled by universal health care & poverty rate 1/2 that of the us. how is it possible????

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:29 AM

29. The same "scientists" are baffled by

people who can walk and chew gum at the same time!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:22 AM

32. Maybe because they don't have hate tv or hate radio.

Mostly coming from Foxnews.

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Response to Dont_Bogart_the_Pretzel (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:01 AM

49. No, we do indeed have that.

We have Fox news, we have Sun news (dubbed 'fox news north') and some radio stations play 'Focus on the Family' every week.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:27 AM

36. Ignoring the 'feminists' massacred by Marc Lepines (sp?) yep no gun massacres

Last edited Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:04 AM - Edit history (1)

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:26 AM

43. Does Canada allow God in schools?

I'm just trying to cover the bases here. lol.

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Response to BootinUp (Reply #43)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:32 AM

44. I don't think God is allowed in the whole country

No "one nation under God", no "in God we trust", no "God bless Canada", politicians actually make speeches that don't reference God and their religion and how much better it makes their policy choices because God approves of them.

Nope, God never even makes it over the border.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #44)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:11 AM

51. LOL.

That made me laugh. I'm surprised we haven't all been smited (smote?) yet.

I think there may be vague references to the Queen and God. And Stephen Harper, I KNOW has said "god bless Canada" at least a few times.

FWIW, as a kid I had to say prayers in school. Usually Catholic ones (Our Father, Hail Mary, some French prayers). My youngest 2 kids say prayers, but they rotate, using prayers from all different religions. I'm not super happy about it (since I lean towards atheist and I'm certain they don't, for instance, include any Wiccan prayers) but not going to make a huge deal about it. They still have Christmas concerts where I live too, granted it was originally a French Catholic community and the scenery is still defined by the huge Catholic church we have...Our community is becoming more religious, not less. There was a mega church built here not too long ago. However, I'll say I know less people who attend church now than I did growing up (in this same community). And I know TONS of atheists. Canada, as a whole, is become less religious, fast.

I'm babbling now, but you get the idea.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #44)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:01 PM

56. "God keep our land....glorious and free"???

C'mon....you don't know the national anthem?

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Response to ProudToBeBlueInRhody (Reply #56)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:16 PM

57. Define "our" and then get your snarkometer recalibrated



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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #57)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:25 PM

58. Trust me, I've met Canadian atheists....

....they WILL mention this, and apologize for it!

I personally love that freaking song.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:12 AM

52. Haha indeed. K&R n/t

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:25 AM

53. Could be the doughnuts.

Per capita, Canadians consume the most doughnuts, and Canada has the most doughnut stores per capita.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doughnut


Maybe eating more doughnuts makes one mellow. Or maybe when Canadians need a cop they know where to find one quickly. And it could be a deterrent. You probably aren't going to try to shoot up a place if there is a doughnut shop full of cops on every corner.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:28 AM

54. Definitely the metric system

Converting inches to feet to miles.....and wtf is a furlong? Its a huge source of frustration. How many cups in a gallon? Ounces to pounds? The conversions drive people insane!

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:29 PM

59. You protest too much over this.

It's guns. It's the glorification of violence. It's the meds. It's the lack of adequate mental health resources.

No one is trying to take away your precious games. But it's time for some serious introspection on the effects all these things have on us.

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Response to randome (Reply #59)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:39 PM

71. When people are talking about infringing on freedom of expression you can't protest enough.

Nothing is more important or fundamental to a democracy and a free society than freedom of expression and speech.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 03:25 PM

69. K&R

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