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Sun Dec 23, 2012, 10:49 PM

Michael Moore: It's the Guns - But We All Know, It's Not Really the Guns

<snip>

There are plenty of guns in Canada and yet the annual gun murder count in Canada is around 200 deaths. In fact, because of its proximity, Canada's culture is very similar to ours the kids play the same violent video games, watch the same movies and TV shows, and yet they don't grow up wanting to kill each other. Switzerland has the third-highest number of guns per capita on earth, but still a low murder rate.

So why us?

I posed this question a decade ago in my film Bowling for Columbine, and this week, I have had little to say because I feel I said what I had to say 10 years ago and it doesn't seem to have done a whole lot of good other than to now look like it was actually a crystal ball posing as a movie.

This is what I said then, and it is what I will say again today:

1. We Americans are incredibly good killers. We believe in killing as a way of accomplishing our goals. Three-quarters of our states execute criminals, even though the states with the lower murder rates are generally the states with no death penalty. Our killing is not just historical (the slaughter of Indians and slaves and each other in a "civil" war). It is our current way of resolving whatever it is we're afraid of. It's invasion as foreign policy. Sure there's Iraq and Afghanistan but we've been invaders since we "conquered the wild west" and now we're hooked so bad we don't even know where to invade (bin Laden wasn't hiding in Afghanistan, he was in Pakistan) or what to invade for (Saddam had zero weapons of mass destruction and nothing to do with 9/11). We send our lower classes off to do the killing, and the rest of us who don't have a loved one over there don't spend a single minute of any given day thinking about the carnage. And now we send in remote pilotless planes to kill, planes that are being controlled by faceless men in a lush, air conditioned studio in suburban Las Vegas. It is madness.

2. We are an easily frightened people and it is easy to manipulate us with fear. What are we so afraid of that we need to have 300 million guns in our homes? Who do we think is going to hurt us? Why are most of these guns in white suburban and rural homes? Maybe we should fix our race problem and our poverty problem (again, number one in the industrialized world) and then maybe there would be fewer frustrated, frightened, angry people reaching for the gun in the drawer. Maybe we would take better care of each other


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-moore/its-the-guns-_b_1700218.html

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply Michael Moore: It's the Guns - But We All Know, It's Not Really the Guns (Original post)
Jim Warren Dec 2012 OP
NYC_SKP Dec 2012 #1
oberliner Dec 2012 #23
Spider Jerusalem Dec 2012 #24
Pholus Dec 2012 #28
immoderate Dec 2012 #2
JustABozoOnThisBus Dec 2012 #25
libdem4life Dec 2012 #3
Luminous Animal Dec 2012 #7
AtheistCrusader Dec 2012 #11
patrice Dec 2012 #14
malibea Dec 2012 #17
Egnever Dec 2012 #4
malibea Dec 2012 #18
NashvilleLefty Dec 2012 #5
Gregorian Dec 2012 #6
Jim Warren Dec 2012 #10
Gregorian Dec 2012 #31
randome Dec 2012 #27
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2012 #8
BlancheSplanchnik Dec 2012 #20
Sarah Ibarruri Dec 2012 #21
green for victory Dec 2012 #9
Deep13 Dec 2012 #12
loudsue Dec 2012 #13
laundry_queen Dec 2012 #15
theKed Dec 2012 #16
laundry_queen Dec 2012 #19
theKed Dec 2012 #30
Kablooie Dec 2012 #22
RagAss Dec 2012 #32
Iggy Dec 2012 #26
Toronto Dec 2012 #29

Response to Jim Warren (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 10:54 PM

1. "Maybe we should fix our race problem and our poverty problem "...

K/R

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:56 AM

23. Neither of which had anything to do with the school shooting

Or the Columbine one.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #23)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:58 AM

24. But probably have a lot to do with the c. 12K murders a year that aren't in schools.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 07:05 AM

28. "We believe in killing as a way of accomplishing our goals. "


Most of the problem I have isn't with guns, it is with the rhetoric of the Gun Culture.

Something else to be fixed.

So K/R as well -- Something in there for everyone...

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Response to Jim Warren (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 10:57 PM

2. Take away all the guns -- that does not cure the sanity problem.

--imm

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Response to immoderate (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:12 AM

25. It cures the mass shooting problem

and then we can go back to ignoring mental health issues, safe and secure.

Well, except for those pesky illegal black-market guns..

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Response to Jim Warren (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:01 PM

3. It's the last two sentences that he'll need to do some rewriting around.

as increasingly, neither race (assuming blacks) nor poverty (living in the ghetto...black or white) represent the immensity of the problem as it has stunningly shifted.

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Response to libdem4life (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:33 PM

7. No he was clear. If we can alleviate poverty, which drives property crimes, then

we'd have little to fear from the poor. If we can overcome the image of the "scary black man" we would have little to fear from black men.

Mike is right. We are a fearful nation that lives on its knees holding a gun. We are chicken shits. We are such chicken shits that we can't even bring ourselves to support peaceful movements.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:05 AM

11. Following Portugal in decriminalizing drugs and treating it as a public health issue

would go LIGHT YEARS in solving this problem. Not the mass shooters, but the overall firearm homicide rate.


It's a shame how much damage the anti-drug puritans have wrought in this country.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:37 AM

14. I'm not sure if it's entirely being "chicken shits", it could also be an undeniable sense of the

injustice of how we live; guilt makes us paranoid. Also much of our lives is not about primary (organic) rewards. Paychecks and so much of what we have sold our lives to get them for, it's all derivative, all secondary or even tertiary rewards. So, not only are we instinctually aware of the injustices in what made/makes all of that possible, we also know that we sold ourselves and everyone else and untold human potentials besides for . . . twinkies.

There aren't many people who want to admit that, so they can't, and so also do we prove the value to ourselves of what we have done by continuing to sacrifice so much more blood and potential to it, TTE, "Certainly it is valuable see what 'we' have paid for it?"

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:00 AM

17. Truly, truly speaking the truth!

You sir/madame are truly speaking the truth but we are too afraid to admit it or even discuss it realistically. You used the words "chicken shits" which is a good description. Too bad.

These are truly cowards- which is how I describe them. This in itself is pitiful because there is an attempt on their part to display superiority and bravado, which makes it so pitiful all the more so !

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Response to Jim Warren (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:07 PM

4. Maybe our fear comes in large part from our diversity

maybe we have so many people that feel thee need to protect themselves because of their fear of the others...

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Response to Egnever (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:06 AM

18. But why do they fear the others?

My question is why do they fear the others? Didn't a great man once say that there is nothing to fear but fear itself?

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Response to Jim Warren (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:18 PM

5. As much as I love MM, I have to disagree.

It's not the guns, it's the training that makes us "superior".

That being said, I do disagree when when our "see the hill, take the hill" military has to take on Police responsibilities. They are not trained to be Policemen. They are trained to be Military. I don't care what guns they are trained to use.

We need to have better laws. I am all for assault weapons bans. But, let's not be distracted from the true goal.

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Response to Jim Warren (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:32 PM

6. It's lots of things. I'm glad we're at least thinking.

I've avoided posting this until now. We're not raising our children well. But it's more than that. Doesn't anyone remember seeing that film in high school where up to a certain population, rats lived together without problems? It was after the rats reached a certain number that they began to have issues.

I've had the same reply to just about every problem we've addressed on this forum. In fact it's why I came here so many years ago. I'll say one thing, people have begun to warm up to the notion that there is a very big problem facing us which we almost never discuss. And once again, it plays a role in this topic as well.

If it's not global warming, depletion of fish, deforestation, cost of living, etc., it is also having its effect on culture. One can argue that there are much larger cultures than ours which get along. But not living in the way we do. In America we have increased the pace of life. It's a combination of things. But it is getting clearer what is happening to create the problems we see. Instead of fighting, I see discussion. I just hope it continues, because I fear this is just the beginning of things to come.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:02 AM

10. Too many bees in the hive?

I agree with your sentiments and thanks for coming forward. I too have held back. The horrors of a society attacking it's most vulnerable is beyond common reasoning. The acts of pedophilia or mass murder have me aghast and, not to be obscene, I think what is wrong with a people that buggers it's children or kills innocents? Perhaps it's the sensationalizing of the "if it bleeds, it leads" 24/7 media. Struggling for answers I wonder if it has always been so and a partial answer at least in part I see this:



http://thepublicintellectual.org/2011/05/02/a-crime-puzzle/

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Response to Jim Warren (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:37 PM

31. Thanks. I know that trend. It does appear to contradict what I'm saying.

But lots of things are hard to comprehend due to apparent contradiction. Maybe homicide rate isn't an indicator of satisfied and nurturing life. So things are comfortable and convenient. And perhaps also the decline is due to other sociological issues, such as civil rights, the judicial system inclusion of minorities. I don't know. My eyes only tell me that when I was a child I had fields to play in. Now there is only concrete for the majority of kids. I know that I am repulsed when I even try to go near the place where I grew up. I cannot imagine living there now. Noise pollution alone drove me out.

I have to say that some of what I share is from my own experience. My own discontent with the human condition. And even that seems contradictory. Our condition is far better than it was even 100 years ago. Or so it seems.

I want to thank you for having even this limited conversation without insertion of emotions. I feel it's extremely important, and yet so packed with emotional triggers for most people.

I suppose time will tell where this civilization is going.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:38 AM

27. I agree with you. Population density breeds discontent.

Over time, it magnifies and looks for outlets. The more people we have competing for resources (jobs), the more frustrated the society becomes.

On an emotional level, there is competition to stand out from everyone else and that gets more difficult, as well.

For some, that discontent and frustration simply builds until it breaks down the wall separating rational and irrational behavior.

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Response to Jim Warren (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:49 PM

8. "2. We are an easily frightened people and it is easy to manipulate us with fear. "

I have noticed this too. I have my theories as to why Americans are so easily frightened, but I will say that the most frightened of all, are also the most violence-loving Americans - right wingers.

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:47 AM

20. I agree and also wonder about Conservatism as a political movement and how the American version

compares to conservatism in other cultures.

I have mentioned in other posts that there's also statistics that show real clearly that violence is less in states and other countries with strict gun laws. Fewer guns=less violence.

So I think that fact is relevant and can pretty easily addressed. At least our legal system is set up to make and deal with Laws.

But cultural differences are more I interesting to me. What is different about our culture?

We seem pretty Authoritarian; more so than other cultures, to me. That's just a perception I have--I can't say there's any accuracy to it.

We also have an arrogance problem, that's pretty clear.

So how do cultures change, and can ccultures be consciously changed for the better?

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Response to BlancheSplanchnik (Reply #20)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:12 AM

21. I agree with you

Absolutely. It is authoritarian, and much more since churches got involved with the Republican Party. Seems like the moment church and state becoming intertwined, countries become heartless.

Certain ideas about work and money, such as the work ethic (which I've noticed doesn't necessarily get imposed upon the rich as persistently as it gets imposed upon the poor), the concept that time is money, and the negative view of the poor and how their condition is their own fault, all lead to cruelty, and that's what is dominant in this country today.

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Response to Jim Warren (Original post)

Sun Dec 23, 2012, 11:53 PM

9. Why did he ignore the points he has made earlier

 

at least in that piece?

1. He was wrong in the video below
2. He got a call from his lawyer
3. He all of a sudden found out how much fun it is to drop Prozac
4. ?

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Response to Jim Warren (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:11 AM

12. It's our willingness to use them...

...for all sorts of reasons.

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Response to Jim Warren (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:32 AM

13. The huge 5-ton gorilla in the room is FOX NEWS & RUSH LIMPBALLS

On the heels of Reagan's greed is good presidency, giving so many racist, mysogenist, ignorant, psycho-religious sociopaths a big shout out to feel good about their fucked up philosophies, faux news and rush built a path back to the robber baron days that is more insidious than the Trans Canada pipeline.

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Response to Jim Warren (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:44 AM

15. I HATE that MM uses Canada as an example.

Compared to the US, our gun laws are extremely strict. Yes we have a lot of guns - and those who own them are licensed (and have to keep that license up to date) and all the guns are registered. We have limits on magazines as well 5 for rifles and 10 for handguns. If you want to get licensed, you need to take a firearm safety course. We also don't have ANY 'castle doctrine' crap.

I don't disagree that poverty and racism, continuous war and manufactured fear aren't part of the problem, but the #1 problem is STILL THE GUNS.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #15)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:59 AM

16. It's also

a pretty faulty premise to start out with because
1. Canada's per-capita gun ownership isn't anywhere near the ballpark of America
2. The breakdown of types of guns is vastly different. Canada's guns are much more dominantly solely hunting weapons - far fewer buy and own guns for "self-defense" or even "survivalist" bullshit.

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Response to theKed (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:42 AM

19. Yep. US is nearly triple Canada per capita.

And I knew a lot of people who hunted up north. Lots of moose, elk and deer to be had. Almost everyone had a hunting rifle. The only person I've ever met that owns a handgun is my SIL, who is a cop. So I'll agree with your assessment that the breakdown of 'types' of guns is very different, but also, I think that's by design since it's harder to get the other types of guns.

Also, I forgot to put in my other post, no concealed carry allowed. Proper storage laws. Need permits to transport certain types of guns.

It's the gun laws, imo, that make the difference. I love Michael Moore but vehemently disagree with him on this one.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #19)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 11:49 AM

30. Yeah

I mean, some of his end statements are close to right, but the way he gets there is way off.

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Response to Jim Warren (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:44 AM

22. Even our national anthem celebrates the glory of war.

We are violent and warlike to our core.
Not as individuals necessarily but as a nation.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:26 PM

32. So does the French anthem. You don't hear a lot about gun violence there.

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Response to Jim Warren (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:28 AM

26. Unlike Canada, Our Nation is Especially Chock Ful O' Nuts and Bigots

 

and many of them are well armed.

it's the perfect storm of insanity and violence. it's why I don't think our nation has a long term future.

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Response to Jim Warren (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 07:20 AM

29. I might add that

 

the bulk of the gun deaths in Canada are caused by guns smuggled in from the US. So to a degree the US is also responsible for many of our gun death stats.

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