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Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:20 PM

Prediction: in the next few years we will see a mass murder epidemic...

When Barack Obama mourned the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown CT and vowed action on gun control, I saw it as a shot across the bow in a David vs Goliath struggle. The public at large is not thrilled about further gun regulation, 300,000,000 guns are owned by millions of owners, extensive lobbying efforts exert pressure on our govt, media and populace, and millions of our citizens liken any talk of gun control to be the beginning of a tyrannical government. Hardly a scenario that would breed a successful perspective. Even formation of a goalpost seems like a monumental task.

I also saw his actions to be quite threatening to the "tyrannical government" types. I imagined individuals and groups discussing how a bullet could take care of this "problem" as they stockpiled thousands of new rifles and hyperbolic volumes of ammo. I silently fear our president will become a martyr.

On the other hand, I see a very keen and savy political calculation. I know that Obama saw the eyes of his daughters in that classroom, saw the anguish of grief stricken parents, and wanted to find a solution. But he wasn't weighing insurmountable odds. He has his eyes on the future.

My prediction: In the next few years we will see a mass shooting epidemic unimagined by this countries populace and unheard of in western civilization. I think this is what Obama is imagining. He is not looking at the current scale tipped against him but imagining a scenario where he does nothing and pays the consequences of inaction. Weighing this he has no choice but to call for action. He correctly chose the tipping point and will carefully seize opportunities to exert pressure on the senate as public pressure mounts.

The NRA senses the writing on the walls as well. They are caught between the recognition of the high ground and calls to capitilize on a fearful public with an unquenchable desire to play the hero. They cannot win but they will make a mint and that is winning.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:56 PM

1. Kick.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:57 PM

2. I think Obama regrets not doing enough on the gun issue in first term.

 

But faced with opposition from NRA he would have lost a lot of political capital, for nothing. Even now after the Newtown tragedy visited on children; there is a lot of work to do, to get any legislation done.
It is up to the people, including most NRA members, to mobilize against the bought candidates only concerned with contributions not reasonable gun laws. Follow the money and votes, NRA will be doubling their contribution to fight the will of the nation.
Obama was not defeated by NRA this past election, we can do the same, NRA has 4 million members, not so much compared to the
300 million population or about 250 million voters. Use our numbers to threaten candidates.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:05 PM

3. That is a paranoid prediction

We live in the most peaceful time in human history.

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Response to Taitertots (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:16 PM

5. Call it a hunch. In the last couple of weeks we have seen the Oregon, ct and today ny. All rifle

shootings. It's not something I'm scared of.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:10 PM

4. What, specifically, do you see as causing this significant shift in trend?

Mass shootings, contrary to popular perception, are not on the rise. The rate has been more-or-less flat for three decades:


(source of data: DoJ Bureau of Crime Statistics)

What do you see as being the causal factors behind altering this trend and causing incidents to spike upward? I'm not necessarily disagreeing...I just want an insight into your reasoning.

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Response to Lizzie Poppet (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 06:50 PM

14. Lets look at it in a couple of different ways...

#1. Sociologically. Go back to columbine. I clearly remember the essentisl disbelief was that the target and perpetrator was not what should be expected. Middle class suburban kids are supposed to be be the very height of the American dream at large. I remember there was a feeling that this just doesn't or shouldn't happen here. Why?

#2. Kinetic energy. Ie supply. The supply, dramatization, sensationalism and meaninglessness of gun murders has increased. It is the "what the fuck is going on effect". But take it a step further. This is the you tube generation, ie the generation in which a simple stupid video can give you your 15 minutes.

#3. It is simply not true that mass murders have remained static. Mass murders are an increasing phenomenon not only in fatalities and wounded but their sensationalism and senselessness. At one time going "postal" was somehow understood. "Who hasn't felt so mistreated at work that they wanted to shoot their boss". But why shoot your teachers and classmates in an "idyllic" situation much less the fire department coming to put out the fire next door. See here:

#4. Materialism. Today everything is materialized. Everything is put into dollars and "sense". Little has any inherit meaning. It is easy to see things as victims vs perpetrator in this regard or just regard life as existentially void.

Multiply materialism by you tube by supply by meaninglessness and you have an hyperbolic, socially, devastating, phenomenon.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 08:17 PM

15. Thank you for the detailed response!

As it happens I don't disagree with three of four of your points (and I can see the argument for the remaining one).

I consider the sociological trends to be the most relevant indicators. Our culture is experiencing a rather rapid decay of social bonding, of the sense of community. There are a number of factors beyond this, not the least of which is the replacement of physical community with no less intense but considerably more transient feelings of community bonding arising in our digital lives. This shift in how we conduct social interaction doesn't inculcate the sense of deep community to the degree in-person interaction does.

I also see the ability to become an instant international "celebrity" via the mechanism of atrocity to be a major contributor...and as you say, the can happen more swirly and readily than ever before. If I recall correctly, some nations have instituted a policy of media blackouts of the perpetrator's name and likeness in an effort to lessen the attraction of this sort of event.

I don't really agree about the trends towards mass killings increasing. Some of the more recent have been somewhat deadlier, but the number of incidents per annum has remained relatively flat. Moreover, they remain such rare occurrances that it's difficult to predict trends about such things as deaths-per-incident. That's a statistical analysis problem I'll gladly accept...I don't want a large data pool!

Again, thank you for the thoughtful and detailed reply.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:22 PM

6. There's a mass murder every two weeks already

On average there is a mass murder incident with six people dead including possibly the perpetrator every two weeks, twice a month.

It's possible that people who weren't paying attention begin noticing and it looks like suddenly a lot more.

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:24 PM

7. So you are saying mass shootings of at least 6 people happened 25 times this year?

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Response to Logical (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:57 PM

13. I found sixteen on the first page of a google search

(Link)

That site's definition is "multiple targets, chosen indiscriminately" - between the definition and the fact that some of the more 'irrelevant' ones (e.g., gang hits or the like) are probably slipping between the reportage cracks, I can totally believe that there've been twenty-five multiple shootings this year in the US that averaged out to six casualties per incident (which is different from "25 shootings of at least 6 people").

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:38 PM

11. +1,000,000,000 x 1,000,000,000 - Well put and definitely

 

needed saying.

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Response to _Liann_ (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:43 PM

12. Proof of this? Because I don't think it is true.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:33 PM

9. I don't see this terrible situation unfolding under an 8-year Obama Presidency.

 

Obviously you have less faith in his leadership than I.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:38 PM

10. We already have a mass murder epidemic, a true public health crisis, and

 

it shows our society is well and truly fucked in the head.

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Response to Flabbergasted (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 10:04 PM

16. I hope you are wrong, but if you are right, the pressure will mount to do something.

And that something may be linked to changing the Citizens' United decision.

Our gun epidemic and the excessive political influence of multinational companies in our politics are linked. It is the weapons and defense industries profit from both problems.

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