Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:48 PM
cthulu2016 (10,960 posts)
Awareness of gun massacres is surely a contributing factor.
I doubt that the Aurora, Colorado area has THAT many more guns than everywhere else.
It is guns, of course. No way around that. Without guns the number of gun massacres would be zero. QED.
Access to guns is a prerequisite.
But it is also, quite obviously, not just guns. Having the notion to execute a mass murder is as much a prerequisite to mass murder as access to guns.
It appears that in the Aurora, CO, area the history is so thick with this stuff now that a disturbed person is constantly aware, constantly reminded of the option, and its terrible power to hurt people, and to make one memorable.
It's like Kurt Vonnegut said about his mother's suicide, when he was young. One thing about a parent committing suicide is that it make the kids assume they will commit suicide. Suicide is on the table. It is a real option... something people close to you do, not just something somebody somewhere does.
Since I am a 1st Amendment extremist, of course I do not propose limiting news coverage of massacres. Or movies, games, songs, etc.. In fact, vis-a-vis the "cultural option" aspect of mass murder I propose nothing. I merely note that people who are mentally ill are still connected to culture.
Joan of Arc thought St. Michael was speaking to her. The guy down the block thinks the CIA put a radio in his head. Culture informs mental illness.
Japan has a high suicide rate. Why? Because it has had a suicide culture for centuries. Suicide seems more normal... more a real and present option.
On the other hand, Japan has very few gun massacres and gun suicides because Japan has very few guns.
Mass shootings are are freakish events... anomalous events. They require guns, of course, but what is more directly about guns is accidental shootings, suicides and spur of the moment rage shootings. Those are the things most driven by simple literal presence of guns, versus not guns.
So reducing the raw number of guns out there would probably reduce gun mortality a lot. But not so much by limiting mass-shootings.
Which is okay, because mass shootings are a telegenic but statistically minor sliver of American gun deaths. Mass shootings aren't really the problem. Even gun nuts are not really the problem, except in how they vote.
The real national problem is 300 million guns, and most specifically handguns, being every-damn-where.
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Awareness of gun massacres is surely a contributing factor. (Original post)