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Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:02 PM

 

When I was a kid in high school,

The deer hunters would bring their guns to school, on a rack in the back window of their pickup truck. In fact a lot of farmers would have a long gun or two in one of those window racks.

When I was a kid in high school, there was probably a gun in every other home, with ownership rates between forty five and fifty percent of households.

When I was a kid in high school, support for the Second Amendment was bipartisan, and those few souls looking to push through gun control legislation faced a huge uphill battle.

Finally, when I was a kid in high school, there were no mass shootings of the type you see today. Yeah, in 1969 there was Charles Whitman up in the bell tower of the University of Texas, but hell, that was considered a major aberration, and besides, it was well over a decade done by the time I was in high school, and there wouldn't be another mass shooting for a decade plus after I graduated.

So what was different between now and then?

Many things, but the overarching conclusion that I've come to is that our country, our society has degenerated into a behavioral sink. In your classic behavioral sink, you take a population, any population, be it mice or men, and start putting them under ever increasing pressure. In time you start to observe strange behaviors, up to and including mass violence. This experiment has been done time and again, and it always winds up the same, with some mouse(or man) going off on a spree of violence.

Our country, our society has been under increasing stress since the late seventies. Flat or decreasing wages, fewer resources available to people, economic shock after economic shock, climate change, ever increasing partisan divides, demagogues constantly haranguing us on the radio and in the media, the list of stress in our modern society has become huge.

Is it any wonder that individuals are starting to crack under the pressure?

Perhaps the answer doesn't lie in more laws, or vast ideological fights. Perhaps the answer we seek is the overarching answer to a lot of our current problems.

Our society is making us sick, and we need to fix it before we're all victims of it. Time to remake our society into the promised land that has long been held out as the American ideal. Not only would that solve our gun problem, but a lot of others as well.

Something to think about.

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Arrow 59 replies Author Time Post
Reply When I was a kid in high school, (Original post)
MadHound Jan 2013 OP
sinkingfeeling Jan 2013 #1
MadHound Jan 2013 #4
Puzzledtraveller Jan 2013 #8
sinkingfeeling Jan 2013 #13
bvar22 Jan 2013 #44
The Straight Story Jan 2013 #55
bettyellen Jan 2013 #57
sadbear Jan 2013 #2
MadHound Jan 2013 #5
sadbear Jan 2013 #6
sadbear Jan 2013 #9
MadHound Jan 2013 #14
sadbear Jan 2013 #15
MadHound Jan 2013 #18
AtheistCrusader Jan 2013 #25
jberryhill Jan 2013 #26
zappaman Jan 2013 #35
LineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineLineReply .
Squinch Jan 2013 #37
MineralMan Jan 2013 #3
Puzzledtraveller Jan 2013 #7
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #10
99Forever Jan 2013 #12
abelenkpe Jan 2013 #16
proud2BlibKansan Jan 2013 #17
MadHound Jan 2013 #19
jberryhill Jan 2013 #28
OldDem2012 Jan 2013 #53
Squinch Jan 2013 #36
Robb Jan 2013 #39
Berserker Jan 2013 #48
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #50
Berserker Jan 2013 #54
Comrade_McKenzie Jan 2013 #11
RobertEarl Jan 2013 #20
southernyankeebelle Jan 2013 #21
ieoeja Jan 2013 #22
Scuba Jan 2013 #23
Zoeisright Jan 2013 #24
maindawg Jan 2013 #27
SomeGuyInEagan Jan 2013 #30
jberryhill Jan 2013 #29
1StrongBlackMan Jan 2013 #31
davidn3600 Jan 2013 #32
JoePhilly Jan 2013 #33
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #34
stultusporcos Jan 2013 #38
Recursion Jan 2013 #40
HockeyMom Jan 2013 #41
DavidDvorkin Jan 2013 #42
CBGLuthier Jan 2013 #43
bvar22 Jan 2013 #45
rrneck Jan 2013 #46
Berserker Jan 2013 #47
Jennicut Jan 2013 #49
Paladin Jan 2013 #51
politicat Jan 2013 #52
SomethingFishy Jan 2013 #56
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #58
felix_numinous Jan 2013 #59

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:11 PM

1. I don't think that's the source of the problem. By the way, if you were in high school

anywhere from 1979 until 1989, there were some of our deadiest mass shootings during that period.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map?page=2

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:20 PM

4. Umm, no

 

I was in high school before 1979, and even your time line(which starts at 1982), shows only eight shootings up through 1989. Almost all those shootings took place outside of schools, and a new termed was coined, going postal.

So, you don't think that the increasing pressures of our society is causing us to experience a behavioral sink?

Then what do you think is going on? Somebody getting their hands on an AR-15, which then magically transforms them into a mass murderer?

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Response to MadHound (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:33 PM

8. Madhound, I don't think some, or many are going to "get it"

and that IS the problem. The rat race is out of control and we have become bloodthirsty onlookers rooting for eachothers demise, it's sick.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:39 PM

13. No, it's America's militarization. We think nothing's cooler than drones and WMD.

We have no empathy for others and only want to get 'mine'. When kids can recognize the type and make of a gun from a TV show, video game, or movie, we've taught ourselves violence is beautiful.

P.S. In your OP you said 1969 was "welll over a decade done" by the time you reached high school.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 07:17 PM

44. America was "militarized" in the past.

I'm slightly older than MadHound.
I am a Boomer, and grew up in the 50s.
We were MORE militarize then, than now.
The Soviets were going to bomb us any day now,
and we had Atom Bomb drills at school.
In Pre-VietNam America, ANYONE who served WAS a genuine American HERO.

The Great Majority of our parents were recently discharged from the military, (My father a Marine, My Mother a WAC) and military paraphernalia dominated our households.
In some Grammar Schools (mine), Close Order Drill was taught to the students as PE and Recreation, and students were organized into "platoons" and "squads".
Victorious Generals were elected as Presidents.
Plastic Guns, Cowboys and Indians, and WAR were the dominant Kids games of the 50s, and War & Violence DOMINATED our TV Drama and Cartoons.

I begged for and received a plastic replica of an 50 caliber Machine Gun for Christmas in 1958, and was the envy of my neighborhood!

So NO.
"Militarization" is NOT the reason for the outburst of school mass murders.
I'm inclined to agree with MadHound that we are a society in decline.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #44)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 09:03 PM

55. Good post/reply

My dad remembers things the same way.

There was a mindset (and I remember this from the old soviet days) that any old day the soviets might up and invade/nuke us. I remember my brother freaking out once because on the radio there was an explosion in new york (turned to be a gas leak or something like that) and at the same time people said they heard a plane over head. He thought the big war was starting.

We had a common enemy (which let a lot of smaller ones slide under the radar here at home and abroad).

We played war (we just called it army usually) all the time and I remember as well getting cool toy guns. We didn't have video games (until I was like 13 when I got a trs-80) so we played war and such outside with toy guns and sometimes even fire crackers (and a few folks would have bb gun wars).

I don't recall going to school scared someone was going to come in and shoot us up. We were more scared of tornadoes or getting in trouble. Even when my first son started school I didn't think about someone walking in and shooting folks up (did worry about him being bullied/molested/etc).

And it is not just schools of course. Used to go shopping at the local mall all the time (mainly a hangout spot and they had a good book store). Things did happen from time to time but we always focused on the perp because pretty much everyone we knew owned at least one gun so it was the person (that may be a meme but I think it came about because so many felt the same way).

Sure, one can dig up stories now, looking back over the years, but think about the actual news cycles and outlets (3 channels and two papers here total). You see someone shot someone and you hoped they served life in jail and folks might talk about it for a few minutes and move on.

A guy I went to school with (he was a jerk) killed his step dad and mom with a hammer the year before he graduated. I still don't know why actually, though I think he hated the step dad and resented his mom (but there was an event I cannot recalled that triggered he and his friend doing the crime). It was mentioned between people at my school and then dropped off the radar.

Today fb/twitter/texting/etc and the same event would be discussed all day for days...not saying it is bad - BUT it seems we focused less and spent more time enjoying ourselves whereas now things can be, and are, filling up more and more of mental time both because the media drives it and people want to make points over and over again until people either respect their view or agree with their idea of how to stop it.

Spent a lot of time this week playing wizards 101 with my daughter and having fun questing, gardening, adding things to our houses, etc. The problems didn't go with society, but they haven't gone away either spending more time defending and idea or position to people I won't ever meet and who don't make policy.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 09:52 PM

57. "only eight shootings" in ten years? "only eight shootings" WHAT THE FUCK?

yeah, we should all give up flying and buy guns. great advice.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:14 PM

2. This isn't your first time to post this, is it?

Seems I've read this one before, once upon a time.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:21 PM

5. And your point being?

 

Yes, I've posted something similar to this before, if I remember correctly. Does that make it any less valid? What are you really trying to say here, spit it out.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:28 PM

6. No, it's not that at all.

Just making sure my deja vu was legit. (But boy, it sure seems like an exact copy. You sure you don't have that saved on your hard drive somewhere?)

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Response to sadbear (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:33 PM

9. Here's the post I remember.

It wasn't that long ago. Sorry to interrupt.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021004531

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Response to sadbear (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:39 PM

14. Why should I save it on my hard drive when I've got people like you around to keep track for me?

 

So, what is your point? That we shouldn't post the same thoughts within six months of each other?

You know what, I've made many posts on the same topic at various different times. Posts on politics, the 2000 election, etc. Is that some sort of crime here?

Again, what is your point?

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Response to MadHound (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:42 PM

15. I'm not sure why you're so defensive.

I explained what my point was. No need to dig any deeper than that.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:46 PM

18. Sorry, but I find it rather creepy when some anonymous poster is keeping that close an eye

 

On what I post.

And no, you really haven't explained what your point is in bringing up that I've posted a similar post a few months back. Seems like you're almost attacking me for doing so. Why?

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Response to MadHound (Reply #18)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:15 PM

25. Isn't that the point of posting on the interwebs?

The hopes that someone will read it, and retain something from it?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:25 PM

26. Stop spying on the things I post!


My favorite is:

"Here are my pictures of the protest we had at XYZ the other day."

"There were government agents taking pictures of us!"

The government could save a lot of money on taking pictures of protestors simply by collecting them from the ones people post.

And, stop reading this, stalker.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #26)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:42 PM

35. Heads up!

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #26)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:44 PM

37. .

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:16 PM

3. When I was in high school, national TV news

was half an hour at suppertime, and my parents had the TV shut off for the family meal. We didn't hear about anything but the most major stories. So, school shootings would have been local news only. That was between 1959-63. If it didn't happen locally, we didn't know about it, unless it was earthshakingly important. So, I don't really know how many mass shootings there might have been during those four years.

So, now, I have to go look and see if the internet can answer my question.

I do remember the Charlie Starkweather/Fugate killings in 1958, though. That made the local papers.
And then, there was the Boston Strangler, but I was out of high school then.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:29 PM

7. Great post, you put very well what I have been feeling for a long time.

We also treat each other like crap, we really do, for what? the stupidest garbage, politics, sports, the music you listen to, how you dress, who you hang out with, what clubs you're a part of, what clique you belong to. We also have such lack of empathy and not just from the people we always point to but everyone because when your empathy and sympathy only extends to the people you are allied to you begin to lose your humanity.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:33 PM

10. That's nice. But until you get those abstract cultural issues worked out,

I'd still like to see laws that prevent lunatics from shooting 20 first-graders 3-11 times each in under three minutes.

Thanks,
Parent of a Six-Year Old First Grader

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:39 PM

12. ^^This^^

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:43 PM

16. +1000

this parent of a 6 and 8 year old agrees.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:48 PM

19. That's the point I'm trying to make here,

 

You're not going to put a halt to these sort of tragedies until we do work out those "abstract cultural issues." Until then, all you're doing is putting a band aid on the problem, not solving it.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:26 PM

28. Great!

You go change the culture.

In the meantime, I'd like some band-aids.

Ah, those violence-free days of yesteryear....

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #28)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 08:38 PM

53. This photo should be educational to those who believe this kind of racially motivated...

....hate crime only happened in the South.

The comment written on the photo says this terrible event took place in Marion, Indiana in 1930. In 1930, there was a very big Klan presence in Indiana.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:42 PM

36. ^^^There ya go^^^^

I'll discuss the philosophy of our cultural direction when we have gone a year without a school kid being shot while at school.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:53 PM

39. Hell yes. Seconded.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 08:11 PM

48. Are you

 

Under the impression that laws will stop the killings? They never have and they never will. Murder is against the law but it happens every day in every country in the world. Write all the laws you want but something else is deeply wrong with our society.

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Response to Berserker (Reply #48)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 08:27 PM

50. Oh my fucking Gawd

I will stipulate that you're not so stupid as to think laws have NO EFFECT at all on behavior if you'll give me credit for not being so stupid as to think laws absolutely eliminate behaviors. Of course laws against murder don't absolutely eliminate murder. Only a fucking idiot would think that. But only a fucking idiot would think laws and their enforcement have NO effect on the murder rate. We can affect behavior through policy. That's a fact. And right now we need policy to affect these behaviors, if even to prevent them for the most part, in the same way we prevent people from blowing up buildings with fertilizer bombs. Does that mean nobody will ever again blow up a building with a fertilizer bomb? of course not. You can't absolutely eliminate a behavior, but you can reduce its incidence with policy, a fact that the gun nuts desperately seek to hide and obfuscate, whether by demented appeals to "human nature," or to transparent dishonest philosophical appeals to the great confusions of modern culture, or whatever this stupid thread is about.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #50)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 08:39 PM

54. I will go as far

 

as you're not so stupid as to think laws did any good at all in Newtown do you?
I only wish we could pass a few more laws and all this would stop but you know as well as I do laws will not stop a lunatic from doing these things. A fact that the grab nuts will never understand.

But only a fucking idiot would think laws and their enforcement have NO effect on the murder rate.
Has it had any effect? Nope.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:37 PM

11. Yes, the 50s and 60s were an American utopia. nt

 

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:57 PM

20. Happy Days!

From that time came hippies, Peace protests, the EPA, and all kind of good things. Meaning progress.

Since Reagan and the Bush Klan, we have been regressing.

So now we have a culture of Glorified Violence. Not at all like the 50's and 60's when Rock-n-Roll was born and the Beatles rocked and the Stones got rolling.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:15 PM

21. Fox News and the right wing hate machine. The FCC sure hasn't help any cause of the left.

 

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:16 PM

22. From what you write, it appears mass murder kicked off just when AR-15 and AK-47s became popular.


I don't think that is what you meant, but that does seem to fit the timing.

Yes, I know they (or facsimiles) were available long before that. But did you ever see one? I sure as hell never saw one until the '90s. And I grew up on a farm and graduated high school in 1980. Pretty much identical to your situation.


That said, I see a parallel between the crime results
: for Blacks after the Civil Rights movement, and
: for Whites after the Gun movement.

With the White police not protecing, even abusing, civil rights activists and African-Americans in general, Black men began arming themselves. I'm sure there was lots of talk about how they were going to protect themselves and would kill anyone who tried to harm them. Of course, everyone understood that a lot of this talk was hyperbole. Except the children. Their little ears probably took a lot of that in and believed every word of it.

The next generation started having a lot of trouble with young Black men who thought that they "needed" firearms to protect themselves.

Twenty years ago the NRA began using the same rethoric, aimed predominately at White America. I was an NRA member then, and nobody was advocating for the right to kill someone if they so much as took a swing at you. People would say it, but admit if pressed that it was hyperbole. Flash forward a generation, and ... a lot of DUers defending Zimmerman claimed that if Martin hit him when confronted, then it was perfectly acceptable for Z to kill him. No hyperbole now. They mean it.

We have a generation of RKBA who grew up on the hyperbole and believe it.

Crime in the Black community has come down a lot in the last decade. And that with the Black community sending out the message that behavior was wrong.

White killers is the growing problem now.

It's not the guns. It's not the Right to Keep & Bear. It's the gun MOVEMENT that is the problem.

If you lose any rights, the root cause will be the RKBA paranoia. You should attack that and not the people trying to fight the effects of that paranoia.


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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:27 PM

23. When I was in high school (circa 1964) I brought three firearms to school one day....

They were my props for Speech class. I explained how the bolt action Winchester Model 70 differed from the lever action Winchester Model 94 - and both of those from the pump action Remington 870 Wingmaster - in how they delivered the next round to the chamber. I explained how the safeties worked on each. I explained how the box magazine differed from the tubes, and how the sights on the rifles could be adjusted for distance and windage.

I showed samples of ammo, explaining how the larger .32 Special cartridges were for big game like whitetail deer, the smaller .22 LR's for squirrels and varmints. I explained the difference between rimfire and centerfire cartridges.

I explained how the shotgun shells held not a single bullet, but a number of pellets for hunting birds.

At the end of my presentation, I slid them all back in their cases and leaned them in the corner. After Speech class ended, I stored them in my locker until the bell rang.

No one thought a damn thing about it. No one asked my why I was carrying three gun cases, heavy with guns.

No one suggested that bringing firearms to school might not be a great idea. I got a B+ on the assignment.

Times have changed, and your thoughts about why are relevant. Our laws must change to reflect those times.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:59 PM

24. Reagan, Fox News, too much pressure on people,

and the rise of assault weapons all play a part.

Reagan started us on the road to ruin and destroyed mental health care. Fux Noise gins up the idiots with foaming hatred. The economy is destroying people. And there are too many guns that are too easily accessible.

That's the problem. And we can fix all of them.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #24)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:25 PM

27. the problem is hate speech

and it began with Reagon. Reagon did tremendous damage. GE spent 20 years prepping that idiot.
the problem is the plutocrats that Theodore Roosevelt ran out back in 1902 that Wilson gave the store to that Franklin ran out, that Nixon empowered and then Reagon did the rest. Now the problem is hate speech. Its all about information . Who controls the flow of information.
Well the internet is in control of the flow now, so that will be their target.
People did not turn into gun nuts. Gun nuts were grown and cultivated from the ranks of the ignorant. The same place they found the teabaggers. dangerous deranged ignorant selfish narrow minded natural born assholes. That is why education is so important. I expect education to become a huge issue this time next year or sooner.

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Response to Zoeisright (Reply #24)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:31 PM

30. "That's the problem. And we can fix all of them." Yes, we can.

We just need to will of the people to get our leaders on track. Heavy lifting, takes time, but can be done.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:30 PM

29. Fredericksburg, Antietam, Gettysburg....


Do those place names mean anything to you?



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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:32 PM

31. That sociological concept ...

Is exactly why, back in the mid-60's, a prominent Black Architect in Clevleand withdrew from a multi-million dollar project to design high density low-income housing. He paid attention in college.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:33 PM

32. You cannot legislate society

The government does not have the ability to change society. Our system of government is too weak to even attempt it. But even powerful dictatorships struggle to control the thinking of the populace.

Society has to change on its own. The vast majority of people have to come to a realization within their own minds. Politicians can help lead this effort. But it's not like the Senate can vote on a law tomorrow to make society less violent. It doesn't work that way.

Unfortunately we don't have very good leaders in our government. That's part of the problem. Politics have become so ugly that good people want nothing to do with public office. We've also created a culture of elitism. We tend to think that to be a congressman you have to be rich, a successful businessman, a lawyer, go to an Ivy League school, etc. So a lot of middle class common people (especially women and minorities) feel they are unqualified and take themselves out of consideration, OR voters ignore such common people thinking they are not qualified. However the whole idea of a Republic is to have people in office that represents the majority of the people. We don't have that right now when over half of Congress are millionaires (that includes both parties).

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:37 PM

33. In the 80s, in high school, I had a kid put a gun to my head.

It was around 1981. And I was in one of the best High Schools in Philly.

And the kids at my school were not poor kids.

Their families were not "under pressure" as you suggest.

What you describe is a pop-psychology analysis. You claim that the stress NOW is greater than in the past.

How do you measure that?

Is it worse now than in the 1850s during the civil war? Worse than the depression years. Worse than the civil rights years in the 60s????

And how do we fix this "sick society" you think just popped into being?

You provide no guidance or recommendations on how we "fix" our society.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:38 PM

34. You've nailed it, and as always, few want to accept what is before their eyes.

 

Too many rats in the cage. The broken social contract. The immediate reaction to any conflict with violence. Diminishing educational standards. The list is long and varied but it leads to only one destination.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:51 PM

38. When I was in HS

 

we smoked allot of weed, the kids who hunted left the guns at home but brought clubs which they called "N____er Knockers" instead.

They are the Teahadists, gun nutters and militia men today, the GOP base, we used to laugh and mock them for being ignorant racist rednecks.

Not much has changed since HS except they carry guns all the time now.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 05:54 PM

40. School violence rates in the late 1960s were slightly higher than they are today (nt)

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:19 PM

41. I was in HS in NYC in the 1960's

NOBODY I knew had a gun in their home, including my WWW2 Vet Dad. Never heard him EVER say back then that he ever wanted to have one. I guess being in combat and having to KILL PEOPLE cured him of that.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:41 PM

42. Why, when I was a lad ...

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 06:45 PM

43. There have been mass shooting events just about every decade since the 1800's.

You are more or less the same age as me. When i was in HS no one had a gun because we lived in a city and city people did not feel they all had to have guns. Like they do now.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #43)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 07:27 PM

45. Please cite some statistics for your claim...

...that "no one had a gun because we lived in a city and city people did not feel they all had to have guns."

I lived in the city, and remember it quite differently.

Almost every household had a pistol or a rifle,
but they were kept hidden away in the top of a closet.
After all, the Russians Communists were going to invade any day.

Most of the households I was familiar with were discharged/ reserve/retired Marines or other military personnel, so my perception may be slanted.

---bvar22,
Boomer, born in 1950

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 07:34 PM

46. Well said. nt

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 07:51 PM

47. It started long before 1969

 

when I was a kid in high school, there were no mass shootings of the type you see today.
There is about a hundred listed at this site starting in the 1700s here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_school_shootings_in_the_United_States


1700s

The earliest known United States shooting to happen on school property was the Pontiac's Rebellion school massacre on July 26, 1764, where four Lenape American Indians entered the schoolhouse near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania, shot and killed schoolmaster Enoch Brown, and killed nine or ten children (reports vary). Only three children survived.

1800s

April 9, 1891: Newburgh, New York James Ferguson, 70, fired a shotgun at a group of students in the playground of St. Mary's Parochial School, causing minor injuries to several of the students. The first known mass shooting in the U.S. where students were shot by an American citizen.The majority of attacks during this time period by students on other students or teachers usually involved stabbing with knives or hitting with stones.

May 18, 1927: Bath, Michigan Bath School Disaster School treasurer Andrew Kehoe, after killing his wife and destroying his house and farm, blew up the Bath Consolidated School by detonating dynamite in the basement of the school, killing 38 people, mostly children. He then pulled up to the school in his car, then set off a bomb, killing himself and four others. This is the deadliest mass murder at a school in United States history and the world's first suicide bombing.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 08:25 PM

49. I went to high school and college during the 90's. No one ever brought a gun to

my high school. Then again, I grew up in a wealthy suburb in Connecticut. One person was caught with a gun on campus at Central CT State University when I went there but that was it. Hartford has always had lots of problems with shootings but the suburbs in CT really never had anything happen until Newtown. Columbine happened right before I graduated college. So my perspective is that not much has changed. The assault weapons ban did pass while I was in high school but there are so many more issues related to gun violence and mass shootings that one thing cannot prevent it. I like the comprehensive view Obama and Biden have taken on it.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 08:31 PM

51. Whitman Was In 1966, Not 1969.


I know, because I was in Austin that day. And I was a kid in high school.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 08:33 PM

52. How big was your high school? How big was your town? How wealthy were you?

Here's the thing: I went to three high schools (mil brat): one urban in a suburb that's a city of it's own, one extremely rural, and one in a medium size city that exists because of the base. I was in school in the late 80s.

In my rural high school, indeed, some of the kids brought the rifle in the truck rack to school -- but in a school of 800 students, with a small parking lot, in a town of 6000 where quite literally everyone is a second cousin to everyone else (Mormon town), there are enough eyes on everyone all the time to know if someone's likely to snap. In a small community, that's an effective check, but it comes at the price of insularity, prejudice and privilege for those in the in group, and at the expense of anyone who does not meet whatever the locals deem to be "our kind of people." In that town, it was a matter of faith. In other parts of the country, it would be race, or gender, or geek status or being liberal. Remember when women were pushed into teaching, nursing, secretarial school or getting a Mrs. degree? That's but one of the prices your generation paid for the privilege you're thinking was universal.

My mother went to a similar high school, half the continent away, twenty years before me. She had to fight HARD to get classes that would get her into an only adequate state college. She was PREVENTED from taking advanced mathematics, and FORCED to take Home Ec. In the late 60s. Her talent was stifled. Further, her town was at least passively a Sundown Town -- meaning anyone who wasn't white wasn't allowed to stay or move in. That wasn't the law then, but it was happening. Women and minorities paid the price of whatever social structure allowed you the privilege of bringing a weapon to school. (Women paid the price in other ways, and are still paying it -- women then and now are still more likely to be killed by an intimate partner's gun.)

In my small city school of 2000, weapons wouldn't come to school, but half the student body was mil brat. We are taught extremely tight weapon discipline from the day we're old enough to understand. That filters though a community. Mil brats are also an extremely tight community, with high cohesiveness despite the fact that we don't make long-term relationships. That gives us the same advantage as a small town school. However, that high school did not allow anyone save teachers to drive to school (no space for additional parking) and getting a long gun onto campus on the bus or on foot -- kinda difficult. Not saying handguns (which are the most common type used) didn't make it onto campus, but social factors for that specific school made a shooting much more unlikely.

My third high school could have been a Columbine -- it had the same the social factors (wealthy community, socially stratified and fragmented community, huge campus parking lot and students allowed to drive, minimal integration and cohesiveness with the larger community because the parents didn't work together and weren't involved with the school) and was enormous (4000 students.) The only thing that prevented a shooting was luck.

Mass shootings are the actions of a rich kid -- poor kids are too busy either working, or trying to find work, or doing their parents' household work, or becoming apathetic and hopeless, to collect expensive guns and ammunition. They don't have the leisure to plan it.

I'd bet that a big reason that there were fewer shootings in the mid-century period is because there was less access to high powered weapons, and the ammunition was much more expensive in constant dollars. Today, a Bushmaster costs around $1000, so roughly 1/40th of the average household income. Setting aside that there were no high capacity weapons in the mid-century, household income then was around $5K, and in constant dollars, that was around $33,000. There was less money available, and guns were much more expensive as a percentage of income. (1/40th of 1960's annual income is $125, which I know to be exactly what it cost for my grandmother to have my mother in 1956.)

It's very nice to think of the past as some sort of utopia, but it wasn't. Nostalgia can be poisonous.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 09:37 PM

56. If it's security you want..

Build a society that no one wishes to attack you must.

-Yoda

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 09:55 PM

58. Like what? Your OP has generalities, but nothing specific. What exactly do you mean by "society

is making us sick"? How? What would you change? What pressure?

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 03:40 PM

59. Just like racism, violence in America needs to be discussed in the open

like this. I agree that there are many stressors that have hit critical mass on our society. Older cultures have extended families and a more rich history to fall back on during hard times, but Americans are more fragmented. We are easily divided and because of our diversity this is our Achille's heel.

I believe that influences (mostly the RW) have incrementally worked very hard to divide this country rather than contribute toward our unity and greater understanding and tolerance of each other. Mass media, extremist religion, and news have been broadcasted in extremely irresponsible ways and have been negligent in their responsibilities as a major influence on our society.

As a country, we can easily be divided from each other and from our past. This is where mass media and education is important, we have to be carefully taught. Or else we will forget what freedom means, what is good nutrition, what used to be taught in civics, and what our responsibilities are as decent human beings.

It is ironic that the information age has resulted in greater ignorance and dysfunctional behavior than greater understanding and harmony. We should all be virtual professors, inventors, scholars, historians, explorers... but alas we are just human and we CAN be manipulated.

Peace~~Felix

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