HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Science » Science (Group) » What Experts and Anti-Vio...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:36 PM

What Experts and Anti-Violence Organizations Say We Should Do in Response to the Sandy Hook Massacre

I've been following this story quite closely and I'm always surprised when the media misreports or completely ignores what relevant organizations and experts have to say but I've never been as disappointed before with our media as I have been in their response to the Sandy Hook massacre. There experts are either not really experts at all or individuals who are outside the scientific mainstream of thought. In most cases, it's just political pundits touting a misinformed political position.

The full statements can be found here (pdf) and here.

I provided a summary here. I was glad to see that Joe Biden has so much expertise in this area. I'm hoping he and President Obama will be able to enact legislation that will bring down our homicide rates to the rates of other countries. If he accomplished that, we would save 12,000 lives each year. IMO, the NRA is responsible for those deaths and should pay accordingly.

16 replies, 1728 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to toddmiller (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 05:48 PM

1. This is very good. Thanks for posting.

Although the article points to critical steps/actions beyond condemning guns, this struck me in a very quick read (will come back later):

“Guns, and particularly semi-automatic or automatic guns, make killing quicker and more efficient. As psychologists, however, we think it is equally important that guns provide distance between the perpetrator and the victim. Just as it is easier to act aggressively when you are hidden inside a car, it is easier to commit a violent act on innocent individuals from a distance. It is easier to avoid experiencing any empathy and to be psychologically remote from a victim when one is physically remote. . . . . . .”

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hoyt (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 06:05 PM

2. That is why comparing shooting witha a gun and with stabbing with a knife is such a stupid meme.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to upaloopa (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 08:11 PM

4. Don't think of it as a meme

 

It's just another in a long list of NRA Talking Points (AKA Big Lies), promulgated to sell more guns.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to upaloopa (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:07 PM

7. +1

Your post made me rethink what I just wrote about the fact that in addition to owning more guns and putting guns within the reach of 2 million adolescents (see science statement), far more Americans try to kill. Reasons for mass murder vary from the trivial to the that's awful but you know you could recover from this. What were the stressors that set recent mass murderers over the edge? Psychosis, depression, flunking out school, bankruptcy, getting dumped by your girlfriend, other's not buying into your racist beliefs, your friends and family not treating you well, divorce, custody disputes, abusive childhood, being bullied for many years and your devil worshipping only friend you ever had daring you to do it.

Why do so many more psychotics in the US delude themselves into mass murders? Gun control is great and we should do that but I also agree with Michael Moore when he says we need to take a long hard look at our culture which is focused more on me than we and constantly promotes competition and aggression over community and cooperation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to toddmiller (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 07:10 PM

3. Whilst I broadly agree with these views

I'm deeply suspicious of "scientific" reports produced about such complex matters at short notice. Admittedly, unlike these articles, it is normally gun lobby supported research that gets put into play, but knee jerk publication of contrary views is not healthy in a scientific semse.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to intaglio (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:22 PM

5. I hear you, but it doesn't take a physicist to know US society is f&*ked up with respect to gun love

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to intaglio (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:50 PM

6. Actually it wasn't produced on short notice

The document was written in 2006. They just felt after Sandy Hook that they should rewrite it to apply to the current situation. The second statement by the University of Michigan researchers is something they said in a lecture I attended in the nineties. These are people who have dedicated their lives to understanding the causes of violence. They understand the issues very well. Also, there has been six reports published in recent years by committees of scientists who have reviewed the research and made recommendations accordingly. These statements was mostly a summary of recommendations that were made years ago and IMO ignored by politicians in the pursuit of campaign funds from lobbying groups such as NRA and other industries that contribute to the homicide and suicide rates.

One problem of course is guns. Guns are more lethal so when someone decides to kill, they will kill more with guns. Passing an assault weapons ban might reduce the homicide rate by as much as 50%. However, that still leaves us with a homicide rate that is vastly higher than any other developed country in the world. More Americans want to kill.

Problem number two is that the desire to kill others is multicausal and we know what the risk factors are but our government won't pass legislation to address those problems either. For example, conservatives block or destroy government programs that are known to help such as more integrated mental health services for youth and young adults. A bill passed by President Carter addressed those issues and was completely destroyed by Reagan who threw about 20,000 psychiatric inpatients out on to the street where studies show most ended up in jail after hurting themselves or in a few cases after hurting others.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to toddmiller (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:22 AM

10. How would an AWB drop the homicide rate that much?

Not to nitpick, but I didn't see that number referenced in the OP's link. Rifles in total are only used in approximately 5% of all homicides; that's roughly 500 murders per year in the US.

The vast majority of shooting deaths are committed with handguns (somewhere around 70-75%, if I recall correctly), around 8000 or so.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NickB79 (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:42 AM

12. Your stat doesn't seem relevant to the points made by the scientists

1. Since you read the post, I'm sure you noticed that scientists recommend doing a lot more than just banning AW. All banning assault weapons does is lower the number of people injured in a single incident and the severity of the injuries. The U.S. has another problem, it has more people on a percentage basis that are committing or attempting to commit violent acts. You can attempt to address the second problem by either preventing people from becoming violent ( e.g., better mental health services for children, more cooperative learning in the schools, helping parents to limit massive exposures to media violence, creating a less competitive/stressful/more help cooperative society), getting potentially violent people treatment (mental health screenings in schools, jobs) or (blocking potentially violent people from getting guns through background checks and more resources for law enforcement).

2. AWB not limited to rifles. Hunting rifles aren't assault weapons. Handguns can be assault weapons. Anything military is essentially an AW.

Which approaches are taken and which are not IMO tells you a lot about how much concern elected officials have about people's welfare.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NickB79 (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:43 AM

13. Your stat doesn't seem relevant to the points made by the scientists

1. Since you read the post, I'm sure you noticed that scientists recommend doing a lot more than just banning AW. All banning assault weapons does is lower the number of people injured in a single incident and the severity of the injuries. The U.S. has another problem, it has more people on a percentage basis that are committing or attempting to commit violent acts. You can attempt to address the second problem by either preventing people from becoming violent ( e.g., better mental health services for children, more cooperative learning in the schools, helping parents to limit massive exposures to media violence, creating a less competitive/stressful/more help cooperative society), getting potentially violent people treatment (mental health screenings in schools, jobs) or (blocking potentially violent people from getting guns through background checks and more resources for law enforcement).

2. AWB not limited to rifles. Hunting rifles aren't assault weapons. Handguns can be assault weapons. Anything military is essentially an AW.

Which approaches are taken and which are not IMO tells you a lot about how much concern elected officials have about people's welfare.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to intaglio (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 09:55 AM

8. Huesman has been at this for essentially as long as I've been alive

The statement is not a scientific report, but it is informed by decades of research. Strangely enough, I learned of his group's work about 10 years ago because I played a little hockey with him, and he was talking about some of their findings in the locker room! The particular finding he was stressing then was the strength of the correlation between exposure to violent media (at around age 8, I believe) and aggression. This is summarized on slide 81 of his Collegiate Professorship Inaugural Lecture powerpoint. The punch line is that they calculate a correlation coefficient of just under 0.3 between violent media exposure in youth and later aggression (according to whatever operational definitions they used), which is remarkably large for social science results. The slide compares this to correlations between smoking and lung cancer (~ 0.37), school grades and income (~0.18), reduced childhood IQ and lead exposure (~0.13), and laryngeal cancer and asbestos exposure (~0.1).

You can check his CV to get a sense of just how many years of study inform the statement.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to caraher (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 12:20 AM

9. IMO as a living and not retired social psychologist expert on violence he's #1. He also predicted

that the Sandy Hook shooter would be into playing violent video games.

My favorite study of his is when he also randomly assigned 8 year old boys to two groups. The group that received education that violence on TV isn't real became less violent over time as assessed by their peers, parents and teachers. The group that received general health education stayed as violent as other boys their age are generally expected to be in Michigan. It shows that you don't have to censor everything kids see to reduce the effects of media violence on children.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to toddmiller (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 09:58 AM

11. One thing in the report bothered me...

"We must encourage people to seek help when they see that someone is embroiled in an intense, persistent conflict or is deeply troubled."

I've personally known two teenagers/young adults who shot and killed someone in Florida. I was one a number of people from the school, mental health, and juvenile system that reported one was potentially dangerous before he broke in a house and killed the owner who came home for lunch. The judge here looked at the psychological report stating he was dangerous and did nothing, because there is no where in Florida to treat such people! There are usually a bunch of people who know someone is unstable, dangerous, ill, isolated, or needing help. My experience in Florida is that it doesn't matter even when people seek help.

Here, a person can be held for a few days for evaluation, but after that the schools, parents, and agencies have virtually no relevant resources. A counseling session once every few weeks paid for by medicaid is pretty worthless when people need serious residential treatment or medications. Until someone commits a serious crime and goes to prison, there are very few options or treatment facilities that would prevent violence for emotional or mentally ill people in Florida.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Sancho (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:58 AM

14. I wholehardly agree with you.

The scientists really want better mental services right in the schools and for mental health service centers for young adults where they can accurately screen and get referred for actual treatment and/or referred to law enforcement that actually has the power to intervene when a substantial reasonable threat exists. The problem is that Carter passed a law that would have gone a long way toward doing that. When Reagan was elected with other Republicans he repealed the law and through the mentally ill out on the street. Not only was this cruel it actually cost us money because these people couldn't possibility take care of themselves so most ended up in psychiatric prisons. More expensive lower quality care.

Since then, it's been off limits as far as I can tell for politicians or the mainstream media to tell the truth. Instead, we get to listen to hour after hour about how it's really a good idea to throw the elderly or the sick out on to the street.

Why can't law enforcement intervene? To make a long story short, it can't because it was decided that psychiatric judgement should be used to determine whether or not a person is given a time out. The problem is the ACLU comes in and rightly points out that one person's judgement, especially a psychiatrist's judgement who was primarily trained to knowwhich psychiatric medicine to administer, isn't a sufficiently reliable approach.

That's why every time you turn on the TV, you hear we can't predict these things. Of course, it's because we can. Well we can't predict which will kill versus punch someone vs. committ suicide but we can predict who will become violent and standardized testing and other psychological tests would alleviate the objections of the ACLU. So why don't we do that. Psychological testing is expensive. If we did that some billionaires might only be worth $950 million and we wouldn't want that would we?

Sorry but as you can tell this whole area is really one of my major pet peeves.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to toddmiller (Reply #14)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 03:09 AM

15. typical of what happens in Fl



http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/crime/article1272438.ece

On Oct. 28, authorities say, Bishop used a 12-gauge shotgun — a weapon he obtained in spite of a criminal record and history of mental illness — to kill his mother and her boyfriend as they lay in bed. Detectives say he has confessed to the killings of Imari Shibata and Kelley Allen, both 49.
----------------

In July 2011, Shibata called the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office to report that her son was wandering the family's home in Oldsmar, smashing holes through walls with a hammer and saying he was Osama Bin Laden. Bishop was taken into custody through the Baker Act, a Florida law that allows for forcible examination of the mentally ill.
------------------
A psychiatrist diagnosed Bishop with schizophrenia and prescribed Risperdal, an antipsychotic drug, he says.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Sancho (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:00 PM

16. It's because we don't have any Fed long term care facilities for the mentally ill thanks to Reagan

and states don't pick the slack. Yet another example of Republican cruelty.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread