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World & Current Events > Senseless violence...will it ever stop?

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message 1: by Eldon (new)

Eldon Farrell | 704 comments Woke up again this morning to the news out of Dallas of more senseless deaths and families left mourning.

I have no answers to the posed question but just wonder if it ever will.

My deepest sympathies to all those affected by this weeks tragedies.

message 2: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15742 comments Another very sad incident, indeed....
After just discussing Maidan in Kiev on another thread, where few dozens of protestors and policemen alike were shot down by mysterious marksmen, I'm having quite a deja vu now...
Unfortunately, doesn't look like senseless violence is gonna be eradicated any time soon....
Can the instances be substantially diminished? I think -yes. There are many aspects that can and should be addressed...

message 3: by Eldon (new)

Eldon Farrell | 704 comments I would love to hear what you think those aspects are Nik.

message 4: by Mehreen (last edited Jul 10, 2016 06:48PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments World politics has played one and another rather slovenly. I wish it would stop right this very minute.

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments The way of mankind unfortunately.

message 6: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments I am not surprised that in Gulliver's Travels, Swift talks about horses being far more intelligent than the human race. It is proven now that our race is raving lunatic - bloody fools!

message 7: by Alex (new)

Alex (asato) Mehreen wrote: "I am not surprised that in Gulliver's Travels, Swift talks about horses being far more intelligent than the human race. It is proven now that our race is raving lunatic - bloody fools!"

it is almost solely us men who perpetrate this violence.

there are probably other books that describe the motivations behind this component of male culture, but Big Boy Rules: America's Mercenaries Fighting in Iraq uses a recent conflict and lays bare the nature of violence. as such, many of the motivations also apply to other forms of violence--state-sanctioned or otherwise.

(an aside: children--both boys and girls--are not instinctively violent. it is through socialization that we become violent.)

message 8: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Radicalisation is what makes people violent. What makes them radical? A boy who was afraid to even hurt a fly in grade five becomes radical as adult and kills under the banner of Islam. What goes on in the mind of a radical?

message 9: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15742 comments Eldon wrote: "I would love to hear what you think those aspects are Nik."

All episodes involve weapons and some - radical or mentally ill individuals willing to use them.

My own opinion - the measures are simple, but they run against serious lobby and high policy manipulating public opinion. And yet, I'm cautious to offer my own opinion, since I'm not born into American culture and haven't contracted 2-nd amendment through my mother's milk and I don't think I have enough knowledge of the factual side -:) But maybe as an outsider, I can be a little more objective... So it's just an opinion and I in no way mean to undermine anyone's tradition or culture, nor be wiser than anyone else... Besides, from what I understand the state legislation differs in the US, where only a small number of states run considerable restrictions on gun purchase and law enforcement agencies aren't obliged to enforce federal laws ...

The only reason nowadays you need the right to bear arms, wherever it is written, is for self-defense. And then in most cases for that purpose you are supposed to dial 911 and not to open fire. The criminal law is pretty particular about the entire issue. I can understand having a pistol within the above context, but I see no justification under any liberty in the world to have semi-automatic weapons or tactical sniper rifles in private hands/on the streets. No liberty is absolute and when something runs contrary to public safety, I don't think personal desire in such case should prevail over public interest. On top of that, I would seriously consider much stricter permission process, incl. psychaitric clearance and getting more elaborate info from law-enforcement agencies. The existing background checks are inadequate and easy to circumvent. Yeah, it would be a bit of a pain in the ass for an applicant, but it isn't a big deal either. In some countries for all I know, issuance of driving licenses are subject to similar or stricter procedures. Should buying a gun be easier than applying to a college or asking for welfare? I'm not sure.

Then another issue - radical groups. It's kinda hard to deal with them, if you can't even publicly admit their existence. Do radical Islamic terrorists exist? No doubt. Does it mean that any Muslim is a threat? Not at all. And there are many other non-Muslim extrimist groups that advocate violence. As you expect from police to infiltrate and actively engage organized crime, you need the authorities to tackle these groups much more seriously. The radicals are only a small percent in any community. I bet the vast majority of any ethnic or religious group condemn violence and can be of great help in rejecting the radical elements from their ranks. The communities should be engaged and allied for help.

Now, if there are underlying legit reasons for brewing within certain groups they have to be dealt with too. All the instances where anyone is killed by police should be transparently and unbiasedly investigated and the results delivered to the public. The procedures for opening fire refreshed, guilty officers punished. Because any just or publicly perceived as just cause triggers reaction. One would simply curse and develop antagonism towards oppressing, in his opinion, whites, another would go to a peaceful demostration, while the third would take a gun and start shooting.
Will the above measures form a foolproof solution? Probably not, but I believe they can bring about a significant decrease in instances and would pose some serious hurdles in front of such like Anders Breivik...

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments You've made some really great (and valid) points but they seem to touch on more than one issue. For example, gun control, police brutality and public violence are all separate issues with distinct challenges. Having said that i agree with each of your points, I would just assign them to each different problem, similar to putting a thread in the right folder :)

message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15742 comments Yeah, they are separate issues, but from my point of view they are inter-connected. Deal only with gun control and don't touch radical organizations, they will still find their way to cause mayhem. Therefore in my opinion, if you want to seriously reduce those instances, the solution should be complex and not only one-sided... Guns and people likely to use them against innocent people are equally important, as well as injustices causing public unrest

message 12: by Eldon (new)

Eldon Farrell | 704 comments Nik wrote: "Eldon wrote: "I would love to hear what you think those aspects are Nik."

All episodes involve weapons and some - radical or mentally ill individuals willing to use them.

My own opinion - the mea..."

Nik, you've made some salient points that I can agree with wholeheartedly. However, in this particular instance, I'm not sure gun control would've prevented anything.

I agree that no one needs semi-automatic guns or sniper rifles for defense, that notion is absurd. That said though, if the perpetrators of this heinous act could not get access to sniper rifles would those police men still be alive or would they have simply found another way to attack them?

The real issue, as I see it here, is the undercurrent that is boiling over in American society right now. That undercurrent being mistrust and very thinly veiled racism. Something I might note that fear mongering news agencies do nothing to help (does anyone else remember when the news reported facts instead of vying for ratings with speculation?).

If we want to solve violence in society, in our schools, and in our homes, it cannot be done with fear, hatred, and divisive thinking. It requires education for starters. People need to stop looking at their neighbours with mistrust simply because of the colour of their skin. They need to start realizing that we are all alike; we all experience joy and yes, anger at times. We all long to belong.

And to that end, the gap between the rich and the poor needs to be addressed. When you have nothing and see others who have everything it doesn't lend itself to belonging. And only by belonging can we banish the dissatisfaction that breeds radical thinking that so often leads to violence.

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments But doesn't this disparity model assume that the reasons behind racial tension in America are primarily financial and that the disparity is a one way street? A great deal of it has to do with resources but not always in the way one would imagine. Blacks are not always the ones who are the 'have nots' and many divisive political institutions and components of right wing media take the frustration and disenfranchisement many working and lower class whites feel and translate that into racial tension. Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by a security guard who could never even have afforded to live in his parents' neighborhood. President Obama's daughters are called horrible, racial epithets by people who will never attend Harvard University with them. A white American working for minimum wage will vote for the wealthy politician who refuses to improve her standard of living because he has convinced her she would be wealthier if it weren't for Mexican immigrants. Really?

Let's look at police brutality. not all but many police officers are from working class backgrounds. Their demographic skews towards conservatism and they are overwhelmingly likely to respect authority and see force as the logical answer to conflict. These individuals are trained to see force as a means to prevent conflict, not necessarily to quell it. in addition, cops tend to come from families that have a strong work ethic, believe int he military, are patriotic and prioritize family and community over anything else. Sounds good so far, right? But let's add to this the fact that many of these police officers come from families that only gained access to financial security slowly, one generation at a time. They are in a profession that could cost them their lives on a daily basis but they aren't even being paid what they deserve. Lastly, they have been told by self-serving politicians and the media that their lives would be so much better if America wasn't plagued by so much racial tension - that 'those' people don't really embrace the American dream. They believe it, cast their conservative votes for wealthy opportunists who don't care about them and they feel like at least someone is doing something. They get up every day, put on their uniform and go out into dangerous and broken neighborhoods filled with people who see and experience despair on a daily basis. But to the cops these outcomes look like the cause instead of the result - no one knows if the chicken or the egg came first. Some uphold their sworn duty with honor and valor day in and day out, keeping our communities safe and building relationships with the community. Others abuse the power of their badge and make victims out of the very citizens they took a vow to protect. When a cop can barely provide for his family and is villified by the community he has to work within it makes for a deadly cocktail - and when any of our citizens must live in fear because the color of their skin plus a nervous, angry cop may be all it takes to put an end to their lives it becomes clear that things have got to change.

message 14: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15742 comments Well, I don't think I can judge American or any other society, of which I'm not a part. I agree with you though that if mistrust exists it doesn't help being divisive. And education is very important, no doubt. However I believe, that a society that can elect and re-elect a black president or a representative of any minority for that matter is largely healthy and non-racist.

I agree even more that growing gap between rich and poor, especially in informational era when everything becomes known and when some rich are suspected of a foul play, is a time bomb that may one day explode and Wall Street really occupied.

I do believe though that pointing on underlying problems doesn't exempt any authority from dealing with any existing or potential threat and source of violence. That's their direct task and responsibility. Gun control, radical groups (doesn't matter of what race or belief) as well as any racial incitement and segregation are to be dealt with. Education too.
I think one shouldn't avoid dealing with whoever because it might be viewed as racial. To the contrary probably - show zero tolerance to violence through legal means and what is paramount - be totally impartial, whether a police officer uses it or a terrorist and you might reinstate a sense of safety and mutual trust and unity against violent elements..,

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Nik,
The problem is that gun control and gun violence aren't as connected as it would seem. The majority of crimes committed with guns are by individuals who acquire them illegally. No amount of gun legislation or gun control lobbying will affect them because they do not use traditional methods to purchase the guns. The problem is that mass shootings and massacres are perpetrated by individuals who acquired their weapons legally and through the proper channels. Tightening those laws have not proven to be effective for this reason. There needs to be a ban on assault grade weapons - the carnage and loss of life would be overwhelmingly reduced when an unstable person decides to arm himself and go on a seems so simple but gun lobbyists have deep pockets and the politicians are throwing us and our children to the wolves.

There should also be swift and decisive punishment for individuals who sell or possess guns illegally. Enforce it across the board and spend a bit more money on task forces created to get at the root of the problem, not just deal with it after the fact.

As for the president, well electing a black head of state and harboring racism are not mutually exclusive, I'm afraid. Kennedy was elected at a time when many Americans were openly mistrustful of Catholics. Johnson was elected at a time when voters questioned the efficacy of a Southern candidate. Change is progress but deep, underlying issues prevail.

message 16: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2280 comments Tara wrote: "But doesn't this disparity model assume that the reasons behind racial tension in America are primarily financial and that the disparity is a one way street? A great deal of it has to do with resou..."

Wish I could "Like" as you can on FB. And it is worth pointing out that your comment on gun violence can apply elsewhere in the Bill of Rights. The whole movement to blame the gun for the actions of the killer is the exact same as that blaming Islam for the rise of terrorism. It might be a worthwhile point to vet immigrants just a little more as it might be to tighten requirements for background checks on weapons, but at the end of the day it is unAmerican to say we should block people strictly because of religion just as it is to block the sale of certain guns entirely. When we blame the weapon or the religion or whatever other external stimulus we wish, it takes the responsibility off the individual.

And another problem we have when addressing this violence is that we like to find a single, neat root cause that could be addressed with a single response, but as you point out, we have too-intertwined a web that has to be dis-entangled from several angles. Unfortunately, no one wants to admit that they may play some part personally. Just like with every other issue we face, it is always someone else's fault and someone else's responsibility for the solution.

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments JJ

It's easier to focus on the gun instead of admitting the ways in which we fail the members of society who end up pulling the trigger. It is easier to blame society at large instead of looking at how we treat one another and raise our families. It is easier to think of ourselves as 'good people' because we don't hurt others but we refuse to do more than the minimum to actually help others. It is easier to hate people who don't look like we do or worship as we do instead of admitting that the problem is staring right back at us in the mirror.

Are guns responsible for school shootings or the parents who chase the almighty dollar while their teenagers are given violent video games to keep them busy? Are parents who seek help for their troubled teens to blame or is it the broken healthcare system that caters to the interests of the wealthy and big pharmaceutical interests? Is the angry black youth to blame or the system that robbed him of his dignity, his humanity and his future? Is the racist Klan member to blame or the local congressman who won't help pull the Klan member and his family out of three generations of poverty? Is the overworked schoolteacher to blame or the education system that won't let her do her job? Do we blame embattled urban communities because they are broken down and afraid or do we blame the billionaires at the top who finance the cartels and pump guns and drugs into these communities to make a killing?

And while we anguish over the issues the people who are supposed to enact change are on the golf course hammering out the details of their next merger. While our children struggle to deal with social problems they've inherited through no fault of their own politicians are bidding on how many Ivy League slots to give to minorities once they've secured the ones they need for their own children.

message 18: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Mercenaries will always be there trading guns for business. Divisive politics will also be there to make sure that this remains a bitter world.

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Mehreen
I agree but if we don't become the actual change we seek do we no earned the consequences, to some extent?

message 20: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments I don't want to be part of violence to weed it out. Non-violence movement could be an option I would opt for. I'm getting quite tired of violence wrecking up this beautiful world in the name of religion, ism, or what have we.

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Condemning violence is a start but actually affecting positive change is much, much more important. There are many people unaffected by violence on a personal level and many people who perpetuate violence towards others have not necessarily experienced it themselves. So while I wholeheartedly agree that violence is not always the solution I think it is more impactful when we make purposeful decisions to improve the lives of those around us. It is not enough to do no harm. We have to reach out and proactively right wrongs. More people suffer from disenfranchisement, neglect, loneliness, despair, shame, hopelessness, anger and abuse than we can imagine. It is this that ultimately leads people to hurt other people. It is this that sets off a chain reaction of ignorance, hatred, apathy and poor decision making. The teenager who brings a gun to school may not have done so had his classmates not mocked or bullied him. The abusive husband may not have terrorized his wife and kids if society didn't tell him it is 'unmanly' to seek help for his substance abuse or anger management issues. An abused womanmay not have turned to alcohol or dugs if she had known that she had friends and family willing to help her escape her abuser. We have to be a point of positive contact for people because one never knows who will change their mind about a tragic decision because someone was kind.

Full disclosure, one of my best friends was contemplating suicide when she was in her twenties. On one particular weekend i called her up out of the blue and told her how much her friendship meant to me and how much I loved her. She told me several weeks later that I changed her mind about killing herself. Another example - when I was a teenager I went to school with a kid who was generally known to be a racist and a bully. Everyone of color hated and avoided him with the exception of Ezra, a popular athlete and a person of color. For some reason Ezra never treated the guy poorly and went out of his way to at least try to be his friend. Well many years later i ran into the guy at the grocery store on a trip home. I recognized him, remembered how racist and insulting he used to be and had absolutely no intention to say hello to him. He saw me, however, and came over to speak. Turns out he is now an ordained minister and teaches bible school to inner city youth - mostly black children in poor neighborhoods. He has dedicated his life to sharing his faith with those less fortunate. I was completely blown away - speechless. He laughed because he knew the reason for my shock. He explained how he had grown up in a really neglectful environmen and he had been angry with the world. The black kids at my high school were all mostly middle class and from stable homes so he always secretly felt resentful and envious. He said that Ezra's persistent attempts at befriending him always stuck with him and in time, he was able to let go of his negativity because someon was willing to treat him like a human being. Now he does the same for others and is a positive, fulfilled person. That taught me a lesson that I remember to this day. If that guy had snapped and brought a gun to our school would people like me have been able to prevent it by being kinder? Maybe or maybe not but behaving more like Ezra did is never a bad idea.

I want to be the change I expect to see in others - in big and small ways. Some days I fail miserably but I will never stop trying :)

message 22: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments I too want to be a part of that but senseless killing. I don't know if any of us have the power to stop that.

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments In a way you may be right. I just think that most acts of violence are the result of unhappiness or mistreatment at the hands of others. Of course their are people who are mentally unstable or just plain evil and I don't think we can do anything about that. But some wrongs can be righted.

message 24: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15742 comments Tara wrote: "Condemning violence is a start but actually affecting positive change is much, much more important. There are many people unaffected by violence on a personal level and many people who perpetuate v..."

I'm also for proactive approach and taking personal steps in the direction you expect others to follow.
Saving someone from suicide is really Big and very well done, no matter unwittingly or not! Very touching stories, Tara, deserving a book by the way. The first story for some reason reminded me 'The Last Leaf' of O'Henry, while the second - an 'American History X'

message 25: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15742 comments Specifically regarding violence - realistically speaking, I think we need to recognize that all of us are not on the same page in their attitude, because of cultural differencies and mentality. I don't mean they are good or bad or to be divisive, but it's important to understand and respect (if it's something respectful) a different attitude, code of conduct and values. While in the West human life, dignity, liberties are the supreme values, for some declared, for many - real, they are not of the same importance to many other nations, countries and their leadership. To treat everyone through your own prism would be naive, inadequate and simply interpreted as weak...
Doesn't mean you shouldn't try, but you can't expect al-bagdadi to stop ruthless executions, because we consider them inhuman. It's more realistic to coerce him to stop, if we do want to save people

message 26: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Rome wasn't built on compassion but brutality. Human history is tainted with subversive and coercive acts. These seem to be the only way to power. Who would give up land readily? But clearly this is not ethical certainly not acceptable.

message 27: by Eldon (new)

Eldon Farrell | 704 comments I don't pretend to have any answers to this issue of violence but instead present the views of men greater than myself. On violence Joseph Conrad once wrote "The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary, men alone are quite capable of every wickedness."

Or in the immortal words of W.H. Auden:

I and the public know
What all schoolchildren learn,
Those to whom evil is done
Do evil in return.

Just some more food for thought.

message 28: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15742 comments Excellent and pertinent quotes and good food for thought, indeed!

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Eldon
wonderful quote!

It is complicated. This is why I can't and don't condemn all violence. I am a firm believer that sometimes armed conflict is the only way to solve problems, even though it is necessary far less than it is purported to be. Sometimes aggression is the only way to stop aggression. Having said that I also think that interpersonal compassion and responsibility do much more to right the world's wrongs in the long run. There will always be despots, maniacs, violent criminals and people who don't care about the harm they bring to the world. But they would find it hard to recruit followers if those people were fed, clothed and loved.

Thank you for your kind words. Now i want to check out those books you referenced.

Good points - the grab for resources at any cost. What is scary is the fact that the world's resources are dwindling at lightning speed but man's greed remains unchecked. The next 300 years are going to be beyond brutal, I'm convinced.

message 30: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15742 comments Tara wrote: "Thank you for your kind words. Now i want to check out those books you referenced..."

'American Histrory X' is a movie. Don't know whether it's based on a book or not.... and the 'The Last Leaf' is a short, part of one of O. Henry's collections...

message 31: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11501 comments The real question is what makes people do this sort of thing? At best, better gun control would merely make it more difficult, and perhaps that is not a bad thing, but I doubt it would stop it. This is the sort of thing I have explored in some of my novels, except that I do not include "senseless" violence. However, I am far from convinced that some of the people see themselves as senseless. perverted, yes, but not senseless. (Although the most evil character I have created did, in one instance, kill simply out of frustration.) Even this latest Dallas shooting, the shooter had a purpose. Of course we can't agree with it, but nevertheless it was purpose. So the solution is to try to reduce the impact of the purpose. Unfortunately, there seems to be something in American tradition where guns tend to be the means of early resort for some, rather than absolutely last resort.

message 32: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments People may kill for various purposes, out of vengeance, frustration, anger, power, greed whatever. There is violence in every culture. What would fix this degeneration is the real issue. When there was no gun people still fought, killed, plundered. One needs only to read Homer and Virgil.

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments I think the more troubling aspect of the violence we're seeing today is the fact the lone wolf mentality. Unlike armed conflict between factions individuals today are willing to arm themselves and kill scores of people for some personal vendetta or perceived injustice. The victims usually have nothing to do, whatsoever, with the killer's real problems. Despots have always murdered rivals, factions have always murdered political opponents, groups have always killed for the purpose of religion or 'ethnic cleansing', the oppressed have always taken up arms against their oppressors etc. But a man arming himself to the teeth to take out a bunch of people in a mall or movie theater or school classroom? My God, what is going on?

message 34: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15742 comments As much as I agree that education is important, that violence may be inherent, that there are deeper reasons for reacting with violence, I still think that lamenting only doesn't solve much.

First, most episodes with multiple casualties involve weapons capable of inflicting such damage. Get them out of the streets and particularly ban or significantly limit the possibility of their purchase and see what happens. Crack on illegal arm dealers.

Airplanes also can't be blamed for terrorists using them for their heinious purposes, yet the world spends billion of dollars on airport and plane security. Sometimes it works, but even more so it deters from even attempting.
If we say, ban the guns and those who need them would find them anyway, why not legalize drugs then? Those who want and need them know where to find them. But I argue, it's a totally different issue to try to procure something first and then use it. Some would still try to procure weapons despite the bans, while others would simply use less lethal weapons (because many act on momentarily urges) for their attrocious acts. Less lethal weapons = less casualties.
Second. There are groups that support violent means for their goals. Follow, apprehend them, seek and curtail. Incitement is just as dangerous if not more so than any other support or help to a felony. Apply to communities for help and early warning.
Education, zero tolerance to violence = anti-incitement.

Snowden and others leave no room for doubt that every communication (internet, calls) is screened. Some perpetrators share their plans on the web. Calibrate the system to intercept these things.
There has to be a comprehensive, thought out, cross-authorities both local and federal, involving public, program that would address all the issues in order to minimize and prevent these eventualities. You might not eliminate the phenomenon entirely, but I think you can achieve some results..

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments I think in my country we walk a delicate line between acceptable measures and civil liberty. it proves dangerous to infringe on our Constitutional rights in the long run even if we crack down on a problem in the short run. History has taught us that the results will be less freedom and not more of it even if we feel 'safer'.

- Ban assault and military grade weapons for civillians. Period.
- Legislate harsh sentences for anyone caught breaking gun laws.
- Registered gun owners should have to undergo mandatory follow-up review every year (background, safety certification and mental health)
- governemnt agencies need to completely overhaul their watch list protocols.
- Diversity training should be mandatory in public schools.
- Intercultural community programs should be subsidized by government.
- Any school, business or organization that receives government funding should be required to undergo training in diversity, conflict management, crisis protocol, threat assessment and abnormal psychology markers.
- Create task forces within the Department of Health and Human Services to determine the predictors of social violence. Initiate serious protocols to identify and prevent these factors from creating more violence in our society.

These are relatively 'soft' tactics but I think they would prove useful in the long run and prevent problems instead of addressing them once the cat is out of the bag.

message 36: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15742 comments Tara wrote: "These are relatively 'soft' tactics but I think they would prove useful in the long run and prevent problems instead of addressing them once the cat is out of the bag...."

Can't claim to be any kind of a specialist in these issues, but in my humble opinion you offer an excellent and implementable plan! And the more it correlates with liberties and traditions, the better

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Thanks Nik. i truly feel it would be next to impossible to pull the trigger if:
- You were more than adequately clothed, housed, fed and employed
- You had been taught since childhood to respect others even if they are different than you.
- You had educators and community leaders who were trained to look for warning signs such as social withdrawal, bursts of anger, threatening opinions/views, unexplaind moodiness, radical inclinations, hate-speech etc.
- You spent time associating with everyone in your community in fun, educational and invigorating activities. Sharing food, music, games, sports, exercise, art etc makes it easier to accept and understand one another.
- You understand there will be no lenience if you violate even basic gun laws.
- You were raised in a culture that actively prized community bonding over the 'me first' attitude.
- You were given immediate, first-rate assistance for mental health or substance abuse issues instead of being made to feel like you were a broken toy that no one wants to fix.

message 38: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11501 comments The problem with these sorts of suggestions is, how much of our freedom are we willing to give up, and if we give it up, what replaces it? As I understand it, there were no gun violence in the old Soviet Union. If you had a non-permitted gun, you might well get the dreaded three-year sentence, and the KGB did not need an excuse to search. Do we want solve like that?

The suggestions are good; the problem is, how to enforce them on the bad guys. The unfortunate fact is, it is the good guys who suffer, and the bad guys ignore it all anyway,

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Ian
Agree. I think a total gun ban would be like banning cough medicine because some people will use it to make street drugs. Enforce gun laws and ban assault weapons. Beyond that, try to get at the source by mitigating the social circumstances that lead people to believe they have nothing to lose by taking lives because they feel life is not worth living to begin with.

message 40: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11501 comments Tara wrote: "Ian
Agree. I think a total gun ban would be like banning cough medicine because some people will use it to make street drugs. Enforce gun laws and ban assault weapons. Beyond that, try to get at th..."

Yes, I see no reason for a civilian to own an AR 17. But equally, I think anyone seeing someone carrying an AR 17 or equivalent around the streets should call the cops. There is no reason why anyone should be carrying a rifle around a city, except when they buy one and take it home. A rifle is useful for hunting, but that is not done in the city.

message 41: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15742 comments Tara wrote: "- You were raised in a culture that actively prized community bonding over the 'me first' attitude.."

This runs contrary to the entire capitalist concept -:)

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Nik
It does and it doesn't. In many ways Westerners prize capitalism but it doesn't comprise the whole of our identity. Such as a man may be a Catholic but at the same time he is much more than that layer. Much of America has a strong sense of community and social involvement, capitalism notwithstanding. Also, some of the most successful capitalists realize that if the sense of community is threatened then their bottom line is threatened. unfortunately, the more ruthless, global companies may outnumber the moderate ones.

At the end of the day capitalism is a financial system run by people, not a runaway monster capable of making its own decisions. When capitalists are good, capitalism is good. When capitalists don't care about society as a whole, capitalism can be bad.

message 43: by Mehreen (last edited Jul 11, 2016 12:55AM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments I want to prevail upon better judgement. But is that wearing thin? What kind of a world are we leaving behind for our children and grandchildren? I shiver at the thought of it.

message 44: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15742 comments Ian wrote: "The problem with these sorts of suggestions is, how much of our freedom are we willing to give up, and if we give it up, what replaces it? As I understand it, there were no gun violence in the old Soviet Union. If you had a non-permitted gun, you might well get the dreaded three-year sentence, and the KGB did not need an excuse to search. Do we want solve like that?..."
Well, I think the main reason for the low gun violence in USSR, was not KGB, but that the guns were not on sale! Imagine the massive consumption of alcohol and having firearms handy - it would've been a total disaster
There are countries that have no or minimal mass murder shooting episodes even without going that far as to infringement liberties and freedoms. In no case, I'm advocating any kind of infringement. Is reasonable limitation on sales of weapons, infringement? I don't think so. Will limitations solve violence? No, but usage of dangerous weapons for that purpose will significantly subside. Stabbing with a knife is deadly, but likelihood to kill as many people as with the firearm, especially semi-automatic and so on, is much lower.
The magnitude of a problem is kinda crying for a solution:

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments Mehreen
Completely agree. i think the only way to turn this ship around is to wean ourselves off of material pursuits and the accumulation of goods. Resources are growing thin and the ensuing battles over what is left is going to make the future a horrendous place, i believe. Back to basics, i say. love, family, friends, faith and peace.

message 46: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 15742 comments Tara wrote: "Nik
It does and it doesn't. In many ways Westerners prize capitalism but it doesn't comprise the whole of our identity. Such as a man may be a Catholic but at the same time he is much more than tha..."

Yeah, I was thinking indeed on opening a thread at some point of individual v. collective. Can be an interesting issue to discuss and hear defferent opinions

message 47: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Guns are not a problem. It is how the world is evolving.

message 48: by Mehreen (last edited Jul 11, 2016 05:29PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1907 comments Tara and Nik

You are right. Faith or no faith. In spite of all the activists that there are, people are far less caring nowadays. What brings a man to point a gun at children, the elderly and the innocent? It beguiles me for sure.

Tara Woods Turner | 2063 comments he fact that you are beguiled means hope is not lost. There are countless people who feel the way we do - we just need to make conscious decisions on a daily basis to put our hopes into action.

message 50: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 11501 comments Nik, you are quite correct go say guns were not on sale in the Soviet Union, or at least for sale to the general public. However, I still think the ability of the KGB to search also helped. Interestingly, I think the attitude also helped. When I landed at Tashkent, the first question I was asked before the mandatory luggage inspection was, "Do you have any guns?" I had never been asked that before or since at any airport. Another interesting point about the old USSR is when I was leaving Bangkok for Tashkent, a Thai policeman came up to me and begged me to get rid of any drugs. I told him, no worries. I don't have any. But he insisted, for up to four times. He told me he did not care, but he worried about me!! When all this pleading was over, he told me that someone else had the bright idea to fly to Copenhagen and take a day or so off at Tashkent (a refuelling stop then) so the Danish authorities would see he came from the USSR and would not be carrying drugs. The theory was sort of right. The customs found them secreted away and gave the villain the three-year sentence. After about a year and a half, they sent him back as an example - a gibbering skeletal wreck. Nobody tried that route again, apparently. That has little to do with the topic, but I thought it might be interesting to show the difference that enforcement can make. Of course it worked because there were alternative routes for the drug runners, with much less downside.

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