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School Shootings

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36 minutes ago, Wabash82 said:

Yep, just like the  drug manufacturers who worked to increase sales and build market share for their opiod products by misrepresenting the medical evidence re the benefits of pain management on healing, or the level of addictiveness of their products. Unfortunately for them, they were not smart enough to pay the right people to get themselves immunized from liability for the damage their products have caused as a result, like the gun manufacturers have done. 

Look, we (collectively this forum) have been down this same path enough times before. The conversation always starts with the "guns are just a tool" argument.  Then someone will make the blindingly obvious point that the manufacturers of any other consumer market tool that 1) injured and killed many people each year, yet 2) its actual utility among the people who owned it was consistently decreasing (because of the decline in hunting, less rural population, lower violent ctime rates, etc.) would have been sued out of existence a long time ago.

Then, suddenly, the argument becomes about "liberty" -- who are you to tell me what I want or need?

To which someone will make the again obvious point, from Poly Sci 101, that whenever humans form these things called societies, there inherently will arise conflicts between the needs, wants and desires of some individuals and the needs, wants and desires of others in that society, and that human societies have come up with lots of different ways in the course of history to resolve those conflicts, ranging from the guy with the biggest club decides, to the King appointed by God gets to decide, to hey, let's all vote on it. But that whatever method is chosen, the decision to live in society with other humans means that, one way or another, you ability to always get what you need or want is subject to limits because the "decider" in your society is not always you. 

And so then the conversation goes to, "Yeah but this is not just my "want". It is my right. Ever heard of the 2nd Amendment, pal?

And then we all become Constitutional experts and argue about what the 2nd Amendment means....

And then we get tired and talk about the  latest Trump tweet until the next time a bunch of kids get shot up....

Or some of us don't feel doing something that makes some people "feel better" really gets at the root cause of the issue....and at the expense of liberties.

I also feel some people don't want to look into why certain aspects of culture and behavior have changed.  

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1 hour ago, Wabash82 said:

I didn't reference (fully) automatic weapons in my prior post, so I am not sure why you threw that "factoid" in. And I am aware that semi-automatic weapons existed in the 1970s and ling prior. My  contentions were that the gun ownership per capita has doubled since the 1970s, and the percentage of the firearms in private hands that are semi-automatic weapons is much higher today than it was in 1974. Unless I missed something, I don't see anything in your post that contradicts those assertions. 

As for anecdotal experience at your high school, I am sure there are also (probably lots of) high schools today where kids have guns in their cars but no one has brought one to shoot someone. An individual example (or a handful of them) are not meaningful when trying to identify broad causal factors. Indeed, the idea that human life is less valued today than it was when you were  in high school in the 1980s is belied by the fact that the overall U.S. murder rate was much higher back then.  

I haven't had a chance to look at stats yet, but anecdotally I wonder if the that issue of availability also comes into play.  I recall growing up in the 70s in Texas where the idea of guns in pickup trucks was a norm, but I also recall the preponderance of semi-auto or even large caliber carry wasn't as widespread.  Most guys that had their "guns in their racks" that were carrying .22s.  There were some guys that had hunting rifles, but they were in the trucks, not year round, but only during the season.  That is, .30-06 and .30-30s didn't show up in trucks until after deer season opened and shotguns didn't show up until duck/turkey season opened.  Similarly, as kids were introduced to firepower beyond pellet/BB guns, it seemed to me that single-shot was the preponderance of gun types.  Most of my friends that had gotten their first "gunpowder" arms tended to end up with single shot or bolt-action .22 or single-shot or double-barrel shotguns.  Even in the higher calibers, I'd say the mix of kids at my high school that had higher caliber rifles, the vast majority were bolt action or single-shot/single-load.  I'm pretty sure that semi-auto was available in decent numbers, but it seemed that, even among enthusiasts that there was a much more measured progression/use.  Single-shot was kind of an automatic default in terms of consideration for a first gun.  Again, I haven't looked at stats, but I get the feeling that semi-auto is a default and calibers are considered the larger the better ... especially amongst the general public.

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33 minutes ago, TrojanDad said:

Because SA and even automatic weapons have been around for a long, long time.  Its a much more complex issue than just "per volume".  If we want to speak volume, then why isn't this happening in Switzerland?  I am not taking the time to try and determine how much SA weapons growth has occurred since 1970.  I'll take your word for it.  But I don't align this is just about SA weapons.  Can unfortunately reference you many mass shootings that didn't involve a SA rifle.  As I referenced prior, it doesn't take an AR in more confined quarters to take multiple lives.  That has been proven time and time again.

Anecdotal experience.....you need to get in the rural world a little more.  Murder rates lower today...ok...then why are having this discussion?....its because individuals, that are typically not considered as criminals with a very different motive, snapping and taking lives.  So again, another apple to orange comparison.

Approx 243,000 M1 carbines were sold following WWII.  How many of those were used for mass shootings?  Its not just an instrument issue WB....far from it.

 "Individuals, that are typically not considered as criminals with a very different motive, snapping and taking lives."

That's all just supposition and your own unsupported conclusions.  

We've all gone over this same ground before in prior threads. People have trotted out examples of school shootings that occurred pre-Columbine, and mass shootings going back to the 19th century.  Again, the murder rate was way higher 40 years ago -- so are you saying there were fewer nut cases but more "typical" criminals (whatever that means) roaming among the population back in the 1970s? 

It seems to me that the numbers are the numbers, and they tell a pretty straightforward story.  The murder rate is much lower than 40 years ago. But we more mass shootings than 40 years ago. And we have many, many more guns in the hands of more people, and the "average" guns on the streets today is a semi-automatic weapon.  Those facts seem to lead very logically to a conclusion that we don't have more murderous types among us than we used to, we actually have fewer, but those fewer murderous types these days typically has much better "tools" with which to work. 

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1 hour ago, Wabash82 said:

Yep, just like the  drug manufacturers who worked to increase sales and build market share for their opiod products by misrepresenting the medical evidence re the benefits of pain management on healing, or the level of addictiveness of their products. Unfortunately for them, they were not smart enough to pay the right people to get themselves immunized from liability for the damage their products have caused as a result, like the gun manufacturers have done. 

Look, we (collectively this forum) have been down this same path enough times before. The conversation always starts with the "guns are just a tool" argument.  Then someone will make the blindingly obvious point that the manufacturers of any other consumer market tool that 1) injured and killed many people each year, yet 2) its actual utility among the people who owned it was consistently decreasing (because of the decline in hunting, less rural population, lower violent ctime rates, etc.) would have been sued out of existence a long time ago.

Then, suddenly, the argument becomes about "liberty" -- who are you to tell me what I want or need?

To which someone will make the again obvious point, from Poly Sci 101, that whenever humans form these things called societies, there inherently will arise conflicts between the needs, wants and desires of some individuals and the needs, wants and desires of others in that society, and that human societies have come up with lots of different ways in the course of history to resolve those conflicts, ranging from the guy with the biggest club decides, to the King appointed by God gets to decide, to hey, let's all vote on it. But that whatever method is chosen, the decision to live in society with other humans means that, one way or another, you ability to always get what you need or want is subject to limits because the "decider" in your society is not always you. 

And so then the conversation goes to, "Yeah but this is not just my "want". It is my right. Ever heard of the 2nd Amendment, pal?

And then we all become Constitutional experts and argue about what the 2nd Amendment means....

And then we get tired and talk about the  latest Trump tweet until the next time a bunch of kids get shot up....

Using your Occam's Razor analogy, isn't there a paradox? Shouldn't murders as a whole have risen in proportion to the number of guns in circulation?

The gun manufacturers have never tried to hoodwink the market there are anything more than what they are. I'm pretty sure you won't find any studies that indicate how healthy it is to be on the business end of a firearm.  

I'll grant you we've been down this path before and it's pretty much fruitless. I have always maintained that to live in a truly free society there are inherent risks involved and I stand by that. Statistically there is still a far greater chance I'll be killed by a driver illegally driving drunk going home tonight, than I have of being shot by a kid illegally possessing a firearm.  

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2 hours ago, Wabash82 said:

Deep response. 

Why are #1 and #2 apples and oranges? Explain the salient difference you see. Obviously, we don't have your prior link to look at, so I don't know how you defined "mass shooting" or whatever standard you used (amount of media attention they got?) to select the pool of shootings from which you then selected your examples where there were psychiatric issues or drugs.  But I don't see why a shooting by some  troubled kid who self-medicates with dope (because he doesn't have any adults in his life who care enough, or have the resources, to want to take him to a doctor) is "oranges", while shooting by some troubled kid who medicates with prescription drugs because he has parents who cared enough, or had the resources, to take him to a doctor, is apples.  The difference is that no one cares to consider the mental health of the kid in the first situation. 

I personally think that the mental health thing is overblown. The U.S. homicide rate today (well, as of 2017, last year of full stats) is close to half of what it was in 1974 9.4/100,000 in 1974, 5.3/100,000 in 2017). There is no logical reason to assume that some dramatic increase in mental health issues has arisen in the intervening 40 years that somehow makes those suffering from it LESS likely to kill people UNLESS they are guaranteed to be able to kill lots of people at one time. 

There is a principle in philosophy and science called Ockham's Razor, which suggests that, when given two competing explanations for something, choosing the simpler one over a more complicated one makes sense.  The statistical evidence here related to murder rates, mass shootings, and the numbers and types of guns in private hands in America now,  versus 40 years ago, suggests that the simple explanation here is that there are actually fewer murderers among us today than 40 years ago, but murders looking to kill lots of people are able to accomplish that goal easier today compared to 40 years ago because of the much readier access to semi-automatic guns. 

 

Yeah but we are talking about gun violence, not razor violence........

Oh, come on, I had to........

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Only if you assume the percentage of murderers in the population did not decrease, but I am not making that assumption.  To the contrary, there seems pretty strong evidence from looking at the decline in violent crime statistics in general, not just for murder, that U.S. society is becoming more and more peaceful. 

The phenomenon we are seeing is not that violent behavior is increasing, but that as it gets rarer, it sometimes gets more intense.  Many fewer incidents of violence in the schools, workplaces, or the streets, but when they do happen, they are often lethal.  

Your narrow limitation to "a kid illegally possessing a gun" probably makes your statement correct, but overall it is not: in 2017, there were 15,000 shooting deaths after excluding suicides, while there were about 10,000 deaths in drunk driving incidents.  

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Digesting what you are saying W.  it appears your data is supporting the idea that more guns=more violence. 

While I won't flat-out disagree, here's my take (FWIW).  I remember 35-40 years ago when there were hunting rifles (SA and yes bolt-action) on gun racks in about every pick-up in Northern Indiana school parking lots (SF didn't have a pick-up, sadly) but with 0 school shootings.  Handguns were illegal to purchase back then for HS age kids as well.  The difference in the weaponry yesterday compared with today?  The same SA rifle is now black and looks like a military style assault rifle.  Still has the same action though.  So I am not agreeing or disagreeing, just saying that we knew how and when to use a weapon back then.  So is it bad parenting, violent video games, violent TV, rap music, metal music or too many guns available?  

I tend to follow the thinking that if one would want to target somebody or a group, the odds of success would be greater in a "gun-free" zone.  But - if one would want to target someone for killing - SF thinks there is a mental problem somewhere to begin with........

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On 5/16/2019 at 1:35 PM, Wabash82 said:

 "Individuals, that are typically not considered as criminals with a very different motive, snapping and taking lives."

That's all just supposition and your own unsupported conclusions.  

We've all gone over this same ground before in prior threads. People have trotted out examples of school shootings that occurred pre-Columbine, and mass shootings going back to the 19th century.  Again, the murder rate was way higher 40 years ago -- so are you saying there were fewer nut cases but more "typical" criminals (whatever that means) roaming among the population back in the 1970s? 

It seems to me that the numbers are the numbers, and they tell a pretty straightforward story.  The murder rate is much lower than 40 years ago. But we more mass shootings than 40 years ago. And we have many, many more guns in the hands of more people, and the "average" guns on the streets today is a semi-automatic weapon.  Those facts seem to lead very logically to a conclusion that we don't have more murderous types among us than we used to, we actually have fewer, but those fewer murderous types these days typically has much better "tools" with which to work. 

Its not supposition....the profiles of people involved in these mass shootings speak for themselves....these are not known criminals with past records of crime in the vast majority of cases.  Especially the school aged kids.  My point is that there is typically special cause.

The shootings I am talking about are not pre-Columbine....a vast number have occurred that did not involve an AR or a semi-auto rifle.  That is fact.  Bottom line carnage can be caused in a school or other enclosed environment with the use of a SA rifle.

I gave you data about the number of M1's that flooded the market post WWII.....yet why didn't we see a big number of mass shootings?  More weapons = more mass shootings right?  Is just that simple according to your theory.

More forks = more obese people......take them away!!!

On 5/16/2019 at 2:02 PM, Wabash82 said:

Only if you assume the percentage of murderers in the population did not decrease, but I am not making that assumption.  To the contrary, there seems pretty strong evidence from looking at the decline in violent crime statistics in general, not just for murder, that U.S. society is becoming more and more peaceful. 

 

that depends upon the city/urban area...wonder what the data would tell us about those cities where homicides have increased??

  • Kill me now 1

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Looks like Switzerland's in the news on gun control ...

https://www.yahoo.com/news/switzerland-votes-strengthen-gun-control-141152587.html

FTA:

Swiss voters on Sunday approved a measure to tighten the Alpine nation's gun laws, bringing the country in line with many of its European partners despite the objections of local gun owners, Swiss media reported, citing official results.

Switzerland's public broadcaster said more than 63% of voters nationwide agreed to align with European Union firearms rules adopted two years ago after deadly attacks in France, Belgium, Germany and Britain.

The vote Sunday was part of Switzerland's regular referendums that give citizens a direct say in policymaking. It had stoked passions in a country with long, proud traditions of gun ownership and sport and target shooting. Switzerland, unlike many other European nations, allows veterans of its obligatory military service for men to take home their service weapons after tours of duty.

The Swiss proposal, among other things, requires regular training on the use of firearms, special waivers to own some semi-automatic weapons and serial number tracking system for key parts of some guns. Gun owners would have to register any weapons not already registered within three years, and keep a registry of their gun collections.

Edited by foxbat
Added link for full article

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