Is the violence more about mental health and less about gun control?

OG_slinger wrote:
Edwin wrote:

Looks I screwed up the links. Here is the Australian one again [Daily Telegraph]. Still trying to find a working copy of the Canadian one. Not sure why it isn't working now.

The Australian link always worked. Again, an unproven allegation that their registry system was compromised doesn't mean that any registry system is doomed to be compromised.

You'll have to work hard for the Canadian one because my Google-fu didn't turn up anything but massive number of pro-gun websites and forums linking to it. Things like that make my Spidey sense tingle. After all, the pro-gun crowd has a history of continually referring to the same few highly dubious articles and studies in an attempt to prove their point.

Yeah, that's what I am finding too. Like I said, I'll concede that. My spidey sense also was going off on the source found. It didn't pass the sniff test.

Edwin wrote:

We've also already established the NRA is one of the roadblocks here and I am on your side about them. I also agree with you on the volume. Why do you make it sound like I don't agree with you? I do and I am not defending the NRA or agree with them.

My apologies. Most pro-gun rights folks are extreme in their beliefs and I projected on to you considering your complete brush off of gun registries and putting forth the claim that any gun registry will naturally lead to genocide. Those are typically claims only put forth by very rabid believers in gun rights.

Edwin wrote:

I meant a tax that's added to the firearms purchase, not a tax for everyone. But your response goes against the universal part of healthcare.

How does my response go against universal healthcare? I want everyone to have the coverage they need to seek medical help. However, I want anyone who wants to own a gun to prove that they're mentally stable enough to own one. That means a dedicated mental health screening that's above and beyond any treatment they may already be getting.

Edwin wrote:

I'm not asking for a "cookie" and I do bash the NRA as much or more than the ATF. I do what I suppose (please correct me if I am wrong), what others do. Vote, donate, support those who have sane and sensible policies (very subjective so this probably won't hold water with you). I don't hate the ATF entirely either, just the bad parts. There is a reason and value to having the ATF around. I just want them to clean house of corruption, fund them better, train them better and foster an attitude of professionalism, not the current boys club that it seems to be.

So how can that happen when it's the NRA that is blocking attempts to reform as well as better fund and train the ATF? After all, the NRA's default position is to demonize the ATF as can be clearly seen in their role behind the Fast and Furious scandal. They've clearly stated they think Fast and Furious was conspiracy to push gun control, publicized the heck out of it, and they pressured House lawmakers to vote to hold Eric Cantor in contempt.

How do you reform a system that's being held hostage by an extremist group, especially one that is considered one of, if not the most, influential lobbying group in existence?

Edwin wrote:

Devil's advocate: I'm not going to have a kid since I am a male, so why should I pay for some other woman's pre-natal screening or birth control?

I want to highly stress that I don't think like that. It's that can of thinking that got us into this whole mess of not having universal health care. I believe we should all pitch into the pot and help each other out.

I actually think that example is perfect. My wife and I are childfree. We are never having children. Never. I'm fixed. We're not having them. Yet I don't think twice about voting for bonds to fund local schools or provide assistance to poor kids. I guess I'm a sucker for assuming that if we're going to bother having a safety net of some kind that we might as well make sure it actually works, regardless of whether or not it directly affects me.

was googling news to see if I could find much news site talk about mental health instead of gun control. ran across a mental health story in an aurora paper from 7/10, but it focused on boomers - http://www.aurorasentinel.com/guide/...

just found it a weird and horrible coincidence.

FeralMonkey wrote:

What if there had been armed moviegoers? In a darkened theater? With people running in all directions?

This is one of the more ridiculous "gun rights advocacy" arguments I see. Yeah just what everyone wants, a gunfight in a public place with people who are not very well trained to deal with these situations.

I would love to interview people who have committed these mass shootings and ask this question:

"If you knew that your actions were never going to be covered by the media, and no one would ever know about it besides the victims, would you still have done it?"

I am afraid the answer would be no most of the time. I feel that most of these incidents are a cry for attention or help.

I guess one problem with that is that 'the media' is more than just news reporters now, it's people going on twitter, it's people doing AMAs on reddit, facebook, etc. With a decent amount of people involved it's going to be stupidly hard to silence such an event without extreme censorship.

There's probably things the media could step back from such as the live coverage of defusing his apartment, but I think that's down to a coverage arms race linked to a major event, they want viewers.

I'm a big fan of guns. I'm a big fan of self defense. I'm even a big fan of guns used for self defense.

That said, I think the idea that the situation in the movie theater would have been significantly improved by a bunch of marginally trained, panicked folks with guns is tragically laughable. The dude was the only person in the entire building that was in full body armor and practically the ONLY person that wasn't going to be killed by a pistol bullet. There was almost certainly going to be no clear light of sight to him that wouldn't also have significant risk of injury for folks downrange. And in the panic of it all, it is hard to imagine that police would not also be shooting at "good samaritan" armed civilians.

Moreover, what would be the legal liability of someone pulling a gun and shooting at the assailant only to kill or injure other folks in the crowd? Lacking significant applicable training, should the state share some of the responsibility for his actions for issuing him a weapons permit? The state has a process for evaluating the use of force when it comes to sworn, armed police officers and that process is thorough and complete. No such process outside of a murder/manslaughter trial exists for armed civilians.

I did get a nice warning before my showing that they use night vision to pick up on people video taping the showing, but that's for piracy, and probably just a camera looking at the audience that's checked once.

Paleocon wrote:

That said, I think the idea that the situation in the movie theater would have been significantly improved by a bunch of marginally trained, panicked folks with guns is tragically laughable. The dude was the only person in the entire building that was in full body armor and practically the ONLY person that wasn't going to be killed by a pistol bullet.

I'm glad this got pointed out, because I was going to do it. From the sound of it, he was equipped in such a way that it would have taken SWAT to bring him down, and even then they would have had a time of it. Unless the rhetoric shifts to "If only someone in that theater had been armored and was carrying his own AR..." (which it may), it seems not just in poor taste, but silly.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

That said, I think the idea that the situation in the movie theater would have been significantly improved by a bunch of marginally trained, panicked folks with guns is tragically laughable. The dude was the only person in the entire building that was in full body armor and practically the ONLY person that wasn't going to be killed by a pistol bullet.

I'm glad this got pointed out, because I was going to do it. From the sound of it, he was equipped in such a way that it would have taken SWAT to bring him down, and even then they would have had a time of it. Unless the rhetoric shifts to "If only someone in that theater had been armored and was carrying his own AR..." (which it may), it seems not just in poor taste, but silly.

I am curious how he eventually was taken down. I suspect that the far more logical course of action would have been for someone in the crowd to tackle him, take him to ground, and control him in hand to hand where his projectile weapons would be of limited utility (just as they did with Jared Lee Loughner).

Paleocon wrote:

I am curious how he eventually was taken down. I suspect that the far more logical course of action would have been for someone in the crowd to tackle him, take him to ground, and control him in hand to hand where his projectile weapons would be of limited utility (just as they did with Jared Lee Loughner).

Last I read he simply stopped shooting at some point and it wasn't terribly clear as to why, if he ran out of ammo or what.

krev82 wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

I am curious how he eventually was taken down. I suspect that the far more logical course of action would have been for someone in the crowd to tackle him, take him to ground, and control him in hand to hand where his projectile weapons would be of limited utility (just as they did with Jared Lee Loughner).

Last I read he simply stopped shooting at some point and it wasn't terribly clear as to why, if he ran out of ammo or what.

Well, for one, the ridiculous 100 round snail drum he had on his AR15 jammed forcing him to move on to his Glock pistol.

A couple random thoughts since there doesn't seem to be a better place to put them.

#1 - I saw Batman yesterday and during the trailers I was more aware than I'd ever been of all the violence in movies. I'm not going to suddenly go take up the cause of Jack Thompson, but it definitely made me feel weird. It was as if the tragedy had "re-sensitized" me to violence in a way that made me think more about our entertainment. Not blaming our entertainment, mind you. But I just realized that we're awash in violence. Once it's pervasive in everything from music lyrics to games to movies there has to be an effect on the mind of someone who is not right, no? My mind is right and it made me feel uneasy.

There was even one that bugged me that had no connotations of the violence in Aurora. There was a trailer about a neighborhood watch group. A comedy. The whole time the trailer was running all I could think about is the kid killed by George Zimmerman.

I guess the pint is that society is bathed in violence and for one of the first times in my life I was truly aware of it and unsettled by it.

#2 - I went on a two mile+ walk around downtown before the movie, eating breakfast, hanging at coffee shops, etc. so I took a backpack. They searched my backpack before going to the movie yesterday. Not sure I want that to become a trend.

Perhaps this is a little too close to the tragedy, but part of me was at least a little grateful that it wasn't another Korean dude.

Are Asians the only folks who feel collectively responsible for the dumbfukkery of other members of their race?

Paleocon wrote:

Perhaps this is a little too close to the tragedy, but part of me was at least a little grateful that it wasn't another Korean dude.

Are Asians the only folks who feel collectively responsible for the dumbfukkery of other members of their race?

Nope. /Jewish

Tanglebones wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

Perhaps this is a little too close to the tragedy, but part of me was at least a little grateful that it wasn't another Korean dude.

Are Asians the only folks who feel collectively responsible for the dumbfukkery of other members of their race?

Nope. /Jewish

Yeah. Come to think of it, my rabbi does the double facepalm every time she hears about the latest dumbassery from Netanyahu.

DSGamer wrote:

#1 - I saw Batman yesterday and during the trailers I was more aware than I'd ever been of all the violence in movies. I'm not going to suddenly go take up the cause of Jack Thompson, but it definitely made me feel weird. It was as if the tragedy had "re-sensitized" me to violence in a way that made me think more about our entertainment. Not blaming our entertainment, mind you. But I just realized that we're awash in violence. Once it's pervasive in everything from music lyrics to games to movies there has to be an effect on the mind of someone who is not right, no? My mind is right and it made me feel uneasy.

This raises an interesting question. If we accept that racist imagery in media leads to more racism, or that jokes about rape lead to more rape, is it possible that violent movies or games can also lead to higher rates of violence? I don't have a belief in this idea either way, but it seems like the rate of murder in different cultures varies regardless of whether guns are prohibited or not. So what is it about different cultures that leads to higher murder rates in one place versus another?

Come to think of it, why are murder rates higher in one state versus another? Why is the murder rate in Alabama more than twice the rate in my home state of CT?

Funkenpants wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

#1 - I saw Batman yesterday and during the trailers I was more aware than I'd ever been of all the violence in movies. I'm not going to suddenly go take up the cause of Jack Thompson, but it definitely made me feel weird. It was as if the tragedy had "re-sensitized" me to violence in a way that made me think more about our entertainment. Not blaming our entertainment, mind you. But I just realized that we're awash in violence. Once it's pervasive in everything from music lyrics to games to movies there has to be an effect on the mind of someone who is not right, no? My mind is right and it made me feel uneasy.

This raises an interesting question. If we accept that racist imagery in media leads to more racism, or that jokes about rape lead to more rape, is it possible that violent movies or games can also lead to higher rates of violence? I don't have a belief in this idea either way, but it seems like the rate of murder in different cultures varies regardless of whether guns are prohibited or not. So what is it about different cultures that leads to higher murder rates in one place versus another?

Come to think of it, why are murder rates higher in one state versus another? Why is the murder rate in Alabama more than twice the rate in my home state of CT?

I suspect much of that has to do with the fact that Alabama is one of the poorest states in the Union, has a history racial injustice, and has a significant portion of its population that can, by virtue of their race and circumstance, count on never having any vehicles for improving their economic and social status outside of lives of crime.

Funkenpants wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

#1 - I saw Batman yesterday and during the trailers I was more aware than I'd ever been of all the violence in movies. I'm not going to suddenly go take up the cause of Jack Thompson, but it definitely made me feel weird. It was as if the tragedy had "re-sensitized" me to violence in a way that made me think more about our entertainment. Not blaming our entertainment, mind you. But I just realized that we're awash in violence. Once it's pervasive in everything from music lyrics to games to movies there has to be an effect on the mind of someone who is not right, no? My mind is right and it made me feel uneasy.

This raises an interesting question. If we accept that racist imagery in media leads to more racism, or that jokes about rape lead to more rape, is it possible that violent movies or games can also lead to higher rates of violence? I don't have a belief in this idea either way, but it seems like the rate of murder in different cultures varies regardless of whether guns are prohibited or not. So what is it about different cultures that leads to higher murder rates in one place versus another?

Come to think of it, why are murder rates higher in one state versus another? Why is the murder rate in Alabama more than twice the rate in my home state of CT?

Well, this really deserves it's own thread, becuase it's complicated and nonlinear in a way that straight-up violence isn't. Why rape jokes and racist jokes tend to promote behaviors is it paints it as not as severe a problem. Violence doesn't suffer from the same effect.

(There's also that racism and rape culture are more endemic, and so it tends to act to limit the repercussions for it. No one is saying that shooting someone isn't bad.)

That aside, I'm also one of the types that likes firearms, (though I don't own one for practical reasons), yet would love to see actual reform in how they're handled. I'm also a deeply cynical and practical person, and seeing the absolute, utter, and unmitigated disaster that outright bans have been in US law enforcement... I think it would do far, far more harm than good. I simply do not trust our legislature and police to handle it in the same galaxy as "well". There's already a lot of red tape, and if you're saying that isn't good enough, I don't expect just more of the same to work.

Here's the thing. I know crazy people. I am one. (I'd be banned from ever owning a firearm if it was nearly as blunt as was laid out upthread, and I'd put money on being less likely to shoot someone than most. I'm more likely to just punch you if you annoy me that much. Hooray bipolar stigma.)

Generally speaking, red tape is a poor impediment for a well-motivated crazy person. All it really catches are dumb criminals and people trying to comply with the law.

It's... not hard to build improvised explosives, if you've got time to prepare, and are going somewhere like a movie theater. (For the same reason the TSA annoys me, most simple screening things will stop them.) As morbid as it sounds, I'd much rather have some wingnut with a rifle than with a set of pipe bombs. (It's also not terribly hard to build a break-action zip gun. I built one out of scrap when I was bored and 10.)

I hate you, lag.

Funkenpants wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

#1 - I saw Batman yesterday and during the trailers I was more aware than I'd ever been of all the violence in movies. I'm not going to suddenly go take up the cause of Jack Thompson, but it definitely made me feel weird. It was as if the tragedy had "re-sensitized" me to violence in a way that made me think more about our entertainment. Not blaming our entertainment, mind you. But I just realized that we're awash in violence. Once it's pervasive in everything from music lyrics to games to movies there has to be an effect on the mind of someone who is not right, no? My mind is right and it made me feel uneasy.

This raises an interesting question. If we accept that racist imagery in media leads to more racism, or that jokes about rape lead to more rape, is it possible that violent movies or games can also lead to higher rates of violence? I don't have a belief in this idea either way, but it seems like the rate of murder in different cultures varies regardless of whether guns are prohibited or not. So what is it about different cultures that leads to higher murder rates in one place versus another?

Come to think of it, why are murder rates higher in one state versus another? Why is the murder rate in Alabama more than twice the rate in my home state of CT?

Are you really will to argue that abstaining from talking about activities makes people less likely to engage in those activities?

It's not about deleting all reference to an activity or creating a 'taboo' around that activity; it is instead about the context in which that activity is portrayed. It seems quite reasonable to me that children who grow up idolizing fictional characters that use violence as a first resort to solving all their problems MIGHT be more likely to consider violence as a viable solution to their own problems. It is, however, notoriously difficult to gather data for or against such a claim (and even if we did have such data there is the difficult question of creative freedom and censorship).

So, does this mean we should ban the portrayal of violence in any TV show a child is likely to watch? No. It does mean that we should ask ourselves questions like: What role is violence playing in the show? What is the outcome of violence? Does the portrayal of violence in this show differ significantly from the way it happens in our actual society, and if so, is it possible the show is acting unintentionally as a piece of propaganda? Stuff like that. (You can also replace the word 'violence' with 'sexual assault' or numerous other things.)

This is why, IMO, a contemporary kids TV show should depict the protagonists only resorting to violence as a last resort, after all other avenues of problem-solving have been exhausted. (It also helps if they don't find themselves resorting to violence every single time.) Showing the proper way to respond to violence and the proper context in which to use it could be a valuable thing, but if every single situation seems to involve violence then it creates the impression that violence is inevitable.

People learn how to behave from observing other people (sometimes fictional other people), so if your aim is to be socially responsible with your entertainment these are issues well worth considering.

This is probably for another thread, so I apologize for the derail. This has been brewing for me since E3. I'm sure I'm not alone in that. I've largely been a fan of sports games and platformers, etc. So this generation has been a bit rough. I've enjoyed some shooters, but I've started to weary of them and retrench into games on handhelds. But the shooting kind of put me over the top that I consume far too much media where the solution to everything is violence, particularly gun violence. This hasn't been a conscious journey, but rather something just gnawing at me and it came to a head after the shooting and watching the trailers before the movie.

rosenhane wrote:

Are you really will to argue that abstaining from talking about activities makes people less likely to engage in those activities?

I don't know. My first instinct is to say no, but but having an open mind means at least raising the possibility that behavior and decision-making can be influenced by culture. We have a very limited understanding of how the brain functions within a network of other human brains, but we're so wired for communication and cooperation that it's at least possible that people can be influenced through the media they consume.

Yeah. There was one E3 demo this year in which the player piloted an unmanned gun robot as it mowed down literally like 20 or 30 people in a span of one minute and a half. If those were actual people 30 families would be without sons, and yet I am supposed to get excited about the prospect of moving my right stick back and forth while the game simulates crumpling bodies and blood spatter everywhere? That's not even a 'game', in mechanical terms. It is, in fact, a murder simulator.

Mentally ill people are more likely to be victims of violence than people without mental illness.

In instances of violent crime in which a mentally ill person is involved - 90% of the time the mentally ill person will be the victim, not the perpetrator.

Mentally ill people who do commit violent acts are far more likely to commit them against themselves.

Substance abuse accounts for around 8 times more violence in the community than mental illness.

sources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-171...
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...
http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/res...

Here's a viewpoint on gun control from Jason Alexander that I mostly agree with.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/cconnelly/ja...

Yeah, I liked that post of his quite a bit. I generally can't contribute anything of value to gun control debates but I will say that my viewpoint on the subject has fluctuated around quite a bit over the years, largely because of debates on this forum. However, the one point I've never been able to reconcile that he addresses is the one in response to those who say that a gun is a tool like any other. Guns are designed to kill. That's what they were invented for and while it's not the only thing you can do with one (example, target shooting), that's their primary purpose. It's not the primary purpose of a knife, an axe or a tomato as one responder to Alexander put it. I also haven't been able to reconcile in my mind the fact that countries with stricter gun control laws (i.e. mine and much of Europe) have substantially less gun deaths per capita. I don't know if that's because of the gun control laws or something else though, I just don't have enough data to determine that.

I've never brought up the "guns were made to kill" argument because it just sounded flimsy and honestly, it probably is. It's just one of those things that's always nibbling at the back of my mind when I try to re-evaluate my opinion of the issue with new information.

I said this in the Aurora thread but I'll restate it here.

My wife is a manager of two mental health group homes in PA (called CCRs). These homes are for high-functioning people with MH and MR issues, the purpose of which is to try to teach their clients basic life skills. Over the last couple of years reductions in state funding have resulted in the gradual closing of every state mental hospital. The CRRs have been increasingly presented with people by the state who should not qualify for the services my wife's facilities are set up for. People who need to be restrained, are extremely low-functioning, and other such issues.

When these state hospital facilities close, there just aren't other accomodations for people who need those intensive levels of service. So they either end of up with relatives on or the street. That doesn't mean that they are all a danger to society, but a percentage certainly are. Hell, just look at what Castro did to Miami (probably the greatest political practical joke in history).

Squee9 wrote:

Here's a viewpoint on gun control from Jason Alexander that I mostly agree with.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/cconnelly/ja...

The sad thing is watching people try to refute his whole argument by finding a single tangential nit and then claiming that everything posited has therefore been voided. It's either questioning his "statistics" or finding shortcomings in his lack of gun knowledge. And somehow that is supposedly enough to refute all his overarching, philosophical arguments and destroy any need to actually explore sensible resolutions to a serious issue. I guess it's the twitter-ized version of debate in America now.