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The terrible events in Aurora 
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora
Unke wrote:
Don't you think it is in very bad taste, to say the least, to pre-emptively promote your views on gun ownership a mere four days after a nutter killed 20 children age 6 to 10 with an assault gun. Isn't that showing a shocking lack of empathy and, dare I say, decency? Aren't you ashamed?



I'm sure he was responding to the media hype that had amped this into a gun control debate within an hour of the horrific events in Connecticut. I don't believe there was anything pre-emptive. It was a response to the verbal attacks that have occured in media everywhere. Many people feel that the First Amendment extends to the present forms of "speech", but the Second Amendment should have stopped with flintlocks.

I am thoroughly ashamed by much of what has happened.

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Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:18 pm
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora
My dad attended school in the 1950’s and at that time he participated in the school rifle club. They would meet after school in the rifle range which was under the auditorium and learn, practice or compete. They would travel to other schools and do the same. How foreign is this to any of you?
Between 1999 and 2012, I’ve competed in 8 different categories of rifled bore shooting competition using short arms and long arms to shoot at targets ranging from 50 feet to 1000 yards. I’ve competed in local, regional, national and international events. I’ve probably fired over 100k rounds and not one in anger. I’ve built much of what I use. I’ve also been the chairman of a program that taught hundreds of youth about target competition. I mean, it’s an Olympic sport. How do you think they get there?

The level of firearms knowledge exhibited by many would rank somewhere between willful and despicable ignorance. People who don’t know the difference between a Mini 14 and an AR 15 will readily throw out the term “assault weapon”. Know what? If you use anything to commit an assault, it is an assault weapon. Personally, I have little use for any rifle or pistol that will not provide me with stunning accuracy or a solid platform on which to build said accuracy. The fact is, these firearms exist in good people’s hands and are used for far more lawful purposes than unlawful. These uses don’t make headlines although I know of one recent local road-rage incident ended by a CCW holder who held the perpetrators for police. Unless you could magically extract every single firearm from every single owner, they aren’t going away. The AR 15 is the most widely sold hunting rifle in the US today. The term “automatic” means one trigger pull provides multiple shots. “Semi-automatic” means one trigger pull, one shot. The former is only available with a Class 3 permit which requires an extensive check process. The latter is a configuration for arms that has been around since the early 1900’s.

As these semi-autos have been around since the 1900’s, and we’re looking at a recent horrific attacks, I think we can say that something in society has changed recently. I don’t know what has happened. Perhaps it’s the combination of chemicals we knowingly or unknowingly ingest starting prior to birth and lasting a lifetime. Pesticides, herbicides, BPA, antibiotics (livestock), preservatives, vaccinations, VOC’s, city water unable to be treated for whatever hormones, mood stabilizers or other meds people urinate, and who knows what else is combining in our bodies in the same way as slowly boiling a frog. I never heard of peanut allergies in 1985. Now kids get notes home from school about NO PBJ, because X number of kids can die from this allergy. I don’t know what the hell can be done about this. Perhaps it is a result of putting kids in daycare at 6 weeks old to be raised by the lowest bidder for 9 hours a day. Perhaps parents have become self-absorbed and park the kids in front of movies or games, while they try to check messages. It saddens me that more parents don’t see the value of having one of them stay home with the children and develop family activities. Banks happily give home or vehicle loans that require both parents work. The marriage/financial advice my dad gave me was to only buy things we could afford on one income. I’d really like to see parents examine priorities, as their prodigy can affect mine.

I’m sickened by the events in Sandy Hook. I went into my daughter’s classroom on Sunday and looked at the little chairs and small tables. The plastic handled scissors and crayons were all put away with the glue and construction paper. Small coat racks for little jackets and pads underneath for the row of little Cars and Tinkerbell winter boots that will appear on Monday morning. To think someone could go into this room and experience anything but joy is hard for me. I always smile when I see it. To think someone could go into this room and cause hurt or death is unfathomable and makes me think we have a serious problem with our priorities.

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Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:19 pm
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora
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But I do feel grateful that (with the exceptions of a handful of criminals and farmers) guns just aren't part of UK life. I've never held a gun, seen a gun in person, out of all the people I've ever known only one has owned one, and that was because he was a farmer's son and they used to hunt when he was younger.

Problem is, I can't see the tide ever being reversed stateside. It simply won't happen. Earlier this year I watched a Columbine documentary and for the first time I saw the videos of them displaying their arsenals and practicing their use of automatic weapons in a field somewhere in the American countryside. It seemed like it was from another planet. I just can't grasp kids with guns outside of war-torn 3rd world states.


I've lived in the US my entire life, and I've never held a gun, seen a gun in person, & I don't think anyone I know owns one. That scene in that documentary you describe is just as foreign to the majority of Americans as it is to you.

When I read comments like yours, I think of a conversation I had with a Brit recently about American sports. He was getting interested in American football and was asking me a bit about about all the college football games that are on TV. When I said that there were over 130 college teams playing Div 1 A football, his eyes got wide & he said, "I keep forgetting how big your country is."

Too many non americans think they have an idea what american life is by what they see in the news or in movies.


Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:44 pm
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora
Unke wrote:
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
The 2nd amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

It's the last 4 words that stand out to me. Shall not be infringed. This amendment is just as important as the rest of the bill of rights. When this amendment was written, I don't know if our forefathers ever envisioned the gun technology of today, but they believed in this ideal enough to make it a part of the most important document ever written for our country. I'm not saying guns shouldn't be heavily regulated, but I am saying they should not be banned, ever. A law abiding, upstanding member of society, after jumping through necessary hoops, should be able to obtain semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and hand-guns of any calibre or gauge. I would be fine with necessary hoops being detailed background checks, passing of safety courses, mental health checks, etc. I would be fine with this process taking an appropriate amount of time...weeks, even months.

BUT...I would not be fine with that right being taken away...ever.


I know that I am from a different culture and have little insight into or understanding of Americans' gun fetishism. Still, please allow me one comment:

Don't you think it is in very bad taste, to say the least, to pre-emptively promote your views on gun ownership a mere four days after a nutter killed 20 children age 6 to 10 with an assault gun. Isn't that showing a shocking lack of empathy and, dare I say, decency? Aren't you ashamed?


Yes, I am ashamed that this tragedy will be used to push a political agenda, on either side, but it has already begun. Mayor Bloomberg and a panel of politicians were all interviewed over the weekend about their views on gun control policy and what should be done. Last night Bloomberg (billionaire Mayor of New York City) said he put $600 million up to fight against cigarettes, and he is prepared to put up much more toward gun policies. President Obama even brought political statements into his speech last night, and his staff has already released a statement he will support the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban of the clinton era.

The coming arguments, right or wrong, cannot be avoided.


Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:08 pm
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora
Awf Hand wrote:
As these semi-autos have been around since the 1900’s, and we’re looking at a recent horrific attacks, I think we can say that something in society has changed recently. I don’t know what has happened. Perhaps it’s the combination of chemicals we knowingly or unknowingly ingest starting prior to birth and lasting a lifetime. Pesticides, herbicides, BPA, antibiotics (livestock), preservatives, vaccinations, VOC’s, city water unable to be treated for whatever hormones, mood stabilizers or other meds people urinate, and who knows what else is combining in our bodies in the same way as slowly boiling a frog. I never heard of peanut allergies in 1985. Now kids get notes home from school about NO PBJ, because X number of kids can die from this allergy. I don’t know what the hell can be done about this. Perhaps it is a result of putting kids in daycare at 6 weeks old to be raised by the lowest bidder for 9 hours a day. Perhaps parents have become self-absorbed and park the kids in front of movies or games, while they try to check messages. It saddens me that more parents don’t see the value of having one of them stay home with the children and develop family activities. Banks happily give home or vehicle loans that require both parents work. The marriage/financial advice my dad gave me was to only buy things we could afford on one income. I’d really like to see parents examine priorities, as their prodigy can affect mine.

Throw in the rising cost of tea, color movies, and the advent of fuel efficiency standards while you're bandying about things that have a correlation with this perceived change in society but no quantifiable causal relationship.

(And while you're talking about ingesting chemicals, think about all the shit that was put in preserved food before companies were required to list the ingredients on the label.)

It is politicization to try to pin the tragedy on violent video games, secular schools, or whatever. That's pushing an agenda--taking one's own pet cause and yoking it to a high-profile news event that has nothing to do with it. It is not politicization to bring up gun control, given the rather prominent role that guns played in the crime and the fact that the person who carried it out should not have had access to them--whether by law or by familial oversight.

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Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:34 pm
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora
Awf Hand wrote:
My dad attended school in the 1950’s and at that time he participated in the school rifle club. They would meet after school in the rifle range which was under the auditorium and learn, practice or compete. They would travel to other schools and do the same. How foreign is this to any of you?
Between 1999 and 2012, I’ve competed in 8 different categories of rifled bore shooting competition using short arms and long arms to shoot at targets ranging from 50 feet to 1000 yards. I’ve competed in local, regional, national and international events. I’ve probably fired over 100k rounds and not one in anger. I’ve built much of what I use. I’ve also been the chairman of a program that taught hundreds of youth about target competition. I mean, it’s an Olympic sport. How do you think they get there?


You do realise that there are still rifle clubs in countries with stricter gun control laws? Me neighbour's been a member of his local rifle club and has been going for years. It's not foreign, but I don't know why you think it should be.


Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:53 pm
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora
Awkward Beard Man wrote:
You do realise that there are still rifle clubs in countries with stricter gun control laws? Me neighbour's been a member of his local rifle club and has been going for years. It's not foreign, but I don't know why you think it should be.


What I was suggesting as foreign (outlandish) was the concept that there were rifle clubs IN schools. Students were encouraged to bring a rifle to school. That way they had enough for everybody.

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Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:32 pm
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora
Here is another point of view -

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100194585/it-isnt-redneck-gun-culture-that-causes-mass-school-shootings-its-the-culture-of-narcissism/

Some worthwhile points made.

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Tue Dec 18, 2012 5:14 am
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora

I find this interesting in that the author attempted to look at a more deep-rooted cause of the higher number of these incidents in the U.S. than in other industrialized nations. He posits a culture and society that puts perhaps too much emphasis on the individual than on the group. Perhaps this is why a country like Japan has had so few such incidents: their culture promotes a larger consideration of others, as it is a class and status society. Could it be that a more socialistic outlook could prove to be the answer? This bears more thought, IMO.

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Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:52 pm
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora
Ragnarok73 wrote:
I find this interesting in that the author attempted to look at a more deep-rooted cause of the higher number of these incidents in the U.S. than in other industrialized nations. He posits a culture and society that puts perhaps too much emphasis on the individual than on the group. Perhaps this is why a country like Japan has had so few such incidents: their culture promotes a larger consideration of others, as it is a class and status society. Could it be that a more socialistic outlook could prove to be the answer? This bears more thought, IMO.


I'd argue that it also puts a lot of pressure on the individual to conform to what society expects you to be. It's difficult for example for an individual to come out as gay in these types of cultures when your family expects you to get married and raise your own family.

I guess this is a side effect of the breaking down of traditional 'family values'. When you're not expected to fit into certain roles in society, it's difficult to keep this strict order of how things are 'supposed to be'. And a lot of the reasons for people fulfilling these roles came out of fear. Fear of not fitting into society, being ostracized for being different, fear of God almighty! Not to mention that the world used to be a much larger place before globalization, technology, supermarkets and the internet allowed us to essentially become self sufficient. People relied on each other a lot more in order to survive. Often people needed to turn to their neighbors, and thus had to maintain their standing within society.

We're living in more tolerant times, where we don't discriminate people nearly as much (though it still happens) based upon their sexuality, skin colour, gender, religion, etc. But at the same times things are much more chaotic, since there's no one size fits all 'role' that we expect individuals to maintain. People are also able to survive without having to rely as much on others, which tends to promote a more self-serving attitude. But even with these problems, I'd much rather be a gay, atheist black woman born out of wedlock today than 100 years ago. I think a more selfish society is a fair price for a more equitable society.

Also, I thinks it's important to remember that teenagers have also been narcissistic little bastards. It's just that normally parents couldn't see that attitude because it often occurred with friends and behind closed doors. The Internet, with youtube, facebook and twitter opens a window to previously closed off world. Things are a lot more in-your-face these days.


Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:21 pm
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora
Ragnarok73 wrote:

I find this interesting in that the author attempted to look at a more deep-rooted cause of the higher number of these incidents in the U.S. than in other industrialized nations. He posits a culture and society that puts perhaps too much emphasis on the individual than on the group. Perhaps this is why a country like Japan has had so few such incidents: their culture promotes a larger consideration of others, as it is a class and status society. Could it be that a more socialistic outlook could prove to be the answer? This bears more thought, IMO.


Japan isn't socialist, but their society seems closer knit. It's probably not the time and place to go into why that is - if you know what I mean?

What interests me about this case is the willingness of liberals to blame the culture of "rednecks" Think about what the same liberals say when the culture of blacks or hispanics are blamed for society's ills. "Rednecks" just form a minority that is more fashionable to beat down on.

Also, these killers do fit a demographic. Materially comfortable, reasonably educated teens with God complexes that seem to be enhanced by certain over the counter chemicals. Not hairy-handed hillbillies as some may have us believe.

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Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:02 am
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora
NotHughGrant wrote:
Also, these killers do fit a demographic. Materially comfortable, reasonably educated teens with God complexes that seem to be enhanced by certain over the counter chemicals. Not hairy-handed hillbillies as some may have us believe.


Let's not forget mental illness in all of this. It's not normal to want to kill people, regardless of whatever God complex you have.


Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:18 am
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora
Mental illness concentrated on a certain demographic

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Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:35 am
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora
That does seem to be a notable observation. Mental illness is fairly universal - as is access to guns here in the states. Yet the majority of the mass shootings seem to be caused by those with issues from the upper middle and even upper classes. For some reason more in these circumstances seem to develop the anger required to do such a thing.

I should add that (fortunately) the number of occurances is too small to really prove any significant correlations, but I still find the observation interesting.


Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:21 am
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Post Re: The terrible events in Aurora
i think that the gun control laws are controlled by economics.
Economics
I wonder who financially backs the people who are against tighter gun control.


Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:01 pm
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