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#783520 - Tue Apr 03 2012 01:28 AM Latest school shooting
mountaingoat Offline
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Registered: Fri Jun 22 2007
Posts: 388
Loc: Blue Mountains NSW Australia
I am trying to understand why these are so common in the US. I wonder if it is a combination of poor mental health provision combined with availability of firearms. I have seen documentaries that show prison psychiatric units are overwhelmed. A bit of prevention at the front end could perhaps prevent a lot of anguish and cost at the back end. Or, the US could just be very unlucky. Not a Yank bashing but would like to hear anyones reasoning for this too common occurrence.

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#783544 - Tue Apr 03 2012 04:30 AM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: mountaingoat]
sisterseagull Offline
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Registered: Tue Aug 16 2011
Posts: 189
Loc: Torquay Devon England UK      
Are they really that common in the US though?

Taking into account the population of the US (around 312 millions?), their right to bear arms and, subsequently, the number of firearms that must be in circulation, I don't think they're that common at all. In fact, taking everything above into account, I'm surprised that they aren't considerably more frequent - notwithstanding the fact that some states allow the possession of fully automatic weapons, I'm also surprised that casualty figures in these shootings aren't a lot higher!

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#917204 - Wed Nov 14 2012 07:16 AM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: sisterseagull]
Jazmee27 Offline
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Posts: 634
Loc: Pennsylvania USA
Depends where you are--but I would wager the same is true for anyplace else. Some locations simply have more crime than others.

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#917221 - Wed Nov 14 2012 09:15 AM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: Jazmee27]
mehaul Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 5190
Loc: Florida USA
Since this is brought up again, the rules need to be set aright for sisterseagull. I believe it is only a Federal license that allows fully automatic weapons to be possessed and the issuance of a license to own them is quite limited. The states can only license semi-automatic or single shot weapons (unless it is a pre-1890 antique automatic, like a Gattling gun, which are outside the license requirements of either government level aegis).
As you note there are so many guns out there that there is quite a number of them that are outside the law and thet applies mostly to the automatic weaponry because, well, criminals just don't seem to follow the rules for some reason. And kits are made to transform semi-autos into full auto, also illegally.
If you see someone hauling a multibarreled contraption on their shoulder and trailing a long belt of ammunition, you can be assured that person isn't licensed and may be up to no good with it. Do not ask to see a license, just run and call 911.
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#955604 - Fri Dec 14 2012 09:00 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: mehaul]
mountaingoat Offline
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Registered: Fri Jun 22 2007
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Loc: Blue Mountains NSW Australia
Around we go again. RIP little ones.

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#955835 - Sun Dec 16 2012 03:32 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: mountaingoat]
MadMartha Offline
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Registered: Fri Apr 25 2008
Posts: 13493
Loc: Georgia USA
The US is not alone in attacks on school children. Half a day before the attack in Connecticut, 23 school children were injured in China when a Chinese farmer took a knife and hacked away as the children entered school. Terrible, terrible! Guess the US gets more worldwide attention though.
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#955850 - Sun Dec 16 2012 05:40 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: MadMartha]
bubblesfun Offline
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Registered: Thu Jan 15 2009
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To be fair, as horrific as the attack in China was, I am pretty sure there were no fatalities. That alone is a pretty big difference from 20 children and 7 adults all being shot to death.
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#955851 - Sun Dec 16 2012 05:42 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: MadMartha]
mountaingoat Offline
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Posts: 388
Loc: Blue Mountains NSW Australia
Yes Martha and no children died from the knife. 20 did from a gun.
All other civilised countries in the world have under 100 gun murders a year. The US has over 10,000. The discreptancy is so enormous there has to be something different in those countries to cause it. I can only speculate but maybe:

1. Strict gun control laws.
2. Universal health care in all other countries, free mental health care. What gun rights activists fail to realize is that anyone can have a mental illness after the checks have been done. Not to mention severe emotional overload in a family breakdown or other situation.
3. The culture in the US that sees violence as an answer to a problem. With the largest military the world has ever seen and torture being accepted by most of the US population. For a faith based country, there seems to be a lot of fear and lack of faith in police and politicians.

These views may be controversial but please look at the figures and ask "Why the difference between countries." Australia had 8 mass shootings before Port Arthur massacre. We had an automatic gun ban brought in by a conservative politician and have not had one since.

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#955860 - Sun Dec 16 2012 06:25 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: mountaingoat]
dg_dave Offline
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Registered: Sun Oct 05 2003
Posts: 19489
Loc: Dallas, TX USA              
Your first of your list will cause the criminals to carry, since they can't follow the law anyway, leaving innocent people as sitting ducks.

Remember that the US's population is over 300 million (per 2010 census: 308,745,538), third in the world behind only China and India. If you tally those three alone, you have 50% of the entire world's population in a mere three countries. What is the population of Australia? According to Wikipedia, it is less than 22,000,000, per the 2011 census. That's about 7% of the US's population, and in comparison, actually less than the population of Texas alone (per 2010 census: 25,145,561).

Connecticut is a smaller state with a much smaller population. It's really comparing apples to oranges.

In all honesty, since I know a schoolteacher in Austin, I first looked to see where it was, and if it had been there, I assure you I'd have been on "pins and needles" until I heard that they were ok (I've known said person 20 years and I cried a couple of times thinking "it could have been her"; she's a very good friend of mine). Yes, it concerns me that schools aren't safe, but if the mainstream media would quit sensationalizing these murders by posting pictures and names, there would probably be less of them. Had you heard of Adam Lanza before Friday? Probably not, as I hadn't either. What about the Virginia Tech shooter? He was an unknown until that massacre. We need to remember to blot out these psychopath's names and force the media to not disclose those names. It doesn't matter where it happened. It could happen in Australia just as easily as it did in Connecticut or China.

Yes, I've been held up by gunpoint and am a victim myself, and every November 25 is a difficult day for me, but I can't let that keep me down. When you can say you've been in a situation like that, then maybe you can realize how scary it really is. Every time I hear about one of these reminds me of that day, and I have to do something to try to jar it elsewhere. I am more conscious of my surroundings than you probably are; it is a difficult thing to live with. I'm thankful that I am able to post today, because things could have been different on that fateful day nine years ago.

Originally Posted By: mountaingoat
We had an automatic gun ban brought in by a conservative politician and have not had one since.


Not every firearm is an automatic; some are, but not every one. Evil is all over and will stop at nothing to take over.
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#955862 - Sun Dec 16 2012 06:33 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: dg_dave]
ren33 Offline
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I believe I said this before, and I know I sound really naive, but when you think about it what is a valid, acceptable reason to have a gun?
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#955864 - Sun Dec 16 2012 06:43 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: ren33]
dg_dave Offline
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Registered: Sun Oct 05 2003
Posts: 19489
Loc: Dallas, TX USA              
Here might be one reason. Who knows how different this could have happened.


Edited by dg_dave (Sun Dec 16 2012 06:43 PM)
_________________________
The way to get things done is NOT to mind who gets the credit for doing them. --Benjamin Jowett
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. --Eleanor Roosevelt
The day we lose our will to fight is the day we lose our freedom.

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#955872 - Sun Dec 16 2012 07:10 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: dg_dave]
mountaingoat Offline
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Registered: Fri Jun 22 2007
Posts: 388
Loc: Blue Mountains NSW Australia
Data from "United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime."

Gunshot deaths per 100,000.

United States: 9.00

United Kingdom: .25

Australia: 1.05

Germany: 1.1

Netherlands: .46

We have criminals with guns in other countries but our police make me feel safe and a lot of the guns are stolen from legal owners anyway.

I am sorry, Dave, that you have had a terrible experience. I have been up the sharp end myself after 8 years as a NSW Police Officer in Sydney. I am a crack shot with pistol and rifle but when under stress and with the heart racing I wouldn't guarantee my accuracy. If people had all been armed in that theatre shooting in the US with the smoke and chaos many many more would have been shot as no-one would be able to work out who fired first and who was the culprit.

When it comes to guns and criminals leave it to the experts. I don't understand the lack of faith in the Police in the US. From what I have seen they are very efficient and if a little over enthusiastic, they get the job done.

Again I ask the question, why are the US gunshot deaths so damned high compared to other countries (per head of population.) FEAR seems to be Daves answer.

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#955881 - Sun Dec 16 2012 08:34 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: dg_dave]
bubblesfun Offline
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Registered: Thu Jan 15 2009
Posts: 650
Loc: New York USA
Originally Posted By: dg_dave
Here might be one reason. Who knows how different this could have happened.


Sounds like the CT shooter's mom had a lot of guns. How did that work out for her?
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#955882 - Sun Dec 16 2012 08:35 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: ren33]
bubblesfun Offline
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Registered: Thu Jan 15 2009
Posts: 650
Loc: New York USA
Originally Posted By: ren33
I believe I said this before, and I know I sound really naive, but when you think about it what is a valid, acceptable reason to have a gun?


Great question.
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#955951 - Mon Dec 17 2012 09:32 AM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: bubblesfun]
Jazmee27 Offline
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Registered: Tue Mar 09 2010
Posts: 634
Loc: Pennsylvania USA
If a shooter wants to target innocents, he or she will regardless of how many protocols or controls are in place.

And the mistrust of the police could have something to do with the fact that they seem just as likely as anyone to disobey protocol. I ju st saw a show last night about undercover officers who decided to open fire because there was a perceived threat (being undercover means plainclothes officers, so how was anyone to know they were really police? Yes, they gave a warning, but one just never knows.)

I saw another show in which a police officer was corrupt and had her fair share of mental issues. She was able to abuse the system, so the department didn’t know what a loose cannon she was until it was too late.

On a different note, I wish the media would quit honing in on the perpetrators of such violence. Victims’ stories are so much more interesting to me (sad, but still interesting). I truly don’t want to know where the gunman grew up, or how bad his life was, or that he had a form of autism. I do, however, want to here more about the victims.)
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#955964 - Mon Dec 17 2012 12:14 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: Jazmee27]
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 11619
Loc: Western Canada
Quote:
he or she will regardless of how many protocols or controls are in place.


I don't really think that is correct. I do agree that we can't stop this kind of thing that simply, but I bet we could put a dent in it. Just because a solution is not a perfect solution doesn't mean it isn't worth trying, when the problem is bad enough.

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#956019 - Mon Dec 17 2012 10:47 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: agony]
Jazmee27 Offline
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Registered: Tue Mar 09 2010
Posts: 634
Loc: Pennsylvania USA
"Just because a solution is not a perfect solution doesn't mean it isn't worth trying, when the problem is bad enough."

Good point.



Edited by Jazmee27 (Mon Dec 17 2012 10:49 PM)
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(1) Young I may be, but even young people are entitled to their opinions.
(2)Attempting to silence me doesn't hurt me, but the silencer.
(3) I must remain true to myself.

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#956028 - Mon Dec 17 2012 11:41 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: Jazmee27]
ozzz2002 Offline
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Registered: Mon Dec 03 2001
Posts: 17064
Loc: Sydney NSW Australia        
As Mountaingoat alluded to, Australia solved the gun problem in 1996 after a terrible day in Tasmania- 35 killed and many injured.

The Prime Minister acted quickly and rammed through legislation, aimed at banning guns.

In simple terms, it worked this way-

1- Declare an amnesty period where the government bought back firearms from the general population. Over 600,000 weapons were redeemed and destroyed in the 12-month period.

2- Any guns not returned attracted a severe penalty for the owner/handler.

3- Permits were very severly tightened, and only a limited number of licences were issued. These permits were mainly for target shooting clubs, professional hunters, defence forces, security personnel and police.

Granted, there are still guns in the community and I am not naive enough to believe that we will get rid of them all, but it is a bloody good start. I have had a rifle aimed at my chest, and it is a feeling that I never want to experience again.


I saw a stat that stated that 1,000,000 Americans have been killed or injured by gunshot since the death of Martin Luther King. That is EVERY man, woman and child in San Jose, Indianapolis, Austin or San Francisco. Can the American lawmakers afford to not act?
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#956093 - Tue Dec 18 2012 06:31 AM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: ozzz2002]
MadMartha Offline
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Registered: Fri Apr 25 2008
Posts: 13493
Loc: Georgia USA
There are 'some' reasons for private citizens to have guns, but 'assault' weapons - I can't think of any at all!
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#956120 - Tue Dec 18 2012 09:27 AM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: MadMartha]
agony Offline

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Registered: Sat Mar 29 2003
Posts: 11619
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In Canada the only real issue of contention have been long guns - rifles and shotguns - and it's a rural vs urban problem. A quite high proportion of rural households have long guns, for various fairly good reasons - vermin control, meat for the pot, etc. Aside from disagreement over control of those, though, the restrictions have been reasonably well accepted by people. We still have gun crime of course - by definition, criminals don't follow laws all that well - but not to the extent they do in the States.

I'm not naive, either, and don't think that gun control would solve this problem. It would lessen it, though.

A change in culture would make more of a difference. Lose our image of the "man with the gun" as powerful, sexy, independent, and think of him as grandpa on the farm in his rubber boots, or a loser compensating for never getting a date. I think that shift is starting to happen - well, maybe I can say I *hope* that shift is starting to happen.

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#956126 - Tue Dec 18 2012 09:45 AM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: agony]
mehaul Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
Posts: 5190
Loc: Florida USA
Besides the weapons all these murderers seem to have another thing in common and stricter controls on that aspect might be more effective in halting the madness. The assaulters all seem to have been through psychiatric care before the incidents. Are some shrinks doing experiments that go wrong with their patients? Not all but a few? And we see the results of those experiments in the mass killings? The Brady Act was supposed to lean heavily on that aspect of gun control and the incident in Aurora seems to indicate the shrinks aren't doing their required reporting to the FBI. The psychiatrist in Aurora was associated with a University which makes you wonder if experimental treatments are being performed in some of these cases. There are many untreated mad people out there who don't seem to be picking up AK-15s and going wild. It just seems to be the ones who've had treatment by a licensed practitioner.
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#956230 - Tue Dec 18 2012 07:17 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: mehaul]
ladymacb29 Offline
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Originally Posted By: mehaul
The assaulters all seem to have been through psychiatric care before the incidents. Are some shrinks doing experiments that go wrong with their patients?


I think the main problem is the lack of psychiatric care in the US. As long as the patient isn't hurting someone/themselves, they generally can't be committed without their consent. Which means someone who isn't thinking logically/rationally, they can't really do what needs to be done and get the care and the doctors can't force them to so they end up untreated...
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#956267 - Wed Dec 19 2012 12:17 AM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: ladymacb29]
mehaul Offline
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Registered: Wed Feb 03 2010
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Loc: Florida USA
The point I tried to make was that most of our shooters HAVE BEEN through the care of Psychiatrists and psychologists.
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#956341 - Wed Dec 19 2012 10:29 AM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: mehaul]
bubblesfun Offline
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Registered: Thu Jan 15 2009
Posts: 650
Loc: New York USA
Mehaul, mental issues are not like a broken arm where you can go to a doctor and get it fixed up and the problems instantly go away. As Ladymach tried to explain, if there is not immediate danger to the patient or others, the hands of the doctors are tied. There is nothing that can legally be reported without that standard being met. I honestly don't understand your suggestion that experimental treatments are going on. You are right, there are people with mental issues that are not picking up guns. Yet there are also clinically sane people that commit crimes every day. Just as not all sane people are alike the same goes for people with mental problems. Read this column about one mom's struggle with her son's mental illness. I don't have any answers for her, do you?


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16..._n_2311009.html


Edited by bubblesfun (Wed Dec 19 2012 10:41 AM)
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#956360 - Wed Dec 19 2012 01:55 PM Re: Latest school shooting [Re: bubblesfun]
flopsymopsy Offline
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Registered: Sat May 17 2008
Posts: 2654
Loc: Northampton England UK      
Surely one reason there are so many gun-related deaths, as per Mountaingoat's figures, must be availability. There are 270,000,000 privately-owned guns in the USA which is 88.8 guns per 100 people. Anyone with the inclination/illness/intention of killing people can lay their hands on a gun quite easily. In comparison there are 6.7 guns per 100 people in the UK, which makes it a lot harder to find one. If I wind myself up into a murderous rage over the neighbour revving his car engine I can't lay my hands on a gun. It's true that some criminals here can get hold of guns despite all our laws, but they have to have knowledge of how to do that, knowledge which is beyond most other citizens - and the people responsible for these mass shootings usually aren't criminals, not before their rampages anyway.

And then there's the type of gun... most of the guns in private ownership here (strictly licensed, monitored, and kept in secure conditions) are rifles (largely for hunting game) and shotguns (mostly used by farmers). Even if you would qualify for a gun licence under normal circumstances, you wouldn't be allowed to buy a hand gun the only use for which is to kill people - and you certainly wouldn't get your mitts on an assault weapon. Those things are for armed combat, why on earth is any civilian allowed to have one of those?
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