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  1. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    next!: oregon school-shooting

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by mammamaia, Jun 10, 2014.

    yes, my home state, quiet, peaceful oregon now joins the list... one student 'executed' by another one, one teacher grazed, shooter dead..............................

    The American Way

    by maia

    Children in lock-step
    with hands on each head
    run for their lives
    while their classmates lie dead
    and a child with a gun
    runs amok in the gym
    killing some more
    till one last shot kills him.

    Ev’ry week now, it seems
    yet another school’s hit,
    children gunned down
    in a vengeance-aimed fit
    by a child with a gun
    who was bullied, or worse--
    killing, then killed
    by our gun-culture’s curse.

    Our schools are now war zones
    where gun-drills are routine,
    kids taught to hide
    till police clear the scene.
    What lessons they learn now
    are not what we’d want taught—
    how to survive
    till the next shooter’s caught!
     
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  2. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    When is this going to end? What's it going to take to make folks wake up? Just unbelievable...
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's so sad that this shit keeps happening. Unfortunately, I don't think this problem is going to go away anytime soon.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i wish it was 'unbelievable' jannert... unfortunately, it's more like 'expected' and 'normal' now...

    you're right, tw... it's not going to go away as long as americans remain the most gun-crazy people in the world...

    fyi, there have been 74 school shootings in the US, just since newtown...
     
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  5. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    My eldest starts Kindergarten in August...it'll be her first time in formal schooling as I've done home pre-schooling with her the last two years. It's so sad that I'm more nervous than excited for her to take this next step. I was a total nerd who LOVED going to school each morning and she's just like mommy with her eagerness to learn and I'm angry that the prevalence of school shootings are ruining what should be a happy milestone.
     
  6. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    If guns killed three times as many people, they'd be as deadly as automobiles
     
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  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    How often are automobiles intentionally used as a weapon?
     
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  8. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm wondering where these kids are getting the guns--the story said that he was a student, so I'm assuming that odds are that he was under eighteen.

    I've said that I have problems with increased gun control until we change the Constitution, where "gun control" refers to restricting purchase and ownership by adult citizens. But I have zero problem with drastically increasing the consequences for adults who fail to secure guns from use by anyone but the gun owner.

    I'm wondering--and I don't know if there's any way to find out--if these incidents happen largely because of the large number of guns in circulation, or if they happen because of the large number of sloppily secured guns. What percentage of the shooters have been legal authorized adult owners of the gun used?

    I'm not asking that as a rhetorical question; I really have no clue. Would requiring the purchase of a trigger lock along with every single gun in every single state make a difference? Plus severe penalties for every instance of a provably unsecured gun? How do the consequences of being found guilty of insecure gun storage compare to, say, the consequences of being convicted of drunk driving?

    I also wonder, what would these shooters do if they didn't have guns? Yes, they'd kill fewer people, but where does the hatred come from? My feeling about school shootings has always been that a large percentage of schools are deeply toxic environments that make a lot of kids miserable. Some of those kids, the healthier ones, retreat into their own world--hobbies, gaming, etc. Some of them retreat into drugs. Some of them kill themselves. And some of them, presumably the ones that were pretty broken in the first place, retreat into violence.

    If the environment weren't toxic, would those kids never have turned violent? Are the shooters in other environments similarly dealing with toxic parts of their lives? Who taught the Santa Barbara shooter that he was entitled to whatever he wanted from women? How are the less broken men in that environment responding to the same toxicity?

    It is, of course, worthwhile to take action that means that fewer people die when one of these people breaks. But what's breaking them in the first place?
     
  9. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    60% of adult gun deaths are suicides if that makes it any better
     
  10. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    I want to know how many of these school shooters were spanked as children.
     
  11. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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  12. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    It's difficult to be a young person right now. Bullying is never nice. Feeling isolated is never nice either. Bad home never good. So many factors that just lead someone to snap.

    Sometimes its the work of a crazy
     
  13. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    None of those factors are new. It is how we are now reacting to them that has changed.
     
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  14. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    You mean how bipolar our reaction is.

    On both sides of the situation are victims. There are people who still believe the killers shouldn't be "glorified". While there are those who speak about the killers in order to explain the situation and stop it from further happening.

    As I said in your Gun Control thread, we need to fix our social jungle or crimes like this will continue. We need to understand why these things happen and we need to understand why people would do stuff like this. To be able to recognize the signs and fix the situation before it ever occurred.

    We need to have more sympathy. Not for the killer nor the victim. But more sympathy to each other to stop these things from happening.
     
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  15. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    You mean if more kids cared if they were going to get their asses beat when they got home if their parents found out they did something wrong, they wouldn't be escalating to gun violence? It sounds like you mean that having parents that ignore the needs and behavior of their children is the problem and not the fact that guns are legal is the problem. I would agree.

    I had a conversation with a friend today where I had overheard a conversation he had with his daughter. She had said she was disappointed in her current neighborhood boyfriend because he wouldn't show her where he was growing his pot plants. Keep in mind these are 14 year olds. In the car I recommended to him he should find her some other things to do during the summer so she wouldn't be spending time with that kind of boy. His response? If he found her something else to do other than hang out in the neighborhood, that would mean he would have to drive her places and he already is too busy to take the time to do something like that. That's what is wrong right now, it's the way children our being raised, not because guns are legal.
     
  16. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    That's quite a figure ...74 SCHOOL shootings in what, 2 years? Geez.

    I didn't mean the incident is unbelieveable. Sadly it's so believeable that the media are now referring to the person who pulls the trigger as 'the shooter,' as if it's a new word coined specifically for an occasion like this.

    What I find unbelievable is that so many people still want to argue that gun control isn't necessary, or that somehow guns can be used to prevent the problem.

    I read that bit from @Link the Writer , and felt that President Obama has more or less called this situation correctly, and his words were heartfelt. People blame him for lots of 'failures' but he's been bucking Congress ever since he got elected. He can't just wave a wand and make things right. People need to vote for change, and pressure Congress to change, if they want anything to change.

    If anything, gun control has slackened since I left Michigan. When I left, it was illegal to carry a concealed weapon. Now it's apparently okay if you have a permit, according to a friend of mine. (I was so shocked when I heard this.) It's not very difficult to get a permit, so I've heard, as nobody does a serious background check. It was also illegal to carry a loaded weapon in the passenger compartment of a vehicle. (Don't know if that's another law that's gone too.)

    When I was young, I could walk the streets in reasonable assurance that people I met wouldn't be carrying a gun concealed in pocket or purse. I could sit in a restaurant and have lunch, or go shopping, without wondering if every person who opens the door and enters the place might suddenly pull out a weapon and start mowing us down. Handguns were something that 'cowboys' used in the Wild West, or 'Gangsters' used to shoot each other. I never ONCE in all my years of schooling ever dreamed of being shot by a fellow pupil while I was in class. (And there were plenty of bullies, teachers whom students hated, parents who neglected or abused their kids ...all this stuff. But no handguns.) Now I expect it's every parent's nightmare, and something both teachers and pupils keep in the backs of their minds at all times.

    I am really glad I don't live in the USA any more. Sure, Britain has had a couple of 'shooters' as well, but it's not happening at any kind of rate. In fact, in the 28 years I've been here, I only remember two mass shootings. Dunblane and Hungerford. Dunblane ...a total horror ...was done by a disaffected local middle-aged man who took a gun from a local firing range and shot up a bunch of school children (including tennis star Andy Murray's classmates.) He then shot himself. Nobody knows why, to this day. The other incident happened in England ...again, an older man with no previous history of violence, who took a hunting rife and drove through a few villages, shooting at people out the window of his car. Again, he killed himself at the end, and nobody really knows why.

    I don't know of any incident where a school PUPIL shot up a schoolful of kids. Yes, there are stabbing deaths caused by students ...but nobody here is arguing that all kids should be armed and trained in order to combat the possibility of attack. Instead, there are all sorts of security measures in place to prevent kids from carrying knives, full-stop. And just try to get into a school during school hours these days. Huge fences, locked doors, security gates ...most of these installed after Dunblane.

    None of these measures are foolproof, but they signal willingness on the part of the government AND the population to lower the risk of these incidents taking place. And this is a country where ordinary POLICE don't carry guns. But of course Britain doesn't have a proud history of private gun culture, either....
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
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  17. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sorry to hear about this happening in your neighborhood, maia. It wasn't a spree killing, so the motives where probably different than in the earlier shooting. Still, it's sad.

    I second what @ChickenFreak wrote, and it's probably one of the most sensible posts I've read on the subject as it doesn't lament or fear-monger.

    I also read you guys had another Slenderman attack in the US. In all these cases, could there also be a copycat aspect to this?
     
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  18. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I was also pleasantly surprised by @ChickenFreak's post: it was like a breath of fresh air when incidents like this mostly cause knee-jerk reactions among people on both sides of the gun control fence so eager to divert attention away from the source of the problem.

    When will people wake up to the fact that these problems don't stem from gun control, but from whatever it is that makes people want to kill other people? The shootings are not the disease, they are the symptom, the manifestation of whatever drives these people to murder.
    So many are focusing on treating the symptom, mostly by increasing gun control, while few focus on the disease, the reasons behind these killings, the things that turn normal people into killers.

    Why do so few of the discussions about shooting sprees focus on why the shooter decided to pick up a gun in the first place? Or do so many people honestly believe the killers killed simply because they picked up a firearm: that before they were perfectly normal, then they grab a gun, and suddenly get the urge to kill a bunch of people? I kinda doubt that (and pray that isn't the case).

    In any case, my heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones.Does anyone know anything about the motives of this killer?
     
  19. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Answering your questions, in order. 1. Define toxic environment. 2. What other environments? Poverty? Broken homes? That would make more sense than having a bad day at school. 3. No one taught him that. There is no evidence to support he ever thought he was entitled to "whatever he wanted from women," only that he was angry at them for not showing him attention as well as everyone else. 4. I think by "less broken men" you simply mean the vast majority of people, because most of us have had to go to school and somehow survived.

    When you consider all the hardships past generations have gone through, all the technological advancements and social changes that smart, productive people have worked hard to make happen, and then you see young spoiled children who have reaped those benefits, decide to not only throw their lives away but also the lives of others, you can't help but be extremely sickened. I don't care how "hard" school is. We have to hold people to some sort of standard. These kids who do this are either insane and or simply pathetic. If you want, blame the parents.
     
  20. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, to be fair, how do you know the accessibility of guns and their use portrayed by the media is not contributing to this "disease?" Isn't it possible that, to a potentially sick individual, the idea of possessing a gun makes violence more attractive than, say, a car or a knife? Furthermore, when these individuals see others using out using guns, it's possible that they are receiving ideas they might not have otherwise gotten. Psychologically speaking, there's no way to know if the availability of other items, which are not intended solely to kill, produce the same sort of influences that the availability of an item, like a gun, which is solely intended to kill, might produce. I'm not saying this is the case. I'm just saying, for all we know, it could be.
     
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  21. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @123456789, sure, the availability of firearms may have granted some of the killers the opportunity to fulfill their sick needs, but I think past incidents in places where private ownership of firearms is very restricted go to show that the killers will find ways to either bypass the restrictions and get guns anyway or they will use something else to fulfill their need to kill.

    To me, that's a clear sign that the root of the problem is something else than firearms. I'm not denying it that firearms are dangerous or saying that we shouldn't be more careful about how we store them (I believe all firearms a person owns that aren't in the owner's hands/on his/her belt or some such, should be under lock and key if someone else besides the owner has access to where the firearms are stored) or who gets permits (I believe we should check criminal records for violent or otherwise dubious behavior and to have compulsory annual training courses and tests the applicant/gun owner should pass), just that firearms are not the root of this epidemic.

    Out of interest, I would like to see how many cases there are where a normal (i.e. not a murderer) person has become a homicidal spree killer simply because they picked up a firearm. If there's an abudance of such incidents, I'll have to reconsider my stance on firearms, but if not, I have to conclude that the main problem lies elsewhere and that shootings are just the symptom, and that by getting rid of firearms, we do not stop the killings, only change their nature (either they will be committed with illegally acquired firearms, like in many past instances, or they will use something else).
     
  22. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    This is actually related to my question about copy cats, and you're probably onto something. I also gotta wonder to what extent extensive media coverage of the killers contribute to the phenomenon. Some of the spree killers at least seemed to have also wanted to send a message. Knowing the message will reach the people because the perp's manifests and ideologies are distributed all around the globe could be an incentive in some cases.

    The entertainment industry has no trouble providing violence porn (as in, there's gun porn, food porn, etc. so: violence porn) to kids and adults alike, and perhaps seeing a supposedly cool commando sending a message with a gun starts to appeal to some people who already have psychological problems. Often these portrayals show violence as an answer to a load of problems, an answer without consequence. Again, I wouldn't start banning video games or anything, there's a flipside to them as they can also be a harmless way to get rid of some extra aggressions and frustrations. But I suppose they can make guns look cool, the kind of weapon with which an unstable or angry person would prefer to go down in history.
     
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  23. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    @KaTrian, I do believe the media should be more responsible about how they portray violence. I cringe whenever it's shown as something fun, cool, and glorified.
    That's why I believe it's better to show violence in all it's realistic horror than to water it down and make it look like something that should be taken lightly, something that we can just laugh about. In that sense, mild cartoon and comedy violence is much worse than the realistic, sickening portrayals seen in some of the gorier films.

    Another thing are these news reports: the media, bloggers, forum posts etc. provide tons of publicity for these assholes, many of whom want that, they want their actions to appear all over the TV, newspapers, and internet, they want to go down in history, they want their names to appear on Wikipedia, they want people to talk about them, they want to be remembered. Even this thread caters to that need to be noticed and provides more fuel for the killer's fame.

    Furthermore, when tragedies like this are used to drive a political agenda, be it gun control or whatever, it's the same thing: the political discussions breathe life into the legacies of these killers and work to leave a permanent imprint of their actions on the world.

    I'm not saying we shouldn't talk about what happened, but I'm also not perfectly happy playing into the attention-starved hands of these killers. I'd much rather discuss the relevant social issues on a more impersonal level, use anecdotes only as examples when necessary, and otherwise forget these miserable fucks ever lived and let their names fade into obscurity.

    Note: this is not a stab at the OP, just a general observation/subjective opinion.
     
  24. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dreadful. Not unexpected. Deepest condolences to families of the victims. Fantastic poem maia.
     
  25. stevesh
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    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    I live in Michigan and am a NRA-certified Instructor who teaches the course required to apply for a CPL (Concealed Pistol License). The requirements are:

    - successful completion of the CPL course (not that difficult)
    - passing of a standard federal background check
    - payment of $110 to your local police department or county sheriff''s office, and fingerprinting thereby

    CPL holders can have a gun in the car glove compartment, and many people, especially women, acquire them for mainly that option.

    Hysteria aside, CPL holders (in all states) are statistically the most law-abiding group of people in the country. The Michigan State Police publish a list of CPL holders who have had their licenses revoked, and for what reason. Take a look. The number of people who have lost their licenses for being involved in a shooting of any kind is near zero. However you want to solve the school (and elsewhere) shootings problem, the solution (if there is one) won't turn out to be taking guns from law-abiding citizens.

    I agree with @ChickenFreak - we need to do a much better job of ensuring our guns don't fall into the wrong hands, especially children's hands, but I'm thinking mainly of the tragedy of a very young child finding Dad's gun and shooting a friend or sibling with it, rather than school shootings by adolescents.

    A little perspective - last weekend, 29 people were shot in Chicago with 4 dead. One person was shot and killed in Oregon. Illinois has some of the strictest gun-control laws in the country.
     
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