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Is gun control the answer?
129 replies to this topic
Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:42 PM
Having debate with my other half, and also seeing similar debates all over FB today.
I am of the view that the USA seriously needs to address their gun control. I've always thought that. I simply don't see the need for any private citizen to own a semi-automatic weapon of any sort. To be honest I don't think they should have any guns, but that's clearly not the US view, so shall set that aside.
DP, however, is of the view that gun control is not the way, or at least is not the only way. He believes that the inherent violence in US (and many other) society is the issue, and if you try and take away the guns the nutjobs will resort to using cars, explosives, whatever.
I do see his point, but I think surely they could address both, and I think gun control is a pretty freaking good starting point. Addressing a culture of violence is kind of a really long-term thing, I would have thought. And it's not just a problem in the USA - look at the glassings, road rage, other stuff going on here in Australia.
Your thoughts? I've read many views that the horse has bolted on guns over there, and that new, stricter gun control laws would simply be too little, too late. I happen to support it anyway, but agree that's a problem.
My heart just breaks for those poor lost children and their families, and I hope this is the kick up the ar$e needed for everyone, of all political views to want to actually DO something.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:50 PM
I think gun control is part of the solution. Oe things that would help is to shift the 'me, me, me' mindset and the agro in society today in general. We need to learn to actually be communities again (and I say we because I think that lack of 'community' is a problem Australia shares with the US).
Edited by Jemstar, 15 December 2012 - 07:51 PM.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:51 PM
I think there are many answers that would help.
Some of the ones that come to mind are
- gun control laws
- changing the culture of fear
- changing the culture of revenge
- social skilling and community support.
I do think that you need to start with gun control in order to get the culture to start to change. It would be a long journey for the USA.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:53 PM
I do think that you need to start with gun control in order to get the culture to start to change. It would be a long journey for the USA.
Agreed. I think, including our own country in this, that addressing mental health problems should also be at the top of the agenda.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:59 PM
I think gun control is a good start....but it must go deeper than that...a culture change....and something more...? Why are young men doing this? Or look at the flip side and explore why young women aren't?
Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:59 PM
Just super quick, with gun control they could simply start with the automatic weapons which is what makes the deathtoll so freaking high, surely one doesn't need high powered weapons available to every tom d*ck and harry.
But we can pontificate all we like... never happen the NRA et all is just too powerful in the states and as PP have stated it a cultural issue as well.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:02 PM
3Keiki - I don't think anyone is trying to control more than the semi-automatics. It's far too deeply ingrained in the US culture that there is a "right to bear arms", but why, for the love of all effing things holy would a primary school teacher (alleged parent of alleged gunman in CT) have 3 fully registered semi-automatic guns.
Not only that, but I've read unconfirmed stories that CT requires these to be both locked in a safe AND have trigger locks, and hers had neither.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:05 PM
Yes I agree that gun control is the answer, it is simply too easy to get your hands on one.Statistics show a causal link between gun proliferation and murder rates The NRA is a truly toxic dysfunctional influence on the American politicial scene, and has worked hard to make guns easier to obtain in that country than any other. I think the key is to get enough ordinary people ready to say "I HATE guns and I vote."
I will be watching Obama with interest over the coming months. I reckon he is willing to take some risks in his second term. He secured universal health care in his first term, what a legacy it would be to take on and win against the gun lobby in his second.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:07 PM
I don't know if the 'culture of violence' is any worse in the US than in other western societies.....
Most people who go on shooting rampages seem to be teetering on the edge of mental breakdown. If I were in that condition right here in Melbourne I would have no idea how to get a gun. It would probably take me days of planning/research etc. to work it out and acquire one - I do not know one person who owns one that I could take. Hopefully I would have the chance to get help before I got hold of a gun. Where in the US many people have one in their house just sitting there so one little slip towards a breakdown can have immediate and drastic consequences.
It's true that if you are planning mass murder in cold blood you could get hold of one eventually, but I don't think these things are necessarily very well planned.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:14 PM
Agree 100% Libbylu
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:16 PM
I Think its a complex issue but agree the best place to start is with eliminating all semi automatic weapons from civilian hands. I do agree that guns don't kill people, people kill people.... But if people don't have high powered weapons then they can't kill almost 30 people in the blink of an eye. And for what reason does the average civilian need a semi automatic? I know Americans are big into their constitution, but this 'right to bare arms' comes from the civil war, surely we are past this.
But in saying that, I do believe it's only part of the problem. You also have issues like poor mental health care, the normalisation of violence, bullying, the fracture of community and an immense amount of pressure on young people, which all are contributing factors and need to be addressed. This is all long term stuff though. Remove the semi automatics and a really easy way for someone to go on a killing spree is removed.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:18 PM
Yes. I think gun control is the answer.
I also think they need to take care of their people, something they don't do we'll. Medical treatment for everyone. Access to mental health care. Not having to work 3 jobs to pay a p*ssy mortgage.
So yes. Gun control to start. But the issue goes way way deeper.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:20 PM
I know Americans are big into their constitution, but this 'right to bare arms' comes from the civil war,
Actually no, it doesn't come from this, it comes from when they were going for the whole independence thing and were mostly escaping from British tyranny, a lot of which was religious based and all that stuff.
And it was valid at the time in history. Just not so much now.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:26 PM
It has to be a part of it.
I'm a bit of a dork, so I think the ultimate answer is love. And that naturally, as a result of that, you'd have better health care and fewer guns. You'd have people feeling less alone and marginalized. You'd have fewer of these instances.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:26 PM
It depends how far you want to take gun control. Over here (QLD anyway) you have to jump through all sorts of hoops, applications, registrations, be a member of a gun club, have specific gun safes etc before you are allowed to have a gun. It is quite a costly exercise before you even get the gun.
Gun control will help lower the death toll...but that isn't to say that people who want to commit these kind of acts won't turn to other things like homemade bombs and what not. We have an issue with violence in our own country - stabbings & glassings being the main two that come to mind. It just doesn't make the news as much as you can't stab 20 people in the time you can shoot 20.
I do believe too that the people who are able to commit these kind of murders must have a severe mental disorder and something needs to be done to help them before they reach this stage. No idea what as I don't know much about mental health, but something.
You also need to keep in mind that there is the "Right to Bear Arms" in the US constitution, so it is not just a matter of saying issue licences, it has to go through big constitutional changes.
I think the focus should be on the families, friends and survivors for the moment over there, and then they should begin investigating it. So very devastating for all affected
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:35 PM
Seems like a much bigger, better mental health service would be a step in the right direction.
And no selection of guns in Walmart...
Edited by Velvetta, 15 December 2012 - 08:36 PM.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:41 PM
I could write an essay about this, but I won't. It wouldn't do any good. It doesn't matter how many times some nutjob walks into a school or a university and opens fire with a legally obtained weapon; the Americans are not going to tighten their gun laws. They will justify it will all sorts of frivolous arguments that don't hold water, and every time it happens it will be the same. Everyone will light candles and mourn and ask "Why?"... there will be a furious, politicised debate following which nothing will change... everyone but the families of those who died will resume their lives, watching "The Simpsons" and Facebooking and obsessing over movies about teenage vampires... and then some angry young misfit will legally obtain a semi-automatic weapon and walk into a school or a movie theatre... and everybody will light candles and mourn and ask "Why?". And nobody really wants to know why. And nobody wants to change a Constitutional Bill of Rights that was ratified in 1791 at a time when nobody could ever have foreseen the extent to which the world would change. Those people who enshrined the "right to bear arms" had invasions and farm vermin in mind, not people walking into schools and gunning down kids.
There is a lot that's right about America, but this apathetic bullsh*t they go on with regarding their gun laws is something that's wrong. Can anyone imagine Australia, or any country other than the US, tolerating a situation whereby every 12 or 18 months someone walks into a public place or a school and conducts a massacre? Think of the outrage that ensued in this country after Port Arthur, and the reform that was undertaken as a result. Think of the outrage in the UK when Dunblane occurred, and the reform that was undertaken as a result. And now think about Columbine, and every massacre leading to Aurora, and the fierce assertions, every single time, that "now is not the time to have a discussion about gun laws". Twenty 5-year-olds died yesterday. If even now is not the time to have this discussion in the US, then God help America.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:44 PM
I't part of the answer. A big part.
Edited by kadoodle, 15 December 2012 - 08:48 PM.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:48 PM
That was so brave. So much love and light and cyberhugs coming your way right now.
I was on the receiving end of some bullying, but not to that extent. I'm so ****ing sorry you went through that.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:52 PM
It is certainly part of the answer. I was just reading some info at work the other day that in 2006 in the US death by firearms averaged out to 85 per day, this includes, homicide, suicide and accident. Obviously these deaths don't grab attention like mass shootings however it's a huge issue that seems to go ignored by US politicians. In the majority of these deaths it is a hand gun that is used. I think there needs to be a huge cultural shift though for anything to change there.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:54 PM
Can anyone imagine Australia, or any country other than the US, tolerating a situation whereby every 12 or 18 months someone walks into a public place or a school and conducts a massacre?
not every 12-18 months....almost every month
April 2 - A gunman kills seven people and wounds three in a shooting rampage at a Christian college in Oakland.
July 20 - A masked gunman kills 12 people and wounds 58 when he opens fire on moviegoers at a showing of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, a suburb of Denver, Colorado.
August 5 - A gunman kills six people during Sunday services at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, before he is shot dead by a police officer.
August 24 - Two people are killed and eight wounded in a shooting outside the landmark Empire State Building in New York City at the height of the tourist season.
September 27 - A disgruntled former employee kills five people and takes his own life in a shooting rampage at a Minneapolis sign company from which he had been fired.
October 21 - Three people are killed in a Milwaukee area spa including the estranged wife of the suspected gunman, who then killed himself.
December 14 - A shooter opens fire at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killing several people including children.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/timeline-major...l#ixzz2F7J3dTrs
Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:02 PM
Good Lord, Stellajoy. That's appalling.
Yes, 20 kids were stabbed at a Chinese school just hours prior to this massacre. Republicans all over America are comparing what happened in Connecticut to what happened in China. But here's the thing: nobody died in China. The body count in Connecticut was a direct result of the weapon the perpetrator used. There are always going to be people who want to kill other people. What stops a lot of them is not being able to get hold of the means with which to do it.
I just find it beyond incredulous that these massacres do not result in gun law reform.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:09 PM
The US constitution says the right to bear arms as part of a well regulated militia...
Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:10 PM
I'm in tears agreeing with you Cath42
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