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View Diary: It's Not About The Guns (17 comments)

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  •  Good, thoughtful diary (2+ / 0-)
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    Dirtandiron, zenbassoon

    We need to think about all the aspects that you have laid out. I hope this diary provokes a lot of discussion.

    I think the selfishness and self-centeredness that's been prevalent in our society has a lot to do with it. I graduated from high school in 1974 but didn't go to college until 1980, and it was right while I was in college where I saw a major change in attitude, from the hippie peace, love, save the environment and help the world philosophy that was prevalent while I was in high school in the 70s to the make as much money as you can, "every man for himself" mindset that took over in the early 80s.

    I witnessed a lot of kids in college at this time switch their majors from something they really liked and wanted to do to business, and when I asked them why and if they liked it, they said no, they hated the classes and probably would hate their jobs, but they wanted to make a lot of money and a business major would allow them to do that. I think it was all around the time of the Reagan presidency and the show Family Ties, when a lot of the kids around me in college idolized the Michael J. Fox character.

    I think the selfish, "every man for himself" attitude causes great feelings of isolation and is at the heart of the problem, along with other factors like the glorification of gangsters, becoming inured to violence that's so prevalent on TV, and violent video games where kids spend hours killing people. A friend's son who loved these video games so much and spent hours every day playing them decided to join the military and become a sniper because of this. And he told them so. He's a good sniper, and at least he channeled this into a positive use and not a negative one, but still, I think it's evidence for the effect these games can and do have.

    •  Oh, yeah (1+ / 0-)
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      Forgot to mention that I DO think the ease of obtaining guns, especially the assault rifles, is definitely another factor in the mix and there should be more control. But I think it IS a combination of many of these factors. Put the guns readily into the hands of people influenced by all these attitudes against this background, and what we are experiencing is the outcome.

    •  Another factor (1+ / 0-)
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      that just occurred to me, and this may well be a huge one, is the inflammatory, incendiary, extremely hateful speech coming from Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Fox News, and other sources. So many people have their hate talk infiltrate their minds so much so that they think it is normal. And people who are mentally unstable pick up on the things they are saying and feel like they are doing right in carrying them out.

      About an hour ago, I finally wrote a GBCW post on Facebook and said I was steering clear of it for the next week or so, because I can't take seeing all the hateful attacks showing up on my wall against people of the opposite political party in the wake of this heartbreaking event. (It's mainly coming from the right-wingers, but I wrote a general note so as not to be pointing the finger at certain of my friends.) The last straw was a post saying something like "the heartless lefties are so cold-hearted that they are using this heartbreaking incident for political gain to try to get control of our guns." I wrote a note that this is NOT the time to be attacking the right or the left.

      Anyway, it dawned on me that this whole "us against them" mindset and the extremeness of what people like Limbaugh say is also a huge factor, and one that I don't think is so extreme in other countries.

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