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Since Cain went nuts and whacked Abel, there have always been those humans who, for one reason or another, go temporarily or permanently insane and commit unspeakable acts of violence. There was the Roman Emperor Tiberius, who during the first century A.D. enjoyed throwing victims off a cliff on the Mediterranean island of Capri. Gilles de Rais, a French knight and ally of Joan of Arc during the middle ages, went cuckoo-for-Cocoa Puffs one day and ended up murdering hundreds of children. Just a few decades later Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Dracula, was killing people in Transylvania in numberless horrifying ways.

In modern times, nearly every nation has had a psychopath or two commit a mass murder, regardless of how strict their gun laws are – the crazed white supremacist in Norway one year ago Sunday, the schoolyard butcher in Dunblane, Scotland, the École Polytechnique killer in Montreal, the mass murderer in Erfurt, Germany … the list seems endless.  

And now the Aurora shooter last Friday. There have always been insane people, and there always will be.  

But here's the difference between the rest of the world and us: We have TWO Auroras that take place every single day of every single year! At least 24 Americans every day (8-9,000 a year) are killed by people with guns – and that doesn't count the ones accidentally killed by guns or who commit suicide with a gun. Count them and you can triple that number to over 25,000.

That means the United States is responsible for over 80% of all the gun deaths in the 23 richest countries combined. Considering that the people of those countries, as human beings, are no better or worse than any of us, well, then, why us?

Both conservatives and liberals in America operate with firmly held beliefs as to "the why" of this problem. And the reason neither can find their way out of the box toward a real solution is because, in fact, they're both half right.  

The right believes that the Founding Fathers, through some sort of divine decree, have guaranteed them the absolute right to own as many guns as they desire. And they will ceaselessly remind you that a gun cannot fire itself – that "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Of course, they know they're being intellectually dishonest (if I can use that word) when they say that about the Second Amendment because they know the men who wrote the constitution just wanted to make sure a militia could be quickly called up from amongst the farmers and merchants should the Brits decide to return and wreak some havoc.

But they are half right when they say "Guns don't kill people." I would just alter that slogan slightly to speak the real truth: "Guns don't kill people, Americans kill people."

Because we're the only ones in the first world who do this en masse. And you'll hear all stripes of Americans come up with a host of reasons so that they don't have to deal with what's really behind all this murder and mayhem.  

They'll say it's the violent movies and video games that are responsible. Last time I checked, the movies and video games in Japan are more violent than ours – and yet usually fewer than 20 people a year are killed there with guns – and in 2006 the number was two!  

Others will say it's the number of broken homes that lead to all this killing. I hate to break this to you, but there are almost as many single-parent homes in the U.K. as there are here – and yet, in Great Britain, there are usually fewer than 40 gun murders a year.  

People like me will say this is all the result of the U.S. having a history and a culture of men with guns, "cowboys and Indians," "shoot first and ask questions later." And while it is true that the mass genocide of the Native Americans set a pretty ugly model to found a country on, I think it's safe to say we're not the only ones with a violent past or a penchant for genocide. Hello, Germany! That's right I'm talking about you and your history, from the Huns to the Nazis, just loving a good slaughter (as did the Japanese, and the British who ruled the world for hundreds of years – and they didn't achieve that through planting daisies). And yet in Germany, a nation of 80 million people, there are only around 200 gun murders a year.

So those countries (and many others) are just like us – except for the fact that more people here believe in God and go to church than any other Western nation.  

My liberal compatriots will tell you if we just had less guns, there would be less gun deaths. And, mathematically, that would be true. If you have less arsenic in the water supply, it will kill less people. Less of anything bad – calories, smoking, reality TV – will kill far fewer people. And if we had strong gun laws that prohibited automatic and semi-automatic weapons and banned the sale of large magazines that can hold a gazillion bullets, well, then shooters like the man in Aurora would not be able to shoot so many people in just a few minutes.  

But this, too, has a problem. There are plenty of guns in Canada (mostly hunting rifles) – and yet the annual gun murder count in Canada is around 200 deaths. In fact, because of its proximity, Canada's culture is very similar to ours – the kids play the same violent video games, watch the same movies and TV shows, and yet they don't grow up wanting to kill each other. Switzerland has the third-highest number of guns per capita on earth, but still a low murder rate.

So – why us?

I posed this question a decade ago in my film 'Bowling for Columbine,' and this week, I have had little to say because I feel I said what I had to say ten years ago – and it doesn't seem to have done a whole lot of good other than to now look like it was actually a crystal ball posing as a movie.  

This is what I said then, and it is what I will say again today:

1. We Americans are incredibly good killers. We believe in killing as a way of accomplishing our goals. Three-quarters of our states execute criminals, even though the states with the lower murder rates are generally the states with no death penalty.  

Our killing is not just historical (the slaughter of Indians and slaves and each other in a "civil" war). It is our current way of resolving whatever it is we're afraid of. It's invasion as foreign policy. Sure there's Iraq and Afghanistan – but we've been invaders since we "conquered the wild west" and now we're hooked so bad we don't even know where to invade (bin Laden wasn't hiding in Afghanistan, he was in Pakistan) or what to invade for (Saddam had zero weapons of mass destruction and nothing to do with 9/11). We send our lower classes off to do the killing, and the rest of us who don't have a loved one over there don't spend a single minute of any given day thinking about the carnage. And now we send in remote pilotless planes to kill, planes that are being controlled by faceless men in a lush, air conditioned studio in suburban Las Vegas. It is madness.

2. We are an easily frightened people and it is easy to manipulate us with fear. What are we so afraid of that we need to have 300 million guns in our homes? Who do we think is going to hurt us? Why are most of these guns in white suburban and rural homes? Maybe we should fix our race problem and our poverty problem (again, #1 in the industrialized world) and then maybe there would be fewer frustrated, frightened, angry people reaching for the gun in the drawer. Maybe we would take better care of each other (here's a good example of what I mean).

Those are my thoughts about Aurora and the violent country I am a citizen of. Like I said, I spelled it all out here if you'd like to watch it or share it for free with others. All we're lacking here, my friends, is the courage and the resolve. I'm in if you are.

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  •  Tip Jar (271+ / 0-)
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  •  guns can be scary. (15+ / 0-)

    or, is it, fear of guns can be scary ?

    Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.
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    by greenbird on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 05:38:14 PM PDT

    •  FEAR is scary, with it, people just plain (11+ / 0-)

      go off their rockers and start seeing everything as a threat.

      •  It's the Will to Kill, why do so many have the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glorificus, PSzymeczek

        Will to Kill?

        "Time is for careful people, not passionate ones."

        "Life without emotions is like an engine without fuel."

        by roseeriter on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 12:42:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  To be honest, the actuall will to kill (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glorificus, sethtriggs, PSzymeczek

          a fellow human being is absent (or buried way deep) in most people, and difficult to cultivate. Military studies have shown that, in battle, men would fire in the general direction of people but purposefully miss, and in the Civil War men could be found going through the motions of combat, ie, constantly loading their rifles but never firing them. SLA Marshall wrote of one fellow who was found to have loaded five or six musket balls in his weapon, having never completed the act of firing.

          But spree killers typically show signs of abnormal behavior before they go on their rampages... it is possible (although I'm not a mental health professional by any means) that these types of people are just lacking the normal empathy that normally comes with being human.

    •  The NRA is scary (24+ / 0-)

      Back several decades ago (when they were sane) they favored reasonable restrictions and safety requirements.  Today they and their rabid flock of followers continue to insure that every criminal, terrorist, and insane person can buy whatever firearms they want, as many as they want, and as much ammunition that they want at any time they want.

      Guns don't kill people.  The NRAs radical agenda kills people.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 09:37:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have often said (14+ / 0-)

        that guns should be freely owned, except by life members of the NRA.

        I know too many people who own at least a dozen guns each (and who talk endlessly about owning dozens more), who have never in their lives been mugged, robbed or seriously threatened. Who live everyday middle class lives in suburbia. Who have never been in the military or been properly trained in how to use a gun defensively. And yet spend hours at a time fantasizing about how they will kill the home invader or mugger who threatens them.

        This is not planning for danger, this is pathology. This is psychosis.

        It's not based on any actual life experience, it is all fantasy.

        This is some bizarre religion. They are all lifetime members of the NRA religion.

        •  Mistaken indentification (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not really sure what kind of psychopaths you know, but I have yet to come across a responsible (and to a lesser degree, irresponsible) gun owner that daydreams about killing people that attack them. Maybe you live close to a mental institution, I don't know, but most people that own firearms aren't fantasizing about using them on other human beings. And while there is no training requirement to purchase a weapon, states with concealed carry licenses absolutely require training. So the people that can walk around with a weapon, are trained, law enforcement or civilian. I would definitely be all for a training requirement to own a weapon, and even then, for every type of weapon, but this religion you speak of sounds more like fictional liberalism than reality. I don't doubt that people exist that think that way, but you're drawing a straight line from that crazy nut, straight to some quasi-gun religion that encompasses an entire group of people. This seems to happen a lot in this conversation. Actually it happens in every conversation. If you truly know people that fantasize about these types of things you might want to suggest a therapist.

          •  yeah, sorry to burst your bubble (0+ / 0-)

            But every gun enthusiast I know has said, numerous times, something along the lines of, "If someone comes into my house they are gonna be shot."

            This from gun "enthusiasts" of every stripe, and even cops. They rhapsodize about how fully and efficiently they are going to kill the intruder. They prattle on about kill zones and fields of fire. They love to wax poetical about what they will do to anyone who dares assault their wife or daughter.

            There is clearly a LOT of thought and fantasy put into these remarks and they are nearly CONSTANT when guns are brought up. Along with the dream that someday they will be able to go anywhere and everywhere armed to the teeth and ready to kill anyone who offends their sense of right and wrong.

            You go one defending gun nuttery all you like. Your brand of denial and lies sounds just like warmed over conservatism and I wonder what you are doing here at an American website.

            •  Data is not the plural of anecdote. (0+ / 0-)

              Nor is your snide and disdainful attitude of those who disagree with you markedly different from the attitudes of Tea Partiers I know.  It is truly ironic: different issue, same psychology & attitude.

              On the plus side, I'm sure you feel much better now that you've sunk to the Internet era equivalent of "America: love it or leave it."

      •  I heard the other day that the NRA doesn't even (4+ / 0-)

        have that big a membership. It's maybe 3-4 million. That's a pretty tiny percentage of the country. BUT, they are owned by the gun and munitions manufacturers, who need a steady stream of buyers for their guns. They lobby Congress in the guise of doing it for the sensible gun owner, but it's really a sham.

        Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

        by MA Liberal on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 05:56:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  NRA might be a sham if Americans actually voted (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sethtriggs, Puddytat, MA Liberal

          The NRA, plus the ten-fold number of non-members who vote per NRA policy, represent a very large percentage of the actual voting public. In politics size matters but so too does reliability. And fewer voters are more reliable than single-issue gun voters.

          If Americans voted at a 90% clip like Australians, then all the special interest groups like the NRA would lose significant influence. The much larger number of non-aligned voters would swamp them out. This is also why the GOP invests so heavily in voter suppression laws.

          The NRA is a sham in many ways but it is a genuine 800 lb gorilla in the world of delivering votes.

          •  The NRA started out as a grassroots (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MA Liberal

            organization, but has become astroturf.  

            They used to run gun safety classes, hunter safety, and promoted the safe use and handling of firearms.  They used to support reasonable regulations on firearms.  That was when they were a good organization.

            There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

            by Puddytat on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 03:37:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  The voting record in our country sucks (0+ / 0-)

            We look at voting percentages in the 50's and call it "heavy turnout." WTF? Every American has a duty to vote. And so many, even on the left, simply stay home and whine.
            I worry about voter suppression by Republicans. They know, as many Dems don't seem to, that when Dems vote, WE WIN. It's what put Obama over the top.
            I just hope we have a big enough turnout in November 'cause we're going to need it!

            Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

            by MA Liberal on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 05:29:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Lawrence O'donnell (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Puddytat, MA Liberal

          did an excellent analysis of this last night.

          Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

          The way to combat noxious ideas is with other ideas. The way to combat falsehoods is with truth. - William O. Douglas

          by PSzymeczek on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 01:53:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Huh? Why is fear of guns scary? (0+ / 0-)

      I mean, yeah, if I got into a heated argument with someone in a bar and he pulled a gun out on me, I guess I would be scared.

      You saying I should be afraid of guns?

      One boy against the Stock Market all Wall Street ascream. --Allen Ginsberg, "Elegy Ché Guévara"

      by Anak on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 10:45:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I really hate this: (43+ / 0-)
    At least 24 Americans every day (8-9,000 a year) are killed by people with guns – and that doesn't count the ones accidentally killed by guns or who commit suicide with a gun. Count them and you can triple that number to over 25,000.
    You want to talk about how guns are bad? Okay. You want to talk about violent crime involving guns? Okay.

    But for fuck's sake, spare me the inclusion of people who commit suicide so those numbers can look scarier. Because it's not the goddamned guns that are the problem; it's the mental illness. A gun doesn't make someone suicidal; it's a means to an end. If we eliminated every single gun in America, that wouldn't do a damn thing for all those people out there who want to die. By the time they put the gun to their head, we have already failed as a society—and not because of the goddamned guns.

    Preach away if you must, but don't exploit those who suffer from mental illness—which gets almost zero attention in this conversation and the treatment of which, in this country, is an utter joke—to make your point.

    •  I am not sure of the numbers, but do you think (9+ / 0-)

      people are killing themselves with assault rifles?

      •  I doubt it. (7+ / 0-)

        I'm sure there are some numbers, but it's not that easy. A handgun's much easier.

        •  words slip easily off your keyboard (4+ / 0-)

          but can you support this with anything aside from pure conjecture? If not, I don't think you're adding anything of real value.

          You'll see that finding actual data on this is not a simple matter (I already tried, since pure conjecture not advertised as such is a pet peeve of mine).

          Best numbers I can find are anecdotal - at about 80% handguns remainder rifles/shotguns. Public health studies mostly behind high-priced pay-walls (academic journals are notoriously expensive) and those in that field will surely have much better data than this. But at the end of the day, if we don't have data, we should be careful to admit such - no?

          It's disturbing to me how so many Kossacks are willing to discuss guns easily and glibly. Who benefits from this kind of "keyboardism"?

          •  I have looked.... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Wee Mama, Ice Blue, mjbleo

            behind the firewalls and I conclude there are very few quality studies.  Lots of data used by both sides of the debate are based on telephone surveys.  Researchers call people up and ask them questions like if they used a gun for self defense or were threatened by a family member with a gun.  Based on such data there are many crimes prevented by guns and many women are threatened and intimidated by violent partners with guns.  But it is next to impossible to get funding for this kind of research or for public health cost of gun ownership.  NRA has lobbied against further research in these areas.  So data for societal decisions isn't readily available and they can promote their agenda of fear.  

            Interventions to reduce violence would be generally helpful.  That is why laws to prevent violence against women are helpful as well as funding to end gang violence.  Unfortunately these take generations to change society.

            You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

            by murrayewv on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 05:34:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Deaths by "assault rifles" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happy camper, oldpunk, mjbleo

        are typically quite rare; we only notice them when a violent spree killing happens.

        Every day, thousands of "little crimes" are committed with other weapons, including small, cheap, easily disposable pistols of .22 and .25 caliber (that's small, and not in the "assault rifle" category by any means).

        But someone who wants to kill him or herself will find a way to do so. Suicide is a whole 'nother problem we face in society. Blaming guns of any sort for suicide deaths makes as much sense as blaming ropes. That may sound harsh, but it's the way it is.

        •  I disagree. Guns make it easier. (15+ / 0-)

          Guns make it quicker. Guns make acting on any vice or deadly sin much more efficient, whether it's anger, pride, lust, greed or laziness (negligence). They are also efficient and easy ways for people to affect their condition, whether that condition might be drug addiction or mental illness.  

          It is strange to see people who appear to be gun advocates denying the utility of ... the gun.

          In the case of the Aurora mass murderer, a ban on assault rifles would've caused him to obtain another kind of weapon, and we have an inkling what that would've been by what he armed himself with -- a shotgun and handguns. Moreover, if he attempted to obtain an assault rifle illegally, that would've taken much more time -- time that might have been useful for someone close to him to notice his downward spiral.

          It is strange to see people who appear to be gun advocates denying the efficiency of ... the gun market.

          I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

          by Tortmaster on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 09:36:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Compare our suicide rate to that of other (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hillbilly Dem, a2nite, mjbleo

            nations.

            It's not high.  We're right in the middle when it comes to suicide - and firearm availability overall doesn't seem to correlated.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            The old "they can just use a knife" argument is pretty much BS when it comes to homicide.

            It's largely accurate when it comes to suicide.

            Thinking the "food stamp challenge" teaches you about being poor is like thinking a camping trip will give you insight into being homeless.

            by JesseCW on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 02:41:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wrong argument. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mjbleo

              The issue is not how many people attempt suicide (where availability of means but 1 of several factors) but of relative lethalness verses success rate.

              Anecdotally, I suppose guns are more lethal than knives and, in general, gun wounds a less revokable decision/survivable wound.

              But if we need some data I can offer this:

              Muzzle energy
              GUNSHOT WOUNDS: A SUMMARY

              What about my Daughter's future?

              by koNko on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 05:19:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  The BS is to wash your hands..... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              koNko, Ice Blue, sethtriggs

              of suicide as a public health problem.  Anyone with a depressed family member who keeps a gun in the house should rethink that choice.  Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in America and we keep the problem higher than it should be by refusing to discuss it in public or write about the pain it causes families and friends.  People who survive suicide often are glad they were saved, and other methods face better survival rates.

              You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

              by murrayewv on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 05:44:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Where do you find the straw? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KVoimakas, PSzymeczek, mjbleo

                If we want to reduce the suicide rate, we need to deal with erasing the stigma attached to mental health issues and we need to start funding mental health care.

                But guns don't have a lot to do with it.

                Thinking the "food stamp challenge" teaches you about being poor is like thinking a camping trip will give you insight into being homeless.

                by JesseCW on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 01:06:52 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Whoa. (0+ / 0-)

              There are other reasons for those rankings besides gun laws.

              Look at the countries with the lowest rankings.  Most of them are either tropical or predominantly Muslim.  In the first case, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is usually successfully treated with plenty of daily sunlight, is one cause of depression.  

              As for the second, you've got to look to the deeply ingrained religious beliefs.  Fact--Muslims fall into endogenous depression as often as everyone else in the world.  It's just that when they do they think, "Allah wills it!  Who am I to defy the will of Allah?"  OTOH, our Western Protestant "If you're not normal you have no one to blame but yourself" beliefs are partly responsible for our relatively high rates of suicide.

              Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

              by Ice Blue on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 08:26:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Of course there are other reasons beside (0+ / 0-)

                gun laws.

                Unlike homicide - which is tied to the availability of firearms if we adjust for median income and the like - gun availability has no bearing on suicide rates.

                Thinking the "food stamp challenge" teaches you about being poor is like thinking a camping trip will give you insight into being homeless.

                by JesseCW on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 01:08:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I think you may have misinterpreted (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Noddy, mjbleo

            what I was trying to say.

            True, a gun makes suicide more likely to succeed, I'm not denying that by any means.

            But you can't blame the gun for causing the suicide: as in, a normal, happy person is going about his business, sees a gun, and seeing the gun causes him to decide, "man, I want to kill myself".

            I'm talking about a person who, for whatever reason, feels such despair that suicide seems to be the only way out, and after contemplating ropes or pills or running the car in the garage, settles on the gun because that's the most likely route to completing the act.

            So in other words, the problem came before the gun was introduced to the scenario.  

      •  bam cars, amiright? (0+ / 0-)

        people totally commit suicide with cars.

    •  Where there's a will, there's a way (9+ / 0-)

      Someone who is set on suicide will find a way to make it happen. Guns simply make the finding easier.

      One day I hope to be found Guilty of committing innovation but today is not that day.

      by Another Mr Brown on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 06:27:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Top Commented (16+ / 0-)
      Because it's not the goddamned guns that are the problem; it's the mental illness. A gun doesn't make someone suicidal; it's a means to an end.

      ...

      By the time they put the gun to their head, we have already failed as a society

      yes. yes. yes.

      "But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die." - - Cherokee saying

      by brillig on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 06:32:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Meh. (37+ / 0-)

      Not all suicides are 'mentally ill'.  And if you can keep guns away from both those inclined to self-harm and harming others, the outcomes are, on average, better.  People who have a gun handy are more likely to succeed in such actions than those who don't.  People who don't have one handy are more likely to be stopped from performing such actions.  There's a reason why domestic abuse and suicide hotlines have questions about guns in households on checklists.

      So don't go foisting this off as an attack on the mentally ill when it's not.

      •  "Meh"? That's what you say? (16+ / 0-)

        That is some cold, callous shit right there. Meh. There are people in this country who are so ill they want to kill themselves or others, and maybe, just maybe, if we treated that as a serious problem, we might be able to prevent a lot of tragedies, but meh. Let's just keep talking about the guns. Hey, buddy, if you're suffering, meh. As long as you don't have any guns around, whatever. Because that's what matters.

        Meh. Jesus fucking Christ.

        •  Kaili (9+ / 0-)

          I can see that you are really emotional about this, and believe it or not I am, too. mr.uintas has a brother who is schizophrenic, I have a step sister. Both have been ill for well over 30yrs, their lives are ruined.

          My grandfather on my dad's side committed suicide with a shotgun. I had a nephew who committed suicide with a car. Mental illness is no joke to me either.

          "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

          by high uintas on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:52:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's what I say because I'll be one of them. (3+ / 0-)

          When it's my time to go, I intend to be the one who makes the decision to do so.

          And it's not 'your problem' that I intend to do so, nor any sign of 'mental illness' on my part, no matter how you might want to proclaim it so.

        •  Your argument is meh. You want to exploit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          420 forever

          the mentally ill for your arguments, and then you add insult to injury by accusing other people of doing precisely what you're doing. Are you basing your arguments on any solid information or experience? Have you known anyone who's shot and killed themselves. If not, you shouldn't be so quick to mouth off.

          •  My spouse spends a lot of time.... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sandy on Signal, Ice Blue

            working in mental health to prevent suicide.  The high gun ownership here concerns him a lot.  Suicide and the pain of mental health problems can be addressed with counseling and in some cases, medication.

            You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

            by murrayewv on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 05:48:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Whatever proof or experience (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Spirit Dancer, Gentle Giant

            anyone offers will never be enough, will it?

            Kaili Joy Gray is right - by the time the person picks up the noose, the gun, the drugs, the knife - we've already failed them.

            All knowledge is worth having. Check out OctopodiCon for steampunk learning and fun.

            by Noddy on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 06:11:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There are different kinds of depression. (0+ / 0-)

              I'm not a doctor, but I have extensive knowledge of depression, having been steeped in it from time to time thoughout my adult life.

              There is situational depression when events trigger the biochemical response that is depression.

              There is depression that is purely bio-chemical and is pretty much a permanent state that ebbs and flows.

              Add a handgun to the mix in any type of depression and the result isn't very predictable.

              Many clinically depressed people don't get suicidal. Many do. Here's one difference a gun can make:

              You want to die. You go to the store to buy a pacakage of razor blades, or you search your home to find them. You drive home if you went out. You go into your bathroom, turn the bathwater on, because you've decided not to leave too big a mess, and you disrobe. You get in the tub and pick up the razor blade. Now, you have spent x number of minutes in preparation. All the while, you have been thinking about the act at hand and the problems that led to it. Thought brings perspective and allows emotions to cool, even though you may be distraught, your emotions may cool enough where you put down the blade and pick up the soap. Or the phone.

              You want to die. You reach under the bed/go to the closet shelf/open the dresser drawer/unlock the gun vault and take your handgun and a box of ammo. You load the gun. You stick it in your mouth. How much time has passed? How much time have you had for your immediate emotions to cool?

              Guns are wonderful tools. Wonderful tools make jobs easier. And faster.

              You may question my expertise about depression. I won't argue with you. I know what I know. I wish to God I didn't. No, I've never attempted suidicide, and I take care of myself, including maintenance pharma. I have thought about it, and not in passing or whimsically. There are no guns in my house.

              I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

              by Gentle Giant on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 10:47:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  A gun will make a suicide attempt more (10+ / 0-)

        likely to succeed, while ropes, pills, cuts, or engines running in garages can allow a few minutes or even an hour for someone to happen upon the would-be victim and render aid. But the underlying problem is still there-- a desire for self-destruction, and even as a cry for help that's pretty extreme.

        •  But people can be helped.... (0+ / 0-)

          not always, but it is a worthy goal to do so.

          You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

          by murrayewv on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 05:50:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  One thing I read about suicide in my quest for (0+ / 0-)

          understanding. I don't recall where I got these stats. Sorry.

          Twice as many women as men attempt suicide.

          Twice as many men as women succeed at suicide.

          The differences are in the choice of method and in the full intent. Women may be more apt to cry for help. Men, less so. Women may choose ways that are less violent. Men, moreso.

          I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

          by Gentle Giant on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 10:52:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  You are completely incorrect, most other ways (24+ / 0-)

      of committing suicide take time, and some level of planning that would save many victims in the wait. A gun is a very quick and decisive decision that can not be solved once enacted, most other ways most certainly can. Yo9u can most certainly get help in that meantime, and it would actually be far more common.

    •  So - wanna sign everybody up for (0+ / 0-)

      counseling? Because really something is terribly wrong.

      To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong. -Joseph Chilton Pearce

      by glitterscale on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:15:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Army used to run you past a shrink (0+ / 0-)

        before they let you in.  One of my docs did exactly that.  If the shrink determined you to be a sociopath or something you were 4F, Section 8.

        Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

        by Ice Blue on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:27:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree. (16+ / 0-)

      I see a therapist biweekly because periods of depression have drastically affected my life.

      I don't disagree we need to have a serious talk about how we as Americans deal with mental illness. I'm with you there.

      But I remember hearing in school (not so long ago) some astonishing things about the difference between considering suicide and going through with it. One was the case in Britain of a drastic reduction in an extremely brief time period of the suicide rate there, which a study was commissioned to answer. Their conclusion was that the method of heating the houses had changed, robbing would-be suicide victims to the easy access of a local poison contained within the heating unit (some small bit of arsenic perhaps? I can't remember...). Another study suggested ledges on buildings where suicide might be attempted had a significant deterrent effect, just because of that extra second off hesitation, that little extra step required.

      And this seems perhaps a bit more anecdotal, but I remember in that discussion the assertion that making suicide attempts against the law, while patently absurd, served more as one more psychological barrier to going through with it, which was its real purpose. I'll concede that's a bit dubious, but it's plausible.

      Adding little steps that make suicide more difficult do help prevent suicides, and that includes gun regulation.

      "My great panacea for making society at once better and more enjoyable would be to cultivate greater sincerity." -- Frances Power Cobbe

      by Panacea Paola on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:16:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Some bridges have helpline signs..... (0+ / 0-)

        as wells barricades.

        We should talk more about suicide, not less.  And we should make it easier and less of a stigma to get help.

        You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

        by murrayewv on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 05:58:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Just flat wrong (29+ / 0-)
      Household Firearm Ownership and Rates of Suicide Across the 50 United States
      Miller, Matthew MD, ScD; Lippmann, Steven J. BS; Azrael, Deborah PhD; Hemenway, David PhD
      Journal of Trauma — Injury Infection & Critical Care:
      April 2007 - Volume 62 - Issue 4 - pp 1029-1035

      Conclusion: Household firearm ownership levels are strongly associated with higher rates of suicide, consistent with the hypothesis that the availability of lethal means increases the rate of completed suicide.

      Some people are determined to kill themselves, but some people who are distraught and not thinking clearly won't succeed if the moment passes, if someone intervenes, or all kinds of other scenarios. Think of someone who doesn't succeed in suicide by slitting his/her wrists but who would've succeeded with access to a gun in the house.

      Guns make killing so easy.

      I probably shouldn't say this, but since you're a front pager: Your sense of moral outrage is valuable and admirable. Please check up on your preconceptions before wielding it.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:43:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I posted elsewhere in response, bu can go here too (5+ / 0-)

        The British, at the very least, know exactly how the ease of committing suicide is tied to suicide rates.

        While moving from coal gas (high CO, read: lethal) to natural gas regions at a time (thus factoring out any broad social shift that could account for the result) between 1956 and the 70's, "death by oven" dropped by precipitously. Now, unfortunately, total suicides didn't drop in the same manner, only by ~30%.

        Only

        30%

        Yeah.

        Suicide by gun is an entirely appropriate figure to include when we have the most perfect (if unintentional) case study ever of what a lack of access to an easy means of suicide would do to the overall suicide rate.

    •  We're #1! American Exceptionalism! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bleeding blue, Shockwave, PSzymeczek

      Unfortunately, much of our empirical exceptionalism at this point is not in categories where we should be happy to distinguish ourselves.

      American Exceptionalism: 10 percent of the people have 74.5 percent of the wealth.

      by psnyder on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 08:02:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, Matt Z, Kaili Joy Gray

      And before I add the rest of my comment, I have read the subthread of comments to your comment, Kaili, and want to respond all in one spot.

      The point is made that if it is harder to get guns, it is harder for people to kill themselves.

      I will grant that is correct.  Okay, so what do you (pl) have then?

      A still alive but utterly wretched person.

      What about their wretchedness?  Or is it a matter of as long as they are going through the motions of living you (pl) don't have to think about them any more? I exempt high unitas from my question.

      That is the shortcoming I see in the Great Gun Debate.  Making it harder to have guns would indeed keep a lot of people from getting killed, and that is a massively good thing, but it does nothing to address the underlying pathologies and miseries that make people decide to use guns destructively.

      What about these underlying problems?

      I suspect that is what you are crying out about, Kaili? Correct me if I am wrong. :)

      •  If we have to solve all problems at once... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify, Pluto

        ....no problems will be solved.

        And I have no sympathy at all for the aggrieved party here. The position being advocated by that party is a public menace, and I think in some way her impassioned reaction certifies her awareness of that: "If one throws salt at you, you will not flinch, unless you are raw."

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 08:44:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you solve the right problem (7+ / 0-)

          ...it could have a profound effect on the suicide rate. For example, tightening the social safety net to the level  of the more highly developed nations would help enormously.

          (Nations whose constitutions grant citizens full human rights with dignity, such as food, shelter, comprehensive health care, affordable or free education, and a living wage for any full-time work -- experience far less mental illness and violence per capita. Americans are not granted full human rights in their antiquated constitution -- as specified by the UN Declaration of Human Rights -- which stresses folks to the point of mental instability in the 21st century.)

          Fix that and the gun problem might very well take care of itself.

          •  Yes, Pluto, Yes. (0+ / 0-)

            It is harder to feel completely hopeless when you know you have resources that will help.

            Stuck-in-a-rut wages, sickness you can't afford to cure (why is that even a consideration in a nation as wealthy as ours, rhetorically speaking?) the inability to escape your situation...

            All those addressed in the acts and items you listed.

            I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

            by Gentle Giant on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 11:01:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  This may surprise you (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        samanthab, murrayewv, sethtriggs
        I will grant that is correct.  Okay, so what do you (pl) have then?

        A still alive but utterly wretched person.

        But people go through ups and downs.  Or they think they're fine but relapse.  What the hell? This is just tragically callous comment.  

        "Back off, back off, he's got his own dreams that won't come true!"- Robots

        by satanicpanic on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 09:27:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Seriously. I'm not "wretched" because I'm (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          murrayewv, sethtriggs

          depressive. I have a lot of joy in my life.

          •  Good. What do you do that brings you joy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gentle Giant, PSzymeczek

            if I may ask?  I'm depressive and I'm not finding much and am always open to hearing what works for other people - if you want to share.

            I guess I said wretched because that's how I've been feeling for a while now...

            •  zett, i get selfish. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zett, PSzymeczek

              I make time to do the things I love to do and don't let anything get in my way.

              I:

              attend a concert with a friend.

              take my dog hiking in the woods.

              grab my camera and see if I can make some art.

              write a poem, a short story, or work on my novel.

              see my younger brother, who has always been a light in my existence.

              cry. Sometimes, that's all it takes. Take my time and get it all out.

              I used to eat, but that brought on some other problems.

              sleep.

              Exercise, good nutrition and good hygeine can go a long way to prevent or offset depression. Finding the right drug can help. For me, Zoloft turned my world into wet cardboard. Other drugs, I've forgotten the name of. I take a fairly low dose of nortriptylene. It's been around a long time and works well without making its presence known. I take it at night when I turn in. It might not be the one that works for you.
              But then, I have healthcare. Not great, but I have it.

              Going through some tough times now with my aged parents. My mom is fairly advanced in Alzheimers. I'm bringing all the coping mechanisms to bear.

              Sometimes just talking about everything to a sympathetic friend is all I need.

              I hope you can turn yours around. See a doctor about it if you can and if you haven't yet.
              I'm lucky that, even in the midst of depression, I can maintain enough objectivity to know what's up and do something about it. My camera, my dog- sometimes that's all it takes.

              Whatever you love to do, make yourself do it. You CAN manufacture a little joy. Get the right brain chemicals stewing. When it really gets bad, remember that the world really isn't as bad as it seems- it's your brain chemistry playing with your head. And you aren't alone. At any given moment you suffer from depression, there are thousands, perhaps millions of others suffering with you. Misery does love company. It isn't that there is something wrong with you. Wrong and right aren't part of the equation.

              Above all, remember that it gets better. It's only temporary. You will see a brighter day and enjoy it. Keep this knowledge handy.

              I wish you happier days. Hang in there. You are valuable to more people than you could ever know.

              I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

              by Gentle Giant on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 11:19:27 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm so sorry about your parents. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Gentle Giant

                Seeing Alzheimer's in a loved one is hugely difficult for a person with no history of depression - that you are trying to cope with that on top of depression...all I know to say is that my hat's off to you.

                I hope you have people to help you with the caretaking and lots of people to listen.

                •  I have an amazing younger brother who (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zett

                  is a pastor so has experience in dealing with people in difficult situations. He's a fine human being and my closest friend and relative.
                  I have an awesome sister who burns herself out periodically trying to help too many people at once, so we prop each other up.
                  I have two decent men as sons. Their love for me is unflagging and provides no end of surprize and entertainment.
                  I have a wife who does her best with what she has (me). And my parents are exceptional. My mom retains much of her loving nature, even if she has no clue what is going on anymore. Her first impulse is to love everybody she sees, even though she may have no idea who they are. But that has always been her way. She was a career nurse who finished her career in hospice work.
                  I am an extremely fortunate man with a wealth of loving friends and family.
                  And the fact that depression still gets hold says much about the illness.

                  I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

                  by Gentle Giant on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 01:27:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  It's great (0+ / 0-)

                that you have those outlets.  It helps.

                Some of us aren't that fortunate.  We don't have money for concert tickets.  We don't have a dog or woods nearby, and a hike outside when it's in excess of 100 degrees isn't really advisable.  Some of us aren't artistic, or can't concentrate long enough to write poetry or prose.  Some don't have family close by.  If we cry, we're told to cheer up and get over it.  Sleep?  Some of us can't because we can't slow our minds down enough.  Drugs would be fine if we had heallthcare at all.  Some of us had friends, but they abandoned us when things got grim.  What would you suggest?  Me - I won't give anyone the satisfaction of my death.  But the darkness of depression remains.

                The way to combat noxious ideas is with other ideas. The way to combat falsehoods is with truth. - William O. Douglas

                by PSzymeczek on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 02:22:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Funny that you think it is a callous comment (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sfbob, Gentle Giant, PSzymeczek

          since I speak from the viewpoint of someone who has suffered from unremitting depression for decades.

          I have understanding and compassion for people who want to die.  If someone has bone cancer and is in physical agony all the time - and that person availed themselves of Kervorkian - would they be judged?  Some people would still, but a lot more people would understand their decision.  But when the pain is mental or emotional and does not have a concrete cause easy for other people to understand, they get judged a moral coward, etc., etc.

          I know that depression comes and goes for other people, and I am thankful it lets up for them.  But for those of us who have to fight it every god damned day - or for those who have other severe mental disorders - I would much rather people ague as passionately for treatment and understanding as they do about guns.

          Guns are the relatively easy side of the equation.  The real solution lies with people and their relationships.

          I guess I'm callous because I grew up in the country around menfolk who hunted - literally the hillbillies with the shotgun in the corner of the shanty - so even though I'm to the left of most people on this blog, I don't have much of an anti-gun attitude.  The Swiss have guns and don't go on murder sprees.  The Canadians have guns and go on many fewer than Americans do.  There's a pathology in American society that makes this shit happen.  Cutting down gun availability is a part of the discussion on cutting down violence, but it is only part and not even the meat of the matter.

    •  Guns guarantee the suicide attempt (17+ / 0-)

      is successful. That's why they're a major problem in the home.

      A lot of people attempt suicide, but a lot of them fail, and they get help, and they move on. A lot of them get better and look back at their attempt and wonder why.

      But a gun makes it certain. That one moment when you feel all is lost, and you can't take anymore, and you have a gun, and you fire.

      It's over. No second chances.

      And lest you suggest I haven't walked in the shoes of depression, I have. I walk in them every single day.

      •  People botch suicide attempts with guns. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ice Blue

        Jumping off a bridge is no more or less final than pulling a trigger.

        Most "failed" suicides are not accidental failures.  They're cries for help by people who need help.  When I say that the vast majority of those who fail did not intend to succeed, I am not saying that they are not in need of care.

        What I am saying is that most people who mean to kill themselves do just that.  

        Thinking the "food stamp challenge" teaches you about being poor is like thinking a camping trip will give you insight into being homeless.

        by JesseCW on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 02:47:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wrong. When you're in an intense depression, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          murrayewv, diomedes77, Gentle Giant

          you really aren't that great at planning overall.

        •  It's extremely rare that they fail with a gun (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gentle Giant, PSzymeczek

          The power of the weapon itself makes that almost impossible. And if someone uses a gun, they're pretty much beyond "crying for help."

          They would have chosen a different method if they had been, one that actually takes time for all to end.

          Which reminds me of another way in which we are not like other nations. We are not as happy overall.

          Those oh so terrible (cough cough) "socialist" nations of Europe routinely score at the top in happiness, along with Brazil. America, OTOH, seems exceptionally unhappy, for such an "exceptional" land of freedom and liberty.

          Someday, even the uber-faux-patriots on the right are going to have to wake up to the fact of America's decline, and its horrible past, and its unconscionable inequality and its theocratic underbelly.

          Someday.

          As the young kids used to say, "We aint all that."

          •  I've noticed that about the right. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            diomedes77, PSzymeczek

            They criticize the Left for "hating America" because we point out her faults. But we love our country enough to want to fix her flaws rather than ignoring them and letting them pile up or adding to them.

            One side loves the myth and image of America. The other side loves the nation and its people and wants it to be better. and better. and better. And always striving to be better.

            I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

            by Gentle Giant on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 11:34:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Several of the "cough cough" socialist nations of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KVoimakas

            Europe have a much higher suicide rate than we do.

            And hardly anyone uses guns to do it there.

            Once again, you demonstrate that it's just about impossible to have a conversation about guns in this country.

            Guns are just signifiers.  Props.  Stand-ins for a host of other issues people want to rant about.

            Thinking the "food stamp challenge" teaches you about being poor is like thinking a camping trip will give you insight into being homeless.

            by JesseCW on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 01:04:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Prove it. I don't believe you. (0+ / 0-)

              Europe kicks out butts in pretty much every health metric. They live longer, healthier lives than we do. They have a lower incidence of child mortality, unwanted pregnancies and STDs.

              All of that is largely due to universal health care which includes preventative care and excellent prenatal care.

              And they pay half what we pay, cover everyone, while we pay twice what they pay and leave 40 million uninsured.

              Guns make violence far easier to perpetrate. And assault weapons make mass murder far easier. A sane society would get rid of them -- at least assault weapons and ammo. At least that. They serve no other purpose than to enact mass slaughter.

              We can't legislate spiritual awakening. But we can get rid of the tools of violence. And, think about it. Possession of a small amount of pot gets you jail time.

              But assault weapons are legal.

              This is a very twisted country.

              •  You're not even responding to my comment. (0+ / 0-)

                You're off on a tangent about assault weapons, which just about no one uses to commit suicide (bar a few cases of suicide-by-cop).

                You're engaged in a response that seems to be pre-programmed boilerplate that just gushes out when the word "gun" is voiced.

                You need to stop this.  It doesn't help. It doesn't move us forward toward actually fixing problems.

                You're making assumptions about what I believe RE: assault weapons that do not logically follow from anything I've said in this thread.

                This is called google.

                www.google.com

                Please go there, and enter the words

                suicide rate by country

                I'm not going to play "I don't like your source" with you.  So do your own research.  It won't take you five minutes.

                Japan and South Korea are in the top 10 - very safe, very developed countries with extremely strict gun laws.

                Finland, Switzerland, New Zeeland, Sweden, France,  all have substantially higher suicide rates than we do.

                Thinking the "food stamp challenge" teaches you about being poor is like thinking a camping trip will give you insight into being homeless.

                by JesseCW on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 02:10:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Wrong. (0+ / 0-)

        My grandfather tried to kill himself with a pistol.  He failed.  My father saw his hospital X-ray.  He said the bullet went in the right temple and flattened itself against the left side of the skull.  All the surgeons had to do was saw open that little bit of skull and remove the little bit of lead but my grandfather still spent the rest of his life in a nursing home.

        Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

        by Ice Blue on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:42:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  As a rule of thumb, men tend to try it with guns (0+ / 0-)

        while women use a drug overdose or cutting their own wrists or something like that.  That's why men succeed more often while women are more often saved.

        Never meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will piss on your computer.--Bruce Graham

        by Ice Blue on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:47:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong, misleading, and you should know it. (21+ / 0-)

      Academic studies are easy enough to find -- this took me all of thirty seconds on the Google:

      Evidence indicates a correlation between the availability of firearms and firearm suicide rates; a home where there are firearms is five times more likely to be the scene of a suicide than a home without a gun. Research has shown that the rate of suicide with firearms in Quebec has tended to vary with the rate of hunting licenses issued. In areas of the province where the number of firearm hunting licenses issued is high, the firearm suicide rate is also high. In rural Alberta, where the use of firearms is overrepresented, the rate of firearm suicide is twice that of urban regions.
      Suicide is often an impulsive act, and there's nothing quite as good as a gun for making an impulse to kill final. Slash your wrists, take an overdose, and you've probably time for second thoughts. Stick the barrel of a shotgun in your mouth and there certainly won't be.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 08:40:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  From NIH (18+ / 0-)

      "Most suicide attempts do not result in death. Many of these attempts are done in a way that makes rescue possible. These attempts are often a cry for help.

      Some people attempt suicide in a way that is less likely to be fatal, such as poisoning or overdose. Males, especially elderly men, are more likely to choose violent methods, such as shooting themselves. As a result, suicide attempts by males are more likely to result in death."

      You are correct, the gun doesn't make them suicidal. But as a means, it may prevent them from getting the help they need. Unfortunately, when a gun is available, you don't have that "cry for help". You don't often get that second chance.

      I would think it would have to be included in a serious discussion about the issues of the easy availability of guns.

      •  They choose guns because they're not engaged (0+ / 0-)

        in "cries for help".

        In other countries, they choose bridges.  Or they slice down the road, instead of across the street.

        If a person is committed to killing themselves, they usually succeed on the first attempt, whether or not they use a firearm.

        We have 1/3rd South Koreas suicide rate.

        It ain't the guns.

        Thinking the "food stamp challenge" teaches you about being poor is like thinking a camping trip will give you insight into being homeless.

        by JesseCW on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 02:56:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bullshit. You're pulling that out of your ass. n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          murrayewv, rigcath
          •  You have google, no? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KVoimakas, PSzymeczek

            If you don't trust wikipedia, do your own research.

            Several happy countries with a high standard of living and very few guns are in the top ten when it comes to suicides.

            Bridges, blades, and ropes are all just as effective as guns if you seriously intend to kill yourself.

            Most suicide attempts aren't suicide attempts at all.  They're cries for help from very sick people who really need help and aren't getting it in our society.

            Try keywords like "Suicide by country".

            Thinking the "food stamp challenge" teaches you about being poor is like thinking a camping trip will give you insight into being homeless.

            by JesseCW on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 01:13:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Are you aware of what effect the type of gas ovens (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      murrayewv

      used had on suicide rates?

      Extrapolate to gun availability.

    •  Bull fucking shit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      samanthab, murrayewv

      If you ever had personal experience with someone with depression you wouldn't say such a stupid thing.  I'm not going to go any further because it's none of your fucking business but you should really think before you post this kind of thing.  Being flip about this is not helping anyone.

      "Back off, back off, he's got his own dreams that won't come true!"- Robots

      by satanicpanic on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 09:23:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i disagree with her assessment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        as per the comments of sagesource and hoopgreen and simplify, but if you knew anything about her personal experience you would be ashamed of yourself for writing that. at least i hope you would be. i'm sorry for whatever personal suffering motivated your vitriol. i hope you will consider that you are not the only one in pain.

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 10:17:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know (0+ / 0-)

          her personal experience and neither of you know anything about mine.  You'll just have to accept that I have my own experiences and I feel very strongly that trying to write them off as irrelevant to this conversation is a nasty thing to do OR you and anyone else who feels like I'm being an asshole can HR me.  This has upset me enough for one day.  Do whatever you want.  

          "Back off, back off, he's got his own dreams that won't come true!"- Robots

          by satanicpanic on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 10:47:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  again (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            twigg, WisePiper, Matt Z, Spit

            i'm sorry for your personal experience. but other people also have personal experiences, and have reached different personal conclusions. given the intensity of the ways this touches people personally, i would hope people can disagree while being sensitive to each other's suffering. and again- i don't agree with her assessment- not because of my own personal experiences, and i do have some- but because of the more objective data presented by the commenters i cited.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 10:59:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Data doesn't back up her arguments. I care (0+ / 0-)

          passionately about the issue of personal experience, and, as such, I'd like an honest look. Her argument is the de facto logic of this country, and it's costing lives. I have a right to be emotional about lost lives.

          •  we all have the right to be emotional (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PSzymeczek

            but depression, guns, and suicide each touch people in the most intensely personal and painful ways, and put them together and you have an emotional minefield. i would hope when walking that minefield we can try to be conscious that some of the people with whom we are debating also are in the midst of that minefield.

            i'm not disagreeing with the what of satanicpanic's argument, i'm asking for some sensitivity on the how.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 10:25:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Don't be a dick (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Simplify, glorificus

        This is an emotive topic that we can reasonably expect to discuss, but only if people remain civil.

        If "Bull fucking shit" = "I'm sorry Kalli, but I beg to differ" ... then say so.

        I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
        but I fear we will remain Democrats.

        by twigg on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 11:14:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  More intellectual dishonesty (6+ / 0-)

      No, guns don't make people suicidal.  Yes, they are simply a means to an end.  But they're an extraordinarily efficient means to achieving that end.  Other means of committing suicide aren't usually so quick and certain.

      Contrary to your assertions, Moore isn't the one who's exploiting people suffering from mental illness, you are.  You're feigning indignation over his factually accurate presentation of statistics about suicides committed with guns because you want the problem of guns to seem less serious than it is.  

      I certainly agree that mental health services in this country suck, but I'm not buying your transparent effort to sidestep the simple fact that a suicidal person holding a gun is far more likely to succeed in killing himself than one who has to use another means.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 10:17:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are dead wrong about this, Kaili (13+ / 0-)

      and I speak as someone who struggles with mental illness and is also a suicide survivor.

      And point numero uno is that the number one reason I am a suicide survivor and not a suicide victim is that my parents have never owned guns. Wrists can be stitched back up if found in time. Stomachs can be pumped if found in time. But you can't put someones brains back in their head even if you show up a second after the shot is fired.

      Here's some stats on suicide: 3-4 times more females attempt suicide, but twice as many males actually commit suicide...and the number one reason for that is that males are far, far more likely to use a gun.

      Here's some more: it is estimated that less than 30% of all suicides who slit their wrists actually die. Pills? That's less than 15%. Guns? Eighty-fucking-Five percent.

      I'm an outlier: a male who slit his wrist. Which is why I'm still here typing to you.

      "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

      by ChurchofBruce on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 12:50:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If he hadn't included that clarification, at least (0+ / 0-)

      a dozen people would have posted comments claiming he was including suicides.

      It was actually important to define his terms.

      Thinking the "food stamp challenge" teaches you about being poor is like thinking a camping trip will give you insight into being homeless.

      by JesseCW on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 02:35:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Someone Feeling Road Ragey Who Has a Gun (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PSzymeczek

      Is more likely to kill someone else because of the convenience factor.  Who's to say that someone who has suicidal feelings with a gun isn't in the same boat?

      Agree guns don't cause suicide.

      But they don't cause anyone else to die either.

      Also this:

      Preach away if you must, but don't exploit those who suffer from mental illness—which gets almost zero attention in this conversation and the treatment of which, in this country, is an utter joke—to make your point.
      Considering that people who have some form of mental illness might also kill others (and have killed others) I don't think including them in the conversation equates to "exploiting them."

      Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

      by TooFolkGR on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 04:44:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What? I have a mental illness. All of us with (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko, murrayewv, 420 forever

      serious depression go through suicidal phases. If you make it very easy to act on those thoughts, people end up dead more often. It's just like any other violent crime with a gun- the ease of deadly consequences greatly heightens the likelihood of death. It's not exploitation to point that out.

      What's painful and toxic is to act as if the lives of the mentally ill are so irrelevant that their deaths do not count as violent acts.

      Nevermind, it sounds an awful lot like you're the one exploiting the mentally ill here. You don't like his argument, so you want his numbers reduced.

      And you really have no idea what it's like to be a serious depressive. Guess what? I will always have suicidal thoughts in my dark moments. It's not something that responds to treatment. Society can't change that. What I can do is, in my more lucid moments, work to mitigate the likelihood that I will carry it out. Having a gun around is an obstacle to that. Spare me your disingenuous empathy for the mentally ill.

    •  I think you are mistaken. (0+ / 0-)

      I think you seriously underestimate the lethalness and speed of firearms verses other commonly available means.

      Are you seriously arguing "Guns don't kill people, people kill people"?

      I'm not suggesting suicide is not often (but not always) the result of the failures of societies, family and friends, but that guns tend not to give anyone a second chance or the opportunity for last minute changes of mind.

      How many people cut their wrists or take other less immediately lethal actions and then are saved by others/themselves verses surviving a shot to the head?

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 04:57:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think you're wrong (0+ / 0-)

      Just like guns make it easy to kill other people, they make it easy to kill yourself. Put the gun to your head, pull the trigger, it’s over. The common supposition is that if someone were suicidal they would find some other way of killing themselves if they didn’t have a gun: that’s not necessarily true.

      Any obstacle you can put in the way of acting on the final impulse to attempt suicide is going to save lives. Yes, if someone wants to kill themselves they will try to find a way. However, if they don’t have access to a gun they are going to have to try harder – the harder it is the more opportunity there is for them to reconsider or have someone intervene.

      Related to this, suicide by gun is an appealing means because it’s instant and relatively certain. While someone may be able to act on the impulse to shoot themselves, most are less able to follow through on a method that involves pain and suffering or a public spectacle, like jumping from a bridge or stepping in front of a train.  

      Lastly, if someone tries to kill themselves with a gun they usually succeed. Make them try something else and they often don’t. It’s not unusual for someone to survive a suicide attempt via drug overdose or laceration. The vast majority of people who survive a suicide attempt don’t try a second time.

      Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. - Groucho Marx

      by Joe Bob on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 10:47:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I thought about you the other day. I wondered (19+ / 0-)

    what you had to say about this latest mass killing. I knew whatever you said it would be thought provoking. I am not disappointed.
    Thank you for weighing in.
    It sounds hackneyed, but...Peace.

  •  I agree (13+ / 0-)

    I have posted here before that our government teaches us all that killing is a way to solve a problem.

    And we act shocked that our citizens follow that lead.

    •  So does our cultural. Been to the movies lately? (2+ / 0-)

      Watch TV?

      We have always been a violent society.

      Progressives will win only when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive. And... It’s the Supreme Court, stupid!

      by auapplemac on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 06:33:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  try watching UK, Japan, Germany, French (4+ / 0-)

        TV. It's facile to blame TV all the time

        •  I watch German TV (0+ / 0-)

          almost daily at my friend's house. We watch a lot of daytime shows, Top Geld Jager, (spelling?) But, we also watch cop shows, they are pretty much on par with ours.

          "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

          by high uintas on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:56:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  RFK addressed this topic on 4/5/68 (12+ / 0-)

        He said the follwing in Cleveland the day after MLK's assassination:

        Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire weapons and ammunition they desire.

        Too often we honor swagger and bluster and the wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach nonviolence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

        Some looks for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear; violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleaning of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

        Sadly, little has changed in the past 44 years.  Even more sadly, our political system has become so paralyzed w/ fear of the NRA that no one's even proposing any legislation in an effort to at least slow down this scourge.

        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

        by RFK Lives on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:41:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Also, torture (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cory Bantic

      be it in secret prisons or on our own streets with electroshock guns

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:46:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am only posting a comment because this (14+ / 0-)

    very good diary should be read!

    Read "The Culture of Fear" by Barry Glassner for more in depth information.

    if we just had less guns, there would be less gun deaths.

    ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

    by slowbutsure on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 05:52:29 PM PDT

  •  large magazine military weapons (29+ / 0-)

    weapons that can get off many rounds in a short time

    they are not needed by regular people

    put the regulations back where they were before the expired in 2004

    representative from Brady Foundation on democracynow.org on monday. He was shot 4 times at Virginia Tech during that killing rampage.

    •  How about 1985? nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oldpunk

      Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

      by KVoimakas on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 08:26:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So we just have to "deal with it" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest

        because those things were out there before that meager effort to curb assault weapons? What good will ever come from having a clip with 100 rounds?

        I'm all for protecting your 2nd Amendment rights and all, but there is a line that we should be able to legislate that which people can't cross.

        •  We have many such lines now. (0+ / 0-)

          Can't own full auto without a federal background check and tax stamps (federal registration).

          Can't own grenades without a federal background check and tax stamps (federal registration).

          Can't own large arms or bio-weapons (nukes, small pox, etc).

          You'll have to deal with rifles that look like military rifles but don't function the same (semi vs full auto) because there are millions of them out there, registering/banning would not work since the response would be...well, not something I want to see...and you'd get the GOP in a better position of power. Remember 94?

          Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

          by KVoimakas on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 06:28:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Off gun topic - health care - another of Moore's (9+ / 0-)

    issues

    a conservative woman who moved to Canada

    http://ayoungmomsmusings.blogspot.com.au/...

  •  There is also a break (8+ / 0-)

    between what I as a rural person think and what others who have not had the same kind of life think.

    A rifle is a farm tool that I don't like to have to use beause it means either an animal I care about has been injured beyond repair or a wild creature has decided to try to dine in my farm yard.

    I have one experience with gun violence a woman I attended school with was shot in front of her children and later died, he then shot and killed himself. He was the chief of police of a nearby city so gun control really wouldn't have stopped him.

    Prior to his decent into killer his department protected him as he systematically tried to destroy his wife for leaving him. Do I trust the local cops much after that? Not much. Do I want them to be the only ones with guns, Not likely.
    Do I want them riding heard over registering firearms? Probably not a good idea.

    But that's just here other places are different with different sets of problems. We are a very diverse country and not everybody thinks alike.

    It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

    by PSWaterspirit on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 06:11:15 PM PDT

    •  You're going to resist the local police with guns? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      koNko

      Well... I might even sympathize with that a bit.... but good luck and I hope you have a lovely funeral.

      From the Whiskey Rebellion onward, armed resistance to the government has had a very poor record of success. What makes you think it would be different with you?

      All your guns are doing is distracting you from the only real solution to your problem, which is to use political means to take control of those cops and bring them to heel. You can't, you say? OK, I can appreciate that too. Maybe the situation is that bad. Then you either move somewhere else or put up with it. Whatever happens, you're not going to shoot your way out of it.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 08:58:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have no clue where you got that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grover

        Not from anything I wrote.

        The police around here are not trustworthy, if they were to decide to put some kind of gun registration in place and use local police agencies to accomplish it there is not a soul here that will do so. There would be very little anyone could do to change that. We have always been very good at resisting that which is not in our best interest without lifting a finger.

         

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 09:23:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have no clue how you got that (0+ / 0-)

        Not from anything I wrote.

        The police around here are not trustworthy, if they were to decide to put some kind of gun registration in place and use local police agencies to accomplish it there is not a soul here that will do so. There would be very little anyone could do to change that. We have always been very good at resisting that which is not in our best interest without lifting a finger.

         

        It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

        by PSWaterspirit on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 09:24:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, those cops are not trustworthy. (0+ / 0-)

          He never ever should have been a cop,  much less promoted. But the violent culture that we live in that idolizes guns dismisses ongoing violence against women as simply unimportant, like it never happened.

          And people who glibly say "well, move or put up with it"  have no clue. From the rural PNW to New York City, where shall we go?

          Be careful out there.  

          © grover


          So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

          by grover on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 03:17:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  we need to watch BFC again. (11+ / 0-)

    thank you, mm.

    Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind; it requires the same effort of the brain that it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle. -Helen Keller

    by ridemybike on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 06:59:42 PM PDT

  •  ...oh goodie... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crider, enhydra lutris

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences.

    by paradise50 on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:00:31 PM PDT

    •  Got another (0+ / 0-)

      Once I had my heroes
      Once I had my dreams
      But all of that is changed now
      They've turned things inside out
      The truth is not so comfortable, no
      And mother taught us patience
      The virtues of restraint
      And father taught us boundaries
      Beyond which we must go
      To find the secrets promised us, yeah
      That's when I reach for my revolver
      That's when it all gets blown away
      That's when I reach for my revolver
      The spirit fights to find its way
      A friend of mine once told me
      His one and only aim
      To build a giant castle
      And live inside his name
      Cry and whispers sing in muted pain
      That's when I reach for my revolver
      That's when it all gets blown away
      That's when I reach for my revolver
      The spirit fights to find its way
      Tonight the sky is empty
      But that is nothing new
      Its dead eyes look upon us
      And they tell us we're nothing but slaves
      That's when I reach for my revolver
      (...but slaves)
      That's when I reach for my revolver
      That's when I reach for my revolver
      That's when I reach for my revolver
      That's when I reach for my revolver
      That's when I reach for my revolver

      "Romney's vision of humanity is just a million tons of meat floating around in a sea of base calculations." —Susan Madrak

      by Crider on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:33:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just look at our culture (17+ / 0-)

    We have an unarmed teenager get shot by an adult and there seems to be a good 40-45% that somehow supports the shooter...Our country has problems.

    •  Too many are afraid (4+ / 0-)

      of people that don't look or act like them

      "Romney's vision of humanity is just a million tons of meat floating around in a sea of base calculations." —Susan Madrak

      by Crider on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:35:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  agree - it's also a state of mind, not only (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mamamedusa, Matt Z, sfbob, PSzymeczek

      a weapon. I'm all for limiting assault-rifle availability, many in USA seem to me to have large amounts of (latent, not readil admitted) hate.

      I believe (pure conjecture based on limited personal observation) a lot of it has to do with an unwillingness on the part of many to admit deep-seated racial hatred. They can pretend to hate Obama's policies because to admit racially-based anger is "bad". I also used to watch safe-suburban caucasians in the 1990s when i lived in suburbia) pretend to talk about how they disliked Jesse Jackson's policies and statements, but I think it was mostly about the "crime" of "having a high profile and being opinionated while being black"

      If Trayvon had been a frat-boy quarterback hero, I think George Zimmerman would be in a v.....ery different position - to say the least.

      The political-correctness about race in America has, I fear, become a thin veneer which has allowed the true problem to fester out of sight.

  •  "Its the Capitalism, Stupid" (13+ / 0-)

    and in our case the most predatory case of it.  

    We are teethed on competition, and weaned on self-blame.  

    If our lives are hard, we must not be "good enough."

    We are relentlessly teased with the illusion of riches if we only follow the rules of their game, only to find out the game is rigged.

    We have closed mental health hospitals across the nation and replaced helping people with selling them pills.

    Its not the guns, its our version of Capitalism.  It creates insanity because its an insane system.

    •  A sense of being powerless (5+ / 0-)

      just waiting for the next disaster to strike. Many people have lost every bit of security they have of course they are afraid. Some are even desparate.

      Some find despite all their planning nothing can protect them.

      We had a 75 year old man try to rob a bank at gun point locally not long ago. His wife needed longterm care and the cost would make him broke and homeless in a very short time even though he had followed all the rules, worked hard all his life and saved his money.

      It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

      by PSWaterspirit on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 08:09:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You tell 'em, Michael. (5+ / 0-)

    all you'll get here from the RKBA's is them with their hands over their ears, going "lalalalalalalalalalalalala-right to bear arms-lalalalalalalalalaallaalalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"


    "A recent study reveals Americans' heads are larger than they were 150 years ago but sadly there is no indication that the extra room is used for anything." - entlord

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:20:09 PM PDT

  •  Um, maybe it is the guns: (3+ / 0-)

    I just happened across this interesting chart showing weapons used, by percent, in murder victim totals in the US (by year):

    http://www.infoplease.com/...

    Data are from the US Dept of Justice

    Suicides are not included, only murders

    Guns have formed the majority of weapons used in every year reported, reaching 70% in 1994 - and over 66% in every year since then.

    I'm just the messenger, here.

    •  Your comment (0+ / 0-)

      reminded me of this song by Cheryl Wheeler, from the album Sylvia Hotel.  The video has been updated.

      The way to combat noxious ideas is with other ideas. The way to combat falsehoods is with truth. - William O. Douglas

      by PSzymeczek on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 02:44:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If guns don't kill people... (8+ / 0-)

    ...why are universal concealed carry permits and vigilante armed resistance the panacea for stopping public gun violence?

    If people kill people, why can't the would-be heroes among us simply stop a potential shooter with a fork?

  •  I've always said, killing people to teach people (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, devis1, Matt Z, sethtriggs

    that killing is bad, isn't logical, nor as we've demonstrated, effective.

  •  Did your movie (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kentucky Kid, notrouble, oldpunk

    predict the continuing decline in the murder rate: down 51% since 1991 and now at nearly a 50 year low?

    How can so many people wriote about violence in America without noting its signficant decline.

    It amazes me.  

    Because if you talked about violence going downm, perhaps, you might have to talk about what is going right?  You might have to explore how people's fear is increasing while their reason to fear is declining.

    It amazes me in diary after diary how people just ignore basic facts.

    Go here for a start of the literature.  The murder rate, and indeed all crime, has decline since the start of the Great Recession.
    http://www.bjs.gov/...

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 07:58:14 PM PDT

    •  The context of this Diary (10+ / 0-)

      ...is a comparison between nations. It is those per capita numbers that are striking relative to the US.

      Comparing the US to itself tells us very little -- unless we examine whether or not there are similar trends throughout the world. That would be a worthwhile study.

      •  See? Cherry picking. (0+ / 0-)

        Question, why do you think declining indicators of violence within a single country tell us nothing?

        •  Because if the decline in violent crime.... (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto, Miggles, grover, sethtriggs

          ....goes beyond the US, the rather desperate attempt to use it as a fig leaf for the gun fetish falls flat.

          Violent crime is tending down even faster in Canada, and it sure isn't because of concealed carry. Only about fifty people in the entire country have concealed carry permits.

          Another excuse bites the dust.

          "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

          by sagesource on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 09:02:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Still not following. (0+ / 0-)

            Isn't the argument that liberalizing American gun laws increases violent crime?  In that case, how does that concern Canada?

            •  No. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Miggles, JesseCW, grover, 420 forever

              The argument (in the Diary)  is that the homicide rate in the US is monumentally higher, per capita, than any other developed nation, even those with widespread gun ownership.

              The Diarist asks:  "Does that suggest that the American people are badly broken psychologically?"

              The data you present has nothing whatsoever to do with the topic of this Diary.

              •  I didn't present the data. (0+ / 0-)

                I'm asking you a question the claim that "[c]omparing the US to itself tells us very little."

                Also, the Diary is scattershot, as the author is wont.  After all, it's a rehash of his old movie.

              •  Actually Pluto, I think it does. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sethtriggs, Pluto, PSzymeczek

                In the mid  80s to early 90s, much of America was a violent place to be, mostly due to the crack epidemic.

                People got scared.

                News media already knew that "if it bleeds, it leads" brought in eyeballs, but with cable, from CNN to Court TV, the news stations had to ramp up coverage for viewers.

                It got scarier.

                Crime dropped. It dropped slowly at first, then faster. It dropped a lot.

                But Americans are just as scared as they were during the crack wars.

                They're still building and living in gated communities (as much as possible.) They still hoard guns. Many are afraid of young men of color. Terrified.

                Their fear is residual. It's almost like they have PTSD except most of them lived no traumatic events at all, except watching the news and being told how scary it is.

                But the news---and Fox does this better than all the others ---keeps triggering them. The Romney campaign and the dog whistles say, you are not safe with this "foreign" black president. The overreaction to Occupy made the protesting citizens appear threatening (or so they hoped). The constant drumbeat of war -- the Iranians will destroy us if we not invade!-- is just icing on the cake.

                The data are relevant. America went through a war zone 20 years ago  and believes the war is still being fought.

                © grover


                So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

                by grover on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 03:48:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Oy vey (0+ / 0-)

                  Do not blame crack for American violence. Crime and criminal violence was a bigger concern yet in the 70s. Don't take my word for it. Watch some of the 70s most popular movies.

                  Dirty Harry
                  Magnum Force
                  Death Wish

                  Watch them now and the fear and hatred of widespread crime is palpable.

                  For my money the biggest explanation for the drop in criminal frequency starting in the 1980s is that point in time marks the point when the first generation born after the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 came of age. We are a much more just nation now than we were before 1964. But these changes show up on a generational time scale.

                  Crack? That's no root cause, not on the national scale.

                  •  I've read scholarly books --and I lived in (0+ / 0-)

                    Pretty much all of  those areas up and down the west coast affected by the influx of crack in the 1980s and 90s.

                    And yes, it was the early to mid 90s when crime started to fall, not the 1980s, when violent crime was still ramping up. It helps, if you're propounding a cause for sociological events -- and blithely dismissing that suggested by someone else--  to have accurate timing of when the events occurred.

                    Were there other reasons that contributed,  certainly so. Blaming it wholesale on minorities?  Wow, that never crossed my mind. I guess even as we were struggling with crime out here on the west, I don't recall any of us linking this to minorities finalislly having their civil rights formalized. (We're so naive out here). The discussion was about drugs, poverty, alienation, gangs, guns, lack of opportunity. The stuff we're still talking about....

                    But I'll accept the word of sociologists and economists on the causes over Dirty Harry   thanks. Last I checked, we still respected science at dKos.

                    And does it matter for the overall point I was making? That that decade or so had spectacularly high violent crime and this was amplified by the media.

                    You proved my point beautifully. Thank you.

                    © grover


                    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

                    by grover on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 09:29:00 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  There is no correlating data. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Miggles
          Question, why do you think declining indicators of violence within a single country tell us nothing?
          Because any interpretation of such singular data would be subjective. For example, I could tell you that the decline correlates precisely with moment that Viagra became available in the US market. Which is does.

          Why do you think the homicide rate declined? (Which it did also around 1940.)

          •  There is correlating data. (0+ / 0-)

            The number of firearms in the US over the same interval.  Positively, negatively, to what significance, who knows without controlling for other factors.  But who cares?  It's going down regardless.

            •  I see where you are going with this. (0+ / 0-)

              You should keep in mind that guns in the US have probably surpassed the saturation point of availability. Anyone who wants one, already has one or two or three.

              Thus, dumping even more guns on Americans is unlikely to increase violent crime, since they are already armed.

              The fact that there was a sharp decline beginning in 1989 (and an identical decline in 1940) was clearly caused by larger overriding factors that should be considered to give this trend meaning. One less gun death per day means there is one less shooter or one less reason to shoot.

              And, it is not for lack of gun saturation -- everyone had access to one -- so the number of guns was NEVER a factor here one way or the other. So, what was the reason for the decline?

              Around 1989, we began to privatize our prisons and turn them into hellholes where corporations (mostly foreign corporations) could make enormous profits. The prison corporations were hungry for prisoners and over the next 20 years the prison population exploded to the point that the US is now regarded as the largest police state that ever existed on this planet.

              Clearly, this also correlates with the identical decline around 1940, when an enormous number of able-bodied American men went off to WWII to kill people elsewhere.

              That is an example of the scientific method one would use to make isolated data (comparing US data to itself) meaningful.

              Other correlating data must be considered as well. In the past 15 years, gun death by suicide has increased profoundly, but those numbers are not incorporated in gun violence. Nor are the accidental gun deaths of children under 12, which have also increased significantly. Both of these can probably be attributed to gun saturation in the American household.

              Cherry picker, know thyself.

              •  according to The Guardian (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Pluto

                yesterday or the day before, the US has 88.7 or 88.8 guns per 100 population. Sounds to me as if that's pretty close to saturation.

                Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today. -- James Dean

                by Mnemosyne on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 05:49:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly what point are you trying to make? (0+ / 0-)
                •  I'm something of a data fetishist (0+ / 0-)

                  So, I was rather taken aback by being called a cherry picker of data. Sometimes there is data set that I would love to use to make a point, but I see that it is skewed and exaggerated. I know most folks wouldn't pick up on it -- but I can't bring myself to do it. I have high standards for myself.

                  That being said, your data is good about gun violence declining. But, other nations like the UK shows the same decline for the same period. And, they went in the opposite direction with gun control. That's out there, unexplained.

                  I agree, however, it is a good situation. (Even though overall gun shot deaths have not been in decline, due to the suicide and murder-suicide epidemic in the US in recent years.)

          •  I was talking to a friend in Madrid once... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pluto

            We were having a friendly argument about the value of bullfighting, and he told me that consistently and for several days after a big bullfight street crime is measurably lower.

    •  Same way anyone does. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      notrouble

      You cherry pick your evidence (or abandon it all together) to stubbornly hold on to received wisdom.  Conservatives ignore that very same statistic when they rail against undocumented immigrants.

    •  That said, Michael does bring up the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, Malachite

      interesting comparison between the US and other nations that have just as many guns or even more per capita, and even similar social/media cultures as the US, but don't have the violence rates (and I think it is violence overall not just gun violence).

      It isn't entirely about the guns, there's something in our culture that is failing. And I can think of a lot of places where we need improvement.

    •  One possible explanation for the decline in crime (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      satanicpanic, Sychotic1
  •  Hmmm. We managed to sell ... (11+ / 0-)

    ... 4,260,000 kilograms back in 1961 even though it tastes terrible, it stains your teeth, makes you stink and most people puke the first time they try it, yet, and this is the freaky part, 40 years after the Surgeon General of the United States first began warning us of its health hazards, we sold 154,920,885 kilograms of tobacco in 2006. I think somebody is probably making money off of that.

    .GUNVIOLENCE2

    .GUNVIOLENCE1
     

    I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

    by Tortmaster on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 08:38:01 PM PDT

  •  It is the guns, stupid. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mamamedusa

    And it doesn't matter if other nations with the same amount of guns kill less. They aren't us. We aren't them.

    No other nation has the same combination of history of genocide and slavery, extreme wealth and income disparity, ethnic divisions, or endless ability to scapegoat "the other."

    No other nation defines "liberty and freedom" as we do.

    IOW, no other nation has our combination of history and pathology. We are "exceptional" in that regard, and we're exceptionally stupid about what ails us, in our arrogance and ethnocentrism.

    The gas on that fire is guns -- especially high-powered guns.

    It's also bizarre that so many people think if we just have this awesome, revolutionary awakening of mind and spirit, all will be well, and we can keep the guns and not worry about anything.

    Thing is, our country is so divided as to what constitutes that mind and spirit problem, whose fault it is, and what can be done about it, we will never, ever, ever resolve our problems that way.

    But we can get rid of the gas that turns the fire into an inferno. We can get rid of the tool people use to act out whatever fantasies and pathologies and ideologies they currently embrace. We can make it harder for people who want to lash out violently at others, and we can make it possible that cooler heads will prevail.

    Ban all assault weapons and ammo at the manufacturing and sale points. Ban all importation of all assault weapons and ammo. Make it illegal to make or sell or import such weapons and ammo, and we simply won't have so many mass killings. We will save lives.

    •  Note the gun mix too. (5+ / 0-)

      Canada has a lot of guns, but nearly all of them are long guns, rifles and shotguns, acquired and used in their proper function as tools. It is very, very difficult to get a handgun legally in Canada.

      (Criminals get them illegally? So what. Criminals do a lot of things illegally, and when they are caught, they go to jail for it. Illegal possession of a firearm usually means at least three years in confinement.)

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 09:08:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why is there an order of magnitude (at least) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    notrouble, oldpunk

    difference in the gun homicide rates of various US states?
    New Hampshire, Vermont, Iowa, Idaho, Utah, Minnesota and Hawaii have rates similar to Canada and Switzerland.  Why?  It can't be access to guns or gun ownership rates.  These are both red and blue states.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 08:52:20 PM PDT

    •  Death penalty correlation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethtriggs

      Maps:

      Dp: http://commons.wikimedia.org/...

      Gun violence: http://www.thedailybeast.com/...

      When I first read this years ago, it was hard for me to wrap my head around. But the trend has continued for years since I was exposed to it. Whether its by legislation or because it's a cultural norm that gets passed from citizen to citizen, I didn't know. But there it is.

      © grover


      So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

      by grover on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 04:02:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Power Corrupts, and Guns are Power.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, devis1, sethtriggs


    I agree with Mr. Moore in general, but I would add that in America, the competition is fierce. We are an outwardly "nice" people who believe that the world, the environment, and other people are really nasty to us, and it makes us scared that we will not "get ahead."

    The power that guns are, which is significant, is seen as the great equalizer of the power imbalance here. We cannot forget that we descend from the elites, the working people AND the castoffs or undesirable classes in every country of the world. When there are no rules for advancement except Competition of the Strongest, many people conclude that they need a little backup against the strongest, the richest, the cleverest or the most crazy.

    Guns supply that backup confidence for people who need it most. At least, they can live if all else fails, by defending their home turf. Its a last-resort, but it gives people who need the confidence that they can survive the intense competition for the best land, the best jobs, the best house, the best family, the best.. life.

    The great irony is that this land and this economy and its resources were so rich, that there never was such a reason for intense competition. We didnt even need it all. We could have shared with the Native Americans MUCH more than we did, and never have noticed.  We could all have lived well off the proceeds of the forests, the oil, the water, the soil, the business opportunities. But we decided to make it a contest where the we wanted to see who would end up on top, and so we wrote laws enabling rapaciousness and absolute greed. This decreed a few winners and a whole lot of people who must work full time all their lives for not much.

    We wanted it all. We thought we, each individual could have it all. That is the mythology of coming to a rich continent underpopulated, compared to everywhere else, with all the resources intact.

    And we still think so today. When the dream of Having it all is threatened becuase there is not enough money or homes or jobs or status to go around, we get really really pissy and start killing the nearest person, or threatening.

    What is wrong with America is the story we tell ourselves. We actually believe our own mythology.  We believe this myth of Having it All, and its Mine, all mine. It isnt, it never was, and it never will be, but we insist on breaking hearts and minds with a myth. Gun violence? Its about the flawed story. We can change the story, but so far, no one has been able to do it.

    One of the best alternative stories of another way to live is a movie called Shenendoah, with Jimmy Stuart. It is a vision that was real, and yet got buried in the gold rush West of gold, greed and murder, which made better pictures. Maybe someone has a better version of that story to tell today.

    It is time to present another mythology which is true in fact, in feeling and in images for the future.  

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 08:54:57 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for reiterating this. I thought of BFC (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dan667, Pluto

    when this happened.  

    There isn't much in the way of new gun regulations that would have prevented this.  Ban the hell out of that 100 round ammo drum, sure, but apparently he didn't get around to using it.  Flag multiple weapons purchases in a short period of time...  but then what?  Reinstate the assault weapons ban...  he can still buy more than one gun during his premeditation period.  

    While there is no diagnosis for Mr. Holmes as of yet, if there is one, then we know how we have fucked up: we as a nation don't give a shit about each other, especially those who really refuse to care about the least fortunate, with whom I'd group those with mental illness.   And of course, more widespread, publicly funded health care including mental health is no guarantee that this kind of mass killing never happens again.  But the more we care about each other, & prove that care with policy, the odds of such breakdowns go down.  Fewer people are so catastrophically lost to their own internal monstrosities.  

    Gun murders are a symptom of a widespread disease.

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 09:11:17 PM PDT

    •  Your imagination is lacking (0+ / 0-)
      There isn't much in the way of new gun regulations that would have prevented this.  Ban the hell out of that 100 round ammo drum, sure, but apparently he didn't get around to using it.  Flag multiple weapons purchases in a short period of time...  but then what?  Reinstate the assault weapons ban...  he can still buy more than one gun during his premeditation period.  
      Limit gun ownership to revolvers, pump-action shotguns, and bolt-action rifles. All weapons to be capable of holding 6 or fewer rounds. Target shooter, hunters, and home-defenders would be unaffected. People who just want to blaze away until their AK stock catches fire would bear the sacrifice.

      Sure, somewhere some day a madman will carry a sack of revolvers, but the frequency of mass murders and the size of each slaughter would be reduced.

  •  Time to Rethink the 2nd Amendment Madness (7+ / 0-)

    Part of the problem is the extreme obsession with the gun culture.  85 million gun owners and the extreme worship of an Amendment that been badly misinterpreted. The Founders had intentions of creating a backup civilian army in case of a British Invasion. I think the time has come that we realize that maybe the 2nd Amendment is not vital to our existence remember Prohibition was once and Amendment and we realized it was a mistake read more here...

    -Alberto Pupo The Blog Of Progress http://theblogofprogress.com/

    by Alberto Pupo on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 09:23:58 PM PDT

  •  i love your heart, michael (0+ / 0-)

    but i don't think you know what you're talking about most of the time

    still, at least you are talking about it.  i do really appreciate that.  we need to talk about these things.

    so long and thanks for all the fish

    by Anton Bursch on Tue Jul 24, 2012 at 09:25:30 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, Mr. Moore (4+ / 0-)

    When many countries look to solve a problem, they tend to collect data, by looking across the world to compare the effectiveness of different solutions. In America, we tend to solve problems by shouting at each other.

    The gun issue does need to be put into perspective by comparing different variables across cultures. I commend your approach to thinking about this issue.

    "So those countries (and many others) are just like us – except for the fact that more people here believe in God and go to church than any other Western nation." -- I wonder whether you hit the nail on the head with this one. Across the world, there does seem to be a correlation between religiosity and violence of different cultures.

  •  Guns and the bible (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    devis1, 420 forever

    Two reasons this country is so screwed up.

    Looking to the great sky wizard allows one to ignore reality in hopes of a "better place".

    holding a gun makes you feel like a freaking cowboy.

    We'd be better off with less of these items.

  •  Almost right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueDragon

    but there is another thing. America is, like it or not, the Empire.

    Not only has it achieved that status through relentless violence, as all empires do; it is now reaching the end of its empirical trajectory and, like anyone, it thinks that by doing more and more of the things it was doing when it became powerful will make it powerful again.

    But the empire's power is not a product of its beliefs or even its actions (violence aside).
    Empires are the confluence of geography, climate, natural resources, technology and history.

    The confluence stops for a while, then it moves on.

    No amount of repeating the powerful actions of the past can change that.

    But most people inside the empire can't see it, can't EVER see it.

    So they try ever harder to do again what they did before, eating up the remnants of their empire's power and resources as they do.

    Then they fail.

    Spectacularly.

    Violently.

    Every time.

    Until you understand this, there is no possible way even to begin to think about the real predicament, nor to mitigate its effects.

    Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

    by Deep Dark on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 02:10:52 AM PDT

  •  Looking at the recs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, WakeUpNeo, sethtriggs

    on this diary is really encouraging. I see recs from people on both sides of the gun issue.  Which means people who are normally bitter adversaries on that issue see some common ground here.
    That can't help but be a good thing.

    "That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State ..."- Vermont Constitution Chapter 1, Article 16

    by kestrel9000 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 03:13:16 AM PDT

  •  I just posted this on my local newspaper (0+ / 0-)

    "Hail Kossacks!

    Since the Second Amendment prohibited, private citizens from own firearms in 1791, unless they belonged to a militia, before the activist Conservative Supreme court changed it in 2008/10,

    And as Michael Moore so eloquently stated:

    "The right believes that the Founding Fathers, through some sort of divine decree, have guaranteed them the absolute right to own as many guns as they desire. And they will ceaselessly remind you that a gun cannot fire itself – that "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

    Of course, they know they're being intellectually dishonest (if I can use that word) when they say that about the Second Amendment because they know the men who wrote the constitution just wanted to make sure a militia could be quickly called up from amongst the farmers and merchants should the Brits decide to return and wreak some havoc."

    The collective would be better served if you turned in your firearms at your nearest re-education facility.

    Ciao"

    Hehe, sorry but I couldn't resist, I'm sure local wing nut heads will be exploding later, but there's just flame wars on it anyway and I like making their veins pop out lol.

    "All you Obama bashers couldn't post your comments on this website were it not for government funding of the internet. Checkmate!"~Anon

    by Therapy on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 04:08:50 AM PDT

  •  Mike, most homicides are criminal-on-criminal (0+ / 0-)

    The most common relationship between murderer and victim is that they were acquaintances from a prior illegal transaction.

    We don't have a gun problem in this country. We don't so much have a violence problem in this country, not for the vast majority of it.

    We have a problem with violent criminals; and organized and semi-organized crime. Nor is this problem uniform, but isolated in pockets largely associated with the locales involved in either the production of or distribution of the products (drugs, prostitution) of vice crimes. Outside that, violence is much rarer.

    Basically, most of this country is one giant heavily-armed-but-non-violent Switzerland, with urban pockets that more closely resemble disarmed-but-for-the-mob Russia.

    The best thing we could do to fight violence, at all levels, is cut the legs out from under organized crime and gangs by taking away their revenue stream and decriminalizing vice.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 04:39:27 AM PDT

    •  Data? (0+ / 0-)
      The most common relationship between murderer and victim is that they were acquaintances from a prior illegal transaction.
      Hmm. IIRC most studies say murders most often occur between friends and/or family. But I am not the one posting blanket statements.
      •  One of the footnotes contained in this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas

        paper here.

        Yes, most murderers occur between friends and family - of criminals.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:32:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "Of criminals" (0+ / 0-)

          And how is this defined? Because pretty much every dam,n one of us has commiited a crime of some magnitude in our past.

          •  Read the paper. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KVoimakas

            But short form, convicted felons, especially those involved in the drug trade.

            Pretty much every damn one of has not committed a felony at this point.

            I don't know why people are so resistant to the reality that homicide, both in commission and victimology, is largely confined to the hardcore criminal element and their immediate associates. You'd think that people would be relieved.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 08:20:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's all too common that gun control advocates and (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas

        other liberals imagine homicide occurring when an average person simply loses their cool. But not only is that disturbingly misanthropic, it's false.

        People who commit homicides, with very few exceptions, have long, escalating criminal records before they graduate to homicide.

        It's not a case of some normal, mentally, healthy person losing his cool one day and shooting a friend or family member. In almost every case, it's someone with a long violent and criminal history turning on a friend (usually a fellow criminal) or family member.

        Thing about people with criminal records - they have criminal records. Homicide is not, for the most part, unpredictable. You can usually tell who's going to do it by the nth aggravated assault conviction.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:36:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And none of that applies to Aurora (0+ / 0-)

          Not one bit. Even if it is true.

          •  No, it doesn't. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KVoimakas

            But we get 2-3 spree killings of this sort a year, in a country of 300 million. That's about one out of every hundred million people in a year will engage in an Aurora-like spree.

            Of those, it's frequently true that the killer had a history of mental illness that should have put them on the NICS no-buy list. Cho missed being on the federal list because a Virginia state employee incorrectly declined to put him there, because his institutionalization didn't quite qualify him for Virginia's own list. IIRC, Loughner had similar run-ins that should have put up the red flags for him.

            Yes, once in a while, someone will reach the point of a break without leaving a paper trail. But you can not legislate freakishly unlikely incidents out of existence. You can only make them more freakishly unlikely.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 08:16:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Ban Hollywood they are more of the problem (0+ / 0-)

    than firearms.   America has had a culture that included firearms since its founding.    They were used for hunting, protection and settling scores.  They were not used for mass killings until Hollywood and entertainment industry decided that violence was a profit center and used it to glorify and permeate young minds with violence and drugs.

    The defenders of Edward Bernays and the business of mind control typically forget that their business killed millions of women, by intentionally and subliminally convincing them to take up smoking by making it cool. Google it if interested.

    Victims of bigotry are the poorest, least influential members of society.......never the wealthiest, most educated, most overrepresented in high levels, and most influential. Bigotry hurts the least influential. To claim or say otherwise is absurd.

    by dailykozzer on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 04:52:19 AM PDT

    •  Wicked Witch Logic (0+ / 0-)

      Curse the mirror for the reflection it casts.

      •  You don't think the 1% with their private security (0+ / 0-)

        would prefer to see average law abiding Americans stripped of their right to possess firearms?    That is the ultimate goal of those like Michael Bloomberg.   He has his own private NYPD to ensure his security.    The 1% have private security and then they can sell Americans private security.    

        In the end the 1% would prefer to neutralize and disarm Americans so they can focus on their greed and making money any thieving way they can.   That's also why OWS had their right of protest neutralized by both Parties.  

        Victims of bigotry are the poorest, least influential members of society.......never the wealthiest, most educated, most overrepresented in high levels, and most influential. Bigotry hurts the least influential. To claim or say otherwise is absurd.

        by dailykozzer on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:43:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I believe it has something to do (0+ / 0-)

    with the fact that we don't know our neighbors.

     People in big cities can live next to each other for years without ever meeting them.
      But in most societies you go out and introduce yourself to your neighbors. You greet each other in the street.

     First of all, its a lot harder to shoot someone you know than someone you don't know.
      Secondly, its less likely for someone to go nuts and stock up on guns and bombs without someone knowing about it ahead of time if everyone knew each other.

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 05:25:30 AM PDT

  •  Sir (0+ / 0-)

    I just saw your appearance on CNN and now reading this diary.

    It would be difficult to express my thoughts better than this:

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 05:44:18 AM PDT

  •  It's because we HATE each other (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ajr111240, sethtriggs, a2nite

    WE can blame the violence of video games and other stuff, but that's not really the issue, as you point out.
    But the right wing has gone on a 30+ year binge of dividing the nation, from "welfare queens in pink Cadillacs", to Michelle Bachmann's lunatic ravings about the Muslim Brotherhood, the right, aided and abetted by Fox News, Rush, Hannity, Beck, Savage, and others, have spent their time asking, no telling, their listeners that we on the left are EVIL, godless, communists, fascists, socialists, baby killers, who don't deserve not only the time of day, but who should either be deported, jailed or, yes, killed.
    Gabby Giffords? You can say the guy was crazy (and let's face it, you don't go postal without having a few screws loose upstairs), but he was a right wing radio listener. The guy who killed Dr. Tiller? Acted alone, but probably influenced by Bill O'Reilly's nearly nightly meme of "Tiller the Baby Killer."
    They HATE us. We are un-American and everything that is wrong with the world. No other country does this. Canadians like each other in a way we used to like each other. And most other nations, the civilized ones anyway, have social programs that help their citizens. They're in it together.
    I don't know the solution. The right will never stand for removing toxic radio and TV in the guise of "free speech." they have gotten the Supremes to say corporations are people and lying is OK.
    We're in a big mess with almost no way out.
    America needs a wake-up call. But they forgot to set the alarm.

    Isn’t it ironic to think that man might determine his own future by something so seemingly trivial as the choice of an insect spray. ~ Rachel Carson, Silent Spring ~

    by MA Liberal on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 05:53:59 AM PDT

  •  Look who showed up (0+ / 0-)

    what a surprise.

    All you see is violence - I see a great country who vast majority of citizens are loving, caring and community oriented.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 06:19:13 AM PDT

  •  Thanks Michael (0+ / 0-)

    I've been sad to read about the huge jump in gun violence in the Toronto area this year, and it made me think of your trip to Windsor in Bowling for Columbine.

    I hope for the sake of our good Canadian friends that it's not catching on and that this is more anomaly than trend.

    It's hard to address problems of cultural deficiency, but this is one we need to address rapidly. I think it can be done if the right forces align. I believe the LGBT community, for example, has demonstrated that attitudes can effectively be changed over a relatively short generational period. Maybe it's just wishful thinking. I don't know.

    "Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel." ~Sepp Herberger

    by surfbird007 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 06:30:01 AM PDT

  •  I agree about gun control--- it's not about Aurora (0+ / 0-)

    It's about everyday gun violence, that takes thousands of lives every year.

    I bet you didn't even flinch when I said "everyday gun violence."  That's how bad things are--- we are the only developed country that even has everyday gun violence, and it's so normal it doesn't shock us to say it.

    And most of it us people settling disputes with each other--- estranged lovers and fathers, criminal rivals (the ultimate free market), people who feel disrespected, etc.  Why do Americans solve disputes with guns?  

    I wonder what role the availability of guns play when people decide to let Smith and Wesson do the talking.   Sure, you can be violent any number of ways, but guns are the best tool for upping the violence.  It's a lot easier to escalate a situation knowing you can stand back and shoot someone if things get heavy--- having a gun available lets us write  away the risk that would otherwise intervene upon our passions.

    Not to mention the Hobbesian trap this engenders--- other people are using guns, so you have to use yours first before the other guy gets a chance to use his (i.e. an arms race with all the intelligence and rationality of ordinary people.  Fun, right?).  Cutting that cycle off requires strong third-party intervention; that's the case in disputes both personal and international.  But that is easier said than done.

    Conservatives need to realize that their Silent Moral Majority is neither silent, nor moral, nor a majority.

    by nominalize on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 06:38:25 AM PDT

  •  There IS a difference... (0+ / 0-)

    Appears some have lumped all this together. It's not all one problem. Need to look at each issuse seperately.

    Mental health:

    Defense Laws :

    Obtaining guns:

    Assault weapons:

    We need to look at each seperately and discuss rationally and calmly .No one wants to "take guns away"....just make our world safer. Until we can do that intelligently {without the NRA being involved in politics} we'll never "be safer." But, NRA will keep selling guns, making lots of money and scaring people to death. No one should be able to order unlimited ammunition or assault gear off the Internnet with no one checking on them.

  •  'Think Progress' has a good article up this (0+ / 0-)

    morning, wherein the majority (usually more than 70%) of NRA members favor certain restrictions on guns and gun ownership.

    How or if they can influence their 'leaders' I don't know, but I found it encouraging they were less rabid that often protrayed.

    This is, of course, the difference between republicans and human beings. - Captain Frogbert

    by glorificus on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:06:50 AM PDT

  •  As with all things, devil in the details (0+ / 0-)

    There is a whole host of issues going on. From our lack of mental healthcare and overall general welfare of society to access and distribution of weapons, to the general cultural influence.

    --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

    by idbecrazyif on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 07:21:25 AM PDT

  •  Good diary, but the 2nd isn't dismissed so easilly (0+ / 0-)
    Of course, they know they're being intellectually dishonest (if I can use that word) when they say that about the Second Amendment because they know the men who wrote the constitution just wanted to make sure a militia could be quickly called up from amongst the farmers and merchants should the Brits decide to return and wreak some havoc.
    Well, I don't "just" know that.

    I have been taught the founders heavily invested in the concept of "the natural rights of man". The concept being that no government can take away certain rights that pre-date the invention of government itself. Among there are:

    The pursuit of happiness - What government can force you to not seek pleasure when you can?

    Speech, thought, ideas - Governments cannot prevent people from thinking and passing along their thoughts. Yes, they can punish you retroactively but they cannot prevent it.

    Self-defense - No matter what the laws says, a human being will defend their life using whatever means are available to itself. No government can bar a person from defending themselves.

    Now of course I recognize that the right to defend oneself does not mean the same thing as the right to defend ones self by using a 1,000 pound bomb. There are sane limits and conventions society can and should adopt.

    The point is, the 2nd Amendment was not included "just" to prime the militia pump for an 18th Century European invasion. Part of the reason the 2nd was included is because of the natural rights of man. It is natural and right for free people to defend themselves. That right is not reserved to those people who spend part of their life as government employees.

    That word "just" you chose to use ... it's just wrong. Sure, it's easier to make gun control arguments if one can just waive away the 2nd with a flick of the wrist. But it just is not that simple.

    Once again, overall a very good diary.

  •  guns don't kill people, people WITH guns kill (0+ / 0-)

    people.

  •  Here are some ... (0+ / 0-)

    defenders of the 2nd Amerndment faith. When you spend all of your time fighting any attempt to slow down the death industry, this is who you find yourselves snuggling with.

    Aurora was an 'inside job'

  •  Is there a 'follow the money' angle? n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Assault weapons must be outlawed!!! (0+ / 0-)

    Whatever the truth of Michael Moore's diary, assault weapons only exist to kill people in large numbers.  Had the Aurora shooter only had a non-assault weapon, he could not have killed so many people.  This should be a no-brainer, but as often happens in politics, there are plenty of people to defend stupidity and the profits of the gun industry.

  •  Think about this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, IARXPHD, KVoimakas

    The right wingers who want everyone to have guns should really think about this.

    If you believe everyone should have the right to have a gun, doesn't that mean that all the black people and all the brown people...you know, the people you're afraid of...get to have guns too?  

    PS...I hate the NRA!  I hate them and despise them.  I hate them with the heat of a thousand white hot suns!!

    Speak your mind...even if your voice shakes. - Maggie Kuhn, Founder of the Gray Panthers

    by KJack on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 08:43:27 AM PDT

  •  In short, our culture celebrates aggression. (0+ / 0-)

    It's a whole mind-set.  And that is huge.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 09:12:23 AM PDT

  •  No longer true... (0+ / 0-)
    But they [Republicans] are half right when they say "Guns don't kill people." I would just alter that slogan slightly to speak the real truth: "Guns don't kill people, Americans kill people."
    During their Fast & Furious witchhunt, they amended their "guns don't kill people; people kill people" crap to "Gun kill people!"

    So Republicans, via Fast & Furious, have admitted guns killed people.  In fact, they held "hearings" to try to prove guns kill people.

    I don't know why the left has not caught on to this.

    Digby caught on to it; she's literally the only liberal I have seen that did catch on to it.

    Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate. ~ Proverbs 22:22

    by wyvern on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 09:47:12 AM PDT

  •  I am stunned at the number of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas

    my fellow Kossacks who share my affliction of depression. In this microcosm of greater society, so many of us suffer from it or have a close relationship with someone who does. It seems it's a prevalent condition, almost.

    One of my doctors told me it is thought that higher intellects are more prone to depression. And we on the Left can be a sensitive lot, as well.

    I'm sorry that so many of my fellow Kossacks- people I admire greatly (yes, I probably mean you) go through the same pain I do. I also take some solace from it.

    I wish you all happiness and occasional JOY in your lives. In those other times, you have my sympathy and my empathy. I wish you love, peace and understanding.

    I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it. - Paul Krugman

    by Gentle Giant on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 11:44:19 AM PDT

  •  America the Violent (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure I really see the difference in these external influences here. Both the entertainment industry (movies, video games) and the human meat grinder of death row and war are only experienced through a few external inputs; television, photographs, or word of mouth. Gang violence is not this out of control American epidemic because they're all ex-Marines. Whether you're talking about death row executions which absolutely aren't televised, or war, which to an extremely tame degree is, this violence is not experienced first hand by I'd say even 5% of the people that perpetrate these crimes. So how exactly does the influence of war and death row create killers but movies and video games don't? Don't get me wrong, I definitely don't think any of these things in and of themselves really do much of anything, to the sane; but then sanity is not exactly the calling card of any individual that decides to take another human beings life. If you're saying that we're simply just violent people, said and done, because look how violently we act with all our wars and murders, both legal and illegal, than sure, why not. But saying that the cause of violence in America is violence in America is really kind of pointless. I know a lot of people just nod their heads because it's easier than coming up with either a cause or solution, but this circle of logic really just keeps us, well, going in circles. Which is why every time something like this happens, the same exact conversation is had, again, and again, and again. You're absolutely correct to point folks back to Bowling in Columbine, because, why keep repeating yourself; you already done told these people once. But the logic is also still the same. The color green is not green because it's the color green. It's actually green because it's a little blue and a little yellow. Why is blue, blue, and yellow, yellow? Well, that's why there's no simple answer is there? Or, we could just go with your answer and people could just move on already. Nuts go nuts because they're nuts. Humans have been violent since monkeys stood up. Actually, as a species, we probably are evolving. Sure the Europeans and other countries may be evolving faster than us, but let's not forget that the world is not comprised solely of western countries. You show me the peaceful nature in Africa, the Middle East, or even Asia. I'm doubting your statistics would apply very well in any of these regions. We are evolving, probably, possibly, maybe; but like all other things in the evolutionary process, it takes a very, very long time.

  •  I agree with Michael (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, it is the guns that kill people. Why do we not allow nuclear weapons for your average guy in the street? Because they are too dangerous...
    Wouldn't nuclear (Noo Clee ar, not nuuk-u-ler) weapons be covered by the right to bear arms?

    We limit one because it is too extreme, we should limit the other.

    All my gun owner acquaintance do not have a gun, they have arsenals, big and many guns, and loads of ammunition.

    Where can we draw the line?

    Its the gun makers that fund the NRA, Just like the Aerospace companies lobbying to buy weapons that the Pentagon says are not needed.

    The ten commandments do not say "Kill thy neighbor", or be ready to.

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