The Way of the Gun

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by princealfie, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #1
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/usa_crime_shooting_world_dc

    Massacre sparks foreign criticism of U.S. gun culture

    By Michael Perry 26 minutes ago

    Foreign politicians and media attacked America's "gun culture" on Tuesday after a gunman killed 32 people in the country's worst shooting rampage.

    Prime Minister John Howard said tough Australian legislation introduced after a mass shooting in Tasmania in 1996 had prevented the U.S. gun culture emerging in his country.

    The Australians subsequently imposed laws banning almost all types of semi-automatic weapons.

    "We showed a national resolve that the gun culture that is such a negative in the United States would never become a negative in our country," said Howard, extending sympathies to the families of the victims at Virginia Tech university.

    The attacker killed himself in a classroom after opening fire on students and staff in an apparently premeditated massacre on Monday morning.

    The gunman was an Asian male who was a student at the university and a dormitory resident, Virginia Tech President Charles Steger told CNN. His name was not released.

    British Prime Minister Iran, at loggerheads with the United States over its nuclear program, spoke out against the killings.

    "Iran condemns the killing of Virginia university students and expresses its condolences to the families of victims and the American nation," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini said in a statement, which was faxed to Reuters.

    "AS AMERICAN AS APPLE PIE"

    European newspapers saw a grim inevitability about the shootings, given the right to bear arms which is enshrined in America's constitution. In Italy, the Leftist Il Manifesto newspaper said the shooting was "as American as apple pie."

    More than 30,000 people die from gunshot wounds in the United States annually and there are more guns in private hands than in any other country. But a powerful gun lobby and support for gun ownership have largely thwarted attempts to tighten controls.

    "It would be vain to hope that even so destructive a crime as this will cool the American ardor for guns," the Independent newspaper said in a commentary.

    Gerard Baker, a columnist for The Times newspaper, feared worse was yet to come: "The truth is that only an optimist would imagine Virginia Tech will hold the new record for very long."

    France's Le Monde newspaper said such episodes frequently disfigure the "American dream."

    "The ... slaughter forces American society to once again examine itself, its violence, the obsession with guns of part of its population, the troubles of its youth, subjected to the double tyranny of abundance and competition," it wrote.

    Campaigners in other countries where gun ownership is common expressed fears of a similar massacre.

    Nandy Pacheco, head of the Philippines anti-gun lobby, Gunless Society, said he feared it could happen there.

    "Not a day passes without a gun-related incident happening (in the Philippines). You hear it on radio, see it on TV and read it in newspapers," he said.

    Gun ownership is commonplace in the Philippines, from housewives worried about burglary to politicians fearful of assassination. There are around 1.1 million guns, and police estimate that around 30 percent of them are unlicensed.

    Shootings over trivial incidents are commonplace. A few years ago several fatal karaoke bar shootouts were sparked by poor renditions of Frank Sinatra's "My Way."

    (Additional reporting by Francois Murphy in Paris, Phil Stewart in Rome and Kate Kelland and Parisa Hafezi in London)
     
  2. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #2
    No one is going to reply to this thread before we have at least 500 words of insightful commentary of your thoughts on this issue/article Alfie.
     
  3. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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  4. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #4
    .Andy, it's difficult to offer insightful comment to an uninsightful article.

    :D, 'Rat
     
  5. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #5
    I'm going to repost what I posted in the other thread, since none of the pro-gun posters here seemed to address the UN Study at all. All the meanwhile they're going around saying that our murder rate due to guns has nothing to do with our lax gun control laws.

     
  6. bartelby macrumors Core

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    #6
    How is it uninsightful?

    Is it because you disagree with it?
     
  7. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #7
    Here Here!

    Thanks for the humor 'Rat! :)
     
  8. princealfie thread starter macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #8
    It's because well he believe in the Timothy Dalton motto I believe.

    The article is determined to be not insightful to those who eventually contemplate going on rampages in the future and what not. I think that the problem is that we aren't a humble people and we think that we are entitled to everything in the world. No wonder such a mentality is reflected in our culture and political thrust on the world stage.

    Selfishness and greed are at the heart of the issue and unfortunately it's the virus that infects the culture in the nexus of existential actions.
     
  9. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #9
    Yesterday's tragedy made me recall the 1966 campus shootings at the University of Texas at Austin. Charles Whitman climbed the clocktower with a hunting rifle and proceeded to pick off random people, killing 15 and wounding 31. He had also killed his wife and mother the night before.

    IIRC, that event was a major impetus to those who championed gun control. AFAIK, few countries ban hunting rifles, but initial reports seem to indicate that yesterday's killer was packing handguns, and control of handguns is much more justifiable.

    I hope we don't get into one of those dreary 2nd Amendment arguments again, because gun advocates never seem to quote the first half of that amendment.

    But the issue is complicated: even if handguns were banned in the United States, would this joker have just shown up, as Whitman did, with a couple of sawed-off shotguns? Sure, they'd be harder to hide and would require more reloading, but if you're out of your head and determined to kill, I'm not sure that would have been a deterrent.
     
  10. princealfie thread starter macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #10
    That's alright, I doubt even the current admin probably ignores it that crucial first half too. Constitutionality is not issue here.

    The problem is that we need to stop thinking that such are acts of fate or not preventable. Once we think beyond that and realize that this could be stopped, then I think that dialogue can occur.
     
  11. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #11
    You make this stuff up on the fly as it pops into your head?:confused:
     
  12. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #12
    Exactly- someone who knew this guy should have been able to recognize something was wrong or he should have felt able to talk to someone. We have a serious problem discussing our emotions and mental conditions in this country. Just look at our teen suicide rate. A lot of us live in isolation as well, living vicariously through television and hate to say it, computers. We don't communicate nearly as much as we should in the US.

    So I agree with you that this was preventable, but not for the reasons you would most likely state.
     
  13. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #13
    Sounds like he went and shot one of the few people that ever spoke to him right off the bat. I bet she wishes she took a few psychology classes now.
     
  14. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #14
    The jury's still out on the "why" of this thing. But you could be right. Nevermind. I just read the Tribune. How sad.
     
  15. Queso macrumors G4

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    #15
    Can't speak for the other two, but these days you can't turn on the London news without a story of teenagers shooting each other. It's gone seriously downhill over the last five years, fueled by weapons smuggling from ex-Yugoslavia and a bunch of idiot children who think they have to escalate every argument to the point of gang warfare.

    Not that we're anywhere near US statistics yet, but if things continue how they are going we'll get there one day.
     
  16. bartelby macrumors Core

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    #16
    Plus the spate of shootings in Birmingham a couple of New Years ago. Again, dumb kids who think American gang culture is cool!
     
  17. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #17
    Couldn't you just ban Guy Richie movies instead? I'd support that campaign. :)
     
  18. princealfie thread starter macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #18
    I like Guy Ritchie movies but that isn't going to make me want to do that kind of stuff.

    The problem is when we choose to confuse reality with fiction. I think that we live in a postmodern culture where values have become a lot more subjective. Yes, being a deconstructionist, I realize that there are limitations to the methodology of poststructuralist thinking.

    But it leaves me free to choose a modal type of ethics.

    Also, I work in public health and violence is very much preventable. I think that if we accept it as a way of life and even as a reasonable solution to everyday problems, then there is a serious danger in that type of militant ethics.
     
  19. princealfie thread starter macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #19
    Uh, nope... I guess that you're not into social generalizations to begin with. :p
     
  20. bartelby macrumors Core

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    #20
    So would I.
    But I really doubt that his films have influence that American gang culture does!
     
  21. princealfie thread starter macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #21
    Yeah it's scary to watch kids wear their pants half down their legs.... very boring and stupid I must admit :eek: :confused:
     
  22. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #22
    A problem with all this "gun culture" stuff and the "blame the thing" style of thinking is that the homicide rate in the US is 5 per 100,000. That's now about two-thirds of what it was a dozen years ago. (From the US DOJ stuff I URLed in that other thread.) 15,000 homicides; 300 million people. And that's "homicides", not "murders". It includes self-defense shootings and police shootings, although they're not differentiated in any source of which I know.

    Again, 65 million more guns, but 10,000 fewer homicides. The numbers don't support any conclusion that availability of firearms is causal to the homicide rate.

    Hunting around, (Google, "homicide rates") various websites of homicide data show most European countries are roughly one-third of our rate. What I find interesting is that European major cities seem to be far more dangerous than out in the countryside, the same problem as as in the US. What is it about cities? :)

    'Rat
     
  23. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #23
    I try to stay out of these threads because it's largely same old, same old, but sometimes I just can't help myself. If you look at trends over the
    past 10 years or so you are more likely to get shot and killed in England today than 10 years ago and you are less likely to get shot
    and killed in the US today than you were 10 years ago. Gun violence is largely a symptom of greater socioeconomic problems not a cause of
    them. Do you think it's a coincidence that England's drug and gang problems have increased along the same timeline that their gun violence
    has? Is it a coincidence that wealthier countries tend to be the ones w/less violent crime? AFAIK Mexico has severely strict gun regulations but I don't think that means it is one of the safest places on the Earth.

    It's very rare to find a simple solution to a complex problem and violent crime is no different.


    Lethal
     
  24. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #24
    Thanks for the level-headed and sane post.
     
  25. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #25
    More Googling: http://www.guncite.com/gun_control_gcgvinco.html

    I didn't know that Finland had a higher percentage of homes with guns than the U.S.; 50% vs our 40%.

    Switzerland's homicide rate is lower than other European countries, but more guns.

    Mexico's homicide rate is just over 17 per 100K people. Draconian gun control laws.

    The FBI and DOJ info state that the majority of US homicides are among the two larger ethnic minority groups, in limited locales within larger cities. That's a "drugs and despair" thing, seems to me. I don't begin to have any politically viable solution that could work. Nobody else does, either.

    'Rat
     

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