Understanding guns in the USA: A fresh look

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Is Usenko onto something?

Why yes, that's a great thought!
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What a load of cobblers!
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Sausages!
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Usenko
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Understanding guns in the USA: A fresh look

Post by Usenko » Wed, 28. Feb 18, 09:12

I have been thinking lately about the gun problem in the USA.

Whenever there's a problem to solve, step 1 is always trying to understand the other. This case is no different.

To people outside the USA, it all seems simple - too many guns = too many shootings. And we are baffled as to why the Americans permit this - it seems like it should be a no-brainer.

What we need to be doing is to try to get inside the head of the US gun lobby. Why is such a simple concept so difficult to communicate? In the past I've just thought it was about "they want their toys and they'll stop at nothing to keep them." But recently I've wondered if I might have had the wrong end of the stick.

What if the problem is not the guns so much as a clash of cultural concepts?

By which I mean other countries such as New Zealand and Canada have relatively relaxed gun laws, and still don't have a problem with mass shootings. Nor are individual shootings a regular feature of a normal day. What is the difference?

In thinking about this, I have realised that there is one HUGE thing - Americans tend to see personal security as an individual responsibility, whereas the majority of the rest of the world sees it as a collective responsibility.

This has consequences.

If you see it as individual responsibility, then you have to do whatever it takes to be prepared for whatever consequences may occur. You have to accept that nobody will help you, you have to do it all yourself. It's totally up to you. In that context, it is totally rational to be heavily armed.

If you see personal security as a collective responsibility, you act in a way that is counter-intuitive to the individualist; you eschew armament. But the thing is, there's an implicit trust there that is so much a part of our culture that we don't even think about it as a thing. We implicitly say "If I'm not armed, society, you'd better DAMN WELL make sure that there is no serious threat of violent crime against me!"

I think this is the point of disconnect. Real or imagined, Americans find it hard to imagine trusting government in this way. I think Americans tend to envisage government as an external body, whereas Australians (and others?) see it as representatives of ourselves - perhaps Americans see the government as "them", the rest of us see it as "us".

This is completely made up, whole thread. Opinions?
Morkonan wrote:What really happened isn't as exciting. Putin flexed his left thigh during his morning ride on a flying bear, right after beating fifty Judo blackbelts, which he does upon rising every morning. (Not that Putin sleeps, it's just that he doesn't want to make others feel inadequate.)

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Re: Understanding guns in the USA: A fresh look

Post by eladan » Wed, 28. Feb 18, 10:22

Usenko wrote:I think this is the point of disconnect. Real or imagined, Americans find it hard to imagine trusting government in this way. I think Americans tend to envisage government as an external body, whereas Australians (and others?) see it as representatives of ourselves - perhaps Americans see the government as "them", the rest of us see it as "us".
No doubt about this. But then, the US government has always been pretty dysfunctional, even before Trump. At least, as far as 'being for the people' is concerned. This plus the second amendment is probably all that's needed to ensure that it's so difficult to pry guns from their hands.

That doesn't address the number of shootings that they have. The pro gun lobby is correct in one thing - that it's not the number of guns in circulation alone which is the reason for all the shootings. There's a social problem which is also an element. That's the more difficult one to address, even given that it's so difficult to reduce the guns, because it's by no means easy to figure out what the problem is in the first place, let alone how to address it. If I were to guess, I think it would be similar to your security argument, in that there is no collective care for people in their communities - people are supposed to look after themselves in isolation. (Yeah, I know the salvos and other groups who help others are active there, but the overall attitude in general is 'every man for himself')

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Post by Golden_Gonads » Wed, 28. Feb 18, 11:09

One of our rabidly pro-gun forum members summed it up a few years back (I can't remember which one), in that he refused any laws that restricted guns, even to the most violent, insane, criminally psychotic maniac because once you allow one law, then it would snowball into more and more restrictions and soon the dastardly left would ban guns altogether. A daft position as there's no way the American public would stand for it, but that summed it up pretty well for me - The NRA have sufficiently scare-mongered the public into refusing to allow even basic common-sense. It just goes to show, Trump wasn't the first person to gain power through a weird whacked-out PR campaign.

As a side-note, if I were American (or even just living out that way), I would almost certainly own a gun. I would however keep it at a local range/gun club (the idea of blasting a few paper cutouts to smithereens after work greatly appeals to me). Indeed, as I mentioned in the rant thread, I'm meandering over to Las Vegas this year, and plan to spend an hour or two firing off excessively powerful guns of all descriptions (Vegas! Something for everyone, no matter how insane!). But guns have their place and for me, it's not in the home. I mean imagine you owned a gun, got burgled and your gun was then used in a murder? How would you feel? You 'enabled' said murder. Yes, if they hadn't stolen the gun off you, it would have been nicked off some other gun fetishist, but still. It WAS yours...

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Post by felter » Wed, 28. Feb 18, 15:53

I heard that they are thinking on changing the name of the AR-15 to Marco Rubio, as they are both pretty easy to buy.
I'm not saying he is a Russian asset, I'm saying he sat on his asset when he was supposed to be confronting Putin.
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Post by mrbadger » Wed, 28. Feb 18, 16:15

What does it matter? They'd rather fortify their schools and anywhere that gets attacked with guns than admit they should get rid of the guns themselves.

Because guns aren't the problem, don't you know, and no matter how bad it gets guns never will be the problem.

There's no point debating it. If so many of their inner cities being pretty much warzones and all these mass shootings only make them think they need more guns then the issue is too deeply rooted in their cultural phyche to be changed.

Probably the only thing that would do it would be the breakup of the United States into distinct countries with seperate laws.
If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. ... Niccolò Machiavelli

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Post by clakclak » Wed, 28. Feb 18, 20:20

mrbadger wrote:[...]If so many of their inner cities being pretty much warzones and all these mass shootings only make them think they need more guns then the issue is too deeply rooted in their cultural phyche to be changed.[...]
Look at the positiv sites. The US navy uses the violence in Chicago to train it's medical personal on fixing on gunshot wounds, so at the very least if you are in the armed forces and get shoot you have a competent doctor who already dealt with some real gunshot wounds back home.
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Post by mrbadger » Wed, 28. Feb 18, 21:01

When your inner cities are essentially breeding future generations of people for whom gun violence is a part of their everyday life, there is no bright side to look at.

Not when you advertise yourself as the Lead nation of the free world.

Allthough that hasn't been true for a very long time.
If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. ... Niccolò Machiavelli

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Post by Alan Phipps » Wed, 28. Feb 18, 21:12

I always thought the US Navy (and those that might be shooting at them) might generally be using rather different projectiles than small arms rounds? I really would have thought that a US Army Medical Corpsman might be equally or more interested in pre-experience of actual gunshot trauma cases in a relatively safe and medical training environment. Some background stuff (including more on the reasons for them using Chicago).
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Post by mrbadger » Wed, 28. Feb 18, 22:09

Way back in 1991 I was doing my nurse training and because the Gulf war was on we, as final year trainees, and thus essentially fully trained nurses, were tasked with acting as backup for the nbormal Trauma team.

Since the Trauma team were at the time setting up the field hospitals for war wounded in the UK that ended up never being needed, they had to do courses on how to treat battlefeild bullet injuries.

As a result we as students also got to do these courses. It wasn't a normal part of our training, and it was something I never got to use.

But I do know one thing. Bullet wounds from military weapons are very different to bullet wounds from small arms. You might not think they would be, but they are.

Some types of bullets in use then have since been deemed illegal (Flechette rounds for instance) because the entry wounds are so darned hard to detect. The behaviour of the bullet in the body is also strictly regulated. Not alll armies follow these regulations, but the big companies that make and sell the guns and ammunition have to.
If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. ... Niccolò Machiavelli

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Re: Understanding guns in the USA: A fresh look

Post by Morkonan » Thu, 1. Mar 18, 00:14

Usenko wrote:I have been thinking lately about the gun problem in the USA.
Guns are doing just fine. They're usually treated well, cleaned fairly often, and most don't have harsh lives at all. I don't see any problem. OH! Wait, I get it... :)
...What we need to be doing is to try to get inside the head of the US gun lobby. Why is such a simple concept so difficult to communicate? In the past I've just thought it was about "they want their toys and they'll stop at nothing to keep them." But recently I've wondered if I might have had the wrong end of the stick.
The "Gun Lobby" has nothing to do with it anymore than AAA (American Automobile Association) is responsible for drunk drivers getting into accidents that cause fatalities.
..By which I mean other countries such as New Zealand and Canada have relatively relaxed gun laws, and still don't have a problem with mass shootings. Nor are individual shootings a regular feature of a normal day. What is the difference?
Well, for one, the populations of the US is an order of magnitude larger than Canada, or thereabouts, and the entire population of New Zealand could fit within the bounds of Los Angeles, California, maybe spilling a little bit over into outlying suburbs. As for "per capita" I'm making an assertion that I think population density and composition, itself, has an effect.
In thinking about this, I have realised that there is one HUGE thing - Americans tend to see personal security as an individual responsibility, whereas the majority of the rest of the world sees it as a collective responsibility.

This has consequences.
Most statistics would agree that less than half of the households in the United States have a gun in them and somewhere around 3% of gun owners own the majority of all guns in the United States.

That sort of puts your theory of "Castle Defense" in jeopardy. :(
...This is completely made up, whole thread. Opinions?
I'm afraid it is flawed. However, one must point out that people do arm themselves where they "perceive" a need, whether or not that need is truly rational. Even so, half of Americans don't see a need to arm themselves. /shrug

The question isn't about "guns." You don't run around afraid a gun is going to shoot you by itself. The question is - "Why do people shoot other people?"

Little Johnny decides he wants to kill his sister with a knife. He grabs a knife and goes after her. His mother sees this and promptly takes the knife out of his hand, preventing a possible murder. She then moves all the knives out of the reach of Little Johnny. Problem solved? No - Little Johnny still wants to kill his sister.

Of course, the outcry against this logic is that Johnny isn't as likely, now, to be able to kill his sister... And, that's a good thing? If left unaddressed, his desire to kill his sister will eventually push him to use other means.

What seems to outrage people the most isn't the casual gunfire between drug dealers that results in someone's death. It's not even the occasional family squabble that results in some drunk redneck offing his brother with a shotgun. No, instead it's the carefully planned acts of a mass-murderer that gets everyone's attention.

The desires of those people aren't even addressed. The madness that occupies whatever is left of their brain isn't addressed. Just like nobody gives a crap about some homeless person dying under a bridge - They don't see it as being relevant to them...

I do agree that there are some damaging cultural problems that aggravate the subject of "violence." (We're not the most violent of places, anyway, even if some studies saying that didn't appropriately rationalize their measurements.)


You know the problem? <Bracing for a slew of insults>

Humanism.

There's little concept of personal accountability and not much of a sense of social morality being demonstrated by many people, these days. Some people preach their high ideals and don't even have to leave their chair in order to demonstrate them on teh interwebz... The "family unit", something that most human societies are structured to support, is breaking apart much like the multi-generational households which have already gone extinct in the US. A couple of generations ago, "Grandma wouldn't have tolerated your crap." These days, kids are practically left alone, raised by the echo-chamber of their peers with no formal instruction in morality or ethics other than what is required by their current video game in order to avoid getting flagged for "cheating."

Here's something that pisses me the F off... And, it's a friend of mine.

A person with a good heart who does honestly try to be a "good person" and who worries about their own moral and ethical responsibilities yet knows that their son illegally "pirates" video games and does nothing about it... "Well, it's better than him doing really bad things." As if there wasn't any comparison?

I was raised crappily. The mantra in my household was "do unto others before they do unto you." Seriously. That was the Prime Directive constantly beaten, literally, into my head. "If you need to step on someone in order to get ahead in life, then make sure you do it hard enough that they can't get back up." There was nothing in the way of morality or ethics in my house. "Kill or be killed, eat or be eaten, everyone is a threat, so you better be a bigger threat than they are if you want to survive."

/sigh

/rant off

I didn't end up shooting up a school because I found a steadfast source of moral and ethical example to follow and felt a responsibility to something greater than myself. Further, I felt a duty to strive to set a good example and to emulate those things that I valued, like loving people, being kind, being a good person, not shooting someone in the head just because they took my parking space...

In a way, you have a good point, but it's not broad enough and, as it is, it's only an aggravating factor in the light of other problems that we face. It's a meaningful point, but it's not focused correctly. It's not about some perceived need of independent defense, it's individual independence for a great many things, some of which are not socially compatible.

Unless substantive change is made towards what I see are desirable social and cultural goals, like increased mental-health care, positive growth in the number of whole-family households, an increase in multi-generational households, growth in socially responsible movements and organizations, perhaps even a resurgence in religious attendance, and a number of harder social facts revolving around minorities, socio-economic forcers, illicit drug use, etc... Well, all of these things have to change for the better in order for "the scary stuff that outrages so many people" to be reduced.

I will also point out that all the supposed responses and protections put in place to help prevent the latest problem from occurring... failed because either people could not or would not act. We need to find out where these things failed and why and fix them.

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Post by RegisterMe » Thu, 1. Mar 18, 01:40

Mork. Rubbish.

Edit: Sorry Usenko, also rubbish, it's been suggested before and will be suggested again.

tldr "our right to bear arms is worth the cost of dead and bleeding people (including far too many children,) and anybody who thinks different deserves a bullet".
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Post by felter » Thu, 1. Mar 18, 02:25

I watched a video the other week there, it was a mock school shooting with an armed teacher protecting the school kids. So they did the run and the guy turns around to the pro arm the teachers at the end and asked so how do you think he did. The pro armed teacher guy was so proud with the, now that's why we need to arm teachers, the other guy says but he just shot and killed one of the kids. The pro guy goes, it doesn't matter as he would have saved other kids from being shot.

That's the mentality of a pro gun shooter, kids lives only matter so long as it is just the good guys who are shooting and killing them. He honestly could not see anything wrong with a school teacher shooting one of his kids, he did not give a damn about a kid being shot and killed by the teacher. OH and he was the principle of the school where the teacher worked, don't know how the teacher felt about him shooting one of the kids.

Honestly though why do we care, it's just Americans after all, it's what they want. Just let them shoot and kill each other, so long as they keep it to themselves why should we care, it's not our kids after all. All we have to do is keep our kids safe, that's what really matters.
I'm not saying he is a Russian asset, I'm saying he sat on his asset when he was supposed to be confronting Putin.
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Post by mrbadger » Thu, 1. Mar 18, 14:51

felter wrote: Honestly though why do we care, it's just Americans after all, it's what they want. Just let them shoot and kill each other, so long as they keep it to themselves why should we care.
They don't though. Look at the aftermath of 911, 2977 people died in that attack, and in return the US has killed, or caused to be killed over 4 MILLION people....

They seem to have a pretty casual attitude to dehumanising and killing other people when it suits them, and they ain't stopped yet.

It's terribly Roman.
If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared. ... Niccolò Machiavelli

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Post by clakclak » Thu, 1. Mar 18, 15:08

Alan Phipps wrote:I always thought the US Navy (and those that might be shooting at them) might generally be using rather different projectiles than small arms rounds?[...]
Correct me if I am wrong, but according to this article, gangs in Chicago use more and more Ar-15 and Ak-47 style weopens lately. If I am not completely missinformed than those fire rounds you will also find in warzones. Sure they don't have bigger machine guns like 50.cal's or the russian 14.5mm rounds, but the russian 7.62mm round (fired by the AKM) and the NATO 5.56mm rounds (fired by the US M16/M4) are also pretty common in todays warzones.
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Post by eladan » Thu, 1. Mar 18, 15:18

clakclak wrote:
Alan Phipps wrote:I always thought the US Navy (and those that might be shooting at them) might generally be using rather different projectiles than small arms rounds?[...]
Correct me if I am wrong, but according to this article, gangs in Chicago use more and more Ar-15 and Ak-47 style weopens lately. If I am not completely missinformed than those fire rounds you will also find in warzones. Sure they don't have bigger machine guns like 50.cal's or the russian 14.5mm rounds, but the russian 7.62mm round (fired by the AKM) and the NATO 5.56mm rounds (fired by the US M16/M4) are also pretty common in todays warzones.
Pretty sure he's talking about even higher caliber shells than those - like howitzer size. You don't usually have sea battles where sailors are firing at each other with personal armaments, is his point, I think.

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