Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:54 pm

Just because a person is unbalanced and capable of donig great harm, doesn't mean that they'll go to absolutely any length to do so. Some will, but by no means all. "Pick up gun, pull trigger" is pretty much the lowest, most no-brainer way for them to go about it. The more steps it takes to reach the end goal, the more effort it involves, the less it's gonna happen. Even stabbing someone is more difficult than shooting them - you have to get close.

Any idiot can shoot a gun; not everyone can make a bomb, not everyone has the strength to carry out physical assaults.

Guns aren't what makes this stuff possible, they're just what makes it easy.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Melathys » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:01 pm

true, bombs take a little more skill, but it doesn't take much skill to start a fire, or make toxic gas. Chlorine and ammonia mixture was used in WWI for chemical warfare, not hard to find those two ingredients, nor difficult to mix them together.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:49 pm

But exceptionally harder to actually deliver correctly to the target rather than just killing yourself while making it or enroute.

Also, I think "Evil" is used too much for things that are horrible - its not evil, and branding it as evil just dooms history to repeat itself, because "evil cannot be stopped" - being against action because "evil would have found another way" is just considered apathy. True Evil may find other ways, but lets not make it easy, right?

When things like this happen, we really need to stop calling it "evil" (first of all because that is a term rooted deeply in religion and starts all the crusade action that pops up every time) we need to see everyone of the perpetrators as completely human, and try to understand how and why it came to the tragedy it was. That is the only way we can make any reasonable difference in the future.

Adam Lanza was not evil, he was a kid (yeah, 20, but still a kid in my eyes) who acted irrationally based on some stimuli - what I have no knowledge of, but acting irrationally does not evil make - even when the act causes tragedy - the second and forgotten tragedy was that it ever came to this, that he never got the help he needed that may well have prevented this.

Also, I feel very much for his father and brother, who are left with very little sympathy because their kin was evil.

I just hope (despite my better judgment) that congress will not follow this tragedy with the tragedy of not doing anything because of entrenched ideologies - though we all know that is the most likely outcome.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:13 pm

This is a really good discussion on evil, and how it should be labeled as something else.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq_nCTGSfWE
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Melathys » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:07 pm

Again, missing the point. The -act- was evil. And these acts are premeditated. My point was, people who take it into their minds to do such an act will find a way to do it. The only real hope we have is if people get off the ban guns bandwagon and try to get to the root of the issue, which is mental health identification and treatment. But, as I told my wife when we heard about the Connecticut shooting, I knew the Democrats would jump on this as a reason to ban guns.

I also found this statement regarding high capacity magazines and found interesting, in regards to the Colorado shooting.

You do realize that the AR he carried jammed early on and most of his shooting was done with a Remington 870 pump action shotgun (which you identified as being just fine for home defense) and a Glock 22 with standard capacity magazines. He reloaded the handgun four times as there were three Glock mags found in the theater.

They also found the drum from the AR in the theater as he dropped it since it is a piece of crap. Most ironic part about all this is that the anti-gun folks should be pushing for extremely high capacity drum magazines. They are notoriously unreliable and would cause many shootings to cease due to weapon failures.



oh, btw. Along the lines of the guy making an AK out of a shovel....3D printers in the house.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqzJlBc ... e=youtu.be
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:04 pm

In a lot of ways, we just don't know yet. Maybe we'll get more concrete answers maybe we won't. I haven't heard if the specifics of his mental condition have been released, though I've been avoiding reading about him and instead focusing on the victims, which is where this story really is. I couldn't care less about him. In any event, without that information, all we can do is ignorantly speculate.

I'm not quite sure I understand all this parsing of the word 'evil'. I'm not sure I attach the meaning too it that some here (ironically those opposed to the word) do. The dictionary definition seems sufficient to me and this act certainly qualifies as evil (and help us if we ever can't recognize that).

Maybe his illness excludes his culpability, but that's hardly a foregone conclusion. If you watch the video that Klaud posted (though I don't know that he's really suggesting in the practical sense that evil should be labeled as something else, perhaps in the clinical sense (but we knew that), but even then he points out that cruelty and empathy are not in a symmetrical relationship, meaning you can't equate those terms at all), he mentions how many who commit random massacres, are in fact in the middle of the empathy bell curve. That that curve is only about odds, and does not mean you aren't responsible for your choices just because you are on the bottom end of it. In fact, he particularly calls out that those with the disorders that so far have been associated with the killer (autism/aspergers) specifically do not generally act with cruelty.

To further expand on Mel's comment about, if someone wants to do harm, they can. That's just a recognition that we all tend to live by a social contract that is quite easily abused. People could do very simple things to cause a great deal of harm. We are all very often vulnerable if the people that are nearby us choose to violate that contract. Guns certainly are effective at making that easier, but they aren't mandatory for causing a great deal of harm.

We are especially vulnerable, if the perpetrator doesn't care about his own well being. In fact, one of the common things in these shootings is that they frequently end with suicide, which seems to fall outside the bounds of the empathy curve which really highlights actions of cruelty because they are in one's own self interest.

As far as the gun control stuff, I find it all pretty silly really. We could certainly tighten our laws, but I don't know if it would make a measurable difference. Earlier in this thread, people were quick to suggest that hunters should still be able to acquire guns (and many hunting rifles are far more devastating than a 223). That's a ridiculously simple barrier, any 12 year old kid in PA (one of the states listed with 750k hunters or something like that), can get a hunting license and carry a very high powered rifle after taking a simple hunter's safety course. Guns are so ubiquitous, that I'm not sure there's a reasonable legal solution that will do much. I'm certainly open to hearing suggestions, but I just don't think there much that can be done on that side.

We need cultural changes and I wish the media would change the way they cover these events. When a fan runs on to the field at a pro sports event, the camera pans away and for good reason. Yet when these events occur, the coverage focuses so much on the perpetrators that they achieve their glory and add incentive for others. I realize it's important and proper for some coverage of the perpetrator, but once the name is released, there's no real reason to keep repeating it, to publish photos. Just refer to him as a sort of anonymous assailant, and focus the personal stuff on the victims. Really though that's just a personal preference, I don't know that it would matter at all either.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby JoeBravo » Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:37 am

KysenMurrin wrote:Just because a person is unbalanced and capable of donig great harm, doesn't mean that they'll go to absolutely any length to do so. Some will, but by no means all. "Pick up gun, pull trigger" is pretty much the lowest, most no-brainer way for them to go about it. The more steps it takes to reach the end goal, the more effort it involves, the less it's gonna happen. Even stabbing someone is more difficult than shooting them - you have to get close.

Any idiot can shoot a gun; not everyone can make a bomb, not everyone has the strength to carry out physical assaults.

Guns aren't what makes this stuff possible, they're just what makes it easy.


Also, the presence of other ways of 'doing evil' shouldn't be a reason to not reduce the availability of one of them.

Also, bombs/chemicals require knowledge and preparation which means lots and lots of time to think things through, which means a possibility to come to your senses again. Not something you use in the heat of the moment.

I tend to compare the state of mind of ppl committing such acts to my own state of mind when I was suicidal (anecdotical evidence, I know, but the only refference I have). Anything that takes time to prepare, can make you think and make you have second thoughts.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Boyfriend » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:00 am

I think the point about evil and good is that it's just not a useful concept to use in the analysis of any event. While you can certainly label any type of action as either evil or good, unless you gain further insight into the cause and effect of the action it's not particularly useful to utilize this label. I don't think any one is really disputing the fact that murdering people, particularly children, is Evil, at least I don't see any practical use in concentrating on that aspect, neither evil nor good are direct motivators for people.

Concerning gun control, what I can say from studies in Switzerland is that you wouldn't expect a large change in premeditated violence but impulse actions (notably suicide) drop significantly based on access to guns, that and at least in Switzerland there's absolutely no case to be made for using guns in self defense. Hunting does not particularly suffer from heavy regulation, as hunting itself is in many places heavily regulated and gun ownership could be tied to having appropriate hunting licenses and seasons without adding any further inconvenience for actual hunters but making it more inconvenient to acquire a gun for non-hunting purposes (Which at least according to Swiss statistics there is absolutely no legitimate use case for.)

Guns are a far more efficient killing method (for both suicide as well as homicide) than bombs, chemical or biological. The only incident where improvised weapons performed better than firearms that I can think of is 9/11. An example would be that Breivik spent years preparing his bomb attacks and managed to kill 8 people and 69 with firearms. The unpredictability and imprecise nature of non-firearm weapons makes it much harder to utilize them effectively.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Melathys » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:09 am

Timothy McVeigh begs to differ on that account.

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:25 am

You're still missing the point. Just because it's possible to kill in other ways, doesn't mean you shouldn't do something to control a method of killing that is easier and doesn't require significant premeditation.

You can't just pick out a single case of a bomber being successful and somehow say that means anyone with a murderous impulse could do the same.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Boyfriend » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:27 am

The Oklahoma City Bombing killed 168 people, had 4 perpetrators. So 42 deaths per perpetrator, so considering you switched the topic to high scores, in effectiveness terms this still isn't beating the guns high scores. In addition to the number of perpetrators the planning and preparation needed far exceeds what is needed for firearms, which was the only thing I talked about. You might have noticed that I stated that I see no connection between gun ownership and premeditated violence.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Passionario » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:28 am

There are people out there who are alive today because I never owned a gun.

(I'm one of them).
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby JoeBravo » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:28 am

Melathys wrote:Timothy McVeigh begs to differ on that account.

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because there is one execption, there is no truth to it?
gun control won't prevent these things from happening, but it might lessen the chance.
better mental healthcare won't prevent these things from happening, but it might lessen the chance.
brilliant idea: do both! it might lessen the chance!

There is no quick fix or single solution to the problem and it probably isn't completely solvable either, but any one of the solutions might save a life. THAT is what matters.

blogpost that made sense to me: http://bunchfamily.ca/we-need-to-talk-about-politics/
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby JoeBravo » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:30 am

Passionario wrote:There are people out there who are alive today because I never owned a gun.

(I'm one of them).


same.
train not running between midnight and 6 am also helped.

edit: not gonna promote banning trains though.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:24 am

Boyfriend wrote:I think the point about evil and good is that it's just not a useful concept to use in the analysis of any event.
Right that's my point, and since I don't think many people are attempting to use it as a useful analytical term, I'm not sure what the issue is.

Many, if not all of these major violent acts have a decent amount of premeditation with them so I'm not sure delaying access to a gun would have them rethink things, at most it might delay the inevitable. And that's ignoring the fact that you probably can't significantly reduce access to guns with gun control laws here anyhow. I just don't know how you make it so folks can't get a gun, given that almost half the households in the US already have a gun.
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