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Old 2013-01-17, 23:34   Link #1061
kyp275
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
And this is the problem. Whenever real facts and figures come up, there is a side that attempts to dismiss them. The wiki page does not say it is worthless; it says it it subject to the reliability of each individual study. It is not a be-all, end-all to gun death statistics, but it is a damn good start. We can quibble about numbers if you like, but it is fairly clear which countries have more gun death than others.
O_O

just what kind of scientist are you again? I'd love to know.

I sure as hell haven't seen any studies where it's ok to arbitrarily plug in numbers across 1 1/2 decades from multiple studies with data collected under different methods and just glue them all together and attempt to claim it's a good list.

and just in case you missed this bit which I added to my previous post:

"Population size, density, cultural diversity, social-economic structure, health care infrastructure, the list goes on and on, yet you seem to be only zeroing on the guns. Ask yourself, do you really think Japan (a gun control favorite) and the US are identical save for their gun control laws? "
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Old 2013-01-17, 23:37   Link #1062
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There seems to be a lack of disipline in the United States. Reports of a lot of kids that have little respect for anything really. Raised by the TV or computer because the parents were too busy to deal with paying attention to the children. Teachers are not allowed to disipline children anymore either.
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Old 2013-01-17, 23:38   Link #1063
Dr. Casey
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
I know. I was just fucking with you.
Plz don't, that's mean ;_;

I think this is just a case of ideology trumping everything else for me. I don't at all deny or doubt that mandatory military service has its perks, and would very likely make for a more healthy country. I'm just bothered by the idea of having your everyday life dictated for a number of years, because I think that for the most part you should be in charge of your own life - where you go, who you spend your time with, what you spend your time doing. Might not be the most rational way to feel, but...
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Old 2013-01-17, 23:41   Link #1064
kyp275
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Originally Posted by Dr. Casey View Post
Plz don't, that's mean ;_;

I think this is just a case of ideology trumping everything else for me. I don't at all deny or doubt that mandatory military service has its perks, and would very likely make for a more healthy country. I'm just bothered by the idea of having your everyday life dictated for a number of years, because I think that for the most part you should be in charge of your own life - where you go, who you spend your time with, what you spend your time doing. Might not be the most rational way to feel, but...
Not really, it's quite rational.

Like I said earlier, whether mandatory service is accepted largely depends on the country in question, both culturally and pragmatically speaking. Few in Taiwan argued against the mandatory service back in the 70s and 80s, where tension with China was high, these days the mandatory draft has been massively scaled back (if not eliminated).
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Old 2013-01-17, 23:48   Link #1065
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
O_O

just what kind of scientist are you again? I'd love to know.

I sure as hell haven't seen any studies where it's ok to arbitrarily plug in numbers from 1 1/2 decades from multiple studies with data collected under different methods and just glue them all together and attempt to claim it's a good list.
#1. Because they are the only numbers we currently have. You want better numbers? Go get them. Or maybe you *don't* want to know the real truth of the numbers?

#2. See those little numbers in blue next to each line? They refer to specific documents. So, maybe you can't compare some countries... but take [13] for instance: (Krug 1998) EG Krug, KE Powell and LL Dahlberg. "Firearm-related deaths in the United States and 35 other high- and upper-middle-income countries."

So you can compare those 36 countries since they all fell under the same study. And several of those studies cover the same countries, so if you average them, you can get a pretty good idea of gun deaths in that country, per 100k.

You can't dismiss all of them, just because you want to. I have a big feeling that if there was just one study that covered all of those, you would probably try to dismiss it because it was only one study, because you'd need many studies to draw definite conclusions. So, for you, it doesn't matter whether there is one or many... because you don't like the results, you'll look for a way to denigrate it.

I'm a scientist. We follow the data. This is the data we have, so we follow it. Sure, it may be imperfect, but we'll use it until something better comes along. That's how science works. You have to decide whether you want to be a scientist and thus follow the data we have, or choose not to be a scientist, and cherry pick your information.

Quote:
"Population size, density, cultural diversity, social-economic structure, health care infrastructure, the list goes on and on, yet you seem to be only zeroing on the guns. Ask yourself, do you really think Japan (a gun control favorite) and the US are identical save for their gun control laws? "
Jon Stewart covered this. I'll post the links to the videos again:

Scapegoat Hunter - Part 1
Scapegoat Hunter - Gun Control - Part 2

Edit: more numbers.

Murders with firearms by country
Politifact rates the US pretty damn high on gun violence
Here are the UNODC's numbers for 2007 which give the US a 2.97 rating.
Here's some other gun fact vs. gun rhetoric, but pay close attention to the bottom, where it lists the US rate at 3.2.

Remember, the wiki article listed the US homicide rate at 3.6. So, take all together, I feel the wiki numbers are fairly close to accurate. +/- 0.6 or 0.7, maybe.

For the fun of it, a couple of charts that shows what the hell is wrong with the US in one glance.

Last edited by Kaijo; 2013-01-18 at 00:01.
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Old 2013-01-17, 23:59   Link #1066
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One thing the military kind of prides itself on these days is that it is an all volunteer force. The last person drafted into the military has retired by now (as the last draft picks were over forty year ago). They believe the US military works better when everyone at least joined willingly.
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Old 2013-01-18, 00:01   Link #1067
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Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
One thing the military kind of prides itself on these days is that it is an all volunteer force. The last person drafted into the military has retired by now (as the last draft picks were over forty year ago). They believe the US military works better when everyone at least joined willingly.
Which is interesting because a "professional military force disconnected from the general population" was considered rather a problem by those Founding Father guys.
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Old 2013-01-18, 00:02   Link #1068
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Casey View Post
Plz don't, that's mean ;_;

I think this is just a case of ideology trumping everything else for me. I don't at all deny or doubt that mandatory military service has its perks, and would very likely make for a more healthy country. I'm just bothered by the idea of having your everyday life dictated for a number of years, because I think that for the most part you should be in charge of your own life - where you go, who you spend your time with, what you spend your time doing. Might not be the most rational way to feel, but...
Understandable. However, view it like this. Your life is already dictated by others just by virtue of being born into a particular society. I'm not going to start an argument about free will, but it is true that society enforces expectations and other elements on you that will heavily influence your life. Consider the "American Dream". This generally entails the notion that you will finish High School (mostly mandatory), and that you will go to college, get a job/career, find a mate, have kids, get a home, raise them, and so on.

Obviously this doesn't work out the same for everyone, but consider what is lost if you don't finish school. All of a sudden it is much harder to progress in society. If you don't get a job, ditto, or if you choose a career that others don't find financially rewarding, like philosophy. And if you're over 30 and not married with kids, people treat you funny. Don't have a home? You aren't saving for retirement? Did you watch such and such popular show? It suddenly creates a lot of pressure to follow the path of the dream as society (in general) has generated for itself.

Even if people don't exactly live as society expects them to, the pressures of conformity are there and definitely influence your choices and what doors are open/closed to you. It doesn't seem like it, because "that's just how it is", except it isn't, and your existence could be very different if you were born somewhere else in the world, or even in the same society but in a different class or ethnicity.

To put it another way, what is foreign to you in this culture is completely normal in other cultures. In a country like Canada or the UK, it's unimaginable to not have universal healthcare, but in the US that is considered an affront to liberty. The only difference is that they got used to where they live. Humans are remarkably adaptable, after all.

If we banned guns or made some military service required, the uproar would be huge, but given enough time everyone would adjust and (mostly) get over it. This is why guarding against tyranny is a blessing and a curse. Sometimes it can impede a good idea that seems terrible initially, and sometimes it preserves good ideas that could be damaged by terrible ones in the long run.

However without expanding your knowledge and seeking to understand, and most importantly compromising, tomorrow can't be better than today. Liberty, freedom, etc., are all great virtues, but they are meaningless if the world we craft around those virtues can't be questioned. Even if we don't like it. So from that reasoning, the second amendment and the first amendment are the most important rights in our society. Without the first, we can't debate openly. Without the second, the first could go away entirely. With neither, we're fucked.
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Old 2013-01-18, 00:04   Link #1069
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
#1. Because they are the only numbers we currently have. You want better numbers? Go get them. Or maybe you *don't* want to know the real truth of the numbers?
"meh, it's inaccurate, inconsistent, but hey, I didn't really want to do anything other than search wiki, so there."

That list comprises figures from the UN, others from blatantly anti-gun organizations, and some from pro gun groups, all with different (and mostly unclear) data collection methodology. Are you honestly trying to tell me that list is worth a damn?

Most importantly, it's worthless without a comparison to overall crime statistics, unless you believe that death by firearm is worth than death by other means. Crime statistic collection is a giant PITA, as any first year criminal justice student can tell you. Even within the US itself, crime statistics are often inaccurate, especially the FBI's UCR, since it depends purely on reports submitted by police departments, which are often "adjusted" by the local PD, nevermind that it inherently eliminate unreported crime.

Expand that to different countries that have different definitions of violent crimes and data collection methods, this quickly snowballs into a pile of mess.

Quote:
You can't dismiss all of them, just because you want to. I have a big feeling that if there was just one study that covered all of those, you would probably try to dismiss it because it was only one study, because you'd need many studies to draw definite conclusions. So, for you, it doesn't matter whether there is one or many... because you don't like the results, you'll look for a way to denigrate it.
Oh ffs, could you stop with the personal attacks and smearing just because I point out the rather obvious flaws in the data you're using?

Quote:
I'm a scientist.
behaving in a most unscientific manner.
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Old 2013-01-18, 00:08   Link #1070
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Even if we don't like it. So from that reasoning, the second amendment and the first amendment are the most important rights in our society. Without the first, we can't debate openly. Without the second, the first could go away entirely. With neither, we're fucked.
I would question the validity of the necessity of the 2nd amendment. As has been pointed out, many countries got rid of their guns, and they are no closer to tyranny than we are. In fact, in some respects, we may be closer.

Oh, and I don't expect anyone with a gun to do anything about our creep towards tyranny. They didn't do anything against the patriot act. They didn't do anything against warrentless wiretapping. They didn't do anything against SOPA/PIPA. They didn't do anything against the kill list. They haven't done anything against any of the actions of congress or the president that reduced civil liberties.

At this point, I figure they'll sit in their basement clutching their guns, and only use them when we come to take them away. And perhaps not even then.

So, unless someone with a gun wants to stand up and use it to protect or regain the liberties we have already lost, then I think it is time we retire this notion that our guns are needed.

And if the US military comes for you, they'll do it with a drone from a couple of miles away. Your gun will be useless. You'll be better off with a nerd that can hack the C&C of the drone. Arm your populace! Cultivate a nerd instead of a gun!

Edit: And Kyp, I got you more numbers. And if you are really paranoid enough to believe the UN is out to get us, then no facts or figures will ever work for you. For you'd have to believe that all 200-ish countries which make up the UN, are all aligned against the US. And if they are, then we have bigger problems than the guns we are holding.

And a scientist would read the study, and be able to break down it's flaws. If you want to discredit the study, do it like a scientist: Go through the documents themselves and point out everything that is wrong. If you are unable or unwilling to do so, then sorry, but you get no say. The rest of the world will look between you and your lack of evidence, and the scientists that prepared those numbers... and promptly accept the numbers.
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Old 2013-01-18, 00:10   Link #1071
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Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Which is interesting because a "professional military force disconnected from the general population" was considered rather a problem by those Founding Father guys.
Meh! Better that than those private military contractors who are much more of a pain in the ass than regular military forces these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ithekro View Post
There seems to be a lack of disipline in the United States. Reports of a lot of kids that have little respect for anything really. Raised by the TV or computer because the parents were too busy to deal with paying attention to the children. Teachers are not allowed to disipline children anymore either.
For some reason, this quote reminded me of the starting premise in Battle Royale as the backbone of what the "teachers" were preaching.
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Old 2013-01-18, 00:11   Link #1072
Ithekro
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Professional Military forces in the 1700s were mostly conscripts with nobles or at least well offs as officers. But it is true they didn't want a standing military, but a militia that could be called upon when needed.
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Old 2013-01-18, 00:11   Link #1073
kyp275
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Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
Edit: And Kyp, I got you more numbers. And if you are really paranoid enough to believe the UN is out to get us, then no facts or figures will ever work for you. For you'd have to believe that all 200-ish countries which make up the UN, are all aligned against the US. And if they are, then we have bigger problems than the guns we are holding.
I'm starting to get the feeling that you're not even really reading what I'm saying.

Where did I claim "the UN is out to get us"? How exactly did you make that massive leap from me saying that your wiki list is suspect due to the nature of it being arbitrarily cobbled together from multiple different studies conducted under different methods over a 14 year period?
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Old 2013-01-18, 00:15   Link #1074
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Originally Posted by kyp275 View Post
I'm starting to get the feeling that you're not even really reading what I'm saying.

Where did I claim "the UN is out to get us"?
Quote:
That list comprises figures from the UN, others from blatantly anti-gun organizations, and some from pro gun groups, all with different (and mostly unclear) data collection methodology. Are you honestly trying to tell me that list is worth a damn?
Your implication in that phrase is that the UN is cut from the same cloth as other anti-gun organizations. Oh, and by the way, what anti-gun organizations would those be, listed on wikipedia there?

And what evidence do you have that would cause us to not accept the numbers the UN organizations have provided?

Lastly... if there are UN, anti-gun, and pro-gun numbers all there... wouldn't averaging all those numbers give us a good idea to compare various countries? As I said, the numbers may not be exact... but welcome to statistics. It does, however, give us a decent picture of the situation.
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Old 2013-01-18, 00:30   Link #1075
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
Solace saying Solacey things
Good points. I am looking at things through a decidedly American lens, and not considering some of the factors that make such a system more tolerable or even pleasurable to those raised under it - growing up with parents and friends and teachers telling you about the good times they had during those years, the possibility that more freedom of choice is afforded than I realize (ie the ability to choose between some specific roles in your civic duty career), accomplishing something meaningful and rewarding from an early age, etc. I think that America has the right idea in not requiring such service, and I would vote against it were the issue to arise here, but a period of mandatory civic service is an innocent enough issue and a gray enough area that I can say it's just a matter of different strokes. I also have to admit that another factor, petty as it is, is that I'm just an antisocial person to an extent (in the proper definition of the word, not as a misuse of 'asocial') and hate the idea of being locked into social activities with tons of people... even the thought of schools that force extracurricular activities on kids is enough to make my skin crawl, and make me thankful that I never went to any such schools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kyp
Oh ffs, could you stop with the personal attacks and smearing just because I point out the rather obvious flaws in the data you're using?
Hahaha, kyp going against Kaijo makes an interesting pair... but yeah, kyp's not that petty, Kaijo. He wouldn't ignore scientific results he believed might be valid just to avoid being wrong.
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Old 2013-01-18, 00:31   Link #1076
kyp275
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Your implication in that phrase is that the UN is cut from the same cloth as other anti-gun organizations. Oh, and by the way, what anti-gun organizations would those be, listed on wikipedia there?
That's just your bias goggle, my point is that you have studies from both neutral and biased sources, all with unclear data collection methodology, you can't simply combine them and call it a day. This isn't Gurren Lagann, you don't get to yell "Gattai!" and then kick logic and reason to the curb.

Quote:
Lastly... if there are UN, anti-gun, and pro-gun numbers all there... wouldn't averaging all those numbers give us a good idea to compare various countries?
...I don't even know where to start with that statement, "scientist" indeed.

Listen, all I'm trying to point out here are the flaws that are inherently present in many of those type of statistics. Go ask any police officers and ask them how accurate the FBI's UCR is. It's not to say that it's not useful, but it has very real limitations.

Quote:
I would question the validity of the necessity of the 2nd amendment. As has been pointed out, many countries got rid of their guns, and they are no closer to tyranny than we are. In fact, in some respects, we may be closer.
Again, I find your inability to note that every countries are different rather perplexing.

Quote:
Oh, and I don't expect anyone with a gun to do anything about our creep towards tyranny. They didn't do anything against the patriot act. They didn't do anything against warrentless wiretapping. They didn't do anything against SOPA/PIPA. They didn't do anything against the kill list. They haven't done anything against any of the actions of congress or the president that reduced civil liberties.
I'm sorry, I must've missed the memo where we're supposed to have an armed rebellion every time something we don't like gets passed, instead of, you know, fix them through future legislation or challenges in court, like how it's supposed to be.

Quote:
At this point, I figure they'll sit in their basement clutching their guns, and only use them when we come to take them away. And perhaps not even then.
You're welcome to try, I wouldn't recommend it though

Quote:
And if the US military comes for you, they'll do it with a drone from a couple of miles away. Your gun will be useless. You'll be better off with a nerd that can hack the C&C of the drone. Arm your populace! Cultivate a nerd instead of a gun!
More than anything else, I find this argument rather insulting. Those that use these argument demonstrates in one fell swoop that they know nothing about the military, while speaking of them as if they're a monolithic entity devoid of intelligence, a robot that does everything its master says, instead of, you know, millions of their fellow Americans, with actual minds of their own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Casey View Post
Hahaha, kyp going against Kaijo makes an interesting pair... but yeah, kyp's not that petty, Kaijo. He wouldn't ignore scientific results he believed might be valid just to avoid being wrong.
I enjoy these debates, even if it does get my hair rising on occasions But more than anything else I think it's important to keep it relevant to the fact (accurate ones), instead of smearing the other side. Like I said earlier, nobody is going to change anyone else's mind here, the best we can do is explaining our positions and critique each others.

Last edited by kyp275; 2013-01-18 at 00:42.
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Old 2013-01-18, 00:42   Link #1077
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaijo View Post
I would question the validity of the necessity of the 2nd amendment. As has been pointed out, many countries got rid of their guns, and they are no closer to tyranny than we are. In fact, in some respects, we may be closer.

Oh, and I don't expect anyone with a gun to do anything about our creep towards tyranny. They didn't do anything against the patriot act. They didn't do anything against warrentless wiretapping. They didn't do anything against SOPA/PIPA. They didn't do anything against the kill list. They haven't done anything against any of the actions of congress or the president that reduced civil liberties.

At this point, I figure they'll sit in their basement clutching their guns, and only use them when we come to take them away. And perhaps not even then.

So, unless someone with a gun wants to stand up and use it to protect or regain the liberties we have already lost, then I think it is time we retire this notion that our guns are needed.

And if the US military comes for you, they'll do it with a drone from a couple of miles away. Your gun will be useless. You'll be better off with a nerd that can hack the C&C of the drone. Arm your populace! Cultivate a nerd instead of a gun!
It's not there to prevent creep. That's not what the second amendment is for. The second amendment is there to remind the people that they do have the ability to use force if they feel it is required. I'm not saying I agree with it entirely, but I understand the reasoning behind it. To be honest, most people really have no idea what most laws say they can or can't do. They just go along with whatever everyone else is doing. Dangerous, but I never claimed humans were immune to herd mentality.

Besides, as insidious as the things you mentioned are, there has been civil progress against them. Not everything in the Patriot Act was found constitutional. SOPA/PIPA were defeated peacefully. Citizens have made it pretty clear that they are tired of war. More citizens are becoming aware of the kill list, the drone strikes, and so on. I have hope these can be resolved peacefully, but if not, I'll have a better chance in a revolution if I can use a gun instead of a knife. I'm not MacGuyver.

That said, there is a clear difference in this debate, as noted by Nate Silver: Partisan Divide. I think this comes down to the culture of the parties. Many who identify as democrat, or liberal, tend to believe that government can still be used as a tool for good, and don't consider gun ownership as quite as essential in that battle. Many who identify as republican, or conservative, believe that government is an entity that must be guarded against, feared even, and that gun ownership is required to keep it in check. Perhaps not so simple as that, but the statistics he uses are interesting.

If there is a "battle" brewing, it is between the remnants of the Progressive Era and the return of the Gilded Age. Such battles tend to make our differing ideologies strange bedfellows though.

Anyway, fancy quote time!

Quote:
"I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice."

- Theodore Parker
We'll get there, eventually.
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Old 2013-01-18, 00:48   Link #1078
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Originally Posted by Solace View Post
That said, there is a clear difference in this debate, as noted by Nate Silver: Partisan Divide. I think this comes down to the culture of the parties. Many who identify as democrat, or liberal, tend to believe that government can still be used as a tool for good, and don't consider gun ownership as quite as essential in that battle. Many who identify as republican, or conservative, believe that government is an entity that must be guarded against, feared even, and that gun ownership is required to keep it in check. Perhaps not so simple as that, but the statistics he uses are interesting.
Heh, guess I'm one of those that bucks the trend I'm strictly independent that voted almost straight democrat last year, I believe the government can be a tool for good, but at the same time also needed to be guarded against

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We'll get there, eventually.
We'll probably get loli robo-maid before that happens (which would naturally solve all of humanity's problems).
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Old 2013-01-18, 00:48   Link #1079
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Every society is filled with it's own delusions. The US has delusions, but Europe has a fair number of delusions too, many of which are more insidious then anything in the US (often because they're less obvious).

The main solution to these issues is to broaden your horizons. Americans could learn a few lessons from Europe, and Europe can definitely learn a few lessons from America. The lessons are different though.

The root is perception. I live in a country where Guns are unseen and unheard of, so a Gun is an instrument of death and crime. In America, it's something that is ubiquitous and everywhere, and is seen as an instrument of protection and strength. How you see things defines your "reality", and the truth is that people on both sides of this debate live in different realities.

However, people can often end out living in bubbles of unreality, and it can lead to destructive delusions about how the world functions.

When it comes to these massacres, it's a result of individual people living in delusion. I think to blame our mass culture that at times glorifies violence for these acts is not correct, because the people who commit these crimes are outcasts. Their connection to reality has usually long been severed. The question we have to ask, is why are so many people (in America, but also elsewhere) severed from reality so much that they wish to go on a massive killing spree? I don't think we try hard enough to understand the motives lying behind these instances of mass murder. I don't think it's practically feasible to prevent all such things (some people are always going to be crazy), but I think they present an opportunity to learn a bit about the dark side of our own humanity.
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Old 2013-01-18, 00:50   Link #1080
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To work with what Solace posted, government is a weapon (a form of tool). It can be used for good or evil depending on who has the strings and how transparent the process is. The people need every tool they can get to mitigate the tendency of government to be usurped by special interests.
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