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Old 2007-04-18, 14:30   Link #81
Vexx
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Hmmm, as usual I wrote in shorthand... Australia has a fairly homogenous "advantaged" class (partially due to their strict immigration policies and marginalization of the natives). Part of that appears to be in reaction to the growing problems in Europe relating to the non-integration of immigrant groups and resulting isolation/disenfranchisement.

Asian cultures are usually referred to as collectivist even by Asian scholars. Again, its a shorthand description for a complex community structure used to categorize societies. It is not a political description. Probably "community-focused" may be a better description? Americans just tend to think "what is good for ME" first (which is odd given our penchant for team sports but more understandable given the destruction of the employer-employee social contract that existed for a while in the 20th C.).

Yes... many of my friends are from a variety of Pacific Rim and Chinese locations. Every once in a while one of them will insist that you can tell a Korean from a Japanese or a Chinese. I respond that there are archetype "looks" for which that might be true but the nearer you get to the borders the harder it is to tell. Indignancy follows.
Culturally (sometimes as simple as the way one stands) one can gather clues to tell a nationality ... but on pure looks??
My wife is pure Japanese (but 3rd gen American) ... but her looks can get her identified as japanese, chinese, vietnamese, hawaiian, polynesian, filipino, and even mexican depending on the season -- the mistakes usually being made by people FROM those locales.

She's a pharmacist and her favorites are the Korean grandmas who bang on her counter yelling at her in Korean because they insist she's Korean and just ignoring them (she has to call a Korean friend pharmacist to explain to them over the phone in Korean).

The shorthand analysis of bullying in Japan is a reflection of the "strike the nail that sticks out" ... not fitting in does not help the village/tribe/etc. Its not exclusive to Japan but Japan sometimes is the posterchild for the meme. Though often there's a scapegoat, peck the weakest mentality -- its also viewed as helpful to the victim so that they will "succeed" better in the group... a nasty variation of "stay on the game trail or you will be eaten".

In China, there is a lot of social pressure to respect the hierarchy of authority simply because things run smoother (even if not necessarily more just). As you say though.... respect should be earned. But I think the default is to respect until burned whereas in America it tends to run the opposite (assuming idiocy or malevolence before giving respect). Anyone who works in customer service knows that

Note: I'm finding the conversation here quite enjoyable ... but I do come here primarily for anime/manga talk. Forgive me if I don't respond quite as often as I might.
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Old 2007-04-18, 16:53   Link #82
ibreatheanime
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Most americans are not wandering the streets with guns in their hands claiming to take law enforcement into their own hands. Most buildings and public places do not allow guns inside. In front of every school, library, pool there are signs saying that bringing guns in is prohibited. If someone was walking down the street with a gun, the police would be notified.

Sadly the events at Virgina Tech are extremly sad. Every year there are around 14 school shootings in the United States.

However do not make blunt assumptions about the country. The united states is a vast place, full of people in all sorts of enviorments and cultures. In more rural areas most people own guns to hunt. However in more urban and suburban cultures guns are not a norm. If I wanted to get a gun, I would not know where to purchase/get one.
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Old 2007-04-18, 17:15   Link #83
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Not for long ibreatheanime...
American "Humanitarian" organisations are on the move..
Spoiler:
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Old 2007-04-18, 17:21   Link #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cats View Post
Not for long ibreatheanime...
American "Humanitarian" organisations are on the move..
Spoiler:
I recognized it just from the photography style. It's by Oleg Volk, who has many such posters, which he collects here.

I have to agree with the sentiment on the poster. Whether one supports the carrying of weapons or is vehemently against it, it's true that a good citizen with a gun could have stopped the VT shooter early in his rampage, before he could have killed more.
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Old 2007-04-18, 17:25   Link #85
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Originally Posted by ibreatheanime View Post
Most americans are not wandering the streets with guns in their hands claiming to take law enforcement into their own hands. Most buildings and public places do not allow guns inside. In front of every school, library, pool there are signs saying that bringing guns in is prohibited. If someone was walking down the street with a gun, the police would be notified.
In most of the US, it's legal to walk around with a gun in plain view, but carrying one concealed usually requires a permit. Of course, if someone had a gun drawn and was waving it around, that would be a bit different.

Quote:
However do not make blunt assumptions about the country. The united states is a vast place, full of people in all sorts of enviorments and cultures. In more rural areas most people own guns to hunt. However in more urban and suburban cultures guns are not a norm. If I wanted to get a gun, I would not know where to purchase/get one.
You could grab your nearest phone book, or even use google to find local gun shops easily in most parts of the country. It's really not any different then locating any other specialty shop.


Personally, I can't help but see the pushes for more gun control that come following a tragic event as anything other than somewhat misguided attempts to place blame on something, because it's difficult to accept that there are deranged individuals out there who could do such a thing. You can see the same kind of thing going on with attempts to blame violent video games and violent movies, as well.
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Old 2007-04-18, 17:45   Link #86
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what are you people talking about
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Old 2007-04-18, 19:12   Link #87
ibreatheanime
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Originally Posted by Kyuusai View Post
I recognized it just from the photography style. It's by Oleg Volk, who has many such posters, which he collects here.

I have to agree with the sentiment on the poster. Whether one supports the carrying of weapons or is vehemently against it, it's true that a good citizen with a gun could have stopped the VT shooter early in his rampage, before he could have killed more.
You right one person with a gun could stopped him earlier in the rampage, that is true. However I personally just wish there could be less nut jobs who decide to go shoot up schools in the first place. This crime wasn't commited because its the guns fault...this crime happened because of disturbed people who need to get some professional help rather than turn to violence.
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Old 2007-04-18, 19:41   Link #88
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Most westerners have zero idea aside from seeing masses of people somehow move in what, on the outside, seems to be a unified force.
True, very true. And that's the reason behind the inefficiency you're seeing in the police. No actual obstacle (geography, population distribution) should pose a detriment to the police's activity if the citizens cared enough about politics to assure the police is better prepared. But, since America is the way of the individual (the super-heroes! I once made an essay about the super-hero phenomenon in the American society... I must find it, I know it's around here...) and not the way of the country, of the nation, of the actual society, you try to solve things your own way. And that will always lead to societal conflict, granted.
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Old 2007-04-18, 20:00   Link #89
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Originally Posted by WanderingKnight View Post
True, very true. And that's the reason behind the inefficiency you're seeing in the police. No actual obstacle (geography, population distribution) should pose a detriment to the police's activity if the citizens cared enough about politics to assure the police is better prepared.
Untrue. You've certainly heard about our traffic situations in certain parts of the country, right? There's a detriment to police activity right there, in the form of response time. The law states that you move to the side of the road (in New York we moved right, in Los Angeles people seem to just move wherever they can) and allow law enforcement through. What happens when all lanes are jammed? There's a single "emergency lane" for emergency services to get through, but they can't exactly go full-speed through that, now, can they? That isn't a matter of the public caring for better-prepared police - it's a much greater problem. But it's still a problem.

Another issue I can think of is availability, which Vexx has cited. There's a fire department right across the street from my university campus. The fire trucks and the ambulance are seemingly called out at least once per three hours (to give a very conservative estimate; realistically, at certain times of the day, it may be at least once per hour). The police have the advantage of more personnel spread out. However, a criticism I've heard on the Los Angeles Police Department is that they have fewer personnel than the New York Police Department. Forget population differences - the total area of Los Angeles is huge compared with New York City. How can you have an effective police force like that? I don't know the reasoning behind LAPD's small size, but I'd guess it isn't because the public doesn't care.

On the public's views, the police are a force you don't want to give too much power to. We've had a number of cases of police brutality in the past, mostly dealing with racial issues (another factor that certain countries would not face). More recently, there have been issues of police being a little too liberal with taser usage. This is one of the better arguments against non-lethal weapons - law enforcement is more likely to employ it, simply because it won't kill, whether it is appropriate to use it or not. Go on YouTube and search for the terms "police" and "taser" and I'm sure you'll find plenty. Some of the videos that I've seen looked reasonable to me, but there are also many where it seems completely inappropriate.

This generates distrust for law enforcement.

Quote:
But, since America is the way of the individual (the super-heroes! I once made an essay about the super-hero phenomenon in the American society... I must find it, I know it's around here...) and not the way of the country, of the nation, of the actual society, you try to solve things your own way. And that will always lead to societal conflict, granted.
I wish everyone considered themselves super heroes. No, many people here become very afraid - afraid to stand up to offenders, afraid to try and help a person on the ground lest they should be sued for performing CPR improperly. I also don't believe that everyone in America considers themself a "super hero" - I don't think they'd view themselves much differently than the citizens of any other country. It's not good or bad, and I'm sure that those countries have their "super heroes", too. However, I'd just like to point it out, that perhaps Americans just talk big on the internet more than other people do, and that gives a false impression of what their actions would be.

We have our gun laws, but many people do not carry guns (an exception would probably be a number of the Southern states, or rural locations). Many people are against guns, even. I don't understand people who claim that they feel unsafe because regular citizens can carry guns here. Most don't, and I am extremely skeptical of any claims which state that criminals have guns because guns are legal.
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Old 2007-04-18, 20:09   Link #90
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Most don't, and I am extremely skeptical of any claims which state that criminals have guns because guns are legal.
I definitly agree that criminals would get guns even if they were illegal. During Prohibition when alcohol was illegal people were still illegaly drinking. Drugs are illegal too, but they aren't so hard to get.

Also People don't need to condsider themselves super heros, however if someone needs help rather than just panic they should try to help. While not everyone can be a hero, people can still be compasionate and try their best to help. Personally I do not want students and teachers armed so they can all try to be hero's and shoot the intruder. WE CAN'T ALL BE SUPER HEROS.
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Old 2007-04-18, 20:43   Link #91
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Quote:
Untrue. You've certainly heard about our traffic situations in certain parts of the country, right? There's a detriment to police activity right there, in the form of response time. The law states that you move to the side of the road (in New York we moved right, in Los Angeles people seem to just move wherever they can) and allow law enforcement through. What happens when all lanes are jammed? There's a single "emergency lane" for emergency services to get through, but they can't exactly go full-speed through that, now, can they? That isn't a matter of the public caring for better-prepared police - it's a much greater problem. But it's still a problem.
Then why in the name of Jebus don't you do something about it? Why don't you people gather up and file a complaint to the government, instead of arming yourself, just because the police "won't show up"? Supervising the well-functioning of a government needs to be a strict responsibility of the citizens, in order to have a healthy society.

Now what I said is:

Quote:
True, very true. And that's the reason behind the inefficiency you're seeing in the police. No actual obstacle (geography, population distribution) should pose a detriment to the police's activity if the citizens cared enough about politics to assure the police is better prepared.
If the citizens cared enough about what their government does and doesn't do, then they should complain about the goddamn problem of traffic they're having. You say that police have trouble reaching because of bad infrastructure. If the citizens cared a bit about fixing these problems, they should complain officially to the government and ask for a better placement of money, such as infrastructure improvements.
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Old 2007-04-18, 21:12   Link #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx
Note: I'm finding the conversation here quite enjoyable ... but I do come here primarily for anime/manga talk. Forgive me if I don't respond quite as often as I might.
Constructive debate is always more enjoyable than emotional mud-slinging. And happily enough, such threads do pop up on Animesuki from time to time.

Now that various posters have got the ball rolling, I'm getting quite enthused over this topic as well.

(1)
Japanese attitudes towards bullying and deliberate ostracisation is something I find very difficult to understand, even as an Asian.

Why is it that a society, that produces gems like "Grave of the Fireflies", "Spirited Away", "Rurouri Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal", which actively promote compassion over violence, deeper understanding over knee-jerk reactions, capable of inflicting such cruelty on fellow Japanese?

Japan is a culture of puzzling extremes sometimes, and while it's good to try to understand it as much as possible, I concede that in the end, it would take a Japanese to know another Japanese.

(2)
The Chinese attitude towards leadership and authority is a lot more nuanced than many Westerners tend to realise.

I don't know if it's because I'm reading biased material, or whether I am inherently biased, but when I study Japanese history, I often come across many examples of blind obedience that I find incomprehensible. Entire clans of warriors committing seppuku to follow their leaders in honourable death will forever strike me as being plain stupid, if not just cowardly. If you truly want an honourable death, then go down fighting to the last man -- suicide is, to me, a cop-out, and an easy way out.

If you study the Chinese equivalent of Japan's Sengoku era -- be it the Warring States Period or the Three Kingdoms Period -- what you'd find are opportunistic generals (and sometimes very enterprising commoners) who would seize the first opportunity to rebel against a tyrant.

Social conduct and obedience to a leader is dependent on an unspoken contract. We will follow a leader whom we respect. And a leader needs to earn that respect through virtuous conduct. He could, of course, rule through fear, but his legacy will be painfully short -- take the example of the Qin Dynasty, which did not last long after the death of the tyrannical Qin Shihuang.

(3)
The Chinese approach towards consensual problem-solving is also commonly misunderstood as a "face saving" measure.

Rather, it's all about conducting effective diplomacy folks. There is nothing "exotic" about it. When making negotiations, you need to work on the principle of quid pro quo. If you deliberately make it difficult for the opposite party to accede to your requests, or fail to offer him a good value proposition in return for his favour, then you can hardly expect anything constructive to come out of the discussion. That is ultimately what Chinese "face saving" is really about.

Remember: In diplomacy, you rarely achieve desirable results through a "do or die" approach.

(4)
There is a huge difference between liking a leader and respecting a leader.

Let me go on record to write that I do not like my government. But let me also say that, at the same time, I wholeheartedly respect my government. Why? Because they have proven, time and again, to be capable of carrying out tough but necessary decisions that work out well in the long-run.

If I were a leader, I would sooner prefer to be respected than to be popular. You can buy popularity, but respect is something you have to earn through a lifetime of virtuous conduct. It also happens to be something you can easily lose in an instance of immoral conduct.
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Old 2007-04-18, 21:30   Link #93
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How does all this relate to the debate on gun control in America?

As I've already stated, it's very sad when you can't trust your relevant authorities to do their jobs well and, at the same time, make it more difficult for them to do carry out their responsibilities. At least, this is how it seems to me, as an outsider.

And, as I see it, putting guns in the hands of more people compounds the problem in the long run, rather than solving it. You should be removing the guns from the population, not adding to the already substantial number out there.

However, I do understand that this is very easy for a foreigner to say. You do indeed have a reality where the genie is already out of the bottle. In a tough situation such as this, it's stupidly naive to keep harping on the "ideal" solution.

Which is why I strongly suggest that Americans need to start trusting their authorities more. If you want to achieve a solution where no one needs a gun for self-defence -- because there is nothing comparable to defend against -- you need to trust a responsible organisation to carry out the odious and entirely hypothetical task of disarming the population.

And if you can't trust your authorities, then you need to work out why you can't trust them, and reform the organisations to the point where they are truly effective.

If you wish to own guns for leisure, such as hunting, by all means continue to do so. But why must those guns be kept at home? Is it not possible to own a gun, but then make sure that it is stored in a secure armoury where you have to check-in/check-out your weapon?
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Old 2007-04-18, 21:50   Link #94
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Quote:
Which is why I strongly suggest that Americans need to start trusting their authorities more.
My humble approach as a South American foreigner and an adolescence devoted to the study of various historical and sociological texts about this and many other topics on the American way of life, is not that most Americans don't trust their authorities--they don't care. An active approval and support of a system is often called legitimation of a system in continents like Europe, where people firmly believe in the democratic ideals that their government is supposed to uphold and take an active participation in political decisions. However, when applying this concept to America, more often than not, the word consensus is used: a consensus doesn't presuppose an active approval, but a simple, passive conformism on the state of things. This is shown grossly by the extremely low percentage of people voting in elections. I can't remember the number pretty well, but it was very low in last presidential elections for America. As long as the upcoming president maintains the status quo, most Americans won't budge. Well, this attitude can also be observed as one derived from a society accustomed to be the leading world power.

I firmly believe this ain't changing anytime soon. The American "Empire", as it's known in many countries worldwide, is reaching its downhill. And until it smashes against the ground (carrying along hundreds of other countries with it, probably including my own), it's probable that most of its people won't move a finger to create a politically productive society, and will keep on caring only each for his own.
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Old 2007-04-18, 21:54   Link #95
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The logistical problem of providing adequate protection to every American does indeed complicate the whole discussion. Which is why I ask how a country like Australia approaches the problem. I am by no means equating Australia to America, but merely suggesting that when you live within any given society, you can be blind to solutions that seem obvious to outsiders.

In any case, it's not the guns that are the ultimate problem. The problem, as I see it, it is the ease with which Americans seem to resort to violence as a solution to violence.

I very well know that popular media is a very poor way to learn about any society. And I am very far from claiming that violent video games and movies glorify and promote violence. I might not have liked "300", but I did find the gratuitous bloodshed to be exciting and good fun to watch on a silver screen. That doesn't mean I am now suddenly more likely to grab sword and shield and start hacking random strangers to pieces.

But popular media can possibly do more to show that violence is not a solution, and to hopefully force people to consider the huge responsibility behind gun ownership.

Frankly, after seeing with my own eyes how a 7.62mm calibre GPMG is capable of demolishing a one-foot thick brick wall, I fail to understand why I would even bother carrying an M-16 in war. I would want to carry a GPMG instead!

My point? All that a puny .22mm pistol (whose rounds could barely penetrate a barricaded classroom door) gives you is a false sense of security. You pay for it by raising the potential for even more gun violence.

If you have to carry a gun, then make very, very, very sure that you are as well-trained and as well-educated about its potential power and its limitations as a professional police officer, if not more so.
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Old 2007-04-18, 22:21   Link #96
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I'm not familiar with Australia's plans for the future, but the immediate response to the banning of firearms was a skyrocketing violent crime rate.

I don't think there are many people that see violence as the ultimate solution to violence. Those who advocate retaliation generally are referring only to immediate threats. Certainly, we must exercise every other tool at our disposal to stop the root causes that beget violence. But in the event that some one still decides to harm another human being, what's to be done to defend a potential victim on a split-second basis? That's the question that drives some people to arm themselves so they can defend themselves better.

Absolutely, any one with a shred of responsibility who arms themselves should seek the proper educate and training--and not the bare minimum of it. I personally think that every one should have such training--not necessarily hands-on arms training, if they objected, but the other relevant education. I think that if every one was trained in how to be responsible with such matters that fewer people would turn to violence in the first place.
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Old 2007-04-18, 22:51   Link #97
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Originally Posted by Kyuusai View Post
Absolutely, any one with a shred of responsibility who arms themselves should seek the proper educate and training--and not the bare minimum of it. I personally think that every one should have such training--not necessarily hands-on arms training, if they objected, but the other relevant education. I think that if every one was trained in how to be responsible with such matters that fewer people would turn to violence in the first place.
On the flip side of that, criminals are people from your own populace (excluding invaders such as armies or terrorists). So nothing would prevent them from having the same training you as a law abiding citizen would have. That's one reason why police have squads like SWAT, because there are some people who have the background training to be precise in thier deadliness.

I think peoples view of history is rather short sighted. America is no more or less violent than many other countries now or in the past. It's just too unrealistic for every single person in a society to agree on being nonviolent. Violence is a part of human nature and it's unavoidable short of strict conditioning, but that usually comes with a heavy price like loss of basic rights which can create many problems too.

It's just not a matter of laws at this point. Laws only work when they are enforced by everyone, the population and the officials. It's the root of the problem, which is why people seek to use violence, that needs to be addressed. It's also important to note that not everyone is outwardly destructive. Many people are inwardly destructive too. In fact I'd wager more people are the latter than the former.

Was it work, or school, or domestic life, or friends, or mental issues, or health issues, revenge, traumatic event, did the person stub thier toe? Who knows? Life can be very stressful. It comes down to society at that point, who can determine what is the best way to address those problems. Some find good solutions that work for them, others struggle with it, but with any group of people those changes generally aren't immediate or simple. The larger and more complex the group, the harder the answer becomes.
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Old 2007-04-18, 23:25   Link #98
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I wouldn't be so sure about Australia's supposed racial homogenity. I take it that you are not familiar with Australia's harsh immigration policies, and also with Australia's rising trend of racially-motivated crime.
Extremely offended by a comment like this. You've made me as a citizen look and sound like a racist redneck. My parents were immigrants and I've lived her almost all my life.

err what "harsh immigration policies" are you talking about? THe people sent to detention centres? News Flash - Not immigrants usually, illegal immigrants or alleged refugees who haven't been able to prove refugee status. Whether you think its fair or not we have a right to keep undesirables out of the country (eg convicted drug smugglers, history of violent crime, people who don't want to go through the correct processes to get residence.) Just because you come to our doorstep claiming to be a refugee, doesn't mean we automatically grant refugee status without any investigation. That's just crazy.

Have a closer look at the crimes being committed - Armed Robbery, disorderly conduct, affray, assault, car theft. You'll get anti semitic vandalism, anti arab vandalism but it's no better or no worse than any western country. Most crimes committed are pure and simple human desire, more of a class issue than a race issue. We don't have militant organised groups like the KKK as a major issue. Also in the wake of 9/11 and Iraq have a look at racially motivated crime in the US and the UK. highly doubt there's no increase.

As for the marginalization of the indigenous, ok, they messed up in the 1700's-1800's. But that's the past. Honestly, what more as an Australian Government and Society do? There are substantial resources to give them an advantage (bear in mind they make up about 5% of the population). As a footnote, how is that any different to American and British treatment of the Indians/African Colonies? How about the Spanish treatment of the Aztecs?

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Originally Posted by Kyuusai View Post
I'm not familiar with Australia's plans for the future, but the immediate response to the banning of firearms was a skyrocketing violent crime rate.
Skyrocketing crime rate? WTF? In Australia? Again look at the crimes. Vandalism and destruction of property as well as assaults attributed to alcohol have increased - Why? Summer and daylight savings have just finished and pubs open earlier and close later. Drinking+young guys = havoc. Violent crime is still fairly low by wetern standards, and n particular gun related crimes are extremely low. (Most assaults are alcohol related fights in most countries 80-85% is widely accepted here)

Do you really want to know why guns were banned? It's mainly because of one incident: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_bryant . A gun amnesty was put into action and people got money back for turning in their guns. Why because we don't want this to happen again. Put it this way, someone gets shot here its national front page news. Gun crime is still somewhat foreign to Australians.

Australian Violent Crime statistics: Nationwide

http://www.aic.gov.au/stats/crime/violence.html

compare to US

http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm
(Noe: I'm not sure which section of the US Gov't looks after crime stats and this is the only I could find that covers US as a whole)

Please note in particular rates of incidence per 100,000 population. Some of the stuff you guys say come straight from Fox news.

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Old 2007-04-18, 23:45   Link #99
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Originally Posted by hobbes_fan View Post
compare to US

http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm
(Noe: I'm not sure which section of the US Gov't looks after crime stats and this is the only I could find that covers US as a whole)
I just wanted to point out that according to this site, overall crime in America shows a downward trend, notably in violent crime and murder. Not trying to put a spin on things, but it does make me want to start finding other charts for trend comparison. Thanks for the info hobbes.
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Old 2007-04-18, 23:51   Link #100
hobbes_fan
You could say.....
 
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
That's great news I guess. I just wanted to point out that violent crime here has remained fairly steady in most sectors. I'd also like to add that the stats aren't clear whether they're reported incidents, charges laid or convictions. As you're all aware one incident can have multiple charges so it can skew stats. Also I'm not sure what other kinds of assault there are (there's aggravated listed but assault is classed according to severity here, eg assault with a deadly weapon, assault occasioning bodily harm. Are there different classes of assault in the US?)

Last edited by hobbes_fan; 2007-04-19 at 00:08.
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