Before I continue, I must say how much more comfortable this on-line debate feels as compared to previous ones on other ListServs. I know it's a generalising comment, but I keep finding that the insertion into the mix of people who work with children makes everything so much more polite and patient. If I recall correctly, there was a lot of anger and short sentences last time I was involved in a debate on this topic on an "adult" list....
From: Joe Nemeth, Dr <[log in to unmask]>
> As I sit in my living room on this Saturday morning
--> My living room. Sunday afternoon. What else is there to do on a weekend, eh?
> I live in Canada and love our very strict gun control laws
--> As people know, I live in the UK at this time and I also like the gun laws here (as well as ones on knives, etc). I don't feel as positive about drug laws, but that's a different thread. Still, the point I made before and make again now is that I don't think our gun laws are THE cause of our statistics. I think they are but one (be it major) factor contributing, but on the background of a culture which rejects gun violence! I don't think that any society will change sufficiently merely by their introduction - no matter how strict. I have lived for many years in more than one country in which guns were far more common than they are in the UK and these countries differed markedly in terms of gun violence. One was actually on the same scale as the USA!
> A troubled young man AND inappropriate access to crazy weapons is what caused this catastrophe... too simplistic and frankly naive to think that stricter gun control would solve all of these gun related deaths
--> I agree. And I would add that there are factors beyond the two you mentioned. It's not even ONLY two factors. We can probably add to this:
- the lack of major societal backlash to inappropriate comments
- the tolerance of lack of free psychiatric care
- the overwhelming number of similar cases which will "drown" the efforts of law enforcement to identify the cases which eventually go on to this sort of event from among so many others, etc
- there will be more factors identified as this case gets investigated
One more point, though - a HUGE factor might be, as in past cases, if the outrage dies down! The NRA and those who profit from guns will push their politicians, including some of the more publicly-prominent ones and they will keep things as quiet as possible. Possibly, even the next similar event somehow will be used to make this one "disappear". You can recognise the "silencing tactics" by indicator phrases such as:
- "Now is not the time..."
- "Country/state/city X ... bla-bla-bla ... And they have more/fewer guns and more/fewer gun deaths and this random statistic thus means we should stop looking into gun control"
- "My child just falls a lot" (sorry - had to put that in, as it's on the same level)
- "The USA is a unique country and yet, when it suits me, I will find some other one with which to make comparisons to prove my point"
> Britain has more violent crime then the US (ban on guns since 1997)
--> I realise that I am picking up just one of the many points which were listed together. I am only choosing this one because it's one I have been familiar with for a very long time. It has been much "used" in order to "prove" to Americans how the introduction of gun laws in the UK has left it with a higher violent crime rate than the USA and should thus be avoided by the USA. Now, I won't trouble the List by arguments about this. Instead, I would appreciate it if y'all satisfy your own curiosities, each to his/her own level, by going to a favourite search engine and searching for the phrase "Britain has more violent crime then the US". You can read for yourselves and save me from having to type up the actual facts...
But I can't stop myself from mentioning something which has come up in a past discussion I was accidentally drawn into on a visit to the USA 3-4 years ago. This same myth was raised. That, in itself, was no surprise, but it had been raised by someone who had already impressed me with how many "facts" he had absorbed from social media sources and how confidently he spoke of these despite appearing to be far less eloquent whenever questioned in detail about anything. I.e., he appeared to me to have been "brainwashed". Despite knowing better, I challenged him on why he thought the USA was "doing so much better" than the UK in terms of violent crime. He gave me the answer. He then mistook my look of disbelief to indicate I did not believe the facts he had mentioned. He was wrong - what I did not believe is that someone could be that easy to "sell" to. He pulled out his phone and showed me the "evidence". No idea what you're sitting on as you read this, but I hope it has handles for you to hang onto, so that you don't fall to the ground laughing. The reason, according to this "expert" for how the USA got to have what he claimed was 10 times less violent crime than the UK is because the USA has taken the excellent pre-emptive step of imprisoning those who would otherwise have engaged in violent crime! I kid you not - he attributed the high level of violent crime he believed the UK had, not to the fact that the UK records a huge number of offences which the USA does not include in its statistics. What he showed me was: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_incarceration_rate (the version which was on line then). He had been "educated" to believe that the fact that the USA had around a 10-time higher number of prisoners than the UK per million of population correlated with how it achieved a 10-time lower rate of violent crime...
I expect one requires whole armies of people who can be thus educated in order to perpetuate certain "facts"... Such people can be convinced of many things...
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