Mass shootings and the American dream

Second Summer

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I've read that the US has more mass shootings than any other country. (When terrorism is excluded.) Here's a hypothesis based on what I've read elsewhere which seeks to explain why this is.

US culture has a couple of features that puts it apart from the rest of the world:
  1. The idea that anyone can crawl their way up in society.
  2. A lot of focus on fame.
  3. A high number of guns and gun owners, and guns are relatively easily accessible.
The realities of life is of course that for every person who succeeds to become rich and/or famous, there are many, many who fail. The mass shootings usually take place in schools, universities and work places. These are often the places where dreams are crushed. Having failed to reach the goal of becoming rich or famous, the perpetrators seek to take revenge on society or the kind of people who stood in their way or whatever, and at the same time at least attain infamy, which after all can be seen as a kind of fame.

Does this explain a lot of the mass shootings?
 
Another feature that puts the US apart from most other countries is that its population was built mostly on immigration. This tends to make for a more risk-taking society, with many different cultures.
 
This is a society which glorifies the gun, in everything from popular culture to those who put the outdated interpretation of the Second Amendment on equal footing (actually, many give it the highest priority) with every other right under the Constitution.
 
Another feature that puts the US apart from most other countries is that its population was built mostly on immigration. This tends to make for a more risk-taking society, with many different cultures.

Well so is NZ built on immigration , we have had one mass shooting here (14 dead) about 25 years ago , thankfully , the government of the day knee camped the ownership of certain guns and introduced a bunch of workable laws .
I would dread to think of the carnage that would be out there if we had the same gun ownership laws as the usofa .So I would say a lot of the problems in the usofa might stem from some of your gun laws .
 
The United States has a lot of guns and a lot of gun-related deaths, but there's no connection there. You would be a fool and a communist to make one. #ParaphrasingBillHicks
 
A high number of guns and gun owners, and guns are relatively easily accessible.

Call me simplistic, but this is the main difference to most other First-World countries with comparable emphasis on fame, "social climbing", availability of "violent video games" and whatever other reason is normally cited.

But then, it likely really is that simple....
 
I read there have been 45 school shootings in America in 2015, fairly staggering.

Yes Moll.

BUT ... you have to compare this to the number of fatal shootings that could be avoided because an armed citizen was there, and could apprehend or kill the would-be attacker ... as further proof that armed citizens are needed by society.

That number would be ... hmm, well, actually, it is .... ZERO.

(Somehow, that argument sounds less convincing than when the NRA typically makes it)

For more pro-gun arguments and their evaluation, have a look here... 10 Pro-Gun Myths, Shot Down


Sorry, but the guy started to lose me when he claimed that "Canada is notably similar in that there are a lot of guns, but not much gun violence compared to the U.S.". According to statistics, the number of handguns per capita is three times as high in the US as in Canada, and in Canada, licenses are required. So, not very similar, in my book (which would give an indication for possible reasons why there is a lower amount of gun violence, in my opinion).

Also, his claim >> As always, extreme viewpoints are suspect- "Guns are the problem" is just as extreme as "I should be able to openly carry an assault rifle into a department store." << does sound a bit off to most Non-Americans...
 
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Yes, I've seen that before, including the graph.

ownership-death630_zps4wzzjsjo.png

The debates I read were on one forum with mainly British people and one with mainly American people and you can imagine how much they differed.

I find the attitude some Americans have to guns quite baffling. I saw a BBC interview with Obama and he said that it was his biggest regret that he was unable to strengthen gun-safety laws in America.
 
There are something like 300 million guns registered to US citizens. What does anyone think can be done about this? Magically making them disappear isn't going to work, and the bad guys would not comply with new laws.
 
There are something like 300 million guns registered to US citizens. What does anyone think can be done about this? Magically making them disappear isn't going to work, and the bad guys would not comply with new laws.
So-called good guys with guns aren't stopping bad guys with guns from shooting a bunch of people. If we got rid of all the guns there would less mass shootings over time. The United States is the only developed country with a mass-shooting problem. Guns are only part of it, though. It's also no coincidence that these shooters are largely young, white and male.
 
So-called good guys with guns aren't stopping bad guys with guns from shooting a bunch of people. If we got rid of all the guns there would less mass shootings over time. The United States is the only developed country with a mass-shooting problem. Guns are only part of it, though. It's also no coincidence that these shooters are largely young, white and male.
How do we get rid of 300 million guns?
 
How do we get rid of 300 million guns?
It's a valid question. I would think both carrot and stick approaches would be required. In other countries with too many illegal guns floating around, the authorities have held "gun amnesty" events where illegal guns could be turned in to the nearest police station without any questions asked or legal repercussions. Sometimes there would even be a small reward for turning in a gun at these events. As for the stick approach, there could be longer sentences for gun violations.

Another way is by influencing attitudes. Ordinary people acquire guns because they feel unsafe. The media has a responsibility to report accurately on crime, and not write sensationalist crap to get more viewers / readers. I'm not sure how authorities can regulate this though.

It's probably not be the best approach to make all privately owned hand guns illegal over night, either. It would be better to tighten/update existing legislation, at first. Get rid of loopholes. Have a goal of getting all guns registered in a national database. Ban assault rifles, automatic weapons.
 
So which of the links are true? They seem to contradict each other. :(
 
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So which of the links are true? They seem to contradict each other. :(
Which one seems more trustworthy? The one at Crime Prevention Research Center triggers some warning lights, like lack of article author, although from the comments underneath it appears to be authored by one John Lott. There is also blatant anti-regulation imagery, and book recommendations in the sidebar for apparent anti-gun regulation books, several authored by Lott. The 'about' page for the site makes it clear that they have their minds made up. Such blatant bias isn't compatible with actual science.

Looking up John Lott on Wikipedia is revealing too, and does not add to the CPRC article's credibility, either.