Another weekend - more mass shootings

Discussion in 'World Events' started by wegs, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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  3. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    The US gun lobby just shrugs its shoulders too, so how could you as a foreigner be expected to care more than they do?
     
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Yet the mass shootings continue oh dumb one.

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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Here is a sad tale, among other things, about mod drama.

    Almost a decade ago, in response to a demonstration covered in the news, someone wrote a post, and it was really easy to perceive all sorts of problems in it. In fact, it was really easy to describe the problems. For instance, describing Hispanics as an invading army.

    But it was a moderator, so it's not the kind of thing we were handing out flags to each other for. However, in addition, it turns out it was a bad idea to explain the problem to him. The moderator deleted an opposing post, inventing a new rule never-again explicitly invoked, that it was unfair to accuse racism. They way it functioned was that he should be able to badmouth any ethnic group he wanted, but if anyone suggested that was somehow racist, they were attacking him personally without cause or evidence, and personal attacks without cause or evidence are prohibited. Though we never invoked the rule explicitly again, or wrote it into the actual rules, it is, in fact, still kind of in effect: We are supposed to go easy on certain prejudice.

    Mod drama is mod drama, but here's the thing: Not long ago, we witnessed the President of the United States pushing the rhetoric about invading armies, and now it's turned up in the writings of the El Paso mass shooter.

    The point isn't to blame one moderator at a backwater website for the result.

    †​

    Once upon a time, this guy from another country tried to tell me something about what goes on in the U.S., and ordinarily that is what it is, but this part weirdly plays into it all.

    There is a lot that goes into it, including whiffs of supremacism, but it happened that one day this guy from another country was mad at a someone else from another country, but here's a difference: That other had lived in the U.S.

    It's important because in what the one held against the other, the other happened to be correct. But there was a whiff of prejudice involved, so when someone else complained the other was being anti-American, the one echoed the complaint. I told the one, as an American, that the other, who had lived here, was actually asking a question going on in the American discourse. As you might expect for the fact of the story even being told, that didn't really matter to the one, who proceeded to tell me what was up in these United States.

    And it's funny, sure, but it has consequences. He treated that other like shit, and to this day seems to have no idea what he did wrong; taken at face value, serious questions arise.

    Because it is true; I've known him a long time, and this turns out to be recurring behavior with identifiable themes.

    The manner in which he whoopsies is laughable, but it's a bitter dose. The occasion I'm describing was a minor episode; I only remember it because it's associated with something else that happened not long after. Still, the complaint he was enforcing was an American partisan talking point.

    And in a way, big deal, stuff happens, and all that. But it is recurring and thematic.

    Like a couple months later, when the one went after the other again, one effect of his campaign was enforcing a partisan talking point. And let's be clear: We need to rewrite the rules of the English language, somehow, in order meet him on that one.

    If it was just left to his opinion, that would be one thing, but how we see the world can affect other people and things.

    Consider that approximately the time when a particular bigot is at a peak of infamy, drawing headlines for the damage he did to himself and others, my associate apparently knows the notorious celebrity better than the white supremacist and nationalist knows himself. And this guy was, as always, so blithely clueless about it. This guy from abroad who knows American society and Americans better than they know themselves, and, whoopsie, he just (ahem!) accidentally tanked according to thematically consistent traditional partisan expectation. And, sure, by this point in my relationship with this one, it's not really surprising. But when he puts on his pretense of surprise and offense at the implications of his behavior, well, that's the thing; he still expects people to pretend otherwise. And he's hardly the only example in the world, but in those moments, vis à vis his pretense, the abiding question remains, "Could you please fail to behave as if you were?"

    Because there was a time when his political pretense slipped, and when he finally broke habit and actually told me what was wrong, it was a blatantly partisan, potsherd screed that wasn't surprising for its orientation. Even still, he wants to be seen by others as something else.

    Within that moment of dispute, he did it again, invoking a radio program, and the thing is that in its history, I couldn't find an episode precisely matching his description; to the other, it wasn't that tough, as the most recent consideration had all the basic elements of issue and setting and at least one of the players, but nothing else about what he seemed to be saying matched the rest of the story. This also isn't exactly unfamiliar°. Nonetheless, if this is the American radio program episode about this American iteration of an issue he referred to, then we might wonder what it is he thinks he knows about Americans.

    And even now, as I puzzle over that bit, which was, of course, thematically consistent, it only gets worse, in away, because, oh, yeah, there's that. Another occasion, before that, when his pretense slipped. And it's true, I've never really known what to say about the time he explicitly threw a trumpfan argument at me.

    †​

    Okay, so, real quick: There is an argument we've all heard, both online and in living encounter, about everyone who disagrees with you. It's a catch-all desperate retort, like, "That's what you say to silence anyone who disagrees with you!" Did anyone catch the Senate Majority Leader dropping that one on the opposition a couple weeks ago?

    †​

    I can think back to youth, and it's not so much that one or another teacher at a particular school ever actively promoted the stuff, but they would certainly sit by and let students propagate white supremacism. And notions of the Thought Police, which wasn't really about thought, but, rather, empowerment to act. And no matter how naked the supremacism, we weren't supposed to call it that. By the time we hear about fallacious projections of paternalism and condescension justifying why Trump was elected, it's just another name for the same rancid pabulum.

    †​

    Now that we've seen this happen in diverse iterations, the connection between the rhetoric and the violence is this: While we were all supposed to go easy on them, somehow, whether at Sciforums or in daily life, because, you know, refusing to normalize racism and sexual harassment is apparently an important reason Trump was elected, because refusing to normalize bigotry only normalizes bigotry, or some such, it never was about the thought police, and it never really was about free speech. Society has still failed to accommodate them, to give them what they want in living practice.

    And the whole time, there has been a persistent expectation that these attitudes were the one that needed special protection°°.

    Don't call it racism. Don't call it supremacism. Don't call it misogyny. Don't call it bigotry. It might hurt their feelings.

    Hey, the bigots they were shielding are shooting the place up, now.

    It isn't the moderator who once upon a time made a stupid argument. It isn't this one guy I know who has collapsed into unbelievability; hell, I've seen enough of that, lately. Rather, it's the effect of it all, that we should have shown these supremacist, bigoted outlooks such courtesy over the years.

    Did people think it was all talk? Who benefits from the equivocation that it's all just politics? It doesn't matter how much sensitivity we show the talk: They're killing people.

    Now probably is not an appropriate time to ask the individuals I've recalled if they're happy, now, having gotten what they wanted, but the question looms over the American discourse, at least.

    It's one thing to coddle inherent violence under a pretense of free speech, but we presently countenance a self-inflicted effect. This is what conservatives and traditionalists have been shielding and nurturing the whole time.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    ° It's hard to explain the occasion he missed the point of what I was telling him in order to give blithe, politically distinct praise to a controversial figure as if he was just discovering the fellow; the subsequent history of that infamous celebrity was devastatingly, even comedically, awful for the blithe praise and pretense of cluelessness. We should take the moment, though, to note, the infamous public figure is not American, but it's also true there are countries other than the United States affected by what I'm describing, and, yes, that celebrity's nation would be one of them. Additionally, when associated behavior rippled through Sciforums shortly after the notorious celeb got major news coverage, we were dealing with an ostensibly American iteration. The connection 'twixt these episodes is the pretense of ignorance and its thematic results. Here's a possibly obscure description: In my television market, we would describe my associate as a model Sinclair news viewer, but most Americans don't even think about their local markets that way. Similarly, as I told him on that occasion, the attitudes he showed when his pretense slipped would find sympathy in these United States, and again, even as a whoopsie, the political range he landed in was thematically consistent.

    °° There are reasons the right wing has been so obsessed with "triggering" "snowflake" "SJWs".
     
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    So your claim is that if there were a mass shooting of GOP congressmen, something would get done? Just to be clear.
     
  9. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/04/us/politics/gun-control-laws-mass-shootings.html
    extract:
    "Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader, called the attacks this weekend “horrifying” in a Twitter post, but said nothing about legislation."

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...s-what-congress-doing-gun-control/1916451001/

    "This is the gun control legislation Mitch McConnell won't allow senators to vote on"

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/after-...or-gun-laws-blame-trumps-rhetoric-11564933379
    "Broad support exists for stricter laws on firearm sales. A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken in February showed 69% of Americans—including 85% of Democrats and 57% of Republicans—wanted strong or moderate restrictions on firearms, and 55% said they favored policies making it harder to own a gun".


    My suggestion is that if such horrific mass shootings had taken place closer to home and perhaps involving US senators, they may then see the need to get of their big fat hairy arse and take some action. Is that clear enough?
     
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    https://www.gq.com/story/americas-mass-shooting-republican-rule

    "That legislation has been held up in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has not brought them to the floor for a vote. It is not merely a problem of obstructionism at the federal level either. Nine of the ten states with the highest gun-death rates—Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and West Virginia—have both Republican-controlled state legislatures and weak gun laws. So it is not, as Frum asserts, that “Americans express befuddlement, and compete to devise ever more far-fetched answers.” It is largely a Republican determination to do so.

    In the wake of the latest mass shootings, Republicans rallied around anything-but-gun-control talking points. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California blamed video games in a Sunday morning appearance on Fox News. "The idea that these video games that dehumanize individuals to have a game of shooting individuals," McCarthy said. "I've always felt that it's a problem for future generations and others.” Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick also pointed at video games, as well as a lack of prayer in schools and saluting the flag, in an appearance on Fox & Friends."
    FFS!!
     
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    16,487
    Given that it did - I think you may have a hole in your theory.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017_Congressional_baseball_shooting
     
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  12. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Yes it certainly does. Amazing that this American obsession with guns is so apparently set in concrete...Because of something written into their constitution way back around the 1700's?
    That incident as far as I am aware, made little in the way of headlines in my country and hence my ignorance of it. Again, sadly, amazing! Would it have been different if one of the senators was killed? I don't know.
    Thanks for that revelation.
     
  13. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/41483003
    "Let me make a simple promise," Mr Trump said in April 2017. "I will never, ever infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms."

    So people right across America cannot agree about what should happen - and it doesn't look like they are going to agree any time soon".
     
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    They are in general agreement about what should happen - 80 - 90 % poll agreements on some of the basics.

    Some have been deflected into focusing on who should be allowed to do it - Feds? Towns? States? Dems? Reps? - and fighting "Big Government", and defending America from liberals, and so forth.

    The Civil War would be the touchstone, not the Revolutionary.
    A significant detail: the "guns" now involved were essentially invented in the US, at a critical time in US history - "God made some men big and other men little. Samuel Colt made them all the same size"
    Bil Gilbert includes an interesting digression into the influence of the revolver (in particular) on American social behavior, in his biography of Joseph Walker: "Westering Man". He notes that Walker (the preeminent frontiersman of the westward expansion from the Colonies) lived and worked before the invention and spread of the practical handgun, which made a big difference - people like Walker couldn't have had the influence they did.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, I recognise that fact, [the quote was from an article] which is why I raised the point that if one of these mass shootings happened closer to home of the lawmakers, it may wake them up. Although after billvon's example, even that may prove difficult.
     
  16. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    I don’t own a gun, have never even held one. They scare me, personally. But, I’m not against responsible gun ownership, it seems that the laws need to be tightened around guns falling into the wrong hands, which means thorough background checks and banning certain types of guns, completely.

    Gun ownership should be a privilege (not even sure that’s the appropriate word) not a right, imo.

    That said, the motives of some of these mass shootings seem to be surrounding racial and ethnic prejudices, that are encouraged by Trump’s administration. Trump gave a speech today condemning white supremacy and hate speech, but we all know that he slips in hate talk all the time into his public speeches.

    So, it goes beyond gun laws when you have a President who talks out of both sides of his mouth, as they say.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    The US has seen decades of such shootings right next to the homes of lawmakers.

    The lawmakers also agree on what should be done, in general. Everyone essentially agrees on what should be done, or at least major features of that. That's not the problem.
     
  18. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Most Australians would be the same. The only gun I have ever held was in the school army cadets with a .303 Enfield rifle.
    The only gun ownership in Australia is after licensing for such a weapon, registration of the weapon, and background checks and showing the absolute need to own one. eg...farmers, .
    Anything automatic is a no no as far as I am aware.
     
  19. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    What is the problem then? The powerful NRA?
     
  20. wegs With brave wings, she flies . . . Valued Senior Member

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    @ paddoboy - the NRA is powerful but, American culture celebrates violence, in films, gaming, sports, etc

    I think it’s become woven into the fabric of American society - a celebration of violence, sadly. Not all of us Americans celebrate it but a good many do, and when you have a President who does, it’s not as easy as it seems to change laws. Minds and hearts have to be changed, first.
     
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  21. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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  22. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    People just need to admit that they can not self regulate and require the collective will (law) to do it for them.
     
  23. Seattle Valued Senior Member

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    Automatic weapons are illegal here as well.
     

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