Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Senseless Killings are Nothing New

I made a blunder Sunday in my post entitled Integrity is Destiny . I still believe the Heraclitus quote applies, to the individual and the society. What we voluntarily allow into our consciousness affects us, negatively or positively. My mistake was paraphrasing Denver talk show legend Peter Boyles and agreeing with his observation  (which he corrected on Monday) that we didn’t have this kind of random violence 40 years ago. He is a student of history, but he was speaking off the cuff the morning after the shooting.

Steve went ballistic and called me a lying liar who lies and lies, blustering at me at two different blogs. OK, so I didn’t have data to back up my agreement, and anyway, it was a post more about ruminating on what had happened and why. I readily admitted I had no answers, but Steve just huffed and puffed all the louder.

Then Finntann stepped in and set me straight, as he is wont to do.  The murder rate has gone down over the past 40 years, and rampage killings have remained flat.  A glance at Wikipedia's list of rampage killers reveals that it is not a recent phenomena and the US does not have the market cornered.

 It was a stinging rebuke, but he did it with facts and without the name-calling. So without further ado, here is a repeat of what Finntann said:

@"Murder rates are worse now that 40 years ago, and we are now seeing more random killings."

Per 100,000

In 2010 the US Murder Rate 4.8

Forty years ago in 1972 it was 9.0

There were 14,748 murders in 2010 in a population of 308 million.

In 1972 there were 18,670 murders in a population of 208 million.

So much for that theory.

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl01.xls
http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

They are called Rampage Killers and they are sprinkled throughout history.

In 1875 Alexander Keith killed 83 and wounded 200 with a bomb on a dock in Bremerhaven Germany.

In 1887 an unidentified assailant shot and killed 11 people and then committed suicide in Karachi Pakistan (then India).

In 1903 Gilbert Twigg killed 9 and wounded 25 in Kansas.

In 1913 Ernt Wagner killed 14 and wounded 11. He killed his wife and four children in Degerloch Germany, drove to Muhlhausan an der Enz and shot 20 people, nine of whom died.

In 1915 Monroe Phillips killed 7 and wounded 32 in Brunswick Georgia.

In 1927 Andrew Kehoe killed 44 and wounded 58 in the Bath Consolidated Schoolhouse in Michigan.

In 1938 Mutsuo Toi killed 30 and wounded 3 in Kaio Japan, starting with his grandmother who he beheaded with an axe. The rest of the victims succumbed to shotgun, axe, and sword.

In 1949 Howard Unruh killed 13 and wounded 3 in Camden, NJ.

In 1954 William Unek killed 21 people with an axe in the Belgian Congo and fled. Three years later in 1957 he killed 36 in Tanzania.

In 1958 an unknown arsonist killed 95 and wounded 100 in the Our Lady of the Angels school fire.

I've left off mob action as well as "Mob" action, political, terrorist, and military attacks, as well as more recent events.

There is a term "running amok" in which amok or amuk comes from the Malay language meaning "mad with uncontrollable rage". The Malay believed that it was caused by an evil tiger spirit entering one's body.

"It would be misleading to suggest that there was some long-term upward trend in mass shootings since 1976," said Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University. "The exact number are highly unstable, but ignoring small, year-to-year fluctuations, there was no trend one way or the other from 1976 to 2009. Further, if these figures were computed on a per-capita basis, taking into account population increases, the long-term trend in the rate would be downward."

• 1976-1980: 20.6 incidents annually
• 1981-1985: 16.8
• 1986-1990: 18.2
• 1991-1995: 23.0
• 1996-2000: 20.0
• 2001-2005: 21.0
• 2006-2009: 25.5

(Source:  (Politifact)

Digital rags like Hufpo make broad sweeping statements like "Mass Murder Up, Even While Gun Violence Down" and use the following statistics:
"the total number of people dying in attacks that claimed four or more victims has climbed from an average of 161 a year in the 1980s to 163 between 2006 and 2008, according to FBI statistics."
""The Dark Knight Rises" Friday underscored a chilling trend: While gun violence has plummeted over the decades, mass murder has increased slightly."
Yeah, and the population climbed from 226 million to 308 million.

DO THE MATH

In 1980 the rate was .07 per 100,000 and in 2012 the rate was .05

If anything, it is statistically flat remaining at 20 per year for decades, and the article acknowledges that... which you couldn't tell from their headline.

Face it, no matter what we do, a small percentage of us will remain Bat-Shit Crazy.

And don't let the fact get in the way of your headlines.

Cheers!

See also:
The Decline of Violence
Assigning Blame for Aurora

56 comments:

jez said...

"Face it, no matter what we do, a small percentage of us will remain Bat-Shit Crazy."

I think this is true. Some incidence of mental illness is a fact of life.

Maybe we could reduce the incidence by not living in cities. I like cities, but I suspect that measure might work. Would it be worth forgoing the advantages? What kind of trade-off is worth making?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Senseless killings are nothing new, so let's ignore them, and say they're just part of life? And there's nothing to be done about it?

FreeThinke said...

We really don't need statistics to tell us two age old truths endemic to earthly life in general and the human condition in particular:

1. "There is nothing new under the sun."

2. "The more things change, the more they remain the same."


Despite all protestations to the contrary, there must be something about murderous violence and barbaric acts of cruelty we find alluring, or they wouldn't fill the pages of newspapers and fiction [Haven't the two become largely synonymous in recent years? ;-] and make up such a huge proportion of the content of movies and television.


Finntann, of course, is apt to jump all over me for advocating censorship, but I really do think the less we permit ourselves to dwell on stories and images of violence and mindless, twisted, degenerate, out-of-control behavior the less it would be apt to permeate and dominate the public consciousness.

Alexander Pope, possibly the greatest or certainly the most facile creator of rhymes who ever lived, wrote:

"Vice is a creature of such fearful mien
As to be hated should scarcely be seen.
Yet seen too oft -- familiar with her face --
First we endure -- then pity -- then embrace."


Truer words have never been recorded.

Our earliest and greatest source of tales exemplifying, justifying and positively extolling violence and brutality is, of course, The Pentateuch.

The recent article at FreeThinke's blog entitled It's the BELLIGERENCE, Stupid! is an attempt to provide graphic historical evidence that Holy Writ has been used almost continually to inspire and provide official sanction for continuing barbarous practices indulged in by human beings since time immemorial.

The hideous irony there being that organized Christianity, itself, by lapsing into ancient practices of establishing and maintaining Law and Order very quickly became the absolute antithesis of Christ's Purpose.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

My dear, Ms. Shaw,

The less we focus on atrocity, the less we're apt to see of it.

We could no more legislate these occasional outbursts of homicidal mania out of existence than we have been able to outlaw the existence and the spread of cancer and other virulent diseases.

~ FreeThinke

KP said...

The patient (killer) needs treatment before he/she is a mass muderer. Just as the parent who abuses his/her child with intimidation, violence, sex, drugs or alcohol, but stops short of killing them needs to be dealt with. The gun is seldom the first choice of the unhinged. Slow, emotional torture seems to be more common. It looks like guns are a last resort; when mass attention or their own death is a motive.

Always On Watch said...

Silverfiddle,
Glad to see that you updated this information. As you can tell from my post today, I've been on a different approach to the Aurora Massacre.

I also call your attention to the Sawney Bean Clan. There is some dispute about the veracity, but I tend to believe that something horrific DID indeed happen.

Always On Watch said...

PS: Also see some of the outgoing links at the Wiki article that I mentioned above.

Always On Watch said...

Back again.

I just read the link at the end of your post. EVERYONE SHOULD CHECK THAT OUT!

Silverfiddle said...

Shaw: It's not that we should do nothing, but rather we should what's effective and appropriate.

I don't have any answers. Mental illness and unemployment seem to be common factors.

Jack Camwell said...

Shaw you simply don't understand. Actually, it's probably more that you don't WANT to understand.

It's not that we don't want to do anything about it all, it's that we realize that NOTHING can be done to stop the madness.

All of your efforts, everything you're calling for to keep the crazies at bay, all of it is completely futile.

All you can do is hope that they're not coming for you. And that's why I say you probably just don't want to understand: because you'd rather lull yourself into a sense of safety by feeling like society can somehow control it.

It's not so comfortable to feel like you're powerless to stop someone from taking your life and the lives of others.

Shaw Kenawe said...

"All you can do is hope that they're not coming for you. And that's why I say you probably just don't want to understand: because you'd rather lull yourself into a sense of safety by feeling like society can somehow control it.

It's not so comfortable to feel like you're powerless to stop someone from taking your life and the lives of others."

Well, yes, Jack, because I live in the "greatest country in the world," I somehow got the feeling that I could live my life and see my children live their lives without feeling paranoid about crazed gun nuts shooting us in schools, churches, malls, theme parks, and theaters.

How silly of me.

BTW, my relatives in Italy habor no such fears or concerns. Nor do family in France and Britain.

But they're just not living in the real world--the American real world, where we must accept that madmen with automatic weapons and massive ammo clips are part of the American dream.

The fact that YOU are willing to accept that like a helpless lamb and accept that there's absolutely nothing to be done about it tells me more about what you don't understand.

Jack Camwell said...

60 years ago, Germany was the most violent and horrifying place on the planet. Only 25 years ago, that honor belonged to the Soviet Union.

I'm no helpless lamb. I don't sit in my home cowering. And do you know why I'm not afraid? Because at any moment I can go buy a gun to protect myself and my family against the crazies. But some fools want to deny me that right. Some idiots want to restrict me to hand guns while the crazies are carrying automatics that they obtained illegally.

Let me ask you this Shaw. If you think the "law" works so wondefully, then why didn't the law prevent James Holmes from murdering all of those people? Murder is against the law, isn't it?

What you fail to udnerstand is that the law does two things: it keeps the sane and rational people from doing harm, and it punishes those who decide to do harm anyway.

It doesn't keep the crazies from blowing up federal buildings, or making mail bombs. It doesn't keep two angry teenagers from shooting up a school. It doesn't keep dictatorial governments from mustard gassing its own people.

I want a country in which my children and I can live in relative peace and safety. But at the same time I realize that's just a dream that will never be realized by passing laws. Passing more laws just means that more laws will be broken.

At this point we're not talking about keeping society from falling into anarchy. We're not dealing with how to maintain order. We're dealing with the question of how do we stop these psychopaths from causing such devastating harm.

We're talking about the fringe, the people who operate outside the notions of law, and statute, and regulation.

When you figure that out, you'll see how truly hopeless everything is. It's only when you finally see that hopelessness that you can build a true hope that is based on a sober account of reality.

You're living in Candy Land. I'm living on planet earth in the year 2012. That's the difference between you and me. That's the difference between what you and I understand.

conservativesonfire said...

When evil manafest its self in a psychopathic mental diorder, that evil willl act out in spite of anything man could possibly design to stop it from happening.

Z said...

The French have had killings..just last year a Jewish school was attacked by a shooter.
I lived there and have heard of more but, as here, people go on with their lives knowing this craziness isn't representative of all people.

Thanks for this post, SF. Very interesting.

FreeThinke said...

In reference to the Legend of Sawney Beane linked by AOW:

"... The clan was captured alive and taken in chains to the Tolbooth Jail in Edinburgh, then transferred to Leith or Glasgow where they were promptly executed without trial; the men had their genitalia cut off, hands and feet severed and were allowed to bleed to death; the women and children, after watching the men die, were burned alive. ,,,"


Didn't Jesus Christ specifically tell us NOT to "render evil in return for evil" -- or words to that effect?

Again and again I see references popping up all over the place that correlate perfectly with It's the BELLIGERENCE, Stupid! found at


http://freethinkesblog.blogspot.com/?zx=da63e836789862c5


Please take a look at it. SEVENTY-SIX responses so far. It's a HUGE topic, so more opinions are deserved and would be very much welcome. Come speak your piece freely without fear or favor on the idea that innately vicious, barbaric acts of torture and murder are appropriate forms of punishment for even the most heinous crimes imaginable.

Remember too -- and never ever forget -- that "VENGEANCE belongs to GOD."

That said, I still believe in SUMMARY JUSTICE for perpetrators of violent acts when caught red-handed. There could be nothing kinder for all concerned than a quick bullet directly to the head of violent offenders caught on the rampage.

In a properly administered society such persons would be considered to have forfeited ALL their rights.


~ FreeThinke

LSP said...

Interesting stats; trads tend to forget that violent crime is decreasing. But perhaps we shouldn't be surprised, given that some 7% of the U.S. population is either behind bars or in some kind of "correctional supervision," as of 2009.

Far be it from me to be "soft on crime" but there seems to be something wrong with this picture.

Surely no one's making money out of it? I mean, they wouldn't be, would they?

FreeThinke said...

"... I somehow got the feeling that I could live my life and see my children live their lives without feeling paranoid about crazed gun nuts shooting us in schools, churches, malls, theme parks, and theaters. ..."


Well, Ms. Shaw, at least you admit to paranoia. That's a big step in the right direction (brilliant pun fully intended! ;-)


Why anyone would feel any safer in Europe than they do here is beyond my feeble powers of comprehension.


Wherever you find humanity the potential for irrational violence is ever-present.


I agree with hose who believe it's better for decent, law-abiding, peace-loving citizens to be armed so they have the power to CUT DOWN perpetrators of heinous atrocities as soon as possible to minimize the harm. Wouldn't that be far better than being forced by Government Edict always to be a SITTING DUCKY -- a helpless target for any homicidal maniac to kill at will?


Even if we DID manage to get rid of all the guns, the same unhinged psychopaths would slash at us with knives, set off explosive devices or toss hissing cannisters of poison gas into public places or introduce it into the "climate-control" systems of public buildings.


Think of the SUICIDE BOMBERS.


Fortunately paranoia is unjustified, because the chances of something like this happening of any one of us are slim to none.


It's all MEDIA-GENERATED, over-hyped HYSTERIA.

I'd rather ban ROCK 'n ROLL than automatic weapons. It has been and remains a TRULY deadly influence. -- And no I m NOT joking this time.


~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

LSP: Locking up the violent people should logically lower the level of violence.

The deeper question is, why are we such a violent society?

Z said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z said...

FT...people feel somewhat safer in Europe because on any given day, if you're walking down a Paris main street and it's a sunny day, you can see the glimmer of a police/army rifle on a roof top (their police is associated with the military, by the way). They're 'not there' but they are definitely there.
I have also seen cops walking the Champs Elysee who'll come up to a guitar player sitting on the sidewalk playing with people around him who has a closed guitar case and kick the case indicating the cop would like to see inside.
They can also stop a car and search it if they have any reason to believe it looks like trouble.

SOme will think that's a terrible assault on our freedoms. It's a mindset, I guess; there, they feel safer.

A very funny story a French cop once told me was that he and other cops had gone to an apartment because there was a dispute and they pounded on the door. Inside, they heard "you don't have a warrant" They yelled to the occupant "This isn't an American 'crimi' (criminal show), open the door" :-)

Shaw Kenawe said...

FT: "I'd rather ban ROCK 'n ROLL than automatic weapons. It has been and remains a TRULY deadly influence. -- And no I m NOT joking this time."

This is what is known as "Jumping the Shark."

But why stop at Rock and Roll? What about banning war movies? And stories about wars should never, ever be read--all the way back to Homer. Think of the ideas they plant in impressionable minds!

And songs! Bombs bursting in air, indeed! Imagine what a crazy mind could do with that image!

And what about that creep, Shakespeare. How dare he fill our young people's minds with the evil that men do!?

Ban the bugger!

Jersey McJones said...

What bothers me most about this usual right wing dismissive reaction to an incident like this which to call it "evil" or "senseless," conferring that there's simply nothing that can be done to avoid this incidents.

There is a simple rule of nature that always applies to anything that happens - it happens for a reason. That reason may seem crazy, or evil, or senseless, especially to conservatives, who tend to think more intuitively than liberals, who think more analytically.

I want to know why this guy did this, and how he got away with doing it. Dismissing this as "crazy" or "evil" or "senseless" is USELESS and STUPID.

JMJ

Ducky's here said...

So let's all join the clan of the efficacy of the gun.

Let's not pretend the clan membership extends to our aggressive foreign policy either.

Shoot up a village with drones.
Shoot up a theater.
Let the Anaheim police shoot down the unarmed and sic dogs on folks trying to protect their children.

It's all good. The clan must continue.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Z, you relate those stories as though similar things don't happen here.

They do. And they're reported in the news every day.

I remember years ago--in the mid 70s being stopped by cops in my little fishing village on the Cape. Why? Because there was a campaign to stop drunk drivers. My family and I were coming back from dinner--3 children in the back seat. We stopped at the police blockade, as directed by the state police. They shined a light in the back seat, then asked my husband where we had been and where we were going.

That was in 1975 or 1976, I can't remember exactly.


That was clearly against our Constitution--no probable cause for the police to stop us, but try explaining that to armed state police. And this happened in "liberal" Massachusetts. Not France.

We've also all read about the horror stories of police banging on the wrong door looking for criminals, not stopping to heed the people telling them they have the wrong house, and, in some cases, killing innocent people.

That happens here as well.

Ducky's here said...

I have also seen cops walking the Champs Elysee who'll come up to a guitar player sitting on the sidewalk playing with people around him who has a closed guitar case and kick the case indicating the cop would like to see inside.

----------
That's it? You've never been stopped walking home and been slammed against the squad car after you refuse to show the cops ID and ask for probable cause?

Man, you live in one seriously sheltered world, z.

Darth Bacon said...

If the police in Mass. Are so bad, why don't you ask your buddie Obama to bring in the Gastapo ?

Bob said...

SF, You are right. There will always be those that are batshit crazy. That's why more gun laws will be ineffective. and are ineffective in countries with strict gun control.

We need to dedicate resources to figuring out why people do these things, and then we need to profile kids in our schools to try to find them early.

Liberalmann said...

Clip from HBO's Newsroom a few weeks ago. The show is fictitious but the facts aren't:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47TE9YKAFWI

FreeThinke said...

Thank you for the explanation, Z. I did know that Britain has very probably more surveillance cameras -- and who knows what other kinds of monitoring devices -- per square block than any place here in the United States, but we appear to be catching up very fast.


Personally, I don't like it. I draw inspiration from the following:


"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."

~ Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

"They that can give up essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

~ Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)


This nation was founded on the peculiar notion that liberty is more important than all other considerations -- particularly safety.


Of course, in the eighteenth century men of learning and advanced understanding never imagined the vast harm mass communication via radio, television and the internet could do once control of these resources got into the "wrong" hands.


I also don't believe for a nanosecond that they foresaw a multicultural approach. Jefferson and Franklin certainly were sophisticated men of the world both brilliant, well-travelled and extremely well read, but I doubt if they even dreamt that their ideas of "equality" would someday be taken to mean that primitive savages, ignorant peasants, ruffians, uncouth louts and barbarians would expect and demand to be treated with the same level of respect as those stronger intellectually, better informed, more refined and gifted with a broader view of life and its philosophical implications.


The Athenians were essentially the same way. During The Golden Age of Perlicles, they practiced democracy and egalitarianism -- but only among the upper classes.


Our Founders, I think, wanted everyone to have an equal chance at developing innate talents and ambition to the fullest, but I doubt very very much if they believed that ALL citizens ought to live in a house equal to The Governor's Palace in Williamsburg, Stratford Hall, Mt. Vernon, Monticello, Montpelier, and the James River Plantations, the great houses in Charleston, S.C., et al.

And I CERTAINLY don’t believe those men of high status and higher quality would ever have imagined that it was somehow morally wrong for anyone to own and enjoy such houses just because “everyone” didn’t -- and couldn’t -- have a place of similar quality.


FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

Ms. Shaw,

You've touched upon a tantalizing subject near and dear to my heart -- that of THE DEVELOPMENT of STANDARDS -- i.e. The Recognition and Development of Discriminating Tastes in Culture as well as Conduct.

When it comes to The Nude Portrayed in Art, how do we define the difference between Art and Pornography? Between the Venus de Milo and The Nude who paraded down Duchamp's staircase?

The cliché runs true even today. No one has -- as yet -- discovered a satisfactory legal definition of pornography, but everyone knows it when they see it.

And then how do we tell the difference between Art and Kitsch?

How do we learn to know the difference between good taste and bad? And then to understand examples of each from all the various historical periods?

The difference between politeness and hypocrisy?

The difference between freedom and self-indulgence?

The differences found among beauty, prettiness, comeliness, and sexual allure?

The differences between enthusiasm, serious interest and fanaticism.

A VERY BROAD FIELD -- and one well worth examining in this fractious, demented age of "Anything Goes," I should think.

Cheerio!

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

Ducky,

Why would you NOT show a Uniformed Officer of the Law your ID, if he asked for it?

That's simply BEGGING for trouble on BENDED KNEE.

One must be practical in ANY society.

I'm anti-Authoritarian, myself, BIG TIME, but at the same time I have enough common sense not to wave the proverbial red flag in front of a bull, ya know what I mean?

Going around challenging Authority simply for the SAKE of challenging Authority is no going to get you anything but grief.

A snotty, belligerent, calculatedly disrespectful attitude frankly demands -- and DESERVES -- a slap in the face.

~ FreeThinke

FreeThinke said...

And again, Ms Shaw,

I completely agree with you about the impropriety and unconstitutionality of Sobriety Check Points. I was horrified -- as I so often am -- at The Supreme Court when they upheld the right of government to indulge in this kind of quasi-Military-Dictorshit style of law enforcement.

Bit by bit our freedoms are being taken from us in the names of Fairness and Public Safety.

It ain't fittin' I tells ya. It jest ain't fittin.' ;-)

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

Ducky,

Why would you NOT show a Uniformed Officer of the Law your ID, if he asked for it?
----------------
Because I was simply walking home and I asked the pig what cause he had to stop me.

Why should I take a stop because he's having a tough day? We let these petty martinets get away with crap all the time.

Ducky's here said...

I was horrified -- as I so often am -- at The Supreme Court when they upheld the right of government to indulge in this kind of quasi-Military-Dictorshit style of law enforcement.
------------
Hypocrite.

But when I stand up to one of these creeps instead of writing while I sip my drink on the veranda, well that's different.

If you are paying attention, the cops are increasingly becoming militarized, seeing themselves as an imperial guard and indulging in this culture of violence.

Ducky's here said...

... you must think NYC's "stop and frisk" law is a perfectly just way for Emperor Bloomberg to deploy his self described private army.

After all, folks like yourself and z would never even dress in a way that looks out of the norm. Buy a vowel.

FreeThinke said...

Just for Canardo's benefit I will reiterate:


Going around challenging Authority simply for the SAKE of challenging Authority is not going to get you anything but grief.


A snotty, belligerent, calculatedly disrespectful attitude frankly demands -- and DESERVES -- a slap in the face -- a kick n the shins -- and a knee in the groin
.


Ta ta, Truculento! Thine act is now beyond stale. Verily it reeketh of decay. ;-)

Cheerio!

~ FT

Silverfiddle said...

I tend to side with Ducky on this one, but FT's point is well taken.

Me against cop, and I'm going to lose. Better to show the ID and be on my way. I can then go bitch to my councilman and mayor.

I side with Ducky because the 4th Amendment is dead. When you can stop and frisk, or stop a law abiding driver and shine a light in his face hoping he's had a few drinks, or that maybe there's some contraband in the car... The 4th Amendment is dead.

And the police are way too damned militarized. The slightest incident now requires a swat team decked out spec ops. It's ridiculous.

Yes, I want the cops armed up better than the bad guys, but this crap is mostly posing, not real police work.

Z said...

Ft..just saying why they feel safe there.

Shaw, for pete's sake, my point is that it DOES HAPPEN OVERSEAS not that it doesn't HERE! ???

Finntann said...

FT, there is censorship, which I oppose, and there is journalistic integrity, which I wholeheartedly support.

We may very well be heading towards the former while we seem to have lost the latter. We no longer have 'news' we have infotainment.

Problem is... tragedy sells.

Jack, well said.

The point Shaw, is that you can ban guns entirely and you won't do a thing to stop rampage killings. On average, more people die from lightning strikes each year than mass murder, care to legislate that problem away?

Sure, you could pass a law that states no one is allowed outside from one hour before until one hour after a thunderstorm. Most, would not accept that limitation on their rights and freedom. Why should we accept a limitation on our constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms in an attempt to prevent the equivalent of sociopathic lightning?

We disagree, not because we are pro-mass murder, but because we believe your desire for 'gun control' is spitting in the wind. It won't accomplish your desired effect of eliminating mass murder/rampage killings.

@"BTW, my relatives in Italy habor no such fears or concerns. Nor do family in France and Britain."

Really? I don't understand why.

From the Wiki List of Rampage Killers, number of incidents by geographic region.:

Africa/Middle East 75
Americas 116
Asia 121
Europe 99
Oceana/Maritime SE Asia 139

It doesn't really appear to be an American phenomena, and the weapons used aren't limited to guns.

I disagree with some here on some measures we could take to possibly reduce the impact of events like this. For one, I have no problem with restrictions on ultra-high capacity magazines. They are ridiculous, and have little 'military utility' even from a DoD perspective. Too large, bulky, heavy, and prone to jam, for use in the field.

I used to live down on Cape Cod, I have no substantial objections to Firearm ID cards, I had an LTC-A while resident there nor do I object to the requirement that they be presented to purchase ammunition, as is required in Massachusetts.

How does Mass handle internet purchase of ammunition anyway?

Cheers!

Z said...

Ducky, it's my PEARLS I wear (remember "don't clutch at your PEARLS, Z"?)...I'm a punker inside but wearing a little nun's outfit with pearls puts the cops off :-)

viburnum said...

Finntann: " Why should we accept a limitation on our constitutionally guaranteed right to keep and bear arms in an attempt to prevent the equivalent of sociopathic lightning?"

Hear hear! While I can understand the urge behind the 'something must be done' reaction, I can't fathom how otherwise intelligent people can imagine that anything could effectively reduce the risk any more than Canute's famous decree that "the sea shall not encroach upon the land", held back the tide.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Even if you can never stop all wars, you still work for peace.

viburnum said...

True, and irrelevant to the topic at hand. The issues surrounding wars are generally visible, and possibly negotiable. The problem inside James Holmes head was from all reports, known to no one. Murderers don't look like murderers, they look like people.

Shaw Kenawe said...

viburnum,

The statement is in response to the idea that there's nothing anyone can do that will stop gun violence.

Finntann said...

Shaw, stopping gun violence is like stopping burglary, robbery, or any other crime, a noble aspiration but unachievable by legislation.

You might discourage it, but you won't stop it. Look at the laws regarding commission of a crime with a gun... add 5 years? Doesn't seem to work.

Perhaps a mandatory death sentence for anyone committing a crime with a gun, but I doubt liberals would take too kindly to that, I also doubt it would stop the commission of a crime with a gun.

The problem is social, cultural, and economic, in all likelihood it is also probably genetic. Not in the sense that some people get a violence gene, but in the broader sense that all of us are equipped with violence genes. It is manifest not only in humans but in apes and chimpanzees as well.

Even if you created Utopia, in which no one wanted for anything, I doubt you would have rid yourself of either crime or violence.

Here's an interesting article on violence among primates:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/books/chap1/demonicmales.htm/

Z said...

"Perhaps a mandatory death sentence for anyone committing a crime with a gun, but I doubt liberals would take too kindly to that"
man, that says it all...

Louis H. said...

So after stopping gun violence, we can demand government limit access to blunt instruments, knives, broken beer bottles, rat poison, and golf clubs, yes?

I hope this is not the example of American common sense.

viburnum said...

Louis: "I hope this is not the example of American common sense."

It's not Louis. It's just an example of the left's adamant refusal to admit that there is anything that can't be fixed by more government.

viburnum said...

Shaw: "The statement is in response to the idea that there's nothing anyone can do that will stop gun violence."

There are any number of things that could be done, most of which the average person would find anathema.

For instance, Les' suggestion of having Mr Holmes hanged, drawn, and quartered on the steps of the Aurora City Hall would probably give many violent criminals at least pause for thought before giving into homicidal urges. However even that probably would not suffice to stop the insane, who simply do not have the benefit of reason.

FreeThinke said...

"All this struggling and striving to make the world better is a great mistake; not because it isn't a good thing to improve the world, if you know how to do it, but because striving and struggling is the worst way you could set about doing anything."


~ George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)


"He who hesitates is sometimes --- SAVED."


~ James Thurber

Steve said...

Typical republiscum response, DO NOTHING, it's just fine guns kill 30,000 people a year. That's acceptable to republiscums, because life is so precious to them, or that's the lie they keep telling America.

viburnum said...

Really Steve? Scum? For acknowledging the fact that there are things outside the control of government? Is case you missed Finntann's post, rampage killings happen in every culture on the planet, and do not require firearms to carry them out. Futile gestures that do nothing but make you feel better are not going to prevent them. To coin a phrase, MOVE ON!

The Debonair Dudes World said...

Shaw Kenawe said...
"The "government" produces NOTHING."


That's for sure, especially this "government"

Steve said...

Right, crime is out of the control of government.
And next...since crime is out of the control of government, republiscums want to fire police, we don't need them
You really thought about that garbage before you wrote it?
WOW

viburnum said...

@ Steve

I did not say that crime qua crime is out of the control of government, though they could probably do a much better job than they currently manage. ( Another discussion entirely )

Since the topic at hand is the event in Aurora my obvious reference was to the impossibility of determining just who the next rampage killer may be, and preventing him from taking any actions. Unless you seriously believe that the government can read minds, pray tell how you think Friday's tragic events could have been preempted by any agency of government. As is the case with many of the perpetrators of these acts, prior to last week Mr Holmes was to all appearances a model citizen.

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