Las Vegas mass shooting

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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 11:51

Ànradh wrote:
elemtilas wrote:I don't really disagree with you, but I would ask, why aim for the lowest hanging fruit that will not, in the end, satisfy? Aim right for the apple that will truly resolve all these issues!
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by Ahzoh » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 14:39

elemtilas wrote:
Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Ahzoh wrote:Nobody expects to be able to combat the full force of the US army[...]
Ummm... then I fail to see how you can stand by your earlier point... If they can never win, why do they need weapons again?
I think what he's saying there is that the US Army is not like the DPRK Army, for example. There is little ideological indoctrination. There is no cult of leadership in the US. Soldiers are not taught to follow the orders of the brilliant leader blindly and without thought. Same goes for police. They are a force that can be swayed because they are a force that is not loyal to corrupt capitalists (or socialists or womanizers or whatever individual is in charge) but are loyal to the Constitution, to an ideal that exists apart from any one person or governing body. If enough armed citizens rise up against the corruption of a government and if their cause is just and Constitutional, then, by rights, the Army ought either to stand down or join with the Constitutional revolt.

Ideally, such a revolt will be bloodless. Ideally, it will pressure the executive to resign a/o the legislature to call for a second Constitutional Convention before resigning. A new government would then be elected and life should hopefully go on with renewed sense of patriotism, apple pie, a chicken in ever garage and brand new Chevy for everyone.

Or something like that.
Yes, basically, but also it's better to fight than perish like a dog, especially if you're a minority.
But this revolution I speak of will involve the abolishment of capitalism.

Of course the Third Worldists will tell you the first world has no revolutionary potential having been spoiled on the stolen resources of the rest of the world. The best any of us first worlders can do is protest the imperialism of our countries.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 16:02

Ahzoh wrote:Yes, basically, but also it's better to fight than perish like a dog, especially if you're a minority.
Well, dead is dead.
But this revolution I speak of will involve the abolishment of capitalism.

Of course the Third Worldists will tell you the first world has no revolutionary potential having been spoiled on the stolen resources of the rest of the world. The best any of us first worlders can do is protest the imperialism of our countries.
Yeah. And therein lies the beginning of much woe.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 17:00

I agree with the idea of gun control as "low-hanging fruit". That doesn't mean I don't think it's a worthy goal in itself, especially in the short term; the important thing is that we don't stop there. The quote Ahzoh posted illustrates some of the societal problems that need to be addressed, the ones that drive people to commit mass shootings in the first place. The culture of dehumanization is one, of course. We're at the point where we're so divided that we just see the "other side" as a faceless enemy that needs to be destroyed, and naturally some of the less mentally stable ones will take that literally (as in the Giffords shooting and the Steve Scalise shooting), and people who are bent on destroying themselves want to take others with them and "go out with a bang". We need to address what motivates people to this kind of lack of humanity, but it also couldn't hurt to make the means of "going out with a bang" less readily available. The attachment to guns is part of the culture too.

I read about the stricter gun control in Australia and its effects. One was the reduction in the number of suicides. Now, obviously removing guns does not make less suicidal people, but people who decide to commit suicide often change their minds (people who jump off the bridge sometimes regret it the moment they do). If the easiest means of committing suicide is less easy, then more people may have the chance to change their minds. Gun control could at least provide a framework for the deeper issues to be addressed more easily. It's similar to the opioid crisis: eliminating the drugs doesn't eliminate the despair that drives people to turn to drugs in the first place, but that doesn't mean eliminating the drugs isn't a worthy goal. It's dusting off the machine so you can get inside and tinker with it; it's eliminating the symptoms so the body is in a state to be operated on, etc. We just have to make sure we reach for the higher fruit once the low-hanging fruit is picked. I'm sure there are more analogies [:|]
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by Axiem » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 17:54

Thrice Xandvii wrote:our crazies
I don't think they're crazy—as in, actually have a mental illness. And talking about them like that has the effect of 1) stigmatizing people who have mental illnesses, and 2) making it difficult to actually address the root problem of why people choose to engage in murderous acts.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 18:06

^Well some may be. We can't ignore mental illness as we know mental health treatment is lacking in the U.S. Mentally ill people do horrible things sometimes. But if mental health treatment were better, maybe they wouldn't. That's not to say every mass killer has had a mental illness, but I'm sure plenty have and they were not given adequate treatment.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 18:22

Axiem wrote:
Thrice Xandvii wrote:our crazies
I don't think they're crazy—as in, actually have a mental illness. And talking about them like that has the effect of 1) stigmatizing people who have mental illnesses, and 2) making it difficult to actually address the root problem of why people choose to engage in murderous acts.
Just because someone is crazy enough to shoot up a concert going crowd doesn't mean they're mentally ill.

The question of why, at least in this case, can not be answered. The shooter is no longer here to answer and unlike other crazies (like the Unabomber who left a nice neat Manifesto), he apparently did not leave many clues behind.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 18:39

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:I agree with the idea of gun control as "low-hanging fruit". That doesn't mean I don't think it's a worthy goal in itself, especially in the short term; the important thing is that we don't stop there. The quote Ahzoh posted illustrates some of the societal problems that need to be addressed, the ones that drive people to commit mass shootings in the first place. The culture of dehumanization is one, of course. We're at the point where we're so divided that we just see the "other side" as a faceless enemy that needs to be destroyed, and naturally some of the less mentally stable ones will take that literally (as in the Giffords shooting and the Steve Scalise shooting), and people who are bent on destroying themselves want to take others with them and "go out with a bang". We need to address what motivates people to this kind of lack of humanity, but it also couldn't hurt to make the means of "going out with a bang" less readily available. The attachment to guns is part of the culture too.
No doubt. But I honestly think this action is more symbolic than it is substantive. When we look at the number of mass shootings each year, something like six or eight, yeah gun control makes us feel good, but the actual effect is not that great. Last year, there were 16000 murders in the US and 500000+ abortions in the US. Other violent crime stats are similarly sickening. Something like a hundred thousand rapes and more than a million violent robberies. Popular culture is filled with images of violence. Popular music is filled with violence. Popular culture extols violence as a virtue, whether it's paying men to beat the shit out of each other for the sake of sport or idolizing actors and movie franchises that celebrate violence. Popular culture gives a pass to stars who engage in violent behaviour. Popular culture is increasingly about division --- self segregation --- and hatred for anything and anyone that does not conform to the groupthink. This is one sick country. I'm sorry, but "taking away the guns" is like putting a bandaid on a severed carotid artery.

I'm not saying gun control will do zero good, but I am saying that the illness runs far deeper than such a measure can really cope with. It is a disease that needs to be addressed in other more profound ways.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 19:44

Well, that's part of the problem. I agree with you that it's deeper of course, but what are the profound ways? People want solutions and answers, and that's probably why they latch onto gun control because it feels like something that can actually be done. Changing the culture is harder and the proposed solutions are often vague.

Maybe gun control won't completely solve the issue, but it's a start. For another analogy: Just because we can't cure cancer, doesn't mean we shouldn't try and treat it.

If the "disease" is complex and requires a change of hearts and minds over a period of decades, then maybe we can start by treating the symptoms and work on the long-term goal of curing the disease.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by Axiem » Tue 03 Oct 2017, 20:09

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:We can't ignore mental illness as we know mental health treatment is lacking in the U.S.
100% agree. But we also need to be careful not to conflate our mental illness problem with our violence problem, lest we make it harder to solve either.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 01:06

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:Well, that's part of the problem. I agree with you that it's deeper of course, but what are the profound ways? People want solutions and answers, and that's probably why they latch onto gun control because it feels like something that can actually be done. Changing the culture is harder and the proposed solutions are often vague.
Well, like I said, the answer is simple. We each start with ourselves and get right with the plan. It's a lifestyle plan for individuals and cultures alike. It's taking seriously things like the golden rule and turning the other cheek and loving your neighbour and loving your enemy and going the extra mile and engaging in continuous tidal waves of compassionate action and charitable deeds. When the culture of death, the culture of violence is overturned and replaced with the culture of life, the culture of charity, there remains no room and no source for these kinds of evil actions. You can't shoot a person because he's black or because he's white or because he's homosexual when you see the black person and the white person and the homosexual person in terms of loving kinship. When you're my brother and we exist in a loving relationship, neither one of us have cause to wish the other ill or do violence to each other. When each of us expands this circle of loving kinship wider and wider and eventually encompass everyone in the world, and when everyone else is doing the same thing, pretty soon there's just no evil left to be done.

Pretty profound change that. It's something every government and every politician talks around --- oh, we need to eradicate nuclear weapons, oh, we need to reduce armed forces, oh, we need to stamp out violence and terrorism and yet for some reason nothing ever changes. Well, that's because government and politicians are utterly incapable of fixing this. That's not government's job. Their job is to gain and remain in power. In any event, no law, no statute, no Constitutional amendment will ever cure what ails this country and this culture.

Thát is why I believe gun control is not the answer. It's a start, I'll grant. But what is it a start to? What is it's course and it's end? The fact is, it's not much of a start, because there's no logical course to follow and no end in sight. Like I said before, if you take away the assault weapons, everyone gets to cheer and feel good for a minute, feel like something has been accomplished. But the culture of death and violence and dehumanisation has not been changed. It's not even been addressed. It's not even been recognised as problematic. There is still no plan. Even if you take away every firearm, air pistol, paintball gun or slingshot (that is the logical progression of gun control advocates), we still haven't addressed society's ills. Crazies can still buy fertilizer and nuts and bolts and pieces of pipe. How much damage do think a deranged individual can do with a load of pipe bombs? Worse, probably, because there would be no way to tell where the bombs are coming from. It was a great mercy that this loon was shooting a gun --- that allowed police officers on the ground to determine where the shots were coming from. I'm sure they saved many lives simply because they could tell pretty quickly where he was located. Hell, this guy could have killed a hundred people or more if he'd just rented a big old U-Haul truck and plowed that through the crowd.
Maybe gun control won't completely solve the issue, but it's a start. For another analogy: Just because we can't cure cancer, doesn't mean we shouldn't try and treat it.
False analogy methinks. Better might be: just because we can't cure cancer doesn't mean we shouldn't try ibuprofen. It's a start, but there's no logical progression and no viable end in sight.
If the "disease" is complex and requires a change of hearts and minds over a period of decades, then maybe we can start by treating the symptoms and work on the long-term goal of curing the disease.
Well, the problem is this, quite simply: we've recognised and known the disease for centuries and centuries. We have also recognised and known the cure for centuries and centuries. Not just decades. We've simply not had the societal balls to take that leap and let ourselves be cured.

To get back to cancer, it's like the stage 1 cancer patient who knows he has cancer and has been given a pill that will cure it utterly. He looks at the pill in his medicine cabinet and rattles the bottle every now and then, but never takes it. Current society is at stage 4 with multiple tumors, metastases all over the place and just about every lymph node imaginable is involved. And yet we still refuse to take that pill...

When you're diagnosed with stage iv CA, you don't start by changing your diet and hope for the best. No, you get your ass over to a specialist oncologist who deals with your kind of cancer and you hit it with everything you've got. If you want to live.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 01:19

Axiem wrote:
KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:We can't ignore mental illness as we know mental health treatment is lacking in the U.S.
100% agree. But we also need to be careful not to conflate our mental illness problem with our violence problem, lest we make it harder to solve either.
Right. Just had a shufty at the stats on mental illness and violent crime (courtesy of DHHS). As I figured, it's not a great correlation. Seems most of your violence can be laid squarely on the shoulders of mentally healthy crazy people.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 02:43

Too much grief of late. I think I need to go about creating something for a while...
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by qwed117 » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 02:49

elemtilas wrote: No doubt. But I honestly think this action is more symbolic than it is substantive. When we look at the number of mass shootings each year, something like six or eight, yeah gun control makes us feel good, but the actual effect is not that great. Last year, there were 16000 murders in the US and 500000+ abortions in the US. Other violent crime stats are similarly sickening. Something like a hundred thousand rapes and more than a million violent robberies. Popular culture is filled with images of violence. Popular music is filled with violence. Popular culture extols violence as a virtue, whether it's paying men to beat the shit out of each other for the sake of sport or idolizing actors and movie franchises that celebrate violence. Popular culture gives a pass to stars who engage in violent behaviour. Popular culture is increasingly about division --- self segregation --- and hatred for anything and anyone that does not conform to the groupthink. This is one sick country. I'm sorry, but "taking away the guns" is like putting a bandaid on a severed carotid artery.

I'm not saying gun control will do zero good, but I am saying that the illness runs far deeper than such a measure can really cope with. It is a disease that needs to be addressed in other more profound ways.
There were 33,000 firearm suicides in the United States in the previous years; I strongly suspect that it is confluence of both gun availability and mental health issues that cause this. I don't know if I'd consider abortion violent or the abrogation of the right to bodily integrity more violent

Most "rape" is a societal issue stemming from incredibly poor treatment of femininity. Most rape is committed by a person who knows the victim well. It isn't quite as solvable as gun crime. [Add screed about how toxic masculinity is the cause and that toxic masculinity is different from masculinity and how both of the two are different than men]

Popular culture if anything, over the last 50 years has probably decreased in violence. Modern film has gotten increasingly critical of violence as a selling point. Think Moonlight. The only thing still backing it up is toxic masculinity and the whole anti-PC culture motto.

Popular culture is a joke if anything; we give praises out to a famous actor whose movies embellish and aggrandize street racing when he dies trying to get a rise from dangerously speeding and drifting on a road. If I were to say "Paul Walker is an awful person", I would be instantaneously crucified by his legion of fans. I didn't know who the hell he was before his death, and I'm not gonna let his "reputation" be an excuse for his reckless behavior that led to his death.

I do want to say, however, that if anything I agree more strongly with than anything with, it's the statement at the bottom of your post. We as Americans have lost our sense of community. I think we have know become a culture of me-me-me on all levels, elderly to baby. This is [not]* just one political group or one specific group of people who we can single out, this is everybody.

-

Completely unrelated, but it looks like Kathryn Rehner lost in MS-HR 102.

Edit: * Forgot the word "not". Pretty important
Last edited by qwed117 on Wed 04 Oct 2017, 03:44, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 03:15

Everything I've read indicates that violent crime rates in the U.S. are down from their peaks in the 90s. There are fewer murders per capita overall, but they are becoming concentrated in areas that are seeing no such decline in violence (e.g. in particularly violent neighborhoods of Chicago). That said, as violent crime in general goes down overall, mass shootings increase in frequency. That is what I find so especially disturbing. And yes, I do agree that a statistic like that cannot be due to the ubiquity of guns alone.

But I don't agree that gun control is not a worthy start. Yes, you're correct that the societal issues that glorify violence and encourage violence as a solution to inner turmoil (toxic masculinity is part of this, as Ahzoh's quote illustrated) must be adequately dealt with in order to see an end to such violence, but eliminating such easy access to a means of carrying out violent tendencies is not something I would trivialize. I can't say it's not worth it just because it won't solve everything. What's potentially problematic is seeing it as an end point. It's not an end point. It's only the tip of a very large iceberg. The key is making sure that we are willing to go deeper once we scratch the surface.
qwed117 wrote: I do want to say, however, that if anything I agree more strongly with than anything with, it's the statement at the bottom of your post. We as Americans have lost our sense of community. I think we have know become a culture of me-me-me on all levels, elderly to baby. This is just one political group or one specific group of people who we can single out, this is everybody.
I think this is absolutely true. And it's only getting worse, I would say. Coupling a degree of political and ideological division and hostility not seen since the 60s with social media just provides for the perfect storm.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by Axiem » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 05:14

The solution is, of course, for us all to become angels—and then we shall have no more strife.
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Re: Las Vegas mass shooting

Post by Dormouse559 » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 07:06

This is a reminder to tread lightly around sensitive subjects and to make sure to stay on topic. The conversation so far has been relatively civil and focused, which we mods appreciate. That said, a couple posters have brought up abortion, which is its own can of worms. I'd suggest avoiding that line of discussion in this thread to minimize the possible sources for a flamewar. Basically, keep in mind the main topic of the debate and avoid digressions, especially toward other sensitive subjects.

P.S.: I split this thread. Parts of some posts reference other subjects in the fifth conversation thread. If your post is one of those, feel free to edit the relevant bit into a new post back in the conversation thread. My mod powers don't let me do that for you.
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Re: The Quintessential 5th Conversation Thread

Post by Thrice Xandvii » Wed 04 Oct 2017, 09:36

Axiem wrote:
Thrice Xandvii wrote:our crazies
I don't think they're crazy—as in, actually have a mental illness. And talking about them like that has the effect of 1) stigmatizing people who have mental illnesses, and 2) making it difficult to actually address the root problem of why people choose to engage in murderous acts.
If you're willing to kill innocents in these types of horrific events, you're likely crazy. Now, they may well have a diagnosable mental illness. If they do, then that changes things immensely should it be treatable. (I make that distinction only because there are personality disorders that are near impossible to treat like antisocial personality disorder that could be responsible here. In that case, I doubt I'd update my lingo for them.)

To be clear, I don't think I would ever refer to people with mental illnesses as "crazies." I know that seems like a bit of a contradiction, but the moment the actions of someone go from "random violence" to "result of years of struggle with an illness" my terminology changes to reflect that. Yes, there is stigma to fight, trust me, I know, but please don't assume I would conflate the two categories. They are rather different in my head.
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Re: Las Vegas mass shooting

Post by Xonen » Sat 07 Oct 2017, 17:24

Thrice Xandvii wrote:
Axiem wrote:
Thrice Xandvii wrote:our crazies
I don't think they're crazy—as in, actually have a mental illness. And talking about them like that has the effect of 1) stigmatizing people who have mental illnesses, and 2) making it difficult to actually address the root problem of why people choose to engage in murderous acts.
If you're willing to kill innocents in these types of horrific events, you're likely crazy. Now, they may well have a diagnosable mental illness. If they do, then that changes things immensely should it be treatable. (I make that distinction only because there are personality disorders that are near impossible to treat like antisocial personality disorder that could be responsible here. In that case, I doubt I'd update my lingo for them.)

To be clear, I don't think I would ever refer to people with mental illnesses as "crazies." I know that seems like a bit of a contradiction, but the moment the actions of someone go from "random violence" to "result of years of struggle with an illness" my terminology changes to reflect that. Yes, there is stigma to fight, trust me, I know, but please don't assume I would conflate the two categories. They are rather different in my head.
I can't speak for Axiem, but in general, I believe the rationale goes that you're supposed to avoid using any word that might be considered a slur against some less-privileged group of people, because their continued usage helps perpetuate a culture where that group of people is discriminated against. Whether or not you personally conflate the categories would be irrelevant.

Personally, as a certifiably crazy person myself, I'd rather work towards a culture where you can call a murderer "crazy" without anybody even considering the association to every single kind of mental illness. Kind of like you can call a murderer "sick and twisted" without anyone thinking of the flu or... scoliosis or something. Hell, it's quite possible that a murderer does have a legitimate mental condition, and conversely, some legitimate mental conditions can indeed make one dangerous to be around. Thing is, so can some forms of physical illness - yet we don't generally feel the need to don a hazmat suit before helping someone with a sprained ankle, just in case it happens to suddenly morph into ebola. People need to learn to distinguish between different kinds of crazy, is what I'm saying.

But the fact is that we're not there yet; mental conditions are still stigmatized in ways that physical ones tend not to be. You can't always bend over backwards to eliminate every single thing from your speech that someone might interpret in a way you didn't intend ('cause, if nothing else, there's always the chance that someone is Charles Manson), but maybe it doesn't hurt to be a bit cautious, especially online where misunderstandings are more likely anyway.
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Re: Las Vegas mass shooting

Post by Thrice Xandvii » Sat 07 Oct 2017, 18:36

You certainly have a point. And to be clear, my argument wasn't that usage of the term is always justified, merely that I personally don't use it to mean anything about mental health. I mean, I do work in a facility with youth who almost all have psychiatric diagnoses.
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