Contention: Newtown should not drive public policy

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by catzmeow, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. catzmeow
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    catzmeow BANNED

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    Statistically speaking, mass murder hasn't changed much in the U.S. since the 1980s. In fact, violent crime is at the lowest level since the late 1970s, even when we include the recent mass murders. Since the 1980s, there has only been a small increase in the average number of mass murder victims annually (1.2%).

    Mass murder rises as other killings decline - East Valley Tribune: Nation / World

    I know it's a horrifying topic, but this isn't a new problem. In fact, it's barely changed since the 80s.

    Realizing that fact can keep us from making overcorrections in public policy, whether those proposed plans are to limit firearm availability, censor violent video games, or post armed guards in every school in our county. Regardless of gun laws, the distribution of violent video games, or armed security, the U.S. has historically suffered from mass murders.

    I find that even though I have an emotional reaction to these kinds of crimes, it's helpful to look at crime stats in context:

    That's an annual average of about 163. In 2012, there were 151 victims of mass murder in the U.S.

    That's actually lower than average.

    Here's another helpful article...mass murders represent only about 1% of all homicides. In spite of the horrifying nature of the mass murders in 2012, they have remained rare.

    Mass killings occur in USA once every two weeks

    Personally, I'm not a fan of overreacting, and I don't believe we should be making major changes because of Newtown.

    But, that's just me. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  2. AmyNation
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    AmyNation Road Warrior Supporting Member

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    But, it feeeels like things are worse now than ever before!
     
  3. catzmeow
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    catzmeow BANNED

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    I would suggest that this inaccurate perception has a simple explanation.

    In 1980, we didn't have a 24 hour news cycle with multiple news organizations competing for our attention, and overplaying the same stories about violence on a continuous loop.
     
  4. catzmeow
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    Interesting, related research study:

    http://wcr.sonoma.edu/v6n1/manuscripts/duwe.pdf

    In short: Mass murder is a real problem in the U.S., but it isn't a new problem. And, it doesn't appear to have any link to video games or firearms possession.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  5. JustTheFacts
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    No doubt some truth to that. But I still the biggest difference is we don't understand WHY someone would shoot up a movie theater or a preschool.

    Someone shoots up a block of gang bangers? Too bad for them, no doubt they were shot before they could shoot whoever shot them, we can all understand that, but these recent shootings are different. NO amount of denying it will make that any less true.
     
  6. catzmeow
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    catzmeow BANNED

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    We don't understand why Lizzie Borden hacked her family to death with an axe, either.

    Probably, because she was mentally ill.

    The recent shootings aren't different from the mass murders described in the linked article that occurred in 1966.

    I think you want them to be, because you have a pet justification for why this might be, but you are factually inaccurate in your assumptions.
     
  7. oldfart
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    oldfart Older than dirt

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    There are several distinctly different gun problems in the United States and it is not very helpful to try to lump them all together. The circumstances at Newtown CT are sufficiently unusual that I don't see how most proposed gun control solutions would reasonably have had much effect. That said, there are gun control measures that would be very useful for some of the other gun violence problems, such as access to guns by criminals and accidental shootings involving children.

    I really don't see how anything improves until there are universal background checks and measures to criminalize straw man sales. There is now literally nothing that prevents mass murderers, child molesters, serial rapists, professional hit men, assorted soldiers of fortune seeking rocket propelled ordinance, fledgling arms dealers for assorted rogue states and criminal enterprises, and terrorist groups from easily obtaining whatever weapons and explosives they desire.
     
  8. Trajan
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    Trajan conscientia mille testes

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    I have to say when this thing went down, I got sick of it, pretty quickly. The coverage became, grotesque(?), it almost rubs our faces in it so yes I agree totally agree about the news cycle making this appear, not worse, but more prevalent(?).


    random thoughts-

    -O'Reilly had a mother and her daughter on ( the daughter present at the school) when it went down and asked the usually inane questions, I thought to myself why would that mother allow her child to be interviewed like that, maybe she feels it has some cathartic therapeutic effect, I personally don't see it......


    -Giffords was shot with a handgun btw, yes, with a "high capacity" magazine, which I have no problem controlling.


    -I have no problem with the gun show background check either, I agree its not exactly smart to allow someone to be able to buy a weapon on the spot sans any check at all.

    - In California, Assault rifles are not permitted for sale nor are magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, plus assault rifles have whats called a Bullet button which is a small detent, you must use a tool to release the magazine, preventing quick magazine changes, to buy one you have to take delivery at a licensed dealer if you order online or enact a private sale, I am an assault weapons owner, I have no issue with any of this.
     
  9. OODA_Loop
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    I blame the axe.
     
  10. catzmeow
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    Probably. I blame the family.
     

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