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spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
here: on 12/21/2012 13:09:32 MST Print View

something that is a little less dour.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: here: on 12/21/2012 14:13:16 MST Print View

"People also benefit from interacting with canines. Simply petting a dog can decrease levels of stress hormones, regulate breathing, and lower blood pressure. Research also has shown that petting releases oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and affection, in both the dog and the human."

I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to my pups, who did more than any human could during a difficult period in my life. I love them as much as I could ever love any human (and love them much more than I like most humans ;-).

I used to joke that a former girlfriend was smart enough not to ask me who I loved more, her or my pups. She was just happy that I loved her too.....

Edited by idester on 12/21/2012 14:16:36 MST.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Newstart on 12/21/2012 15:33:46 MST Print View


Americans generally have a pathological fear of violence, so it's really quite safe here. Why, just carrying a mini Swiss Army knife into a school can be enough to get a student expelled. (If you haven't noticed, we love "zero-tolerance" policies; it saves us the hard work of thinking.) Just making a threatening gesture at someone is sufficient for an arrest on assault charges.

Based on the table here:
You can see that attempts to characterize the US as a third-world style bloodsoaked battleground are just a wee bit over the top. Some sample rates per 100K:
Venezuela: 45.1
South Africa: 31.1
Brazil: 21
Mexico: 16.9
Russia: 10.2
USA: 4.2
Canada: 1.6
UK: 1.2
China: 1

To provide an American perspective, I generally feel more unsafe around Southern Europe because of all the property crime that seems to be generally tolerated. Keep in mind that gang activity plays a large role in the US rates; if you aren't involved in that scene I think the difference between the US and Europe is practically insignificant.)

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Re: Newstart on 12/21/2012 16:03:58 MST Print View

Thank you Jon for possibly the most delusional response I've seen on this subject. And this from a university professor?

Our 'learned behavior' is at least partially a result of our revolt against EUROPEAN tyranny. Perhaps you would also consider your solution reasonable for the Basque seperatist movement?

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
way to go, PA on 12/21/2012 17:10:37 MST Print View

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

Edited by spelt on 12/21/2012 17:17:20 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Newstart on 12/21/2012 18:39:36 MST Print View

Er, Scott, surely you didn't take John's post seriously? That was "satire", man. It's supposed to be outrageous! He deliberately inflated the absurdity of the pro-gun position so as to illustrate how insane it all sounds. Because it is absurd. And John's sarcasm would be the result if the absurdity was taken to its logical conclusion.

If you haven't read it, Here is a masterful example of satire. (Just don't take his suggestions seriously, or you might end up with a debilitating conniption)

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Newtown" on 12/21/2012 20:22:28 MST Print View

Guns in the malls, guns in theaters, guns in church, guns in schools. Guns in our national parks. Guns on the street; guns in your home. Everyone is ready to shoot everyone else.

That's the message of the nra. Be very, very afraid and buy our guns.

And if you can think of a space where guns aren't welcome, maybe in your prayer space, well, the nra will send their devils to make sure that even your children will find that they need to buy guns too. Just like the tobacco executives of yesteryear.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Newstart on 12/21/2012 20:24:31 MST Print View

Was it satire when you said you didn't come to the US because of the drills? I sure hope so because if not you might have missed a good opportunity.

Foreigners seem to look at the supposedly high murder rate in the US and freak out. Actually you are a lot safer then you would think for a number of reasons.

1. Most of that crime is in a few cities with really high crime rates.

2. Many of the victims of gun violence are members of criminal gangs.

In other words a law abiding citizen who avoids a few bad areas is pretty safe in the US.

Brad Fisher

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: "Newtown" on 12/21/2012 21:15:00 MST Print View

"Guns in the malls, guns in theaters, guns in church, guns in schools. Guns in our national parks. Guns on the street; guns in your home. Everyone is ready to shoot everyone else."

Jeffrey, just curious. How many people have you every seen carry a gun? Not counting law enforcement, security guard or hunters in season. Just the plain on law abiding citizen in your daily walk of life. I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen someone with a gun on them in 46 years. Just curious. Might be where I live.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Newtown" on 12/21/2012 21:43:05 MST Print View

Brad: you know what, you got me there. Open display guns aren't that common where I live.

I was really just responding to nra talking points. Their answer to gun violence is always the same: more guns. Everywhere.

But the reality is less dramatic. So I agree with your point.

Maybe I sound a bit over the top in my posts. I really don't walk around afraid; just the opposite. I'll never carry a gun just to go about my life. In fact, it seems to me that the gun advocates are the timid rabbits. Why in the world would you need to carry a gun just to step outdoors? I know that I don't.

Edited by book on 12/21/2012 22:05:26 MST.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Re: Newtstart on 12/21/2012 21:49:15 MST Print View

Hi Miguel,

I take all of this seriously. There are 28 people dead from this incident; all of those lives were precious,including Adam Lanza's. If it was satire, it was inappropriate.

The most reasoned response I've seen on this subject was David Chenault's blog post:

Firearms are a significant part of Americans' heritage and culture, especially in the more rural parts of the US. I'm not an NRA member, and never will be. That organization is a poor representative of firearms owners in my country; many of their stated policy objectives are not only ludicrous, but dangerous. However, their membership is less than 10% of the gun owners in the US. Again, if other folks around the world believe the NRA platform represents the views of the average American firearm owner, they're mistaken.

Since i started this, I would like to pose a question, somewhat related to my original question in my opening post: How many people here, especially those offering opinions on this subject, have been the victim of violent crime? I have been victimized before; it will never happen to me or my family again. My firearms and training assure that.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: "Newtown" on 12/21/2012 22:02:36 MST Print View

"Jeffrey, just curious. How many people have you every seen carry a gun? Not counting law enforcement, security guard or hunters in season. Just the plain on law abiding citizen in your daily walk of life. I can count on one hand the number of times I have seen someone with a gun on them in 46 years. Just curious. Might be where I live."

Or maybe it is because they are concealed weapons? I thought that was the point of a handgun.

" My firearms and training assure that."

How can you be sure?

Edited by FamilyGuy on 12/21/2012 22:05:18 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Newstart on 12/21/2012 22:05:41 MST Print View

Scot I have never been the victim of a violent crime but I came close once. I was not armed and could not have done much but be a bullet magnet for the kids I was taking care of. Not a fun feeling, those staff at the Newtown school have my utmost respect.

Incidentally I work in schools in Texas. I was VERY happy this Monday when and armed officer visited the school to check up on us. This is not a theoretical issue to me, I teach in an urban school system so it could happen to me.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Re: Newstart on 12/21/2012 22:49:48 MST Print View

Hi David,

You are correct in that I can never be 100% sure. All I can do is train and practice. It's much like our various outdoor recreational pursuits; knowledge and experience put us in the best possible position to remain safe while travelling through the wilderness.

To that end, I put in alot of practical training.

Having been through it before personally, I will leave nothing to chance, and I'm willing to bet my preparations give me a far greater capability than any person or group of people who may wish me harm.

Note: Edited for clarification

Edited by cooldrip on 12/22/2012 04:44:31 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Newtstart on 12/21/2012 23:29:19 MST Print View

If it was satire, it was inappropriate.

Satire is meant to be inappropriate. It's meant to get you to think. It's not supposed to be comfortable. It's not a comfortable topic. If you are comfortable talking about the murders and about inappropriate numbers of guns and the use of them, then I find that very disturbing.

Besides, why should those people who don't want guns in their lives or to have to resort to them, have to follow the lead of those who do? Why not work to get rid of the atmosphere and culture of fear in the first place? I have never once felt fear of getting shot anywhere in Europe or Japan or Canada. I've felt it almost constantly in the States, and that wasn't just in "certain designated areas."

As I wrote earlier I've had a pistol pressed to my forehead. I've lived in neighborhoods (Roxbury in Boston in the mid-1980's), and regularly visited areas where my relatives live (the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Harlem, during the 60's till the 2000's) where guns were very common, and you heard gunfire every night, and many nights there was someone getting killed. I've seen someone shot on a Boston street right across the street. I've had a land owner pull a rifle on me after I inadvertently wandered onto his land in Oregon. I've had a carload of young men, in the countryside in Oregon, drive by while I rode my bicycle along the side of a country road, all of them pointing guns at me as a joke (the "responsible gun owner" is too often a myth). I don't know how many times I've had police pull guns on me simply for looking like a Mexican and happening to be in the wrong, white neighborhood. Several times I've been thrown up against patrol cars by these police, with guns pointed at me, and being interrogated for several hours. My mother in Manhattan has been mugged at gunpoint twice. My brother in Boston was mugged and shot, and had to be taken to the hospital. On my bicycle rides to work in Boston I don't know how many times I saw teenage boys dash onto the bicycle lane and attempt to steal a jogger's or bicyclist's money at gunpoint. Or how many times on the road, when someone tailgated or pulled in front of another driver, my family members or friends warning the rest of us to cool it and not precipitate a possible retaliation, especially with the possibility of there being a gun.

This kind of stuff has never once happened anywhere else in the world where I've lived. Not once. Not even the fear of it. I've never once heard of any family member, friend, or acquaintance getting held up at gunpoint. There is something sick and twisted in the States, and so much of it has to do with this macho attitude about guns and "being a warrior". Most people don't want to be "warriors", and they shouldn't have to.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Bad areas on 12/21/2012 23:33:58 MST Print View

I don't see how bashing different countries helps Miguel. Just because you happened to live in some of the worse areas of America doesn't mean the entire country is that way. As I've said repeatedly the majority of our gun violence happens in the criminal sub culture in major cities. Unfortunately your stay in the US seems to have been around these areas.

All the places you've listed have had strict gun laws for a number of years (a lot of good its doing them). With the exception of the idiots in Oregon I'll bet every one of those guns you saw were purchased illegally on the black market. You may not care for guns and I respect that but taking the worst example of American crime and extrapolating it to cover the whole country is not fair. I am not part of the problem for owning a hunting rifle. I don't want to be associated with the criminals in our country we have NO connection.

Edited by Cameron on 12/21/2012 23:51:11 MST.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Re: Newstart on 12/22/2012 00:00:46 MST Print View

Hi Miguel,

I'm truly sorry for the violence you've experienced personally in the USA. And I agree that there is a "machismo" ascribed to firearm possesion in my country. In fact, in reading my previous post, I feel it resonates this macho attitude, though it was not my intent. I don't carry concealed, and my firearms are solely for home defense. The attitude about firearms IS something that needs to change in this country. I think of my weapons much as I do my emergency preparedness kit or my first aid kit: insurance against an improbable but possible circumstance.

There are definitely loopholes in our firearms laws that need to be addressed, such as the problem of background checks at gunshows. However, firearms will NEVER be banned in this country. With approximately 300 million in circulation, it would be practically impossible. It is far more reasonable to tighten regulations and close loopholes than to attempt an outright ban. It would become the most devisive issue in the history of our Republic, and that's saying alot. Not to mention, i believe my right to peacefully possess them exceeds the rights of someone who wishes them prohibited on the basis of fear. Unfortunate, but the only folks who need fear my firearms are those who would bring violence to my doorstep.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re Victims on 12/22/2012 01:12:35 MST Print View

Someone asked if anyone had ever been a victim of violence?
I had my pocket picked in Rome. The guy that did it was too fast for me to catch.
Nearer home, i witnessed a guy giving his wife/partner a proper beating in the street. I told him to stop, so he asked me if i wanted some too. I said yes, to get him away from the woman. As i was on top of the guy punching him, his wife started beating me about the head with her shoe.
I caught a guy trying to break into an ex-girlfriends room. I threw him out of the window 3 floors up. Hopefully he broke something, as he wasn't running too well.
I haven't included normal bar room brawls as a youngster, some my fault, some not.

Thank god their are very few guns in my society, or things might have been worse than the odd bruise or two.

John Frederick Anderson
(fredfoto) - F

Locale: Spain
Newstart on 12/22/2012 01:47:49 MST Print View

Thanks Miguel, muchas gracias!
Scott, I suggest you ask yourself how many things you do every day, every year are things you ACTUALLY CHOSE to do.
Most societal behaviour is controlled by very few people, ugly men in suits with respectably bad hair and soundbite mentalities.
Research Edward Bernays, Mr Wannamaker of Philly, and then move from assimilation shock, to denial, to violent reaction, to self doubt, all symptoms you have shown in your reply, and then you may question your learned behaviour by recognising your programmed response. The truth will set you free.
Violence doesn't have to be directly physical. Here in Spain we witness 500 home reposessions a day, with accompanying suicides, and homelessness, and youth unemployment at over 50% and rising. Indirect violence is just as harmful, lasts longer and eats away at our humanity as much as the spontaneous erruptions of brutality. Tell me how having guns as a mainstream option helps rational decision making, and leads to greater human understanding. What happenned in Newtown was horrific, but so is applying the means as the cure.

Misfit Mystic

Locale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Re: newstart on 12/22/2012 05:31:17 MST Print View

Hi John,

I'll definitely be researching the ideas related to names you mention. My response there may seem programmed, I won't know until I read more. IMO the vast majority of my actions run quite counter to what most in my society would consider normal, thus I don't think most of my behavior is programmed. In fact, I can think of numerous actions over the past 24 hours that are completely the opposite of what would be considered the norm, though this in itself is possibly programmed.

What you mentioned in your previous post is not what I consider being a victim of violence. Have you ever been directly physically attacked? Have you ever had someone close to you die in your arms as result of violence? Muggings and barfights aren't the same.

And I understand satire, though again I feel it's innapropriate in this case. In most places in the world, the submachine gun comment would be considered offensive. In the Scotland that Mike speaks of, I think you'd probably be picking yourself up from the floor. If this tragedy occured in a Muslim society, these comments would leave you in need of police protection, even in Europe. If satire makes us think, what thoughts were you trying to engender? Would you make these comments to the parent of one of these dead children?

We both live in places where we can safely sit at a keyboard and theorize and satirize to our hearts content. Not too long ago, your grandfathers and mine wrested your freedom from a despot at the point of a gun. Firearms and constant vigil by some keep us free and safe even now. Yet if violence comes to your doorstep in the night, are you prepared to deal with it? It will not be deterred by a discussion of social programming, and the police probably won't get there in time. Even in our modern society, you will be at the mercy of your attacker unless you're prepared to meet his violence with a significant counter.