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  #101  
Old 06-15-2019, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Railer13 View Post
I see your point. But, if this is true, then the number of mass murder by firearms should have increased every year since the statistic was first recorded. After all, the population has increased in each of those years. But there was a sharp dropoff in the years 2000-2005, and then the number started climbing again. And in 2012 is when the number really jumped from the previous year, which I think bolsters my earlier point about the influence of social media.

[...]

I used those two years to illustrate that the number is as high as its ever been and is still climbing.

The fact that the number has increased each year for the past 7 years is not statistically meaningful?
Sorry, I hadn't read your initial post in this thread. I was addressing only what you wrote in your one comment.

To address the Mother Jones data, I would say that you are probably reading it wrong.

1) A desire to murder and the ability to murder are completely unrelated to each other. Your average murderer is caught without ever having done anything, because he's a dumbass. Occasionally, though, he kills a dozen or more, because he has the intellect, demeanor, and free time to pull it off. A metric that is based on the sheer number of people killed is going to swing massively just based on the capability of the psychos that year. It's pretty much just random.
2) Or, if the metric we look at is the total number of cases in a year (rather than the total number of deaths), then you have note that we're talking about a handful per year in a country with 300,000,000 people. If there's a 2 in 100,000,000 chance that someone would try to execute a mass murder in a year, on average we would expect about 6 per year. That doesn't mean that you actually get 6 every year though. You would probably expect it to fluctuate between 0 and 20, randomly. Randomness is a lot more friendly to patterns than our brain likes so we tend to find patterns in small datasets that aren't there. It's entirely reasonable to get 5 or 6 years in a row with low numbers and then another five with high numbers, and there's genuinely no explanation for that divide other than random happenstance. A good video: https://youtu.be/tP-Ipsat90c
3) I suspect that a large artifact in their data is the availability of information to them. With computers, police stations can record and find cases that match a certain search query. Probably most police stations weren't computerized until the mid to late 90s. With the Internet, it becomes easier for journalists to find more cases. Between those two things, we would expect to see more homicides that conform to their criteria as we move ahead in time, just on the basis of the ease of discovery. I strongly suspect that their data is missing a majority of cases that have occurred during the time period they searched.
4) The choice of a gun as the implement of murder is arbitrary. Guns are largely unrelated to the homicide rate and usually reduce it, so singling it out as a metric is silly. Why not just document "mass murder"? Why, instead, document "mass murder with a gun"? To be sure, if you keep track of mass murderers and the implements that they use, it doesn't hurt to track the implement they use and - when there's enough data to make a conclusion - see if it's likely that you could reduce the rate by changing the rules around access and use of that implement (if we ignore the 2nd Amendment). But that's at the end of the scientific processes. Our largest and most effective mass murderers used an airplane. We have had effective mass murderers use swords, arson, bombs, and other means to accomplish the same thing. I wouldn't be surprised if arson is the most effective and common means of mass homicide being utilized today so, while the FBI probably has people scanning Facebook posts to find people talking about guns, they potentially aren't having it looking for accelerants simply because the political focus is elsewhere, and that could be allowing people to die needlessly.
5) Legally, not a lot has changed since 1982. We can't expect any regulatory effects on the mass homicide by gun rate. The Internet and social media is, plausibly, a cause of increased mass homicide rates starting from the late 90s. But, at the same time, homicide rates are down since 1982 and that's popularly hypothesized to be due to a reduction in lead fumes making people crazy and violent. It seems strange that general craziness would reduce and yet mass homicides would purely increase. Even if we accept that the Internet taps in to some murderous desire and unlocks it even better than lead does, we should see a reduction in mass homicide until the greater take-up of the internet. The dataset should look like a V not a ramp. This strongly implies that the data is incomplete.
6) I haven't checked the growth of the US population, but I doubt that it was 0 in 1975, so I also doubt the accuracy of the general trend of the data on that basis.

I would say that the data is probably a reasonable set of examples of mass murder. But in terms of spotting trends, the numbers are too small to be statistically significant, the data collection seems suspect, and I question the validity or usefulness of the "gun" criteria when it comes to the ultimate question of trying to save the most lives that can be saved.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 06-15-2019 at 03:04 PM.
  #102  
Old 06-15-2019, 03:04 PM
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I sure do, thanks for asking!

First of all you start a media campaign focusing on handguns. Show how that while handguns might feel cool to own and wear, that they are actually uncool as they present a greater danger to you and your family than not having one. The fact that you own a handgun will almost never prevent someone else from killing you with a handgun, if they have an intention to kill you.

Work through media, not law.

That's just a start.
But first- your assumptions they present a greater danger to you and your family than not having one. and The fact that you own a handgun will almost never prevent someone else from killing you with a handgun, are both untrue.

The first is based upon a discredited study where the conclusion was assumed before the study and it use a false metric to measure.

But in any case, what does this have to do with mass shootings? Read Bone Post
This thread is specifically about mass shootings, not overall gun deaths or general gun policy, though there may be overlap.

Please stick to the topic and avoid these types of hijacks.




Yes,Work through media, not law will help with mass shootings if we could get the media to stop glorifying the killers.
  #103  
Old 06-15-2019, 03:08 PM
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To offer a recommendation beyond controlling the media, I'll suggest (as I have before) adding dietary lithium to the water.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 06-15-2019 at 03:08 PM.
  #104  
Old 06-15-2019, 03:37 PM
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Your average murderer is caught without ever having done anything
Huh? I doubt if this is what you meant, but it's what you said. If he/she hasn't done anything, how can he/she be a murderer?

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It's entirely reasonable to get 5 or 6 years in a row with low numbers and then another five with high numbers, and there's genuinely no explanation for that divide other than random happenstance.
I'm not sure that I agree. We're in the midst of an ever-increasing upswing in frequency, but I guess we'll have to wait another five years to see what the data tells us.

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Why not just document "mass murder"? Why, instead, document "mass murder with a gun"?
Isn't that what this thread is discussing?

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Our largest and most effective mass murderers used an airplane.
And we've taken some rather drastic and effective steps to ensure that it won't happen again.

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We have had effective mass murderers use swords, arson, bombs, and other means to accomplish the same thing. I wouldn't be surprised if arson is the most effective and common means of mass homicide being utilized today
Can you back that up with any statistics? I found, via a quick Google search, seven mass murders committed in America in the past 30 years where guns weren't used. I'm sure there are more, but that's what I found. Two by arson, two plane hijacks, one with a truck, and two with bombs (Oklahoma City and Boston).


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This strongly implies that the data is incomplete.
...
I would say that the data is probably a reasonable set of examples of mass murder. But in terms of spotting trends, the numbers are too small to be statistically significant, the data collection seems suspect, and I question the validity or usefulness of the "gun" criteria when it comes to the ultimate question of trying to save the most lives that can be saved.
Again, the thread discussion is about reducing the number of mass murders committed with guns. I think the Mother Jones dataset is the most complete I've seen regarding this. But if you think the data cannot be trusted, then there's really no point using it in any further discussions.
  #105  
Old 06-15-2019, 04:26 PM
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Huh? I doubt if this is what you meant, but it's what you said. If he/she hasn't done anything, how can he/she be a murderer?
Poor phrasing. I mean your average individual who makes an attempt to pull off a mass murder.



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Can you back that up with any statistics? I found, via a quick Google search, seven mass murders committed in America in the past 30 years where guns weren't used. I'm sure there are more, but that's what I found. Two by arson, two plane hijacks, one with a truck, and two with bombs (Oklahoma City and Boston).
By the statistics, there was zero or practically zero spousal rape before 1980.

Because of the emphasis on gun homicide, there aren't good records of non-gun mass killings. Not being able to find them, though, doesn't mean that they don't exist.

Here, for example, is one that I have been able to find:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sour...=1560632438209

They analyzed 10,000 homicide files to try and find arson-related homicides. Of that, they found 183. For our purposes the number is lower, they only identify 16 cases (on page 18) of arson that preceded death and caused more than one death. I don't know from that how many had more than two deaths, more than three, nor more than four. But, let's say that the number that we would consider to count as mass killings was 1.2ish. That's 1.2 from among 10,000 homicide cases. There are about 17,000 homicides per year. Most homicide cases only involve a single victim, but some do have more than one so we'll guess that the total number of cases is something more like 14,000 per year.

In the last 30 years, we would expect there to have been about 50.4 cases of mass murder by arson.

Quote:
Again, the thread discussion is about reducing the number of mass murders committed with guns. I think the Mother Jones dataset is the most complete I've seen regarding this. But if you think the data cannot be trusted, then there's really no point using it in any further discussions.
I don't think it can be trusted at the level of trends.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 06-15-2019 at 04:27 PM.
  #106  
Old 06-15-2019, 05:08 PM
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Poor phrasing. I mean your average individual who makes an attempt to pull off a mass murder.
Fair enough. I suspected that's what you meant, but I wasn't sure.


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By the statistics, there was zero or practically zero spousal rape before 1980.
Except we know about the few number of mass murders that occurred before 1982. They tend to make headlines. Poor analogy, in my opinion.

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Because of the emphasis on gun homicide, there aren't good records of non-gun mass killings. Not being able to find them, though, doesn't mean that they don't exist.
Agreed, but the few arson cases and bombings that killed a lot of people were extensively publicized. One would think that if there are more, we would have heard about them.

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Most homicide cases only involve a single victim, but some do have more than one
Back to the topic. We aren't discussing homicides with multiple victims. Rather, we're talking about indiscriminate public shootings that kill or injure random strangers.

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I don't think it can be trusted at the level of trends.
Yes, you've made that abundantly clear. But I still contend it's the best dataset that is available.
  #107  
Old 06-15-2019, 06:22 PM
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Agreed, but the few arson cases and bombings that killed a lot of people were extensively publicized. One would think that if there are more, we would have heard about them.
Ah yes, I remember ye olde Caltrans maintenance yard shooting of 1997.

Of the Mother Jones list, the only incidents that I recognize are Las Vegas Strip, Tree of Life, Orlando nightclub, Fort Hood, Columbine, Aurora Theater, and the UPS shooting from back in 1986. Notably, those all have more than 12 deaths. I don't catch all news, but that sort of implies that 12ish is where you start to become extensively publicized.

The total number of cases with 12+ deaths in the Mother Jones dataset, over a span of 27 years, is 17.

But even among those 17, I've never heard of the Washington Navy Yard shooting. According to Google, it got 1/4th the attention as the Fort Hood shooting, even though they had the same number of deaths. I don't know that I would say that it's correct to believe that all mass homicides get extensive coverage.

https://trends.google.com/trends/exp...rd,fort%20hood

If you found 7 cases in 30 years, by just googling for a few minutes, when Mother Jones had professional journalists working on it for a few days or weeks, with multiple updates, searching for something that always gets far more press attention and is always far better documented if it involves guns and they only got to 17 that are of similar size as the ones you found...are you sure that you found everything?

If the police find a person who has been shot, they pretty well know that it's suicide or murder and, generally, they can figure out which it is. But how often can they tell when there's a fire death? What if they can only determine that it's arson in 1/5th of all cases?

If you find a dead hitchhiker by the side of the road, the victim of a hit and run, how do you know that the killer doesn't do this regularly? A good number of serial killers admitted that they would just run people over when they were out in the middle of nowhere. It's not a single, headline making event, but the numbers add up over the life of the killer. We're still talking about the actions of an unstable person, leading to the deaths of many.

The Hillside Strangler, as the name implied, strangled; Jake Bird mostly used an axe; William Bradford mostly strangled; Ted Bundy used blunt instruments; Charles Cullen used medicine; etc.

And sure, that's not what we're talking about, but why aren't we talking about it?

Are we concerned about homicide? No, apparently we're not interested in the actual homicide rate.
Are we concerned about homicides leading to a skewed ratio between the number of perpetrators and victims (i.e. mass murderers)? No, apparently we're not interested in mass murderers.
Are we concerned about homicides by crazy people? No, apparently we're not.
Are we concerned about homicides against strangers? No, that's just the same as asking about homicides by crazy people.

Why is homicides that have the exact definition of including 1 single incident, a skewed ratio between the number of perpatrators and victims, craziness, stranger deaths, and guns a topic of discussion? Why have we blown by all of those other things? Why can't I say that crazy people mostly don't use guns? It's true. Some of them strangle, some of them use fire, some use bombs, some use axes, some use cars, some use poison, some do it slowly over time, some do it all in a single burst, and so on.

To be sure, guns are popular. But they're just a fraction. One-time incidences are just a fraction.

But do we care about death or do we care about craziness leading to death, or do we just care about guns regardless of anything?

Strangling is not a popular murder technique for crazies who want to go out all dramatic-like. But the stranglers might well be killing more people than the shooters. It may we be that if we spent $28m per year on forensics dedicated to creating better systems for identifying fibers and tracking them back to the place of purchase, that we could find stranglers a lot more easily and save more lives than we would by stopping gun murders.

What if guns are 20% of all murders by crazy people, and I can either ban guns and we figure that will prevent half of the people who would have shot someplace up from going ahead with their crime (the other half just light a dance club on fire) well then we've only achieved a 10% reduction in homicides. Or, I can add lithium to the water and reduce all crime by all crazy people in the country by 60%. A 60% reduction in murder by crazy people is a larger reduction in murder than 10%. We've just saved more lives by the simple process of not drawing an arbitrary circle on the ground and only looking inside that circle.

I want to stop MURDER.

If you get murdered, you don't fucking care if you got shot, blown up, beaten, or injected. What makes the people who have been left grieving sad is that you're dead and they're never going to be able to talk to you again, not that you've got a lump of lead somewhere in your body.

To be sure, this is all going outside of the bounds of the definition, but the definition was invented to target guns. It will never include stranglers or axe murders or evil doctors. It disregards bombs and cars and gasoline. It's a dishonest definition and pointing that out is not going off-topic because it's worth saying that MURDER is what's bad and if you're wasting your time fighting guns instead of murder, then you're murdering people.

I can't give exact statistics on many things, but it absolutely the case, incontrovertibly, that you can prevent more deaths by a) lowering the GINI coefficient, and b) finding a solution to craziness. Either and both of those will also lower the number of gun deaths, but it won't do jack-doodle to the gun ownership rate. Which matters to you more?

Last edited by Sage Rat; 06-15-2019 at 06:25 PM.
  #108  
Old 06-15-2019, 07:34 PM
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I don't know that I would say that it's correct to believe that all mass homicides get extensive coverage.
What's 'extensive coverage'? I would think that an incident that is covered for even a day by CNN would be considered extensive coverage. Or if I read about it in my local daily, even though the incident occurred 1000 miles from where I live. Your definition may vary.

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...searching for something that always gets far more press attention and is always far better documented if it involves guns and they only got to 17 that are of similar size as the ones you found...are you sure that you found everything?
I've already stated that there are probably more cases than I found. Did you find any more? And you think that the OKC bombing or the Boston bombing didn't receive as much attention as, say, Columbine? Indiscriminate mass murder always gets a lot of press attention, no matter what the weapon used.

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I want to stop MURDER.
I would guess that everybody does, except maybe the murderers.

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I can't give exact statistics on many things, but it absolutely the case, incontrovertibly, that you can prevent more deaths by a) lowering the GINI coefficient, and b) finding a solution to craziness. Either and both of those will also lower the number of gun deaths, but it won't do jack-doodle to the gun ownership rate. Which matters to you more?
Lowering the number of gun deaths, obviously. I don't believe I've said a damn thing about gun ownership rate. I don't know why you brought that up.

When somebody finds a solution to craziness, I imagine it will be well received. Doubtful if it will happen in my lifetime, however.

And while I appreciate your passion about lowering the homicide rate, regardless of the means of homicide, this thread is about mass shootings. Perhaps a discussion of lowering the overall homicide rate would be better discussed in its own thread.
  #109  
Old 06-16-2019, 12:14 AM
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None of that will work.

So long as firearms are freely available, occasional mass shootings will be a cost of living in American society. We can mitigate some with better mental health services but even that will only be a band aid on the problem.
Then why are school shootings in particular a recent phenomenon?

There are eleventy-upteen stories from the 1940s and 1950s about children being allowed to have guns on school property for various reasons -- ROTC, demonstrations of one sort or another, going hunting after school, etc. -- and yet there were essentially no school shootings until the last 20 years.

In addition--
Why does virtually every single mass shooting occur in places that the government or corporate owners have officially declared to be a "gun-free zone"? Many malls, shopping centers, etc. have signs at every entrance "banning" weapons. So do schools. If the free availability of guns is the real problem, then why are mass shootings so overwhelmingly-disproportionately at places like that, instead of being randomly distributed at gun shops, police stations, and the like?
  #110  
Old 06-16-2019, 01:00 AM
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Then why are school shootings in particular a recent phenomenon?

There are eleventy-upteen stories from the 1940s and 1950s about children being allowed to have guns on school property for various reasons -- ROTC, demonstrations of one sort or another, going hunting after school, etc. -- and yet there were essentially no school shootings until the last 20 years.
Hard to know, but my personal guess would be:

1) We're too far outside of our natural environment. We're bored, don't get enough physical labor, and have too much food energy.
2) The genie problem. Once out of the bottle, you can't put it back. They simply have the benefit of knowing that it's a thing.
3) Lack of discipline and fear of their elders.
4) We allow crazy people to live, work, and breed successfully, through medication. Historically, the crazy person would be hidden away and die without children, be chased out of town for being violent, or beaten down until he was too broken to do anything but obey. The numbers were always being shuffled out of the gene pool as soon as they were put in. Now we preserve that and let it meet and find others. Medication doesn't change the DNA, it just lets it continue, get worse, and command a greater percentile of the gene pool.

Either we need to go back to farming, embrace transhumanism, or accept that there are plusses and minuses to everything and overall we're still up from where we were.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 06-16-2019 at 01:02 AM.
  #111  
Old 06-16-2019, 03:46 AM
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Then why are school shootings in particular a recent phenomenon?

There are eleventy-upteen stories from the 1940s and 1950s about children being allowed to have guns on school property for various reasons -- ROTC, demonstrations of one sort or another, going hunting after school, etc. -- and yet there were essentially no school shootings until the last 20 years.

In addition--
Why does virtually every single mass shooting occur in places that the government or corporate owners have officially declared to be a "gun-free zone"? Many malls, shopping centers, etc. have signs at every entrance "banning" weapons. So do schools. If the free availability of guns is the real problem, then why are mass shootings so overwhelmingly-disproportionately at places like that, instead of being randomly distributed at gun shops, police stations, and the like?
How come they're never in airports past security or in sports stadiums?
  #112  
Old 06-16-2019, 10:24 AM
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There are eleventy-upteen stories from the 1940s and 1950s about children being allowed to have guns on school property for various reasons -- ROTC, demonstrations of one sort or another, going hunting after school, etc. -- and yet there were essentially no school shootings until the last 20 years.
Yeah, that is an interesting fact, especially when one considers that in 1967, there were just 1200 JROTC units in the country. But in 1992, there were 3500. In light of these stats, your argument holds no water.

And, just curious, how many after-school hunters do you think were allowed to bring their rifles and shotguns into the school building? I'm guessing the answer is zero. And a rifle locked in the pickup in the parking lot probably won't deter a determined shooter.

Last edited by Railer13; 06-16-2019 at 10:24 AM.
  #113  
Old 06-16-2019, 10:16 PM
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... And, just curious, how many after-school hunters do you think were allowed to bring their rifles and shotguns into the school building? I'm guessing the answer is zero. And a rifle locked in the pickup in the parking lot probably won't deter a determined shooter.
My Dad grew up in small town Iowa. During hunting season, he would walk to school with his .410 shotgun. He'd store his gun in the Principal's office and hunt rabbits on his way home after school.

I would bet he wasn't the only one who did so in the 1950's
  #114  
Old 06-17-2019, 07:59 AM
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My Dad grew up in small town Iowa. During hunting season, he would walk to school with his .410 shotgun. He'd store his gun in the Principal's office and hunt rabbits on his way home after school.

I would bet he wasn't the only one who did so in the 1950's
Hell, I was in high school in the mid 1980s in Melbourne, Australia and schoolkids my age carried rifles on their backs to school.
  #115  
Old 06-17-2019, 09:01 AM
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My Dad grew up in small town Iowa. During hunting season, he would walk to school with his .410 shotgun. He'd store his gun in the Principal's office and hunt rabbits on his way home after school.

I would bet he wasn't the only one who did so in the 1950's
Well, I went to high school in the late 60s in small-town Kansas. During pheasant season, it wasn't unusual to see a dozen or more pickups in the parking lot with shotguns in the back-window rack. But nobody even considered bringing them into the building, and I doubt if it would have been tolerated.

Regardless, however, the presence of weapons on school property was not a factor in the fact that there were no school shootings fifty years ago.
  #116  
Old 06-17-2019, 01:23 PM
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History of School Shootings in the United States
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  #117  
Old 06-18-2019, 10:53 AM
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I stand corrected. Thank you, Muffin.

Actually, however, this link serves to further contradict the argument put forth by Flyer. He stated that there 'there were essentially no school shootings until the last 20 years.' That statement is obviously wrong, according to this source.
  #118  
Old 06-18-2019, 02:04 PM
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I stand corrected. Thank you, Muffin.

Actually, however, this link serves to further contradict the argument put forth by Flyer. He stated that there 'there were essentially no school shootings until the last 20 years.' That statement is obviously wrong, according to this source.
Well, there's been a sharp uptick: According to the National School Safety Center, since the 1992-1993 U.S. school year there has been a significant decline in school-associated violent deaths (deaths on private or public school property for kindergarten through grade 12 and resulting from schools functions or activities):

1992-1993 (44 Homicides and 55 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1993-1994 (42 Homicides and 51 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1994-1995 (17 Homicides and 20 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1995-1996 (29 Homicides and 35 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1996-1997 (23 Homicides and 25 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1997-1998 (35 Homicides and 40 Deaths resulting from school shootings in the U.S.)
1998-1999 (25 Homicides from school shootings in the U.S.)
1999-2000 (25 Homicides from school shootings in the U.S.)
  #119  
Old 06-18-2019, 02:43 PM
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How come they're never in airports past security or in sports stadiums?
That is the answer!! TSA everywhere.
  #120  
Old 06-18-2019, 02:44 PM
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Well, I went to high school in the late 60s in small-town Kansas. During pheasant season, it wasn't unusual to see a dozen or more pickups in the parking lot with shotguns in the back-window rack. But nobody even considered bringing them into the building, and I doubt if it would have been tolerated.

Regardless, however, the presence of weapons on school property was not a factor in the fact that there were no school shootings fifty years ago.
I don't think the point was that guns prevented school shootings but more along the lines of what happened in recent years (maybe more than 20) to cause a sharp uptick in school shootings?
Guns have been around the entire time.
  #121  
Old 06-18-2019, 07:33 PM
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I don't think the point was that guns prevented school shootings but more along the lines of what happened in recent years (maybe more than 20) to cause a sharp uptick in school shootings?
Guns have been around the entire time.
Well, here's what Flyer said:

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Originally Posted by Flyer View Post
Then why are school shootings in particular a recent phenomenon?

There are eleventy-upteen stories from the 1940s and 1950s about children being allowed to have guns on school property for various reasons -- ROTC, demonstrations of one sort or another, going hunting after school, etc. -- and yet there were essentially no school shootings until the last 20 years.
I certainly interpreted his comment to mean that when kids could carry guns to school, there were no shootings.

I believe that assertion has been disproved.
  #122  
Old 06-18-2019, 08:15 PM
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Well, here's what Flyer said:



I certainly interpreted his comment to mean that when kids could carry guns to school, there were no shootings.

I believe that assertion has been disproved.
Just a quick look at many of the events documented show "shootings" that didn't happen at schools, were perpetrated by police stopping a crime, were suicides, or did not involve firearms at all. Using that source, I'm not sure if anything was proven or disproved.

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  #123  
Old 06-19-2019, 08:44 AM
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Yes,Work through media, not law will help with mass shootings if we could get the media to stop glorifying the killers.
It's news reporting. I don't see any glorifying. Glorifying of guns by the NRA, yes, I see that.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:23 AM
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It's news reporting. I don't see any glorifying. Glorifying of guns by the NRA, yes, I see that.
This isn't about "glorifying the shooters"-This is about "exposing the problem". If this was about "glorifying the shooters" then they would be upset about other violent media, like television and movies. The fantasy world that actually glorifies gun use, that deliberately pushes guns as a solution, seems to be a blind spot.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:25 AM
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It's news reporting. I don't see any glorifying.
'Glorifying' may not be the best term, but the media lavishes attention on the killer - who is he, why did he do it, what was his background and motives, etc. etc. and thus gives strong psychological motive to some people with a certain mindset to go out with a blaze of glory or achieve lifelong fame.


Take Elliot Rodger for instance. Prior to his death, nobody knew who he was; now a Google search of his name yields millions of hits and he is one of the most well-known individuals of the year 2014.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:29 AM
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'Glorifying' may not be the best term, but the media lavishes attention on the killer - who is he, why did he do it, what was his background and motives, etc. etc. and thus gives strong psychological motive to some people with a certain mindset to go out with a blaze of glory or achieve lifelong fame.


Take Elliot Rodger for instance. Prior to his death, nobody knew who he was; now a Google search of his name yields millions of hits and he is one of the most well-known individuals of the year 2014.
And you, presumably by the slant of your post, would prefer to not know anything?
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:40 AM
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Take Elliot Rodger for instance. Prior to his death, nobody knew who he was; now a Google search of his name yields millions of hits
2.4M hits, yes.

Barely-known Presidential candidate Seth Moulton, who missed the cut for next week's Democratic debates, got 3.9 million hits.

Just providing a yardstick here.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:57 AM
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2.4M hits, yes.

Barely-known Presidential candidate Seth Moulton, who missed the cut for next week's Democratic debates, got 3.9 million hits.

Just providing a yardstick here.
"Death Wish"- 6,940,000 results
"Rambo"- 59,800,000 results
"No Country For Old Men"- 3,860,000 results

About that yardstick?
  #129  
Old 06-19-2019, 10:02 AM
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"yardstick" has 8,940,000 results.
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:07 AM
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"Results" has 10,810,000,000 results-Yardstick officially broken.
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:36 AM
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And you, presumably by the slant of your post, would prefer to not know anything?
Do you believe the Werther effect is real and has analogues to mass shootings? The way information is reported can have an impact on the behaviors of those consuming the message. It's not a panacea for sure, but changing the way that these events are reported has a real chance of reducing their occurrence.
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:39 AM
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Do you believe the Werther effect is real and has analogues to mass shootings? The way information is reported can have an impact on the behaviors of those consuming the message. It's not a panacea for sure, but changing the way that these events are reported has a real chance of reducing their occurrence.
What realistic solution do you propose?
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:43 AM
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"Death Wish"- 6,940,000 results
"Rambo"- 59,800,000 results
"No Country For Old Men"- 3,860,000 results

About that yardstick?
The words are in English, but the message is still unclear.
  #134  
Old 06-19-2019, 10:49 AM
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What realistic solution do you propose?
I've got a proposal: do nothing.

These shootings have become such a frequent event that they're only briefly making the news any more. Take the Virginia Beach shooting - a dozen people killed, and it was on and off the news in a day. Clearly the posthumous notoriety anyone can expect from being the shooter in a mass shooting is diminishing.

So any time now, we should see fewer such shootings, if the infamy that attaches to the shooter is a significant influence on the frequency of subsequent shootings.
  #135  
Old 06-19-2019, 10:53 AM
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What realistic solution do you propose?
What solution do you propose? I'm not convinced you are following what I've written and it's not demonstrated by the question.

Here's a quick fact sheet and a longer article that talk about media reporting. I'd say media guides for reporting on mass shooting similar to these may be helpful.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:05 AM
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What solution do you propose? I'm not convinced you are following what I've written and it's not demonstrated by the question.

Here's a quick fact sheet and a longer article that talk about media reporting. I'd say media guides for reporting on mass shooting similar to these may be helpful.
Voluntary guidelines that call for news departments to cut their own throats ratings-wise? Without across the board enforcement via all popular media these suggestions are useless, and with across the board enforcement you run into Freedom Of The Press problems. I noticed that your second link is to a Hong Kong study where they have different standards pertaining to Freedom Of The Press, and both of your links pertain specifically to the problem of suicide reporting.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:14 AM
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Voluntary guidelines that call for news departments to cut their own throats ratings-wise? Without across the board enforcement via all popular media these suggestions are useless, and with across the board enforcement you run into Freedom Of The Press problems. I noticed that your second link is to a Hong Kong study where they have different standards pertaining to Freedom Of The Press, and both of your links pertain specifically to the problem of suicide reporting.
Here's NAMI (the leading mental health organization in the US) that basically says the same thing.

There's no law or enforcement that blocks media from reporting the names of victims of rape either. But generally media self limits their reporting. Certainly people can find out if they seek it out, but it is clear that the way reporting is done matters. You asked for a suggestion and I've offered it.

There are of course those that benefit from the blood dance that is done whenever a mass shooting tragedy occurs, so of course they are motivated to sensationalize them when they happen.

Last edited by Bone; 06-19-2019 at 11:15 AM.
  #138  
Old 06-19-2019, 11:20 AM
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There are of course those that benefit from the blood dance that is done whenever a mass shooting tragedy occurs, so of course they are motivated to sensationalize them when they happen.
The liars and manipulators benefit, no matter their political bent. This could include media figures, for whom sensationalizing can increase ratings. Amoral fundraisers and merchants/manufacturers can use these kinds of events, and hypothetical threats to rights that these kinds of events supposedly motivate, as the meat for fundraising pushes and marketing pushes to sell products.

That's a lot of rich and powerful people motivated to sensationalize mass shootings.
  #139  
Old 06-19-2019, 11:22 AM
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There are of course those that benefit from the blood dance that is done whenever a mass shooting tragedy occurs
Fascinating. Do please tell us who and how.
  #140  
Old 06-19-2019, 11:26 AM
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One can justify to both ones self and to one's customers the withholding of a victim's name and the private circumstances of her/his death out of sympathy, but you cannot use the same justification when it comes to withholding the name of a killer because we have no sympathy for killers and the events are already made public for the most part. This makes applying guidelines designed for the reporting of suicide to the reporting of mass murder rather problematic.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:30 AM
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Fascinating. Do please tell us who and how.
A good deal of gun-control activists leap at the keyboards when a mass shooting takes place.

(for understandable reason, of course)
  #142  
Old 06-19-2019, 11:31 AM
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This isn't about "glorifying the shooters"-This is about "exposing the problem". If this was about "glorifying the shooters" then they would be upset about other violent media, like television and movies. The fantasy world that actually glorifies gun use, that deliberately pushes guns as a solution, seems to be a blind spot.
In the big picture, mass shootings arent really a problem. They are a tiny % of the overall murder rate. And you can talk about and show the issue without mentioning the name of the shooter, just like you can have a news article about a rape without telling the name of the victim.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:31 AM
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And they "benefit" ... how?

Perhaps there are other motivations at work.
  #144  
Old 06-19-2019, 11:32 AM
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Voluntary guidelines that call for news departments to cut their own throats ratings-wise? Without across the board enforcement via all popular media these suggestions are useless, and with across the board enforcement you run into Freedom Of The Press problems. ....
Yes, you are so right, which is why the media still reports the names of rape victims, because there's no law stopping them....oh wait.....
  #145  
Old 06-19-2019, 11:34 AM
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In the big picture, mass shootings arent really a problem. They are a tiny % of the overall murder rate. And you can talk about and show the issue without mentioning the name of the shooter, just like you can have a news article about a rape without telling the name of the victim.
In post #140 I think I explained why the guidelines for reporting suicide might not apply to the reporting of mass murder.
  #146  
Old 06-19-2019, 11:38 AM
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Yes, you are so right, which is why the media still reports the names of rape victims, because there's no law stopping them....oh wait.....
Keeping in mind that any such restriction is voluntary, if being the first to get the name of a rape victim out could cause the ratings to jump, what do you think would happen?
  #147  
Old 06-19-2019, 11:42 AM
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What are the rates of new gun purchases following mass shootings over the last few decades?

I wouldn't be surprised if the folks who are a'feared of tighter gun control would be less inclined to run out and by a gun now that Trump is not pushing gun control the way Obama was.
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  #148  
Old 06-19-2019, 11:42 AM
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"We are keeping the name of the victim private out of sympathy for the victim's family and friends" can actually make a news station look good.
"We are keeping the name of the mass murderer private out of sympathy for the murderer's family and friends"?
Not so much.

Last edited by Czarcasm; 06-19-2019 at 11:43 AM.
  #149  
Old 06-19-2019, 11:44 AM
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"We are keeping the name of the victim private out of sympathy for the victim's family and friends" can actually make a news station look good.
"We are keeping the name of the mass murderer private out of sympathy for the murderer's family and friends"?
Not so much.
We are keeping the name of the mass murderer private as we don't wish to glorify this murderous piece of human waste.
  #150  
Old 06-19-2019, 11:48 AM
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ISTM that most of the perpetrators of the mass shootings die either during or right after the incident. Thus, they gain no notoriety when their name is published.

The results of describing the graphic carnage of such an incident is going to be the same whether or not the shooter's name is revealed. Everybody remembers what happened at Sandy Hook or Vegas, but remembering the names of the shooters is probably a bit more difficult.
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