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Old 06-12-2019, 05:41 AM
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Guns, guns, and more guns. What can America do to reduce mass shootings?


In Germany virtually nobody has firearms besides law enforcement, and those who do take their guns home can only have a certain amount of ammo. When I found out about this the American in me immediately was triggered so I asked my friend, what if a criminal wants revenge and goes after the cop, or what if a criminal has a gun but nobody else does. To germans, I'm speaking based on my friends experience, gun crimes such as homicides aren't really even a concern. Nobody is thinking about some crazy guy shooting up a church, or worried the kid whos always bullied at school might bring his dads gun to show and tell. Apparently germans don't have gun problems because firearms were regulated for a long time, similar to Japan which historically has regulated the shit out of every weapon, bows, crossbows, swords, etc... hence japan has virtually no gun problems. The last thing on someones mind in these cultures is "does this guy have a gun and is he going to kill me"


So my question is what can America do? Our population is much larger, and we have guns everywhere. So trying to ban guns is basically impossible, or even pass basic regulations such as closing gun show loopholes is difficult. I propose training children how to operate firearms and respect them. Thats the only thing I can see that will help reduce gun violence in america. IIRC we shot pellet guns in ROTC, but there wasn't a specific class on gun training.

Last edited by Barack Obama; 06-12-2019 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:15 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.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:37 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.
If we get the media to stop glorifying the killers, that would help too. One noted sociologist claims that the big rise in student caused school shootings after Columbine was due to media attention and even glorifying the shooters.

But yeah, more mental health services will also help.

Nothing short of door to door confiscation will stop them.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:45 PM
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If we get the media to stop glorifying the killers, that would help too.
The trick here is, that's not what Americans want. Americans flock to any media source that glorifies the killers, and good luck getting a law banning these articles past the 1st amendment.

Exactly the same problem as banning guns, the people don't want it to happen, so it won't happen.
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Old 06-12-2019, 12:46 PM
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The trick here is, that's not what Americans want. Americans flock to any media source that glorifies the killers, and good luck getting a law banning these articles past the 1st amendment.

Exactly the same problem as banning guns, the people don't want it to happen, so it won't happen.

Yep, sad but true.
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:30 PM
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The trick here is, that's not what Americans want. Americans flock to any media source that glorifies the killers, and good luck getting a law banning these articles past the 1st amendment.

Exactly the same problem as banning guns, the people don't want it to happen, so it won't happen.
Heck, America has tons of shows and movies where the main characters are 'bad guys' or act like 'bad guys'. Being able to kill people left and right is a power fantasy. It's not surprising that when you hand every Tom, Dick, and Mary easy access to a way to kill lots of people, some nominal percentage decide to use it.
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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?
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:22 AM
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I'm all for trying to reduce gun violence in America - though the ideas I have in mind for doing so are a little different than the ones typically put forth. I've explained them at length in another thread - basically it boils down to 1. a concerted effort to establish mentorship programs for teenage males who are struggling with life, whether it's in suburbs or inner cities, whether they're affluent or economically disadvantaged, to involve them in productive activities and help them live in the real world instead of on the internet and inside their own heads; and 2. hammering the shit out of felons caught in possession of a firearm or who have used one in a crime, with legal penalties other than "2 years in prison with credit for time served" or other such meaningless sentences. The upside of my proposal is that it's something that could actually attract bipartisan support instead of becoming a political wedge issue.

What I am not interested in ever doing is trying to make gun control arguments invoking Germany and Japan, two countries that were, within living memory, so collectively violent that they killed millions of people, enthusiastically falling in line behind dictatorial governments that are responsible for the largest orgy of death and destruction that the world has ever seen.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:36 AM
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I'm all for trying to reduce gun violence in America - though the ideas I have in mind for doing so are a little different than the ones typically put forth. I've explained them at length in another thread - basically it boils down to 1. a concerted effort to establish mentorship programs for teenage males who are struggling with life, whether it's in suburbs or inner cities, whether they're affluent or economically disadvantaged, to involve them in productive activities and help them live in the real world instead of on the internet and inside their own heads; and 2. hammering the shit out of felons caught in possession of a firearm or who have used one in a crime, with legal penalties other than "2 years in prison with credit for time served" or other such meaningless sentences. The upside of my proposal is that it's something that could actually attract bipartisan support instead of becoming a political wedge issue.

What I am not interested in ever doing is trying to make gun control arguments invoking Germany and Japan, two countries that were, within living memory, so collectively violent that they killed millions of people, enthusiastically falling in line behind dictatorial governments that are responsible for the largest orgy of death and destruction that the world has ever seen.
I'm not arguing for gun control, I'm simply giving examples of countries where gun control appeared to work. The US is too large in terms of firearms and population for any extreme gun control measures to be effective. We have a huge surplus of arms, and no matter what you do you're never going to get rid of them. So my only proposal is having firearm classes in school, teach people how to respect and use firearms. Any kind of regulations on firearms will be shut down by arms manufactures and dealers who've bought congress. So the only realistic solution is to educate people, and increase our social welfare especially to the poor and mentally ill.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:39 AM
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I'm all for trying to reduce gun violence in America - though the ideas I have in mind for doing so are a little different than the ones typically put forth. I've explained them at length in another thread - basically it boils down to 1. a concerted effort to establish mentorship programs for teenage males who are struggling with life, whether it's in suburbs or inner cities, whether they're affluent or economically disadvantaged, to involve them in productive activities and help them live in the real world instead of on the internet and inside their own heads; and 2. hammering the shit out of felons caught in possession of a firearm or who have used one in a crime, with legal penalties other than "2 years in prison with credit for time served" or other such meaningless sentences. The upside of my proposal is that it's something that could actually attract bipartisan support instead of becoming a political wedge issue.

What I am not interested in ever doing is trying to make gun control arguments invoking Germany and Japan, two countries that were, within living memory, so collectively violent that they killed millions of people, enthusiastically falling in line behind dictatorial governments that are responsible for the largest orgy of death and destruction that the world has ever seen.
I have no problems with your ideas and they could work.

I agree comparing American to Japan, etc is pointless. Or even Denmark.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:46 AM
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I don't think firearm classes in school are going to affect anything. I don't know why this is proposed so often - how many shootings exactly are prevented because the shooter had insufficient training? It just doesn't make any sense to me. Most shootings in this country aren't mass shootings and don't have anything to do with school, nor do they have anything to do with the criminals not respecting firearms or not knowing how to use them properly.

I also don't think it's accurate to say that "arms manufacturers and dealers have bought congress." Their lobby is an absolute pipsqueak compared to others like the pharmaceutical, insurance, and real estate lobbies. Like "grade-school T-ball versus the New York Yankees," as Walter White might put it. They do exert some influence but it's overstated.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:57 AM
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I also don't think it's accurate to say that "arms manufacturers and dealers have bought congress." Their lobby is an absolute pipsqueak compared to others like the pharmaceutical, insurance, and real estate lobbies. Like "grade-school T-ball versus the New York Yankees," as Walter White might put it. They do exert some influence but it's overstated.
In that respect, the gun lobby punches waaaaay above their weight. They have way more influence than would be apparent by just counting sheer dollars.

I suspect the reason is because the issue is so hot. Everyone in America knows exactly how they feel about guns, and WAY more people care deeply about the issue of gun control than they do about whether we ought to relax the requirements for extending patents on a 30-years-old blood pressure medication. The Russians didn't send an operative to infiltrate big pharma; they sent her to infiltrate the NRA.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:49 AM
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In that respect, the gun lobby punches waaaaay above their weight. They have way more influence than would be apparent by just counting sheer dollars.
....
That's because there are something like 70 Million gun owners in this nation. And 5-10 m of them are single issue. The lobby is peanuts, the voters are powerful.

There are about as many cars & pickups in the USA as guns.

Let us say we put the following "very reasonable" regulations on them- every vehicle that is a gross polluter can not be driven on public streets*, all vehicles must get at least 25 mpg, and no vehicle can have to ability to go faster than 90MPH. People would revolt. All reasonable, all would help the environment & global warming and cut traffic deaths.

* they actually passed that in CA, giving them like a year to fix or CA would buy it, but there was a massive revolt. A watered down version remains.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:53 AM
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The lobby is peanuts, the voters are powerful.
Tell that to the 90% of us who supported the assault weapons ban, but were thwarted by the NRA-owned GOP majority in Congress.

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There's basically no law that can target mass shooters specifically
Maybe not the shooters themselves, but their ability to take our lives, yes. See above.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:56 AM
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Tell that to the 90% of us who supported the assault weapons ban, but were thwarted by the NRA-owned GOP majority in Congress.


https://news.gallup.com/poll/243860/...lt-rifles.aspx
Americans' support for a ban on semi-automatic guns in the U.S. has dropped eight percentage points from a year ago, when opinions were more evenly divided after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Last year's measure was unusually high for the trend over the past several years; the current 40% is back to within a few points of where it was between 2011 and 2016.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:42 AM
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I don't think firearm classes in school are going to affect anything. I don't know why this is proposed so often - how many shootings exactly are prevented because the shooter had insufficient training? It just doesn't make any sense to me. ...

I also don't think it's accurate to say that "arms manufacturers and dealers have bought congress." Their lobby is an absolute pipsqueak compared to others like the pharmaceutical, insurance, and real estate lobbies. Like "grade-school T-ball versus the New York Yankees," as Walter White might put it. They do exert some influence but it's overstated.
Maybe stop some accidental shootings, but that's about all.


I concur and I have made that very point.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:43 PM
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I don't think firearm classes in school are going to affect anything. I don't know why this is proposed so often - how many shootings exactly are prevented because the shooter had insufficient training? It just doesn't make any sense to me.
It isn't the shooter we should be worried about training. It's the bystanders. People with guns prevent shootings all the time, both private citizens and professionals. The more people out there with the tools and training to stop violence in progress, the better.

When half the people in any crowd are potential security guards, shooters who aren't suicidal are much more wary of shooting in the first place. And the victims and survivors won't have to wait thirty minutes to an hour for help to show up, and hope it's not one of those cowardly police who will wait outside until the threat neutralizes itself.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:48 PM
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That's fake. Everybody knows that MORE guns makes everyone safer.
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The more people out there with the tools and training to stop violence in progress, the better.

See?
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:50 PM
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We're going about this the wrong way.

Instead of restricting guns, have people stop massing together.

If we'd just spread out more, we could greatly reduce mass shootings.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:59 AM
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Our population is much larger, and we have guns everywhere. So trying to ban guns is basically impossible,
The size of our population and the number of guns we have is irrelevant to the task of banning guns. The reason we can't ban guns is that too many people don't want us to ban guns. If the American People decided to overwhelmingly support the concept of banning certain guns, they'd be banned and it would be surprisingly easy to manage.

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I propose training children how to operate firearms and respect them. Thats the only thing I can see that will help reduce gun violence in america.
People committing gun violence know how to operate firearms. There is really no problem with shooters failing to understand that guns are dangerous weapons. They get it, they understand THAT concept really well, which is why they're shooters and not slashers.

At best this helps reduce accidental deaths from firearms, which are surely far higher than is optimal. At worst, this encourages more people to own firearms, by creating an increased level of comfort around them, and results in an increase in deaths via firearm due to increased availability.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:59 AM
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The size of our population and the number of guns we have is irrelevant to the task of banning guns. The reason we can't ban guns is that too many people don't want us to ban guns. If the American People decided to overwhelmingly support the concept of banning certain guns, they'd be banned and it would be surprisingly easy to manage.
1. A lot of other countries have banned guns and had more success with it but they did not have nearly as many guns and not nearly a strong gun culture. With almost 400 millions guns in the US, there is simply no way to get rid of them all. And those are the just the currently existing ones.

2. If the war on drugs and prohibition has shown us anything it is that (at least in the US) if people really want something, they will get it. If someone wants a gun, they can get a gun.

Does this mean that enacting strong gun bans will not do anything at all? No, I agree some gun violence will go down, no doubt. But I think it will be far short of what gun control fans think it will. If anything I think the real payoff may be in the following decades. As 80-100 years go by, the numbers of guns will steadily decrease (Of course that has big assumptions that 3D printing will not completely turn gun control on its head).
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:39 AM
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1. A lot of other countries have banned guns and had more success with it but they did not have nearly as many guns and not nearly a strong gun culture. With almost 400 millions guns in the US, there is simply no way to get rid of them all. And those are the just the currently existing ones.
The only part of this that actually matters is gun culture. Our country could easily collect and destroy 400 million small steel objects. It would take some logistical work, to be sure, but it's all just basic block and tackle stuff.

The hurdle we can't jump is gun culture. Our existing gun culture means that it's politically impossible to pass sweeping reform, and even if you did, large numbers of owners would refuse to follow the law. It's not that we can't collect and destroy 400 million guns (because 400 million is too big a number), it's that tens of millions of gun owners will actively try to prevent a gun ban from working.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:07 PM
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The hurdle we can't jump is gun culture. Our existing gun culture means that it's politically impossible to pass sweeping reform, and even if you did, large numbers of owners would refuse to follow the law. It's not that we can't collect and destroy 400 million guns (because 400 million is too big a number), it's that tens of millions of gun owners will actively try to prevent a gun ban from working.
I think this is true, and I would compare the gun culture in America to religion. No, not in the sense that everyone who owns guns "worships" them, though there's definitely a subset of gun owners who are overly obsessed with guns, but even among those people, most of them never actually wind up firing a weapon "in anger". In the sense that it equates to "a very strongly held belief that has existed for a really long time and is passed down through the generations."

So imagine the "gun culture vs. different countries" argument in terms of a religion. Imagine that Japan wanted to ban the Islamic religion. Leave aside the idea that it's wrong to ban a religion - imagine that they just wanted to do this. Could they do it? Probably. There are almost no Muslims in Japan. It's not something that the average person there has any stake in. It's not part of that country's history.

Now imagine that India wanted to ban the Islamic religion. While it is not the dominant religion there, 14% of India's population is Muslim, amounting to 172 million people - in fact, the largest population of Muslims in the world outside of countries whose population is majority Muslim. Do you think that would work? Hell no, and not just because those 172 million people would object to it. Islam has a long history in India. There have been large numbers of Muslims there for hundreds of years.

Gun ownership is sort of like a religion. Leave the objects themselves, the guns, out of it for the sake of this argument - it's a deeply held belief about something. Large numbers of Americans hold that belief. That belief has been part of the country's history from the very beginning. And it's been passed down over the generations, and there's also an entire economy supporting it which has existed for a long time.

This is why America is unlike other countries of the world when it comes to this particular issue, and comparisons to them are never really strong debating points.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:27 PM
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Leave the objects themselves, the guns, out of it for the sake of this argument - it's a deeply held belief about something. Large numbers of Americans hold that belief. That belief has been part of the country's history from the very beginning. And it's been passed down over the generations, and there's also an entire economy supporting it which has existed for a long time.
Could it be honor culture? If you believe the world is a dangerous place where you have to constantly make sure other people know you're willing and able to hurt them (because they're constantly angling to get you) then it makes sense to prize guns that much.

Gun culture is stronger in the South and among the rural white working class, just like fundamentalist Evangelicalism, honor culture and the grunts of the Republican Party.

Relatedly, Prostestants in Northern Ireland treated Catholics like Southerners treated blacks, had paramilitaries and one of their leaders, Ian Paisley, was a mix between Fred Phelps and Pat Robertson. I haven't looked at South Africa much but perhaps those who know more can tell us of any patterns that might exist between the gun/violence/honor cultures of Apartheid South Africa, Northern Ireland and the rednecky parts of the US.

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 06-12-2019 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:37 AM
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Mainstream publications should publish the crime scene photos.
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:51 AM
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Mainstream publications should publish the crime scene photos.
That would- according to sociologists- increase the number of mass shootings.
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Old 06-12-2019, 02:49 PM
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That would- according to sociologists- increase the number of mass shootings.
I think it would change the debate over gun control. Fast.
  #35  
Old 06-12-2019, 10:58 AM
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Mass shootings are a tiny fraction of gun violence. They're rare and sensational and capture our attention and so they get a very disproportionate amount of our reaction to gun violence, but as a percentage of gun violence, as a percentage of murders, as a percentage of deaths, they're basically just insignificant and random noise. Almost 350m people live in this country - you can find all sorts of shit that occasionally kills 10 or 20 of them. There's also basically no way to specifically target mass shooters with gun laws - they tend to be relatively unpredictable and can use a wide variety of weaponry, whatever is available.

Nonetheless, if you want to target mass shootings specifically, there is a very targeted, specific solution that would likely reduce them significantly: stop giving the shooters the infamy they crave.

Usually, mass shooters feel like they've been wronged by the world in some way, and overlooked. The mass shooting is often their way of making the world notice them, to take revenge on the world. When we choose to watch excessive news coverage of these incidents, we're giving them exactly what they want - which means that the next shooter that wants to go out in a blaze of infamy knows what they'll get.

Whenever there's a mass shooting, we know for the next month at least that the shooter will get a significant share of all media coverage, public discourse, and basically public attention. The media will tell us all about them, read their manifesto if there is one, speculate on whether what music they listened to or what they watched made them do it, and basically cover that person from all angles. Which is exactly what they want - to be noticed, to be important, to shock people, to get revenge on the world. You feed and encourage mass shooters by giving this to them.

The absolute best solution to mass shooters is to get over it. To not focus on it. To not give them the infamy they crave. To not say their name on news broadcasts, to not read their manifesto, to not have psychologists on the air going over their lives with a fine tooth comb, to not give them the infamy they crave. Other countries with more responsible media already do this, and not coincidentally, places that have widespread access to guns but a responsible media (like Canada) do not have a significant mass shooter problem.

But we're not willing to do that. We love the salacious news. We love to be a part of the process of trying to figure out where they went wrong. We want every gorey detail. We love that shit. And so the media will continue to cater to us and give us what we want, and in the process give the shooter the infamy they want, and show the next potential shooter they'll get the infamy they want and encourage them to take that leap.

We also love using these incidents to tell those guilty, evil gun owners what monsters they are because this is all their fault. The rest of the world gets to talk about how dumb Americans are. Anti-gun Americans get to talk about how dumb and evil gun owners are. I'm sure on some level you actually feel shock and outrage, but you also love the excuse to be smug and insult the people you hate every time these things happen, too.

There's basically no law that can target mass shooters specifically, but we absolutely have an effective tool for stopping these shootings. But we won't do it. Because you love the salaciousness of it, and the chance to preach and be smug and blame over. Because you're willing to watch the excessive news coverage, participate in discussions about it, and give the infamy the shooter craved every single time.
  #36  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
Mass shootings are a tiny fraction of gun violence. They're rare and sensational and capture our attention and so they get a very disproportionate amount of our reaction to gun violence, but as a percentage of gun violence, as a percentage of murders, as a percentage of deaths, they're basically just insignificant and random noise.
And gun violence (specifically homicide) is a very uncommon cause of death. Interestingly Bill Gates just tweeted a graph yesterday that compares actual causes of death with media coverage of causes of death.

Tweet: https://twitter.com/BillGates/status...20780042465280

Direct link: https://ourworldindata.org/uploads/2...a-coverage.png
  #37  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
Mass shootings are a tiny fraction of gun violence. They're rare and sensational and capture our attention and so they get a very disproportionate amount of our reaction to gun violence, but as a percentage of gun violence, as a percentage of murders, as a percentage of deaths, they're basically just insignificant and random noise. Almost 350m people live in this country - you can find all sorts of shit that occasionally kills 10 or 20 of them. There's also basically no way to specifically target mass shooters with gun laws - they tend to be relatively unpredictable and can use a wide variety of weaponry, whatever is available.

Nonetheless, if you want to target mass shootings specifically, there is a very targeted, specific solution that would likely reduce them significantly: stop giving the shooters the infamy they crave.

Usually, mass shooters feel like they've been wronged by the world in some way, and overlooked. The mass shooting is often their way of making the world notice them, to take revenge on the world. When we choose to watch excessive news coverage of these incidents, we're giving them exactly what they want - which means that the next shooter that wants to go out in a blaze of infamy knows what they'll get.
....
This is absolutely true.
  #38  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:01 AM
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if we don't talk about it, it will go away?
  #39  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:01 AM
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By more than half at least, yes.
  #40  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:03 AM
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Can you show us an example of this working in real life when it comes to gun violence?
  #41  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:11 AM
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I already gave one, Canada. Canada is #7 on the gun ownership per capita ratio worldwide and has basically no mass shootings. When they occasionally have something resembling one, their news media reports the incident but often refuses to even name the shooters, let alone give their whole story and a month of media focus. Finland is another. Iceland. Austria. Norway. Switzerland. New Zealand. All of them in the top 20 civilian gun ownership per capita countries, all with significant amounts of guns.

"But Canada has hunting rifles and shotguns, not assault weapons!", right? When you're shooting up a crowd the gun is nearly irrelevant. I'm a gun guy. I've shot all sorts of guns. I've shot all sorts of "machine guns", "assault weapons", the whole gamut. Most guns made in the last, oh, 80 years or so barely make a difference in the effectiveness of shooting up random people in a crowded area. Non-gun people really don't understand how it works and have some severe misconceptions about how much certain guns are disproportionately powerful. Virginia Tech, which IIRC is the most deadly mass shooting we've had, used regular old handguns. Very likely that if someone was shooting up a school or a movie theater or whatever, a 12 gauge shotgun like your grandpa has would likely be the most lethal weapon.

There's one exception to this - the Vegas shooter - in that case the choice of weapons was integral to his tactics - but for the rest it really wouldn't have mattered.

The reason that the shooters choose "assault weapons", or scary looking weapons, over more conventional weapons is the same reason Dylan and Klebold wore trench coats. They wanted to look cool. They had a certain idea of how their crime should look and be remembered and that usually means using weapons that seem disproportionately scary to an ignorant public. They know it will increase the outrage and their infamy.

And so when in reaction to a mass shooting, we spend 2 months of media time examining the shooter from every angle, and screaming about how we need to ban these dangerous assault weapons, it misses the point entirely. In fact it does the exact opposite of what you nominally intend - it focuses all the attention on a nearly irrelevant detail of the shooting while giving the shooter (and the future shooters that follow) almost everything they crave.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 06-12-2019 at 11:15 AM.
  #42  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:25 AM
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Most guns made in the last, oh, 80 years or so barely make a difference in the effectiveness of shooting up random people in a crowded area. Non-gun people really don't understand how it works and have some severe misconceptions about how much certain guns are disproportionately powerful.
Yes, high-performance guns matter a lot when you're going up against other people with guns. Other than that, perhaps the size of the first magazine can make a difference but after that, everyone's running or hiding.


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Virginia Tech, which IIRC is the most deadly mass shooting we've had, used regular old handguns.
What factors made him so effective?



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And so when in reaction to a mass shooting, we spend 2 months of media time examining the shooter from every angle, and screaming about how we need to ban these dangerous assault weapons, it misses the point entirely.
Media/incentives matter more than guns/resources here. I'm wondering how that could be changed though. Even if you get most of the media to go along, how do you get the people working at Fox to be decent human beings?
  #43  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:36 AM
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Yes, high-performance guns matter a lot when you're going up against other people with guns. Other than that, perhaps the size of the first magazine can make a difference but after that, everyone's running or hiding.
People have a misconception about "battlefield weapons" - now, if you're shooting up time square on new years eve, having an MG-42 would absolutely be effective in that scenario, but in general, war doesn't work how people think it does. They assume that everyone shoots off a few dozen rounds and hits someone else, and enough people doing this and that's how battles are decided. But in reality, between around 250,000 to 750,000 rounds are fired for every small arms combat casualty in combat. The number of rounds fired and their relative ineffectiveness is staggering. In WW2, small arms in total - machine guns, rifles, everything - accounted for less than 20 percent of casualties inflicted. In most battles, the purpose of small arms was basically to throw enough lead at your enemy so they were locked in place and keeping their heads down, which means they weren't doing the same to you. At that point you call in artillery and wait for that to do the actual work.

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What factors made him so effective?
I actually have no idea. I don't buy into the fascination with spree shooters. I don't look up information about them or the shootings. I assume he was just well practiced - it's actually fairly tricky to kill people with pistols compared to pretty much any long arm, so for him to get that kill count I assume he was just very good with them.

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Media/incentives matter more than guns/resources here. I'm wondering how that could be changed though. Even if you get most of the media to go along, how do you get the people working at Fox to be decent human beings?
This isn't a Fox News thing, so I'm not sure why you brought that up. It's not a conservative/liberal thing. All Americans love news designed to scare them, news designed to focus on the sensational and salacious. We want to be scared out of our minds. WHAT COMMON ITEM UNDER YOUR SINK WILL KILL YOU? WHAT CUTE WHITE GIRL WAS KIDNAPPED LAST WEEK? WATCH OUR NEW 3D RECREATION OF THE LATEST MASS SHOOTINGS! This is common to almost all American news. And people are gobbling it up, because if they wanted good responsible news they could watch PBS newshour, and they don't.

You ever get a chance to see the news media in other countries? It's so much better, so much more responsible, so much less focused on giving you that recreational fear that you (the collective you) love so much. Americans seem uniquely addicted to shitty news designed to scare us and provoke outrage. Our news media is really a huge outlier in the world.
  #44  
Old 06-12-2019, 11:51 AM
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You ever get a chance to see the news media in other countries? It's so much better, so much more responsible, so much less focused on giving you that recreational fear that you (the collective you) love so much. Americans seem uniquely addicted to shitty news designed to scare us and provoke outrage. Our news media is really a huge outlier in the world
I'm a sheltered* Canadian who gets most of his news from The Economist magazine so I guess I don't have as much of a handle on the state of American media.


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They assume that everyone shoots off a few dozen rounds and hits someone else, and enough people doing this and that's how battles are decided. But in reality, between around 250,000 to 750,000 rounds are fired for every small arms combat casualty in combat. The number of rounds fired and their relative ineffectiveness is staggering. In WW2, small arms in total - machine guns, rifles, everything - accounted for less than 20 percent of casualties inflicted. In most battles, the purpose of small arms was basically to throw enough lead at your enemy so they were locked in place and keeping their heads down, which means they weren't doing the same to you. At that point you call in artillery and wait for that to do the actual work.
Ground & pound, much like MMA. Establishing initial fire superiority is where having high capacity and rate of fire matters.

I've read that stats about the number of rounds per casualties. Is that the total number of rounds expended in a year divided by the number of confirmed enemy casualties? If it includes rounds expended thru training, that may give us a skewed perspective on what engagements were like even if heavy weapons are still predominant.

Last edited by MichaelEmouse; 06-12-2019 at 11:52 AM. Reason: * because of the igloo
  #45  
Old 06-12-2019, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post

This isn't a Fox News thing, so I'm not sure why you brought that up. It's not a conservative/liberal thing. All Americans love news designed to scare them, news designed to focus on the sensational and salacious. We want to be scared out of our minds. WHAT COMMON ITEM UNDER YOUR SINK WILL KILL YOU? WHAT CUTE WHITE GIRL WAS KIDNAPPED LAST WEEK? WATCH OUR NEW 3D RECREATION OF THE LATEST MASS SHOOTINGS! This is common to almost all American news. And people are gobbling it up, because if they wanted good responsible news they could watch PBS newshour, and they don't.

You ever get a chance to see the news media in other countries? It's so much better, so much more responsible, so much less focused on giving you that recreational fear that you (the collective you) love so much. Americans seem uniquely addicted to shitty news designed to scare us and provoke outrage. Our news media is really a huge outlier in the world.
Part of the problem is that there seem to be a good many people in the media and elsewhere who think that we are one mass shooting away from passing gun control so the more publicity the shootings get the sooner gun control will happen and the sooner gun violence will be stopped. Thus for many of the people that work in the media things may have to get worse in the short term so they can be better in the long term.
  #46  
Old 06-12-2019, 03:21 PM
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I already gave one, Canada. Canada is #7 on the gun ownership per capita ratio worldwide and has basically no mass shootings. When they occasionally have something resembling one, their news media reports the incident but often refuses to even name the shooters, let alone give their whole story and a month of media focus. Finland is another. Iceland. Austria. Norway. Switzerland. New Zealand. All of them in the top 20 civilian gun ownership per capita countries, all with significant amounts of guns.
Let's look at the numbers, shall we?:

1. USA: 120guns/100 persons
2. Falklands: 62/100
3. Yemen: 52/100
4. New Caledonia: 42/100
...
7. Canada: 34/100
...
10. Finland: 32/100
...
12. Iceland: 31/100
...
14. Austria: 30/100
...
17. Norway: 28/100
...
19. Switzerland: 27/100


Even putting aside the types of guns permitted in all the above countries, making America not #1 with respect to gun ownership, would probably go a long way in reducing gun violence.

Or just continue to send thoughts and prayers to victims.
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  #47  
Old 06-14-2019, 06:29 PM
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The only part of this that actually matters is gun culture. Our country could easily collect and destroy 400 million small steel objects. It would take some logistical work, to be sure, but it's all just basic block and tackle stuff.

The hurdle we can't jump is gun culture. Our existing gun culture means that it's politically impossible to pass sweeping reform, and even if you did, large numbers of owners would refuse to follow the law. It's not that we can't collect and destroy 400 million guns (because 400 million is too big a number), it's that tens of millions of gun owners will actively try to prevent a gun ban from working.
I agree 100% and I can only say that this is not stressed strongly enough or often enough. All the arguments against the feasibility of gun control, particularly that nothing can be done about the gun problem because of the number of guns already in circulation, or citing the strong support of gun rights among many, are all premised on the idea that gun control must be some kind of top-down authoritarian edict. The huge number of guns in public hands is hardly a problem if the culture is such that nobody wants the damn things, as it indeed is for most people in most other countries that don't have a gun problem.

The role of government in the American gun context has to be less about legislation and more about actively changing the mindset and the culture, which is admittedly a huge challenge, but so is the problem. And a problem it certainly is, to an extent that I suspect most Americans don't recognize. To quote Wikipedia, "Compared to 22 other high-income nations, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is 25 times higher. Although it has half the population of the other 22 nations combined, the U.S. had 82 percent of all gun deaths, 90 percent of all women killed with guns, 91 percent of children under 14 and 92 percent of young people between ages 15 and 24 killed with guns."

Just consider that for a moment. The gun death rate is 25 times higher in the US than in comparable high-income countries -- not 25% higher, but 2500% higher! Nearly 15,000 people are killed by gun homicide every year, even more by preventable suicide which guns facilitate by making it so incredibly easy, quick, and fatal. Between 1968 and 2011, around 1.4 million Americans died from firearm injuries -- a figure more typically associated with a major war than with everyday life in a modern, rich, and ostensibly safe democracy. By any standard of epidemiology, it's an epidemic, and of all the things that people die from, gun deaths are probably by far the most easily preventable.
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I already gave one, Canada. Canada is #7 on the gun ownership per capita ratio worldwide and has basically no mass shootings. When they occasionally have something resembling one, their news media reports the incident but often refuses to even name the shooters, let alone give their whole story and a month of media focus. Finland is another. Iceland. Austria. Norway. Switzerland. New Zealand. All of them in the top 20 civilian gun ownership per capita countries, all with significant amounts of guns.
This characterization of the news media is not true. While there's a certain element of truth to the notion that news media in these other countries tends to be more responsible and less sensationalist than in the US -- compare, say, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a fairly sedate public broadcaster, with CNN -- it is not true that they shy away from full coverage of those rare mass shootings that do occur. In all cases that I can think of, the shooter was always named and the motivations openly discussed. Yet it didn't incite a bunch of copycats to come out with guns blazing. What it did, actually, was motivate discussions about even stronger gun controls, and increased public support for them.

As noted above, the really important difference between Canada and the US with respect to guns is not so much the number of guns, or particularly how the media handles gun violence stories; rather, the vividly startling difference is in the gun culture. Guns tend to be regarded as essentially utilitarian and inherently dangerous rather than as glamorous toys. If you substitute "case of dynamite" for "gun", you have a rough approximation of the cultural framework of guns in Canada for the majority of the population. I know that if I bought a bunch of guns and started bragging about them to my friends, they'd wonder what the hell was seriously wrong with me, whereas this seems to be an entrenched part of the American gun culture.
  #48  
Old 06-14-2019, 06:46 PM
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I forgot to include a link to the cited article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_vi..._United_States
  #49  
Old 06-14-2019, 07:48 PM
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....
Just consider that for a moment. The gun death rate is 25 times higher in the US than in comparable high-income countries -- not 25% higher, but 2500% higher! Nearly 15,000 people are killed by gun homicide every year, even more by preventable suicide which guns facilitate by making it so incredibly easy, quick, and fatal. ...


I love when stats lie and are cherry picked. "comparable high-income countries" mean "nations we picked because they have a low homicide rate. Now, if you did limit it to OECD nations*, then you'd have to include (for example) Mexico which has a homicide rate four times that of the USA, and Columbia which has a rate five times that of the USA. Generally the Americas have a much higher homicide rate than Europe, despite strict gun laws. 16.3 vs 3.0 . So, it's not guns, it's being in the Western Hemisphere are opposed to Europe or Asia. Or it's not being a small nation. (Russia has a rate twice that of the uSA)


But if you dont cherry pick, and just go for ALL nations, the USA is smack dab in the middle. Slightly lower than average, in fact.


Then you claim "Nearly 15,000 people are killed by gun homicide every year," But from your own cite "In 2012, there were 8,855 total firearm-related homicides in the United States..."

* OECD use to be Euro nations, but it has expanded, Columbia is the newest member.
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Old 06-14-2019, 08:07 PM
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But if you dont cherry pick ...

Then you claim "Nearly 15,000 people are killed by gun homicide every year," But from your own cite "In 2012, there were 8,855 total firearm-related homicides in the United States..."
LOL!!! "If you don't cherry pick". Check out the article again, and look at the graph. The latest two years on record were very close to 15,000.

I only point this out because of the sheer ridiculous irony of that accusation by someone who cherry-picked a year. And it doesn't even matter, because any of the numbers that have been fluctuating between roughly 10,000 and 15,000 gun homicides are so outrageously beyond all other comparable countries that it doesn't even matter what year you pick.

As for Mexico and what countries the US should be compared with, you sound like a broken record. We've heard it all before, again and again and again. Anyone seriously interested in solving the gun problem is going to seriously look at actual relevant facts, and not bring in comparisons with Mexico, or with Somalia or Yemen which might make the US gun death rates look even better. At least be forthright and just say "I like guns, and I think the deaths are worth it". Or is that too challenging a position to defend?
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