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Snorri



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
Jen & Joe, I wanted to reply on your facebook but I thought this would be a better place. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

You both argued for better mental health programs. I'm not sure that's the issue.

Reason is, the US tends to have shitty health programs, and yet, where mental health is concerned, you can easily discuss various medications, common diagnoses etc, that I have never even heard of. My office is in a psychology department, I lunch with psycho people every day. Yet if I think about the non US people I know, only 2 have ever seen a psychiatrist. It took me several days to get to that figure.
I'm not trying to say we're all good clean healthy normal people. Far far from it. But US citizens to me seem to have an obsession with mental health. 99.999% of all shrinks I've ever seen were in Hollywood movies. Youessians know about mental afflictions, know sufferers, know remedies, can accept people who suffered in the past and let them back into their lives, really, I don't know of another country that is so focussed on mental health.

So if you're asking yourself how do we stop mall shootings from happening? Yes, I think mental health experts have a lot to offer. But if the question is why here and not in Switzerland, I don't think mental health care laws are the way to argue.


The mental health issue is something that absolutely deserves attention. But it probably isn't that important for the issue of gun-violence.
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CTrees



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lasairfiona wrote:
The other thing that drives me mad is that I keep hearing people point out that no one shoots up a police station - shooters choose to shoot up unarmed areas like schools and malls, "obviously" because people are unarmed there. I think this is just not true. Perhaps the shooters are cowards but I think the majority of these rampages are done in such locations for far more complicated reasons than "location with the least resistance." Sure that might be part of the equation but the shootings are also emotional things and the location will be tied to where the emotion lies (schools, movies where bullies might be,


Think you're looking at this in reverse. It's not "I want to go shooting, where is someplace my victims won't have guns?" Terrorists may create lists of potential targets and narrow them down to the most optimal, but these nutjobs pick one target first, and then figure out how to attack THAT. It's "I want to go shoot this place/these people because it/they are the center of my rage!" The thing is, if there were likely to be a lot of armed individuals, the would be shooters might go, "wait, this is really unlikely to work." Take the police station example: I can guarantee there are a lot of deranged people who are as pissed at the police as there are ones pissed at schools, but the ones that reach "I want to kill them all!" levels must know that it would not work out well-the known hardness of the target serves as a disincentive, as opposed to known weaknesses serving as incentives when choosing a target.

Continuing this provides the logic behind the "lets arm teachers" push. People are still going to want to shoot up schools, but if it's known that there are a lot of people carrying firearms, and trained in their use for stopping people like them, it may provide sufficient disincentive to dissuade some people.
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Willem



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael wrote:
Jen & Joe, I wanted to reply on your facebook but I thought this would be a better place. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I think the US has managed to get past their distrust of psychology and psychiatry far better than countries like the Netherlands and Belgium. Here there's still a huge stigma about seeing a psychologist or a psychiatrist, even for common conditions like depression, anxiety, burn-out, etc. I'm not sure if this is the case in the Netherlands, but in Belgium this is partially because our mental healthcare policy just isn't all that good either - only psychiatrists are covered in our healthcare insurance and anything else isn't even recognised as a protected profession. So you might be paying €50 an hour to go to a quack, unless you go to a psychiatrist straight away. And that's not for everyone.

It seems to me like the US is more open about things like that, but I don't think it's all that relevant. Americans get treated for depression and all that, yes, but that's not where the US mental healthcare falls down. It's when you have something more serious that it begins to fuck up. It's when mental healthcare needs to go beyond just being there and waiting for people to seek help on their own that the US finds its problems. When people can't get by without help - they're fucked. Or when the outside world needs to recognise someone in trouble, that's a problem.

I mean, it all changes from state to state and from person to person, but a lot of the seriously mentally ill just can't find the help they require. If they're a danger to society, they'll end up in jail. If they're not, maybe they'll just end up homeless. Or dead.

I think there's also something to be said about the US education system not being equipped to handle students with mental issues.
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Willem



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CTrees wrote:
Continuing this provides the logic behind the "lets arm teachers" push. People are still going to want to shoot up schools, but if it's known that there are a lot of people carrying firearms, and trained in their use for stopping people like them, it may provide sufficient disincentive to dissuade some people.

It's of course bullshit because the people involved pretty much expect to die anyway and aren't thinking about something as disgusting as a 'body count'. You can't count on these shooters not only coming to this conclusion (remember, they already came to the conclusion that they need to shoot up a school before, so their thought process might not be totally rational), but also caring about it.
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CTrees



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not saying arming teachers is a good idea, just that it's part of the logic behind the push.

I'm it's entirely bullshit, though. Again, actually look at the lack of mass shootings at police stations-there are certainly people who would love to do it, but the level of physical security provides sufficient disincentive that it doesn't even get attempted. Look at the Fort Hood shooting-an administrative/medical office where everyone was diarmed was selected instead of any area where people actually had access to their weapons. I can't think that was random chance.
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

why are we trying to compare actual crazy people who actually shoot up schools and shopping malls and movie theaters to hypothetical perfectly sane people who don't shoot up police stations?

and even then, there's sort of an important point that the people inside the police station are not only armed but trained to use their weapons and to react with something other than blind panic when fired upon. so unless this "logic" calls for training all teachers the way we train cops and soldiers, this is still a dumb comparison.
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Willem



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

why are there so little shootings in laundromats? are shooters afraid of washing machines? maybe we should put washing machines in all classrooms!

i'm not saying it's a good idea, i just kinda see the logic guys
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Willem



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

put all children in washing machines, the turning movement will make them harder to aim at
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mouse



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CTrees wrote:
Look at the Fort Hood shooting-an administrative/medical office where everyone was diarmed was selected instead of any area where people actually had access to their weapons. I can't think that was random chance.


then again, the guy who did the shooting was a doctor. the section he shot up was the place he worked, the place he was most familiar with, the place where things might have happened that inspired him to decide to shoot it up. so while it clearly wasn't random chance, i can't think that it was chosen just because the people there were unlikely to be armed.

i don't know how many of you can read this - it's a new yorker article, dated april 23, 2012, after the trayvon martin shooting started getting publicity. it covers the history of gun control in the u.s. for the first 200 years, there was no problem with the idea of the government controlling access to weapons. in fact, all those wild-west towns, where the movies show the shootouts? in reality, you had to check your gun with the sheriff as soon as you arrived. gunfight at the o.k. corral? immediate trigger was that one of the clanton group hadn't checked his weapon. so this whole history of rugged individualists building america with their guns is pure hokem. the nra was strongly in favor of gun control (in fact, the majority still are), until a sort of coup in 1977 put a group of extremist conservatives in power. they are the ones who have pushed the whole 2nd-amendment-as-guaranteeing-you-a-personal-weapon bit. so basically, we have a small group of extremists pushing an insane agenda that has absolutely nothing to do with making citizens safe but rather with promoting fear - and they are succeeding. and i, for one, am sick and tired of people telling me how afraid i should be.

there is no reason we can't limit the sale of semi-automatic weapons (whatever they look like). there is no reason we can't ban the sale of large-volume clips, and bullets that are designed to inflict maximum damage on a body (like the ones that were used in Newtown). there is no reason that we can't insist gun owners demonstrate the same level of knowledge about the instrument they are using and the laws pertaining to same as we require of people who drive cars, no reason we can't insist that they also have a license, and that license has to be renewed on a regular basis. no reason we can't insist that you have a license before you can buy a gun. not even a good reason why we can't insist that gun be registered.

no, that won't stop all the crazies, or the people determined to commit murder. it won't even stop all the suicides and accidents (of which there are a horrific number every year, many involving small children). it will make it a bit harder for a crazy to mow down large numbers of people. it may even make it easier for a bystander, even an unarmed one, to stop the shooter - as was the case in the gabrielle giffords case.

and to me, it makes a lot more sense than insisting the only way to keep our children safe is to home school them, to never allow them into any place that doesn't have metal detectors and fences and security guards. what the fuck kind of life is that for a child? is it really worth locking our children up, so that a few people can amass armories? that just seems totally backwards to me. i really don't see how it can make sense to anyone who isn't suffering from acute paranoia.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and on another subject - does anyone know if this is legit 'cause i can't believe i haven't heard more about it if it is true.

on the other hand, if it _is_ true, i may have to believe the world will end on the 21st. because if pat robertson embracing science isn't a sign of the end times....
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Willem



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

can't not post this when ol' pat is brought up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Robertson_controversies
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mouse



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

so what you are saying is, this is just another incidence of robertson crazy-talk.

well, i guess if you say enough crazy things, there is a non-zero probability that you will say something that is actually true.
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Willem



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm actually not saying anything, other than "reminder that Pat literally used money from a charity organisation to dig up conflict minerals"

As to this thing, he doesn't have to be wrong about everything, I guess.
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Darqcyde



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
darq, i don't know about an increase in home schooling. school shootings are rare, but they get a lot of publicity, so that makes them seem more of a problem. but really - look at where other shootings have happened recently - a mall, a movie theatre, outside a grocery store. unless you keep the kids locked in the house for the rest of their lives, they are at risk.

it's early days yet, but this at least does seem to be getting a reaction in washington. from the descriptions, it sounds like the guy must have fired well over 100 rounds, and it all happened fast enough that the only reloading he could have done would be to slap in another magazine. and he did have an assault rife. so banning assault rifles and large-volume magazines (whatever the hell those are called) - that should at least make it harder to kill large numbers of people. it's a step.

but i don't know what you do to convince people we need some gun control when they figure they have a god-given right to shoot at targets filled with explosives, just to hear the bang.

Well time will tell about home schooling, but apparently a few thousand schools are looking to implement plans like this one: http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/school-safety-inside-one-schools-extraordinary-security-measures-121623758--abc-news-topstories.html

also, about what Willem posted:
Authorities crack down on copycat threats after Newtown
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/authorities-crack-down-copycat-threats-newtown-210709195.html
By Liz Goodwin, Yahoo! News | The Lookout – 9 hrs ago
Quote:
Authorities are cracking down on a spate of threats against schools following Friday's attack at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself.

In Indiana, police have responded to threats against three separate schools, making arrests in each case. They included a Bloomington South High School student who allegedly threatened a "copycat" school shooting; police removed six guns from his home, The AP reported. Two other teens, one in California, the other in Tennessee, who posted online that they would like to commit similar shootings were promptly arrested, CNN reported. Another teen in Tennessee was arrested after making phone calls to a local elementary school with a bomb threat.

Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance said last week than anyone making threats would be investigated and prosecuted.

It's common for threats against schools to spike after a much-publicized shooting, and research has suggested there may be a link between how much attention an incident gets in the media and how many copycat threats follow.

In the 50 days after the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, more than 350 threats were reported at Pennsylvania schools, skyrocketing from the one or two threats reported in the same period a year earlier. A study, published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine in 1999, determined that the publicity Columbine received led to a spike in bomb and other threats on schools. A similar shooting a year earlier in Jonesboro, Ark., received a fraction of the media attention that Columbine did, and attracted many fewer copycat threats in the days following.

Based on this finding, the authors of the study urged the media to downplay coverage of shootings, not to portray the killers as "countercultural heroes," and not to describe in detail how the crime was committed.

Though a rise in threats following shootings has been documented, it's much less clear whether mass killings that attract intense media coverage lead people to attempt actual copycat attacks.

In a paper published in 1999, Christopher Cantor and other researchers examined seven mass killings in Australia, the U.K. and New Zealand. They said they found a "ripple effect" linking some of the mass killings, where some murderers were inspired by coverage of other crimes to commit their own.

But criminology expert Ray Surette cautioned in his own study on copycat crime that "too few copycat criminals have been identified to allow for scientifically adequate research."

Surette's study of juvenile offenders in Florida, published in Crime & Delinquency in 2002, found that about a third of young prisoners had considered committing a crime that they had seen in the media—defined as TV, movies, news and music—and that a quarter of them had actually attempted to commit such a crime. But Surette had no way of knowing whether removing the media would have prevented those prisoners from committing their crimes in the first place.

In a 1984 study of prisoners in Butner, N.C., the researchers Susan Pease and Craig Love found that about 20 percent of prisoners said they had been influenced by either newspaper reports, TV news, TV shows or movies before committing a crime. TV news and newspaper reports ranked far lower than programs and movies as influencers, and almost all of the self-identified "copycat criminals" said they had the intent to commit a crime before they were influenced by media. (Some prisoners said they would watch TV crime programs and literally take notes in order to pick up on new techniques.) The lone exception was mentally ill patients, however, who did not necessarily have criminal intent before they said they were influenced by media before committing a crime.

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Bart



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darqcyde wrote:
mouse wrote:
darq, i don't know about an increase in home schooling. school shootings are rare, but they get a lot of publicity, so that makes them seem more of a problem. but really - look at where other shootings have happened recently - a mall, a movie theatre, outside a grocery store. unless you keep the kids locked in the house for the rest of their lives, they are at risk.

it's early days yet, but this at least does seem to be getting a reaction in washington. from the descriptions, it sounds like the guy must have fired well over 100 rounds, and it all happened fast enough that the only reloading he could have done would be to slap in another magazine. and he did have an assault rife. so banning assault rifles and large-volume magazines (whatever the hell those are called) - that should at least make it harder to kill large numbers of people. it's a step.

but i don't know what you do to convince people we need some gun control when they figure they have a god-given right to shoot at targets filled with explosives, just to hear the bang.

Well time will tell about home schooling, but apparently a few thousand schools are looking to implement plans like this one: http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/school-safety-inside-one-schools-extraordinary-security-measures-121623758--abc-news-topstories.html
[/quote]

This system is ridiculous, it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and will not defeat any shooter who 1) Starts shooting outside of the building 2) Comes in through a window. 3) Has clearance to enter and uses guns hidden in backpack.
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