Guns don't kill people

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Guns don't kill people

#1

Post by I am nobody » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:01 pm

I doubt this will be read by anyone that it's addressing, this weekend was a breaking point for me after years of arguing with people who claimed to have all the solutions to terrorism and shootings. So you know what? Let's say they're right.

Almost two dozen people were murdered in El Paso this weekend by a terrorist motivated by a belief that he was facing an "invasion" and "replacement" by Hispanics. Five months prior, 51 more were murdered by a different terrorist who believed exactly the same things about Muslims. In April of this year and October of last, 12 people were murdered at synagogues in California and Pittsburgh by terrorists who believed exactly the same things about Jews. Last February, 17 high school students were murdered by a terrorist who believed exactly the same things about practically everyone. All told, these five attacks, all occurring in the last 18 months, ended over 100 lives. To say nothing of attacks motivated by adjacent beliefs like Q Anon or incels, nor of arson and pipe bombs that mercifully failed to kill anyone.

While these attacks are, of course, neither alone nor a significant death toll compared even to single American cities, they are unique in that their motivating ideologies have been tolerated or even directly quoted by major western figures. Language that might once have been limited to fringe figures like Alex Jones or the KKK is now openly aired in the mass media by Tucker Carlson or Laura Ingrahm, who have directly referenced the El Paso terrorist's "invasion" and replacement ideology, or Trump and other leading Republicans who've repeatedly described immigration as an invasion.

So here we have countless public figures who, when terrorism in the west was primarily committed in the name of Islam, called for all manner of actions to be taken against Muslims, who followed a "religion of violence" and couldn't be trusted to live next to our children. And yet, when it's their own ideology that's doing the killing, suddenly it's no longer about what the terrorists believe. Where we once needed to be afraid of even moderate Muslims, because it was apparently impossible to follow their religion without condoning violence, we're now told it's suddenly all the fault of video games and that, by the way, maybe it'd be a good idea to give the terrorist exactly what he wants and pass some immigration restrictions. Leaders who spout the same ideas as the terrorists? Suddenly blameless.

All of which leads to a simple conclusion by their own logic: Trump is correct. Guns did not kill 22 people in El Paso this weekend. He did. Kevin McCarthy did. Rupert Murdoch, 8chan, and every other person or platform that allows these ideas to be aired did. By decades of their own arguments, guns, like bombs, planes, knives, or trucks, were a tool. These killings were caused by people, and the blame for them lies fully on those who inspired their ideas.

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Re: Guns don't kill people

#2

Post by smol Kat » Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:54 pm

There's a lot I could say here, but for me what it boils down to is that all this hate and xenophobia can't continue. And I feel completely powerless to stop it. I don't even know where to start.

As a side note, y'all can place your bets on how many books I proof or copyedit [e: about mass shootings] for the fall season. I say 5. It shouldn't be like this.
Last edited by smol Kat on Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Guns don't kill people

#3

Post by RinkuTheFirst » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:53 am

smol Kat wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:54 pm
And I feel completely powerless to stop it. I don't even know where to start.
Same. It can feel extremely hopeless at times; I live in a "liberal" area, but I still live in Alabama. The odds of my personal vote getting any of the responsible monsters out of office are so low that it feels pointless. Every day I have to listen to one of my friends spout increasingly redpilled, Islamophobic, and arrogant "both sides" nonsense.

I try really hard not to lose hope. I speak out when I can. I encourage people to vote; hell, we elected a Democratic Senator here. Sure, it was almost entirely because he was going up against a pedophile and (the numbers show) that black women came out in droves to vote for him. Even with all of that, it was stupidly close.

Still, what's the alternative? Give up and wait for these loonies to come for me?

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Re: Guns don't kill people

#4

Post by Calamity Panfan » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:16 pm

It's a video games problem OR it's a mental illness problem, when people with mental illness are more likely to be a victim of gun violence/harm themselves than commit it.

But of course Trump and others saying that it's a mental illness problem are doing jack s*** to help people with mental illness receive care so that doesn't matter anyway.

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Re: Guns don't kill people

#5

Post by Apollo the Just » Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:27 pm

I have been stewing on very similar thoughts for a while, IAN. But I have been hesitant to voice them because since "gun control will fix this" seems to be the *only* course of meaningful action being proposed by ANYONE AT ALL, I feel like, well something is better than nothing right? If it being harder to access guns means one less hateful terrorist is able to carry out their plan, some lives will have been saved, right?

I still think that's true to an extent. There is evidence suggesting that countries who enact stricter gun regulations following a tragedy experience decreased rates of gun-related homicide thereafter. But it DOES NOT eradicate the problem, and I am honestly afraid that it would have anything close to an impact because the CULTURE around extremist violence here is so ingrained.

Because guns are a tool that can be dangerous, I do agree that it makes sense to properly train and vet owners. But these regulations do not address the inherent sickness in our country. These people want to kill and they are simply using the easiest means available to them. Take away one tool and I have no doubt that they will find another. Might it help? Yes. But it is not the only topic of discussion.

"Why does America have such a disproportionate rate of mass shootings? The difference is the guns." - lots of takes on twitter. But take a moment to think about the culture here that worships those guns, though, how tied they are to certain kinds of identities, and the kinds of violent speech and ideologies being celebrated. The guns and the shootings are a symptom. They aren't the root cause.

I don't know what to do about any of it.

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Re: Guns don't kill people

#6

Post by I am nobody » Tue Aug 06, 2019 8:25 pm

^The OP here is entirely a continuation of pro-gun arguments that have been made after previous shootings, to be clear. I didn't want to include any of my own opinions because they'd just muddy the point that Fox et al have repeatedly told us we should blame them for these killings.

Personally, I think some kind of gun control is necessary because they're used in such an astounding number of suicides and research has clearly shown that making suicide even slightly more difficult saves many lives. I think it's very ironic that the groups shouting about a "white genocide" are so staunchly in favor of devices that, along with drugs, are responsible for many times more dead white men each year than immigrant crime and terrorism have been in decades. White men are 70 ****ing percent of suicides, and 50% (higher for men) of suicides use guns. There's your crisis.

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Re: Guns don't kill people

#7

Post by Apiary Tazy » Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:50 pm

No one wants to actually solve the problem because it's not an easy object to get mad at. It's gonna be a deeper problem that a ban will not solve.

"I don't have guns so get rid of them. I won't be affected." "I don't care much for video games so get rid of them. I won't be affected."

"Banning hate" especially wouldn't do it. What even is hate? I've seen people that get called fascist for saying a video game developer isn't entitled to your money. You can't trust any law that controls opinion because it'll never do what it's petitioned as.

I've heard a few reasonable arguments about the subject but really I think the strongest is attention. A spree killer gets their name on the news, their beliefs get spread everywhere. Ensured a wikipedia page, a book, tons of people talking about them. They're the serial killers of this generation, doing it more for attention than anything else. If you make these people nobodies that don't matter and avoid talking about them, it would certainly help in my opinion.

Though good luck telling a for-profit media to do that. They'd probably argue for more shootings in their attempt to refuse. I remember on Twitter there were at least five different instances of the El Paso shooter's name trending and it's like someone decided that they have to go for a record for most hashtags about a single person. It's baffling.

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Re: Guns don't kill people

#8

Post by Deepfake » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:29 am

The bullets and the organ failure definitely do the destructive action, but the poisoning of the attacker's will and mind comes from many directions prior. It is a culmination of a hatred, and anger, which does not have a positive or productive outlet, and is often in itself motivated by confusion and falsehoods, half-truths. It is clearly not a single issue.

Shooters are not just attacking their victims, they are attacking their concepts of society. They believe their action to be a solution or a response to a problem they see, real or imagined. These are easy conclusions to make, no matter the details. To categorise them as inhuman monsters is irresponsible - this behavior is unmistakeably human.
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Re: Guns don't kill people

#9

Post by smol Kat » Wed Aug 07, 2019 12:55 pm

New! Tazy Ten, emphasis mine wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 11:50 pm
I've heard a few reasonable arguments about the subject but really I think the strongest is attention. A spree killer gets their name on the news, their beliefs get spread everywhere. Ensured a wikipedia page, a book, tons of people talking about them. They're the serial killers of this generation, doing it more for attention than anything else. If you make these people nobodies that don't matter and avoid talking about them, it would certainly help in my opinion.

Though good luck telling a for-profit media to do that. They'd probably argue for more shootings in their attempt to refuse. I remember on Twitter there were at least five different instances of the El Paso shooter's name trending and it's like someone decided that they have to go for a record for most hashtags about a single person. It's baffling.
I do agree that this would help, but not on its own (similar to improving gun control). And perhaps instead of approaching hate from a BAN IT ALL approach, it's simply time to remove protections for hate speech.

That said, removing those protections in and of itself wouldn't make this problem go away. But it would at least invalidate, really and truly invalidate, some of the groups mentioned in the OP. And that's a decent start.
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Re: Guns don't kill people

#10

Post by Apiary Tazy » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:24 am

Removing protections is still banning it, and hate speech is subjective and too nebulous to trust any group with regulation. Especially if someone tries to retroactively punish someone for something said years before it's called hate speech like some try to do.

I asked this already: What is hate? Is it saying a bad word? What if we start working to make that word no longer bad? If we succeed is it taken off the list, or is that not allowed? What if people start making a word bad or an argument bad? Are we no longer allowed to discuss from that point of view? What measure is something suddenly hate speech? Who decides this? You? Me? The government? A state you don't live in? Someone verified on Twitter with a bunch of followers? What if it's used to stop a political movement or to slander someone? What stops that from happening? If you're not willing to protect the absolute evilest of society in a fair manner than it's only a matter of time before someone decides you don't need that protection either. Look at every social media website trying to protect its users from harassment. It never works out the way people want it to. I can't think of one success on that front.

Dismantling the arguments of bigots takes far more effort and empathy then labeling them as racist and putting them in a naughty box. I think I could argue that you'd cause more violence with that tactic rather than less.

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Re: Guns don't kill people

#11

Post by smol Kat » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:37 pm

Not exactly. All it really says is, "yo, we as a government don't endorse this garbage." I just don't believe it's the slippery slope people seem to want to claim it to be.
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Re: Guns don't kill people

#12

Post by Apollo the Just » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:35 pm

It’s a slippery slope towards not being able to say brown people are subhuman oh no

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Re: Guns don't kill people

#13

Post by Apiary Tazy » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:34 pm

Freedom of Speech is the only reason Martin Luther King Jr. didn't get put in prison, but if you'd rather throw away everyone's rights to feel safe at night, there's a bevy of other countries where you don't have to feel threatened by words. Move there and tell me how easy it is to stage a protest, or speak about injustices in your government. To buck the trends of culture without severe punishment. How long before "we don't endorse racism" becomes "we don't endorse how your're protesting" or "we don't endorse video games"? Are you ready for that? Do you care? How about we remove the protections for video game violence? We don't endorse that, do we?

If you'd rather repeal your own rights so you can laugh at a someone get arrested for calling another person a negro, I really doubt you care about anything other than the most petty of vengeances.

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Re: Guns don't kill people

#14

Post by I am nobody » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:40 pm

Canada, along with France, the UK, and most other EU countries have hate speech laws and seem both plenty capable of protest and free of any slippery slope towards mass oppression. It's also notable that MLK was arrested 29 times and, you know, assassinated, so pointing out that he never went to prison, while technically true, rather overstates how well he was treated.

If limiting any kind of speech were that much of a slippery slope, we'd have rolled down it a long time ago from arbitrary restrictions on obscenity.

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Re: Guns don't kill people

#15

Post by MeowMan » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:58 pm

is "slippery slope" being a logical fallacy not common knowledge? because i thought it was common knowledge. even the wikipedia article on it calls it a logical fallacy in its definition

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Re: Guns don't kill people

#16

Post by smol Kat » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:10 pm

^I thought so too, tbh.
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Re: Guns don't kill people

#17

Post by steeze » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:15 pm

New! Tazy Ten wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:34 pm
Freedom of Speech is the only reason Martin Luther King Jr. didn't get put in prison, but if you'd rather throw away everyone's rights to feel safe at night, there's a bevy of other countries where you don't have to feel threatened by words. Move there and tell me how easy it is to stage a protest, or speak about injustices in your government. To buck the trends of culture without severe punishment. How long before "we don't endorse racism" becomes "we don't endorse how your're protesting" or "we don't endorse video games"? Are you ready for that? Do you care? How about we remove the protections for video game violence? We don't endorse that, do we?

If you'd rather repeal your own rights so you can laugh at a someone get arrested for calling another person a negro, I really doubt you care about anything other than the most petty of vengeances.
You bring up some very good points on the matter of give the government an inch and they will take a mile. It's important to note that not everyone who spouts hate speech is going to go out and shoot people. These are just people who were raised to think that they're superior to others. While hate is always going to exist in parts of the world, creating laws that ban it would infringe on that first amendment. If anything I think allowing people to spout hate shows other people who they really are because of the social media landscape we live in. If you want to crack down on online hate speech and racism, I'm all for that. Hell, it might even open up a few jobs for people who really want to make some effective changes.

I just hope and pray that we'll start to see decisive leadership centered around a true patriot. One who believes as strongly as the founding fathers did in Freedom but with enough sense to see the challenging environment the modern world has fallen intro. We need to embrace changes in our way of life and be more understanding and respectful of others especially any brother or sister fleeing here for a better life. So many people have died for that cause. You ban guns then people can start building explosives to kill people if they can't get a hold of a rifle. Plus you haven't gotten rid of all the guns that are already out there. Kinda seems too late to get rid of them to me. Although, I know Australia had some success in the gun control department. But I mean their population is nothing compared to here and they have arguably better morals so there's that. A friend and I were talking and we found it incredibly helpful that we were in so many media classes and courses on propaganda in college. We noted that those classes were always the easiest and left us open to formulate our own opinions while recognizing bias and persuasive language when being told information online or on the news.

Maybe if we made that common core in schools kids in their most vulnerable times of figuring out what to believe in and who they are wouldn't be so at risk to swaying so far right or so far left. They'd be willing to work together with people even if they have conflicting beliefs to find a common ground because they don't believe in unshakable self truths.

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Re: Guns don't kill people

#18

Post by Apiary Tazy » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:07 pm

I am nobody wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:40 pm
Canada, along with France, the UK, and most other EU countries have hate speech laws and seem both plenty capable of protest and free of any slippery slope towards mass oppression. It's also notable that MLK was arrested 29 times and, you know, assassinated, so pointing out that he never went to prison, while technically true, rather overstates how well he was treated.

If limiting any kind of speech were that much of a slippery slope, we'd have rolled down it a long time ago from arbitrary restrictions on obscenity.
The United Kingdom literally arrested and fined someone for teaching their dog to do a nazi salute purely as a joke and all of these countries have arrested or fined plenty of people out of fear they may cause some distress. So no, I don't not think they're capable of protest or free of any slippery slope towards mass oppression. And don't give me a list of times America has treated people unfairly or been authoritarian because I'm still going to say it's bad. I don't care about country, that's not the point. I freely admit I'm making a slippery slope argument, but that doesn't mean it's wrong. There is a distinct difference between "you can't say a bad word on our service" and "You can't upset people" and refusing to say what might upset someone. Vauge laws that can not be understood and easily followed will be used unfairly when there's an advantage to it.

As for MLK, I was never insinuating that he was immune to trouble. He was arrested tons of times (and killed). I doubt anyone would say he wasn't (Kind of weird to deny that he was killed but okay). What I meant was that he could never be charged with a crime, because the police never found anything to charge him with. Because what he was doing was legally sound despite those in power hating his guts. The law saved him, like it or not. We can't just curtail freedoms because it's making us a little uncomfortable right now, when these same freedoms have made the country a better place.

@steeze
If you let bigots walk out into the sunlight, nine times out of ten they tend to shrivel and die. They undo themselves on complete accident. Do they get audiences? Sure, but so does anyone with a voice. Activism works on a victim narrative, real or not. If you bully them, they are able to justify themselves that much more regardless of what they do to deserve it.

There's a lot of things that need to be done, but they're not easy. Reinforcing current gun laws and protections, reaching out to those in depressive states, innovating our mental health system... It takes time and more shootings might happen in that time, but its better than hammering down on rights then wondering why it didn't work when the next shooting happens.

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Re: Guns don't kill people

#19

Post by I am nobody » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:39 pm

I don't see how the dog story is relevant to being able to protest. I can go to downtown London and shout that Boris Johnson is an idiot, the Tories are ruining the country, and, oh, for good measure, restore the monarchy, and I'll just get weird looks. Scotland literally had an independence referendum a few years back - how do you protest harder than that?

I'll concede your point if you can give me a situation in which also being able to shout that Polish people are inherently inferior would improve my ability to protest in favor of anything other than a government that oppresses Poles.

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Re: Guns don't kill people

#20

Post by Deepfake » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:03 am

MeowMan wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:58 pm
is "slippery slope" being a logical fallacy not common knowledge? because i thought it was common knowledge. even the wikipedia article on it calls it a logical fallacy in its definition
It is fairly common knowledge. People who want to make such arguments don't really accept things like 'proven fallacy' getting in their way, though. Knowing isn't believing, etc.
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