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Friday Open Thread

by afew Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 11:46:42 AM EST

Friday Free-for-all


Display:
Get in while you can, it's a euro a word tomorrow.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 11:47:57 AM EST
The end of gratuitous speech?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 12:04:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tomorrow.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:36:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Dalje: Croatian reforms still too slow, says central bank governor (DECEMBER 12 2012)
Croatia's government has not enforced enough spending cuts in the 2013 budget, and structural reform has been too slow in its first year in office, Croatian National Bank (HNB) Governor Boris Vujcic told Reuters on Tuesday.

...

Croatia needs "a whole set of structural reforms" to unlock its potential, most of them focused on creating a better investment climate, said Vujcic. "That is key for attracting investments, particularly now before joining the EU".

...

The government aims to cut the general budget gap this year to 3.5 percent of gross domestic product from 4.4 percent in 2011, but the 2013 budget approved last week envisages a deficit of 3.8 percent, widening out again, said Reuters.

...

He said Croatia's banks, more than 90 percent of which are owned by foreign companies, are now deleveraging, but that the process was no more dramatic than in Croatia's peers in central Europe.

Nothing about the economic collapse the country is undergoing under austerity and a Euro exchange rate peg...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 12:03:55 PM EST
New Economic Perspectives: Alternative Framing of Money: Coda (L Randall Wray, December 14, 2012)
Conservatives, including so far as I can determine most commentators in the blog-o-sphere, take the view that government reduces freedom, defined as the ability to do whatever one wants. Progressives emphasize the positive role for government: government helps us to care for ourselves and others, which vastly increases our freedom. Note I said "role for government"; we are not naïve--we do not imagine that government is only positive, it is government's role but government doesn't necessarily perform its role. Democracy is the best way we know to try to encourage government to do good. We are not always successful. It is not "natural" it results only from our will.

For the conservative, however, this is all silly. Government is run by individuals, each of whom is out to protect his own interest and screw everyone else. There is no such thing as "citizens caring about each other and acting responsibly on that care, with both individual and social responsibility, to provide through the government protection and empowerment for all". For the conservative that is not only impossible, but also undesirable. The Hobbesian ideal is dog eat dog, dog eat man, man eat dog, and ultimately man eat man.

There were several hundred comments to this series on the meme for money. A large proportion pushed the conservative meme. Not surprising. Across every blog site I've written for, conservative commentary tends to dominate. For these readers, the entire purpose of this series was anathema. As I made clear, I was providing advice to progressives: how to frame discussion of money to further the progressive agenda. Obviously, conservatives would oppose that. Many simply register their objections openly, others try the "why can't we all just get along" defence. Well, because if progressives adopt conservative framing they will lose policy debates.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 12:06:56 PM EST
Earliest evidence for cheese making in the sixth millennium bc in northern Europe : Nature : Nature Publishing Group
The introduction of dairying was a critical step in early agriculture, with milk products being rapidly adopted as a major component of the diets of prehistoric farmers and pottery-using late hunter-gatherers1, 2, 3, 4, 5. The processing of milk, particularly the production of cheese, would have been a critical development because it not only allowed the preservation of milk products in a non-perishable and transportable form, but also it made milk a more digestible commodity for early prehistoric farmers6, 7, 8, 9, 10. The finding of abundant milk residues in pottery vessels from seventh millennium sites from north-western Anatolia provided the earliest evidence of milk processing, although the exact practice could not be explicitly defined1. Notably, the discovery of potsherds pierced with small holes appear at early Neolithic sites in temperate Europe in the sixth millennium bc and have been interpreted typologically as `cheese-strainers'10, although a direct association with milk processing has not yet been demonstrated. Organic residues preserved in pottery vessels have provided direct evidence for early milk use in the Neolithic period in the Near East and south-eastern Europe, north Africa, Denmark and the British Isles, based on the δ13C and Δ13C values of the major fatty acids in milk1, 2, 3, 4. Here we apply the same approach to investigate the function of sieves/strainer vessels, providing direct chemical evidence for their use in milk processing. The presence of abundant milk fat in these specialized vessels, comparable in form to modern cheese strainers11, provides compelling evidence for the vessels having being used to separate fat-rich milk curds from the lactose-containing whey. This new evidence emphasizes the importance of pottery vessels in processing dairy products, particularly in the manufacture of reduced-lactose milk products among lactose-intolerant prehistoric farming communities6, 7.

That somehow fills me with ineffable elation and pride at being european.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 12:10:28 PM EST
It helps that european peoples have  gene which enables them to digest cows milk. It's unlikely cheese would have been developed elsewhere cos it makes all non-euros ill

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 12:26:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are also East Africans who can digest milk.  Interestingly the two groups seem to have evolved the mutation separately

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 12:37:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To be noted next time someone tries to explain the paleo diet to me.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 01:11:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought it was the other way around, because we eat milk products those that can handle it better has a survival advantage in hard times. Cheese that has had more time to mature has less lactose btw, so it could have started with old cheese. Or they just did not care so much about stomach aches.

Scandinavians has really good ability to break down lactose as adults, while the Finnish has it worse. Has not stopped them from eating cheese or other milk products though, they just get a stomach ache (contributing to surly stereotypes). Of course today Finland is leading in lactose-free milk products.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 01:40:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cheese may be particularly European, but different kinds of fermented milk are consumed pretty much all over the world.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 02:35:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I understood that it was precisely cheese-making that got around the lactose intolerance that our ancestors had, because the lactose doesn't stay in the cheese : i.e. there would have been no great advantage in domesticating cattle without the ability to make cheese, because the milk itself was indigestible.

It seems pretty clear that we collectively became lactose-tolerant, and therefore milk drinkers, subsequently. But it started with cheese.

Three cheers for European cheese. One thing we still do better than anyone else.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 01:10:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Three cheers for European cheese. One thing we still do better than anyone else."

Obviously you have not been exposed to the wonders of Cheez Whiz /  Easy Cheeze. I mean, what the heck do you EAT?!?!?

by asdf on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:16:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kraft Cheese Slices? Velveeta?

No, Raclette!

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 02:10:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If he makes sandwiches that way, he'd love a chupaqueso.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 06:43:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Really?  I thought the fact that Europeans had exported their worms to other continents would be enough of an accomplishment for you.
by stevesim on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 12:27:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Bat Country Word, From an interview on Arpanet in 1976 with Jim Henson, Ayn Rand, Yoko Ono and (painter) Sidney Nolan. In which Jim compares Ayn unfavorably to Oscar the Grouch
From an interview on Arpanet in 1976 with Jim Henson, Ayn Rand, Yoko Ono and (painter) Sidney Nolan. In which Jim compares Ayn unfavorably to Oscar the Grouch »


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 12:10:45 PM EST
Ugg, I seem to have fallen victim to the lurgy, coughing and sneezing everywhere.

I shall hang around for a bit as this form of remote interaction is probably the best social activity I can do right now, but I'll retire early in the hopes that I'll feel better tomorrow

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 12:24:40 PM EST
Gute Besserung!

I gave the sniffles myself.

by stevesim on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 12:28:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Been a week since the last, so I guess this was due:

Connecticut elementary school shooting: Multiple deaths reported:

Multiple people have been killed in a shooting at an elementary school. At least one child is among the dead, the Hartford Courant reports. Sources told the newspaper that many of the shootings took place in a kindergarten classroom. The gunman is reported dead.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 12:40:41 PM EST


Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 01:38:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
report is at least 27 dead including 18 children, gunman in his 20's  Apparently it's "not the right time to talk about future policy"

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 01:40:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What a horrible fucking day.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 07:32:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes.

But those lovely children died to foment a discussion where no discussion was previously possible. So, so sad... but that's the way ingrained, programmed cultural genes are altered.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 08:19:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is a whole lot more than the problem with guns. This is the consequence of the direction the USA has been moving for 50 years, since the apogee of social equality was reached in the 1960s. With the reversal of the direction of trends in income and wealth distribution that we have steadily undergone there is just less and less social space for any but the ideal, preferred personality and character types in our society.

Those who don't fit the mold but are desperately trying can be as or more dangerous than those who reject the mold and may be more of a factor with young adult shooters. Others, usually older, snap when their world falls apart. This sort of thing is only going to increase so long as the trends toward increasing income and wealth distribution remain in place. One or another of these factors were arguably present the case in the Aurora, CO. movie theater shooting, the Oikos University shooting in Oakland, CA and will quite possibly be the situation at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut today. The first reference that turned up listed 13 mass shootings that did not involve suspected drug or gang activity in 2012 and in a disturbing number the shooter also killed himself. (All listed cases involved males.) To me the correlation between increasing wealth disparity and increased outbreaks of violence seems as obvious as that between greenhouse gasses and global warming. But then the human mind is a marvelous thing that can reliably extract signal from noise.

What people should find sobering is that this event occurred not in a troubled urban metropolis but in the sort of idyllic small town situation that most would feel was safer than those troubled urban areas. There will be no refuge from this plague.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Dec 14th, 2012 at 11:51:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One can examine and blame the specific sociological causes of each incident as much as one wants, the fact remains that US gun laws are the single unifying enabler.

Nothing, not even a currently impossible progressive equality, will prevent further tragedies until you address the peculiar American obsession with allowing a civilian population access to modern military hardware. A hardware which has no possible use except in causing tragedies such as this.

Of course, the horse has bolted, there are far too many weapons loose in the USA. Given the nature of sentiment in the US, none of this can be recalled.

So what can you do ? Nothing. You just have to accept that the price of your obsessions is that every month or so this tragedy will be visited upon some community somewhere in the US. God bless America

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 03:17:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We have had guns in homes literally for centuries without the sort of problems we see today, frontier areas in the 18th and 19th centuries excepted. I certainly agree with restricting military hardware, including clips holding more than 9 or 10 rounds, mandatory checks on backgrounds, etc., but turning the vice ever tighter only increases the likelihood of people going off. Someone could do about as much damage to a class of kindergarteners with a machete or even a large kitchen knife, let alone explosive vests for the suicidal.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 03:47:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the most important insight in Bowling for Columbine was the culture of fear.

Michael Moore's documentary was really strange: it was clearly intended as a polemic for gun control and a hit piece on the NRA (and Charlton Heston personally, which I'm not sure was necessary), and ended up hitting on the cultural aspect not of guns, but of fear and alienation, almost serendipitously.

Not much has changed in 10 years.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 03:54:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was the point I made a few months ago after the Aurora shooting.  It doesn't seem to me that the guns are inherently the problem, rather that the culture of fear drives certain unstable people to commit horrible atrocities.

With that said, nobody needs a fucking M16 with a military-grade scope to kill deer or protect his/her home.  There is no logical explanation for allowing citizens access to automatic and semiautomatic weapons.

They should be banned entirely.  If you want to hunt or protect your home, buy a rifle.  If you really want to shoot a military-type gun, perhaps we could set up government-run (or -overseen) clubs of some kind where you can go, rent them out, and shoot on a range -- sort of like how you rent out shoes and lanes when you go bowling.  So the people who really like guns have narrow access to have their fun, but they're not allowed to bring them out near the rest of us.

Something has to give here.  Allowing citizens to carry weapons designed purely for the purpose of killing large numbers of people is completely fucking psychotic.

It's a horrible tragedy, but maybe now that somebody's gone out and slaughtered 20 little kids, we can finally have a fucking discussion.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:28:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only reason we got The Brady Law was that Reagan was a very imperfect Republican. Traces of humanity would crop up at inopportune times. We will likely need a kindergarten slaughter in a private school that caters to Wall Street tycoons during a Republican administration with another, similarly 'flawed' President, to get a repeat of Brady, which was repealed by Republicans.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 01:29:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Something has to give here.  Allowing citizens to carry weapons designed purely for the purpose of killing large numbers of people is completely fucking psychotic.

Except in this case the rifle stayed back in the shooter's car, and he used two pistols. They were semiautomatic, but pistols all the same. And they possibly didn't belong to him but his mother.

The officials said he had four handguns on him as he stormed the 600-student school and shot his victims - clustered in two classrooms - at close range. There was a rifle found in the car he drove to Sandy Hook.
Previously, officials had said Lanza was armed with two pistols as he rampaged through the suburban school and that the weapons were legally purchased and registered to his mother, Nancy.
(Newtown gunman tried to buy rifle days before shooting)

Also,

Police provided little information about the shooter's state of mind. Lanza's brother told police the gunman had a history of mental problems, though a classmate from Newtown High School recalled him as a generally happy person.
Advertise | AdChoices

"We would hang out, and he was a good kid," Joshua Milas, who had not seen Lanza in a few years, told The Associated Press. "He was probably one of the smartest kids I know. He was probably a genius."



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 01:48:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Adam Lanza Forced His Way Into Connecticut School, Police Say - NYTimes.com
A federal law enforcement official said the three guns recovered at the school -- Glock and Sig Sauer pistols and an M4 .223-caliber Carbine -- were bought legally by the gunman's mother and registered in her name. Other weapons were recovered from her home, the official said.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 02:20:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Police find good evidence on motive for Connecticut school massacre | Reuters

Nancy Lanza legally owned a Sig Sauer and a Glock, both handguns of models commonly used by police, and a military-style Bushmaster .223 M4 carbine, according to law enforcement officials who also believe Adam Lanza used at least some of those weapons.

Nancy Lanza was an avid gun collector who once showed him a "really nice, high-end rifle" that she had purchased, said Dan Holmes, owner of a landscaping business who recently decorated her yard with Christmas garlands and lights. "She said she would often go target shooting with her kids."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 03:43:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So, no video games needed...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 06:13:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't say they were necessary. In this case, we don't know if the killer was a gamer. In the more general case of school massacres, I don't think it's taboo to consider they may play a role.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 01:52:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If he had games where he could do target practice, his mother likely approved, given that she was a gun enthusiast. She probably took her children out to shooting practice with real guns, too.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 05:04:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
She did, see above.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 06:51:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We have a saying in Spain: breed crows and they'll poke your eyes out.

Maybe the US should stop training an armed and dangerous populace.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 06:57:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is nothing in that story about motives.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 06:18:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This morning I'm hearing the killer had arguments recently with people at the school. FWIW.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 02:01:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also my the rifle stayed back in the shooter's car, taken from another news report, appears not to be correct
All the shootings he was aware of were committed with a rifle, Carver said.

...

"All the wounds that I know of at this point were caused by the long weapon," Carver said.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 06:20:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Adam Lanza's Mother Was a Gun Enthusiast, Friends Say - NYTimes.com

Ms. Lanza, 52, had gone through a divorce in 2008 and was described by friends as social and generous to strangers, but also high-strung, as if she were holding herself together. She lived in a large Colonial home here with Adam Lanza, and had struggled to help him cope with a developmental disorder that often left him reserved and withdrawn, according to relatives, friends and former classmates.

At some point, he had dropped out of the Newtown school system. An older son, Ryan, did not live with Ms. Lanza.

In a statement on Saturday night, her ex-husband, Peter Lanza, an executive at General Electric, said he was cooperating with investigators.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 04:05:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The whole "home defense" reasoning is really fucked up in a number of ways.

Take basic game theory, for instance: If the burglar knows that you will not be carrying a live firearm, then he has no particular reason to shoot first. The fact that the police are usually a lot more diligent about catching murderers than mere robbers works in your favor here. But if he thinks you might have a gun, his correct opening move is to shoot first, preferably with an automatic weapon.

So a mock-up of the game goes like this: First society decides whether to permit or restrict handguns in homes (e.g. by requiring that the gun and the ammunition are kept in separate, locked safes). If society decides to permit guns, then you and the burglar simultaneously decide whether to have or not have a gun, and then you simultaneously decide whether to shoot or not. If society decides to not permit guns, only the burglar gets to decide whether to get a gun or not, and then decides whether to shoot or not. Finally, the police decide how many resources they want to throw at the case.

It's not hard to see what the Nash equilibria are here.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 02:17:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In a society where guns are allowed and home owners expected to be armed, it is then rational to get a gun regardless of you are a home owner, a burglar or both?

Though, I don't think the problem is rational. I suspect it is largely a power fantasy where by buying a gun you get into a position where you might legally be able to hold power over another humans life.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 02:48:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's like having a fast car: a personal power-conferring technological extension of yourself.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 02:55:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, the rational decision in a permissive society is to obtain a firearm and shoot first.

In the fire/not fire decision, if both parties fire, they both have a chance of getting hurt/dead. If only one fires, the other has a certainty of being hurt/dead. While if neither fires, they both get out unhurt. Regardless of what decision the other guy makes, you never reduce your chance of getting hurt (in this simple mock-up) by shooting first.

And since the other party does not know whether you have a gun or not, there is no signaling value in not having a gun - if the robber could observe whether you had a gun or not, there would be signaling value in not having one. But if he decides to shoot first, he may not have the chance to make that observation.

Of course, in the actual situation you have a mix of adrenaline, fatigue, nerves, paranoia, and ambiguous observations. And the decision to get a gun might be influenced by the sort of power fantasies you outline. But I still think that "the other guy might have a gun, so I need to have one too," is an important line of reasoning to cut off right at the first lemma.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 03:10:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In practice, the utility function is different.
Sep. 30, 2009 -- In a first-of its-kind study, epidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that, on average, guns did not protect those who possessed them from being shot in an assault. The study estimated that people with a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those not possessing a gun.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 01:56:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If both people have guns and the situation is known to be hostile, the rational action is to shoot first.

If you are clearly unarmed, you're less likely to get shot, as Jake argued.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 05:06:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Mother Jones article referenced above mentions two cases where armed civilians tried to stop a gunman during a shooting.

The results were not pretty: one died and the other spent several weeks in coma (with a long and painful recovery); in other cases, armed bystanders intervened after the shooting had subsided (fat lot of good for the victims).

A chilling thought: these cases are not counted as "mass shootings" because "fewer than four victims died in each."

by Bernard on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 08:39:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"In a society where guns are allowed and home owners expected to be armed, it is then rational to get a gun regardless of you are a home owner, a burglar or both?"

No, it is rational to either live your entire life in a bullet-proof vest, or to move somewhere else.

For some reason, people think that a gun provides protection against somebody else's gun. Unless the bullets happen to meet mid-way, that's not actually how it works...

by asdf on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:19:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, but it's the guns -- above all the automatics -- that fascinate. Machetes and knives are hands-on, big guns are remote-controlled slaughter. You can blow the victims away without contact, without effort. It's a power jag for psychologically castrated young males. And yes, I think video games are, if not a direct cause, at least an exercise ground for this fantasy.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 05:01:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
afew:
And yes, I think video games are, if not a direct cause, at least an exercise ground for this fantasy.

Video games are just 21st century technology for "this fantasy" that's all; previous generations had other ways of pursuing it, like war games, cowboys and Indians and let's not forget real land wars on our soil. Its' always been there, regardless of technology.

This is not going to prevent Repugs from spouting their usual bullshit about this tragedy being the fault of violent video games, librul Hollywood culture, pre-marital sex and "removing God from our schools".

by Bernard on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 09:51:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think actual war can be fairly counted in. That's the real thing, where countless young men, hung up or not, get killed.

As for war games, Cowboys and Indians etc, they were/are played as group games. Shoot-'em-up video games cater to loners. They are just an order of magnitude or more up the technological scale and the virtual reality effect is much greater. I don't think it's necessarily Repug to think that they offer screwed-up, loner teenage boys the opportunity of living in a vengeful fantasy world.

Though we don't know if this Newtown kid was a shoot-'em-up gamer. And obviously the over-availability of real, powerful weapons is the number one problem.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 10:40:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is possible, but we should note that new culture practised by kids being blamed for violence is nothing new. Dungeons&Dragons turned kids into killers not long ago, in the 50ies and 60ies comics were lethal and if we back way back into the 19th century we have The Werther effect:
One of the earliest known associations between the media and suicide arose from Goethe's novel Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (The Sorrows of Young Werther). Goethe's novel was published in 1774 and not long after young men began to mimic the character Werther by dressing in yellow pants and blue jackets. The new fashion trend seemed to be entertaining to the public. A new trend also emerged from the book causing it to be banned in numerous areas. In the novel, Werther commits suicide with a pistol after he fails to get the girl he desires. Many men replicated this trend in an act of hopelessness.[5] In that work the hero shoots himself after an ill-fated love, and shortly after its publication there were many reports of young men using the same method to commit suicide. This resulted in a ban of the book in several places. Hence the term "Werther effect", used in the technical literature to designate copycat suicides.[6] The term was coined by researcher David Phillips in 1974.[7] Two centuries after Goethe's novel was published, David Phillips confirmed imitative suicides as the "Werther effect." Reports in 1985 and 1989 by Phillips and his colleagues found that suicides and other accidents seem to incline after a well publicized suicide.[5] Copycat suicide is mostly blamed on the media. "Hearing about a suicide seems to make those who are vulnerable feel they have permission to do it," Dr. Phillips said. He cited studies that showed that people were more likely to engage in dangerous deviant behavior, such as drug taking, if someone else had set the example first.[3]

I am not sure if the Werther effect was real in terms of increased number of suicides.

But, back to computer games. It is also possible that killing people off in comptuer aided fantasy acts stress relieving, leaving players less likely to commit violent acts. Afaik, more research needed.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 10:50:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yurr.. Comic readers didn't gun down kids in classrooms, whatever the reactionary crazies bleated.

In fact, what the reactionaries emit is noise, and we shouldn't let it influence our judgement.

I'm sure computer games (in moderation, amen) do no harm to most kids. Possibly they relieve stress. I'm wondering what function they may have for a small number of introverted adolescents who may feel themselves to be rejects of (school) society, that's all.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:40:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
About video games and violence, the drone war is an interesting point: it's called "the video game war", then again the same politicians who are denouncing the perils of FPS "shoot'em up" games are also in favor of more drone action...
by Bernard on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 04:08:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The US Military sponsors realistic first-person shooter games. They must think they make good marketing tools. And they do. They indoctrinate young people with manichaean political plots, they simulate military environments, they provide target practice, and they desensitize abut combat situations.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 05:10:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US Army sponsors online gaming channel in recruiting quest (April 14, 2007)
The US Army will spend an estimated two million US dollars in the coming year to sponsor a channel at the Global Gaming League (GGL) website, a popular spot for Internet computer game lovers.

"We saw a lot more opportunity to bond with gamers and meet them on their turf," said McCann World Group vice president Anders Ekman, who is handling the project for the army.

A first-person shooter game based on the army training manual will be a centerpiece of the channel, which will feature independent game titles in the same genre, according to Ekman.



I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 07:07:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A Methodical Massacre: Horror And Heroics - Hartford Courant

Two law enforcement sources said the hard drive had been removed from Lanza's computer and broken in pieces. They said that forensic electronics experts at the FBI will examine the drive in an effort to determine with whom Lanza corresponded electronically and how he otherwise used the device.

One of the sources said that Lanza used the computer to play a violent video game in which life-like characters engage in graphic battle scenes.

FWIW

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 03:59:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I noted, I am in favor of gun controls. But I think that such controls are more an example of treating he symptom rather than the disease. Treating symptoms is a good thing when it reduces suffering but not such a good thing when it stands in the place of treating the disease. But linking mass murders with massive disparities in wealth is far too threatening of the interests of TPTB for it to be presented in the media as anything other than mad fantasy. But if sanity be culturally normative, by the norms of this culture I choose insanity.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:09:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But what is the link with massive disparities in wealth?

Most of these cases seem to occur in standard middle-class America. Newtown, for example, may be described as a post-card New England town, they'd just put up the Christmas trees and the lights with cider and hot-chocolate all round. You could say the middle class is under pressure, but I'm not convinced that's yet hugely the case in places like Newtown.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:32:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This is Mark Ames take on it:

Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan's Workplaces to Clinton's Columbine and Beyond: Mark Ames: 9781932360820: Amazon.com: Books

An eye-opening look at the phenomenon of school and workplace shootings in America, Going Postal explores the rage-murder phenomenon that has plagued -- and baffled -- America for the last three decades, and offers some provocative answers to the oft-asked question, "Why?" By juxtaposing the historical place of rage in America with the social climate that has existed since the 1980s -- when Reaganomics began to widen the gap between executive and average-worker earnings -- the author crafts a convincing argument that these schoolyard and office massacres can be seen as modern-day slave rebellions. He presents many fascinating and unexpected cases in detail. Like slave rebellions, these massacres are doomed, gory, sometimes even inadvertently comic, and grossly misunderstood. Taking up where Bowling for Columbine left off, this book seeks to set these murders in their proper context and thereby reveal their meaning.


A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 01:08:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mixing the workplace with the school massacres perpetrated by youngsters seems like a convenient choice for the thesis he apparently defends. A "slave revolt", these teenage killers, really?

Of course, I haven't read the book, so I'm going on the blurb you post.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 02:17:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Haven't read the book either. On the long list of books I should read though.

From the Amazon-reviews:

Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan's Workplaces to Clinton's Columbine and Beyond: Mark Ames: 9781932360820: Amazon.com: Books

He compares post office, workplace and school shootings to slave uprisings, and goes far into his comparisons by quoting the language surrounding both rebellions. Where Columbine's murderers were motivated by base evil and video games, Nat Turner's slave army seemed to be motivated by base evil and the ingratitude and treachery of the negroes, in the media accounts of the time. Ames doesn't think these accounts cover for the hostile environments that precipitated the attacks, rather he believes that the problem was that slavery was ingrained in the value systems of Nat Turner's time, so much so that they couldn't see anything anyone would find objectional about it, in much the same way that we can't admit now that our culture has something to do with the recent epidemic of rage massacres.

Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion: From Reagan's Workplaces to Clinton's Columbine and Beyond: Mark Ames: 9781932360820: Amazon.com: Books

Whereas initial news accounts often vilify shooters as almost cartoon cutouts - mentally imbalanced, trench-coated racists or kooks - Ames offers in-depth portrayals, so we come to know them as ordinary human beings oppressed and stressed to the breaking point by a ruthless corporate or school environment. Attempts to profile individual offenders fall flat, Ames argues, because the offenders are potentially anyone. As evidence, he catalogs the widespread sympathy for many of the shooters among their former coworkers and classmates. One would never see such sympathy among victims of serial sex murderers, he points out.

Instead of profiling the individual rebels, Ames profiles the institutions. Shootings, he argues, happen in corporate environments rife with alienation, surveillance, mandatory unpaid overtime, and humiliating and degrading layoff rituals, where managers consciously harness fear to increase worker stress and insecurity. Sites of school shootings, meanwhile, are brutal environments where students undergo horrific torment only exacerbated by Zero Tolerance crackdowns.


A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 02:42:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A swedish kind of death:
that our culture has something to do with the recent epidemic of rage massacres

That I'm certainly not arguing against, but for. The question is what? And I don't think just putting it down to increasing inequality is explicative enough.

A swedish kind of death:

Sites of school shootings, meanwhile, are brutal environments where students undergo horrific torment only exacerbated by Zero Tolerance crackdowns.

I wonder if we can apply that to Sandy Hook?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 03:00:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The shooter at Sandy Hook had been a student there.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 06:15:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Newtown is well-off, nice New England. See below, ranked number 5 safest town in America. Are we to think that that elementary school is a "brutal environment(s) where students undergo horrific torment only exacerbated by Zero Tolerance crackdowns"?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 01:57:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hazing occurs at well-off, nice New England Universities, and is tolerated by authorities. Teenagers are, as a group, inconsiderate not to say cruel, and so I'd say any secondary school would be a 'brutal environment' to a student who doesn't 'fit'. Which was the case (the not fitting, that is) according to reports that the shooter, while a good student, was odd, dressed more formally than his classmates, and didn't have many friends.

And elementary school children are feral as far as group dynamics go. Standard child development milestones indicate that at age six, children typically still don't understand ethical behaviour when they haven't been given rules. Therefore, elementary schools have a strong potential for inconsiderate, hurtful behaviour.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 05:01:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Primary school kids can be pretty horrible to those who don't fit -- but that's true anywhere and everywhere. I don't think that rates with Ames's (reported) judgement. And almost nowhere but in the States do youngsters go into the school environment to murder everyone in sight.

Just to reset on the argument though: I was responding to the idea that increased wealth inequality was the cause of these killings.

However, that this boy may have suffered in the past when at the Sandy Hook school is quite possible.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 06:32:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This argument also works for video games. They are now everywhere yet mass shootings are still predominantly an American affair.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 08:10:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Agreed -- along with TV and movie shooting. The major potentiating difference I see is that fantasies can be fed, in America, by the availability of powerful weapons. It's so easy to go from virtual to real.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 10:31:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No objection. The ready availability of powerful weapons makes all the difference. Recruits in the Austrian army regularly killed themselves once they were posted on the state border with a loaded assault rifle. Most of them would have gotten over it.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 12:06:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On second thought: Is it possible that US schools are significantly worse about it than those in other western countries? At least high school being suffering seems to be firmly enshrined in popular culture.

Von überall könnte das Volk, Urbrut alles Undemokratischen, Zelle des Terrors, über die gewählten Hüter von Wachstum und Wohlstand® kommen. - flatter
by generic on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 10:34:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The trope in Sweden holds junior high as the worst period. Could be related to the fact that unless you move or actively switch schools you are likely to go in class with roughly the same people from the day you start until end of junior high. High school - where in Sweden you choose a program and go to class with people who has chosen the same - then comes as an opportunity for reinvention of the self.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 02:35:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are also the puberty years.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 04:04:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For sure.

Hm, something struck me when thinking about statistics for school misery. In Sweden, schools being burnt down (typical scenario: night, weekend/summer, no persons injured) happens on a regular basis. When the perpetrator is caught it is often a student or former student at said school. What level burnt schools taught might yield some statistics for how miserable the students are.

It might also be a less homicidal and less suicidal way of dealing with emotions that might not be that different from the school shooters.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 05:00:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, and in Norway they play black metal and burn down churches...

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 07:03:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Those are not in the same age bracket, though.

- Jake

Austerity can only be implemented in the shadow of a concentration camp.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Dec 17th, 2012 at 04:31:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I noted above, with less social space available, due in large part to rising unemployment correlated to mal-distribution of wealth and cutbacks in social services, there are ever increasing numbers of young adults that have problems finding work compatible with their aspirations that is within their abilities. The pressure to find such work is greatest on those from families that had such status. The same sorts of pressure exists on those in mid-career who lose their jobs and cannot find, or despair of finding, another such job.

Durkhiem understood the link between suicide and social pressures: Egoistic suicide reflects a prolonged sense of not belonging, of not being integrated in a community, an experience, of not having a tether, an absence that can give rise to meaninglessness,... What is not part of that statement is having a significant portion of the resulting emotion directed at other, often innocent, members of society. And, obviously, yesterday's incident in Connecticut involved family issues, but the point of Durkheim's work on suicide was to argue that such events were not just individual, isolated cases. In the US we love the 'lone gunman' meme.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 01:22:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course they're not lone gunman cases with no connection to family, school, society, I wasn't arguing that at all when I said "loner". However, to take up your reference to Durkheim, this is not suicide in the usual sense. The point is to understand, not what drives some people (and a large number of teenagers) to suicide, but to this kind of mass murder scenario.

Difficulties finding work doesn't cut it. A loss of social status could certainly be a background for psychological insecurity in which cases like this could develop. But this is happening elsewhere than in the US, and the number of these occurrences there suggests specific conditions. Among them, the fantasy of using powerful automatic weapons is in my view potentiated, to say the least, by their actual availability.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 02:11:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They are not planning to get away alive, right? So it is a form of mass murder + suicide.

Which has a word in Malay

Amok originated from the Malay word mengamuk,[4] which roughly defined means "to make a furious and desperate charge".[5] According to Malay culture, amok was rooted in a deep spiritual belief. They believed that amok was caused by the hantu belian,[6] which was an evil tiger spirit that entered one's body and caused the heinous act. As a result of the belief, those in Malaysian culture tolerated amok and dealt with the after effects with no ill will towards the assailant.[7]

Although commonly used in a colloquial and less-violent sense, the phrase is particularly associated with a specific sociopathic culture-bound syndrome in Malaysian culture. In a typical case of running amok, a male who has shown no previous sign of anger or any inclination to violence will acquire a weapon, traditionally a sword or dagger, but presently a variety of weapons are used, and in a sudden frenzy, will attempt to kill or seriously injure anyone he encounters. Amok typically takes place in a well populated or crowded area. Amok episodes of this kind normally end with the attacker being killed by bystanders or committing suicide, eliciting theories that amok may be a form of intentional suicide in cultures where suicide is heavily stigmatized.[citation needed] Those who do not commit suicide and are not killed typically lose consciousness, and upon regaining consciousness, claim amnesia.

An early Western description of the practice appears in the journals of Captain James Cook, a British explorer, who encountered amok firsthand in 1770 during a voyage around the world. Cook writes of individuals behaving in a reckless, violent manner, without cause and "indiscriminately killing and maiming villagers and animals in a frenzied attack." [8]

A widely accepted explanation links amok with male honor (amok by women is virtually unknown). Running amok would thus be both a way of escaping the world (since perpetrators were normally killed) and re-establishing one's reputation as a man to be feared and respected. Some observers[who?] have related this explanation to Islam's ban on suicide, which, it is suggested, drove Malay men to create circumstances in which others would kill them.

There is also a history of suicide by cop

While only formally studied in late 20th century, the concept of deliberately precipitating one's own slaying by the provocation of executive officials may span back to the late Roman Empire. In 4th century northern Africa, a Donatist sect known as the Circumcellions (or "agonistici") emerged that held the concept of martyrdom to be very sacred. On occasion, members of this group assaulted Roman legionaries or armed travelers with simple wooden clubs to provoke them into attacking and martyring them. Others interrupted courts of law and verbally provoked the judge so that he would order their immediate execution (a normal punishment at the time for contempt of court).[4]

Of course, I agree with yur final sentence. Powerful automatic weapons play a crucial role in both the fantasy as it is repeatedly depicted on our television screens, and in making these attacks much more deadly then they would otherwise have been.

A vote for PES is a vote for EPP! A vote for EPP is a vote for PES! Support the coalition, vote EPP-PES in 2009!

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 02:36:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
On the suicide point, did Durkheim discuss amok or mass murder suicide? I don't think so.

So it's a perfectly fair point to say that we should be trying to understand, not simple suicide, but screen-played mass murder.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 02:50:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or we should be trying to understand why suicidal people would want to go out with a mass murder.

Sometimes suicidal people kill their closest family members. Not a mass killing, but meybe a related phenomenon.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 06:11:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that is a fair reformulation of what I'm saying. Teenagers do choose suicide. But why this movie plot of going to their educational establishment and killing everyone they can?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 01:59:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We don't hear statistics of teenage suicide, and a teenager killing just themselves and their immediate family doesn't make the headlines as intensely as a mass school shooting.

Many years ago there was a case in Spain of a teenager who killed his immediate family with a katana. So these things happen more often than mass shootings.

The same is true of domestic violence. Sometimes an adult will snap and go on a shooting spree, but more often they will kill their wife and children and then kill themselves.

Every time we get the same reactions about 'senseless' 'incomprehensible' and 'unimaginable' violence from someone who was 'nice' and 'said hello when they passed you on the street'.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 05:14:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
statistics of teenage suicide

I don't have time now to look it up, but French media mention it fairly often.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 06:34:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And Spanish media mention every death attributable to gender violence, with a running statistic.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 06:45:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
However, to take up your reference to Durkheim, this is not suicide in the usual sense.

Nor did I intend to imply it was. My point was that Durkheim's type of analysis could also be extended to apply to different types of suicide, which, as I noted, was relevant in these types of cases.

As the Dutch said while fighting the Spanish: "It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 03:42:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Relevant perhaps, but the main element that calls for explanation is the mass murder scenario.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 03:46:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Police find good evidence on motive for Connecticut school massacre | Reuters
Newtown was ranked the fifth safest city in America by the website NeighborhoodScout.com based on 2011 crime statistics.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 03:45:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yesterday there was also a mass violence event in China, where a mad person ran amok with knives or ...

so instead of 28 dead, there were 22 wounded and traumatized, but alive.

There will be random rebellious fighting in amurka before there will be a move to stop the insane equation of guns and freedom. I believe in the right to arm bears, and I hope the hairy ones run amok and take out most of the propaganda children.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 05:09:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
nothing in the 2nd amendment about ammo, is there?

make it really expensive, unless you're at a practice range.
and make illegal ownership of machine pistols a lifetime offence, after a buy-back offer like the ozzies did.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 06:00:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"We have had guns in homes literally for centuries..."

Sort of. Gun controls were typically one of the first ordinances put in place on the frontier after you organized your town. No longer legal.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/adam-winkler/did-the-wild-west-have-mo_b_956035.html

by asdf on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:46:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea. guns may have won the west, but to civilize it they had to ban them

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:47:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you need 9 or 10 rounds, you're too shitty a shot to own a gun.  If people want handguns, they can have revolvers.  Six shots.  If you can't take down the intruder with six shots, you win a Darwin Award.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:32:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not so, as it happens horribly demonstrated just about the day before when a guy with a knife attacked about 23 children in a school in China, none were killed, 9 taken to hospital: "there were no deaths among the nine children admitted, although two who were badly injured had been transferred to better-equipped hospitals outside the county.'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/14/chinese-children-knife-primary-school

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 06:02:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nothing can be done, because there are too many guns out there already and they are too easy to hide. To actually solve the problem, you would have to pass a law making all guns illegal. Not Gonna Happen. Then you would need to search out and recover all of the existing weapons. How would you even hope to do that?
by asdf on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 11:41:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gives us a chance to cycle through the typical kabuki of pretending to do something without, actually, doing anything.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 12:29:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tearful and angry, Americans target gun control after Newtown shooting | World news | The Observer
...despite the violence the US Congress has not enacted any major firearms regulations other than a law aimed at improving state reporting for federal background checks. Indeed, regulations have actually loosened over the last decade as a 1994 assault-weapon ban expired in 2004. Most of the current debate in American policy circles has actually been around the issue of expanding citizens' rights to carry firearms openly in public (...)

Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, said that, if there had been armed teachers in the school in Newtown, the tragedy might have been reduced. "Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to ensure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered," Pratt said in a statement.

He asked for gun laws to be loosened further. "This tragedy underscores the urgency of getting rid of gun bans in school zones. The only thing accomplished by gun-free zones is to ensure that mass murderers can slay more before they are finally confronted by someone with a gun," he added.

Gun lobbyists also point out that the guns used in Newtown were not owned by the suspected killer and had been legally bought and owned by his mother.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 03:39:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
More Guns, More Mass Shootings--Coincidence? | Mother Jones
In the fierce debate that always follows the latest mass shooting, it's an argument you hear frequently from gun rights promoters: If only more people were armed, there would be a better chance of stopping these terrible events. This has plausibility problems--what are the odds that, say, a moviegoer with a pack of Twizzlers in one pocket and a Glock in the other would be mentally prepared, properly positioned, and skilled enough to take out a body-armored assailant in a smoke- and panic-filled theater? But whether you believe that would happen is ultimately a matter of theory and speculation. Instead, let's look at some facts gathered in a two-month investigation by Mother Jones.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 03:54:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it would only work if everyone had their safety off and their finger on the trigger.

quite the relaxing atmosphere to enjoy a flick!

ditto schools and restaurants, natch.

"We can all be prosperous but we can't all be rich." Ian Welsh

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 04:26:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

What an idiot, since the teachers might not be fast enough on the draw of course we should arm every kid so they could protect themselves - then we'd all be a lot more secure - clearly.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 06:08:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Have you thought of getting a job as an NRA spokesman?

Oh wait, you were being sarcastic. Sorry.

by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 01:54:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Are you being sarcastic about my sarcasm ? :-)

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 07:17:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Out of the Wilderness



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Sat Dec 15th, 2012 at 05:37:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A bit of background:  I have a friend who's armed and insane in Portland Oregon.

US Public Health services have been gutted with the mental health branches taking the largest hit.  

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 12:38:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You may ask why I have such friends on my fb page, and I wonder too.  This was written by our local Chamber of Commerce president...  and reposted and reposted locally.  It's the Billy the Kidd, cowboy mentality and it's scary.  I left in the misspellings because I think they say something...  

"When school buses are in wrecks? It is tragic. But they don't outlaw school buses or even make the kids wear seat belts....tradegy is always with us. Evil is always around us but the world is made up of mostly good people. Do not let this become a banner by which the idiots try and take away or limit guns. RIGHT now any vetern who has been diagonosed with PTS can NOT purchase a gun! The government taught them to shoot guns carefully and because a war changed them forever now the government won't let them buy guns. That is just not right. BE CAREFUL folks! "THEY" are no interested in making us safer they are trying to inprision us.

by ElaineinNM on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 01:02:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Larry Pratt:
"Gun control supporters have the blood of little children on their hands. Federal and state laws combined to ensure that no teacher, no administrator, no adult had a gun at the Newtown school where the children were murdered.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 01:32:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Never @#$%^! ends:

Ind. man with 47 guns arrested after school threat:

A northern Indiana man who allegedly threatened to "kill as many people as he could" at an elementary school near his home was arrested by officers who later found 47 guns and ammunition hidden throughout his home.

Many those are "collector's guns" but ... 47?  

Dude is hooked-up with an outlaw motorcycle club.  Drug use is rampant in those circles so we might be looking at the psychological debilitation due to crack and/or meth.

Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot

by ATinNM on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 03:13:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and this:

Details began to emerge about the gunman who allegedly fired more than 50 shots in the parking lot of the Fashion Island shopping center in Newport Beach on Saturday.

Guy fired into the air or ground.  Luckily.

And this:

A 3-year-old boy is dead after shooting himself in the head early Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

And this:

Worshippers hurriedly left a church Sunday in Connecticut, saying they were told there was a bomb threat not far from the elementary school where 20 kids and six adults were massacred.


Skepticism is the first step on the road to truth. -- Denis Diderot
by ATinNM on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 03:20:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China comments.
The state news agency in China, the official voice of the government, has called for the United States to quickly adopt stricter gun controls in the aftermath of the shooting rampage in Connecticut that left 28 people dead, including 20 schoolchildren.
by gk (g k quattro due due sette "at" gmail.com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 03:30:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China clearly wants the US to commit murder-suicide, so they must prevent the US from adopting gun control by publicly advocating it.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Dec 16th, 2012 at 07:06:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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