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Old December 16 2012, 07:17 PM   #121
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

a church in Newtown has been evacuated because of some type of threat.
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Old December 16 2012, 08:19 PM   #122
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

Tora Noel wrote: View Post
Morgan Freeman's statement about these random shootings....

"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.

It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you kn
ow the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem."
With all due respect to God President General CIA-Director FBI-Special-Agent Judge Supreme-Narrator Freeman, but he's making the same problematic argument that always plagues these discussions; the fixation on blaming the thing he dislikes most at the expense of all others, and the idea that solving that problem will curb all of these incidents.

Yes, media sensationalism of these incidents is a huge factor in perpetuating them, but so is a lack of effective gun control and background checks (which he dismisses), a lack of available and affordable/free mental health care and screening (which he thankfully mentions), violent and fearmongering cultural trends and possibly entertainment, bullying, lack of job or financial security, etc. No one problem is the total cause nor is fixing any one problem the total solution. Which is not to say we shouldn't try to fix one or hopefully as many problems as we can in the meantime instead of just declaring it all hopeless, but we can't put all our eggs in one basket and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done either.

Tulin wrote: View Post
I am glad I live in a country(OZ)where counselling is funded by the government for the most vulnerable people that need it!

It's no wonder the YEW-ESS is going down the drain.
I'd take your comments more seriously if they weren't constantly couched in your usual snide anti-Americanism (which is just one of your many ugly biases) and crudeness.

RJDonner&Blitzen wrote: View Post
Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
I think part of the problem is that these discussions - gun control, mental health, violence - only seem to catch people's attention when we're dealing with reaction to the aftermath of a terrible crime. And that's not a good time to hold such a discussion, because distress and anger and confusion are all running high. When you're responding to something like this in the immediate aftermath, any reaction is going to be concerned with either soothing unrest and providing comfort or exploiting the unrest to some political or ideological end. Neither of those lends itself easily to a truthful examination of a society. People will latch onto the easy answers or the comfortable old debates (e.g. American gun control), and because a show of solidarity becomes incredibly important after events like this, it means the more uncomfortable issues are not going to be examined for fear of harming that sense of emotional unity.
Well said indeed, DN.
I disagree. Not with the fact that it's well-said (it is), but with the premise that the aftermath of an incident is not the right time to discuss it. Sure, you should wait until at least the primary details of the incident are known so you can make an informed argument, but once that's happened I think there's no better time to discuss it than when it's fresh in people's minds and the reason we should take action is most apparent.

What happens when the gap between these incidents gets small enough that the "too soon to talk about the cause" moratorium crosses over into the next shooting? Do we continue not to talk about from there, because that's too soon again? FOX News would certainly have us think so. Jon Stewart was recently talking about another shooting incident that took place before this, but his argument dovetails nicely into this one and point out why the "too soon" argument falters:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mo...xrs=share_copy

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mo...xrs=share_copy

I agree that these types of discussions should continue even when there's no major shooting incidents going on, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about it in the immediate aftermath --with enough time to make informed arguments-- as well.
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Old December 16 2012, 09:16 PM   #123
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

^ I see the point. At the very least (to incorporate that argument into some of the ideas I've been trying to grasp at in the thread, however ineffectually), what you say can be a reminder that the urge in people to avoid examining things outside their comfort zone (the issue I've been bemoaning in my posts here) is somewhat continuous throughout the grieving process, and excessive caution regarding discussion in the immediate aftermath could be seen as another troubling manifestation of it. So in a sense I have to be careful not to fall into the very trap I say I'm nervous of.

It seems to me it's very difficult to avoid the pitfalls of that urge to shy away from discomfort. If discussion and push for change are too immediate to the aftermath, then there's concern that the raw emotion will cloud rationality or make people too easily swayed by unhelpful answers, because the first impulse will be to pacify and soothe the population, or to seek answers and solidarity, and much of that lends itself to grasping at the familiar and the comforting.

Leave it too late, though, and the emotion that's been provoked, and which might motivate people to invest in getting something done or be channeled into a push for change, will have passed by - and you risk having the sorrow give way to acceptance, which is dangerous because it's only a step removed from apathy. And people's desire for comfort means that if you miss the opportunity to make use of that emotion, that horror and sadness and anger, then it's all too easy to slip back into status quo and then large scale change is impossible. As I think is being argued, leaving it too long leaves you unable to do anything but be continuously reactive to these events, always on the defence regarding how to deal with the issue, never on the productive offense.

I suppose it would be foolish for me to assume there's a "goldilocks zone" for this sort of thing, but I can't help but ponder that judging the "right time" - if there is one - is very difficult.
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Old December 16 2012, 10:00 PM   #124
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

That quote purporting to be from Morgan Freeman is not, in fact, from Morgan Freeman. It's fake. Linky
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Old December 16 2012, 10:55 PM   #125
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

^Yeah, I suspected it might not really be his. But it still makes a good point. Not that I agree with all of it, like I already said.
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Old December 16 2012, 10:58 PM   #126
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

^^ Too bad. But the responses in that thread are the perfect example of the ugliness that passes for "discussion" following an event like this.

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Obviously without easy access to guns there wouldn't be such high levels of gun crime, but the availability of guns doesn't immediately and necessarily make violence a reality. It just makes it easier for someone who intends violence to carry it out. Removing easy access to guns would definitely make crimes like this rarer and harder to stage (and some might say that's really all that's required), but the underlying pressures and tensions that contribute to high rates of violent crime need to be dealt with too, and I worry that those pressures and tensions in American society aren't going to be dealt with or examined with any degree of interest, because it's going to become another gun debate. And, again, I agree that such a discussion absolutely needs to take place, and if positive changes in that area come about in the near future I'll be very happy, but I wouldn't want it to close off any other avenues for confronting factors that contribute to the high rate of gun crime in the US.

And I don't mean the tired old fallacies commentators are trotting out about violence in video games, etc. That's just another example of how people fall back into comfort zones and easy arguments rather than challenging anything. And, yes, for certain ideological groups it's a convenient scapegoat for having to confront the gun control question. They don't want to touch that because many of their supporters would be alienated, so they settle on video games as the demon. But I think the gun control question isn't that far removed itself from being, if not a scapegoat, then another means by which American society (and apparently the rest of us too) distracts itself from tackling the deeper social issues that plague any large nation.

Of course the easy availability of guns in the US is significant and contributes to the ease and frequency of crimes like this, but when some people argue that it's not about guns, they mean that it's always preferrable to dig out the roots of the weed rather than just cut off the stalk and then aggressively monitor it so it doesn't grow back.
I'll just say, "Well said," again. It saves me a lot of typing.

People always fall all over themselves to blame their favorite scapegoat in the aftermath of a tragedy. That's pure exploitation. Mass murder isn't the fault of guns, fertilizer, comic books, video games, movies, television, Stephen King, Harry Potter, men, religion, the United States, childhood immunizations or additives and preservatives. It's because, as Bob Geldorf said, the silicon chip inside his head switched to overload. His brain cells weren't lining up correctly. The neurotransmitters were out of balance. He was sick. He was broken. Understanding this, diagnosing this and treating this is what we must do.

HoHoHocutus wrote: View Post
I disagree. Not with the fact that it's well-said (it is), but with the premise that the aftermath of an incident is not the right time to discuss it. Sure, you should wait until at least the primary details of the incident are known so you can make an informed argument, but once that's happened I think there's no better time to discuss it than when it's fresh in people's minds and the reason we should take action is most apparent.
You're right, of course. It's not discussion that's the problem. It's when people wave the bodies of dead children like flags to promote their pet ideologies.
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Old December 16 2012, 11:46 PM   #127
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

^ I had a pet ideology once. It ran away. I fed it talking points and everything.

I totally agree with the supposition that we should never mention the killer's name. That's what he would want us to do. It gives him notoriety. We shouldn't do that.
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Old December 16 2012, 11:55 PM   #128
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

Tulin wrote: View Post
I am glad I live in a country(OZ)where counselling is funded by the government for the most vulnerable people that need it!

It's no wonder the YEW-ESS is going down the drain.
You get like 6 or 8 free visits to a psychologist a year if referred by a GP and if you are on the health care card. Otherwise there is no free counseling unless you are lucky enough to have a GP that develops that kind of relationship with you and again if you are on the health care card (low income).

Unless by "most vulnerable" you mean people who are already deep in the system thanks to being in and out of psychiatrist facilities, on disability pensions due to mental health issues etc.. but this shooter would probably not have qualified for any of that. No one had identified him as "most vulnerable" and if his mother had tried to get him help she would have been paying for it herself. Would a handful of visits to a counselor have done anything? Very doubtful.

Australia's record with mental health is abysmal like most countries. Underfunded and overwhelmed. Yeah if you're low income you can get your meds for minimal outlay, that's a good thing. But I've known enough families struggling with their mentally ill relatives to know it's a long hard slog unless you're rich to get the actual attention needed.
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Old December 17 2012, 01:08 AM   #129
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ I had a pet ideology once. It ran away. I fed it talking points and everything.
And, no, folks, it's not too soon. Humor gets us through life.
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Old December 17 2012, 01:18 AM   #130
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ I had a pet ideology once. It ran away. I fed it talking points and everything.

I totally agree with the supposition that we should never mention the killer's name. That's what he would want us to do. It gives him notoriety. We shouldn't do that.
The media (here at least) doesn't report suicides and if they have reported a death that turns out to be a suicide that part is usually left out. It's an acknowledgment that reporting suicides encourages suicide. It can be done. They can change their reporting to take the focus of the notoriety in these situations.
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Old December 17 2012, 01:22 AM   #131
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

teacake wrote: View Post
The media (here at least) doesn't report suicides and if they have reported a death that turns out to be a suicide that part is usually left out.
How do they do that?

"He was found dead in his hotel room in the morning. Police reports that... uh... nevermind. He's just dead."
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Old December 17 2012, 01:28 AM   #132
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

They say "the death is not considered suspicious". This means it was either an accident or suicide, but usually if it's an accident the details are reported. However in the case of someone falling off a building you can wonder which it was because it is never said.
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Old December 17 2012, 01:32 AM   #133
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

Gun Deaths - 2011: Japan 48, Great Britain 8, Switzerland 34, Canada 52, Israel 58, Sweden 21, Germany 42, UNITED STATES 10,728
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Old December 17 2012, 01:40 AM   #134
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

Interesting how all those guns don't leak up into Canada.. and by that I mean that presumably Canadians could get them if they wanted them. But maybe their are other issues which make them less prone to shoot each other?
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Old December 17 2012, 01:44 AM   #135
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Re: MASSIVE Elementary School Shooting in CT *12-24 Maybe be dead

HoHoHocutus wrote: View Post

I disagree. Not with the fact that it's well-said (it is), but with the premise that the aftermath of an incident is not the right time to discuss it. Sure, you should wait until at least the primary details of the incident are known so you can make an informed argument, but once that's happened I think there's no better time to discuss it than when it's fresh in people's minds and the reason we should take action is most apparent.

What happens when the gap between these incidents gets small enough that the "too soon to talk about the cause" moratorium crosses over into the next shooting? Do we continue not to talk about from there, because that's too soon again? FOX News would certainly have us think so. Jon Stewart was recently talking about another shooting incident that took place before this, but his argument dovetails nicely into this one and point out why the "too soon" argument falters:

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mo...xrs=share_copy

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mo...xrs=share_copy

I agree that these types of discussions should continue even when there's no major shooting incidents going on, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about it in the immediate aftermath --with enough time to make informed arguments-- as well.
This. Personally, I think right now is a great time to be talking about reforming gun control laws. The public is outraged about what happened. Would stricter gun control have prevented this incident given that the weapons used belonged to the mother? Possibly not, however it's time to take a look at them. There was a shooting on Monday, and then this one on Friday. When are they going to be too close together, when the media interrupts coverage of one incident to report another one?
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