Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by bigdaddy, Dec 14, 2012.
a church in Newtown has been evacuated because of some type of threat.
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.
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.
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:
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.
^ 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.
That quote purporting to be from Morgan Freeman is not, in fact, from Morgan Freeman. It's fake. Linky
^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.
^^ Too bad. But the responses in that thread are the perfect example of the ugliness that passes for "discussion" following an event like this.
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.
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.
^ 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.
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.
And, no, folks, it's not too soon. Humor gets us through life.
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.
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."
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.
Gun Deaths - 2011: Japan 48, Great Britain 8, Switzerland 34, Canada 52, Israel 58, Sweden 21, Germany 42, UNITED STATES 10,728
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?
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?
Canada has much stricter gun control laws.
I'm watching the memorial service. It's an amazing coming together of all faiths.
Not cool. You don't piggyback off of the Supreme Narrator's golden voice to give yourself greater authority and notoriety. It just isn't done.
Which is culturally interesting. The Swiss own almost 4 million guns (a bit more than half the US per capita guns), which is about 120,000 guns per annual gun death. Canadians own about 10 million guns, which is about 200,000 guns per annual gun death (roughly the same gun ownership rate as Sweden, France, Germany, etc, about 35% of the US guns per capita). The US has 260 or so million guns, or just 25,000 per annual gun death. Why is the US five to eight times as efficient at killing people with guns? Is it that we have better targets, escalate disputes better, or have more drug wars?
Deaths per gun is a totally useless, made up statistic.
Separate names with a comma.