Orion's picture

    If There Were No Guns

    I was reading through the devastating wave of gun violence that, once again, is ripping through American society. Guns are so part and parcel of American life that it's hard to imagine life without them. You end up having to go through gun channels if you work security, law enforcement or are a hunter, even if you yourself are not a gun owner.

    Imagine for a minute that there were no guns. Imagine the fate that would exist for most people who use them against other people if there were no other guns. Few other weapons have the instant devastating effect of guns. We'd be left with a society that would have a lot of altercations but few massacres.

    Firearms may not have been introduced in American life for fully benign reasons. Guns enforce a social tension that no other tool ever could. They destroy community and create fear that, again, no other tool ever could.


    JUST OUT - some proof of what you say!

    Doesn't mention guns but does address urban downfall. Translated from Persian by google on twitter

    Gone are the days of Los Angeles ... Bye ... I saw so many homeless, poor, miserable, addicted, drunk and lazy peopled back alleys of Los Angeles that I had not even seen in Kabul. Class distance is rampant, and my sense of Los Angeles is that #پول , #ثروت , and #شهرت seem to be the most important goal in the lives of many here.


    she's a refugee from Afghanistan, a filmmaker who left Afghanistan shortly after the U.S. did.

    putting this here cause you might not see it if I put it on one of your Seattle threads:

    So, one thing about Seattle: it sees itself as a utopia, or at least it did.

    I can tell that, growing up, the utopia angle turned in to a whole lot of unacknowledged suffering. I remember when I was in high school, a full sized barbell was thrown at my face during gym class. I did report it but if anything was ever done about it, I never heard of it.

    When I worked at a summer camp, also as a teenager, an employee was being bullied by another employee. I interjected to try to tell him to stop and the guy ran over to his bag and pulled a knife out. He was fired but returned soon after to stalk me.

    In my 20s, I lived in a subsidized apartment. Someone lured me to their apartment and attempted to strangle me.

    Enough of this and you will get a vigilante mentality. There's a guy who actually dresses up as a superhero there and I imagine that an element of the CHAZ crowd were people disappointed with the lawlessness of that city, but who simply picked the wrong target for their ire. They are vigilantes without costumes, creating their own system because the existing one simply doesn't work.

    One of my friends up there says he carries a switchblade on him at all times. Another told me about pulling a gun during a traffic incident. These aren't bad people. They're people who were left on their own with no community to guide them through difficulty. 

    George Floyd was an instigator of this because it was symbolic of a lot of Police brutality. If people see police brutality at work, and then they see that serious offenses aren't taken seriously, they will take matters in to their own hands and just burn the whole thing down. Or they will burn things simply in order to get police attention.

    The story you posted mentioned setting a Nordstrom store aflame. This is just symbolic that a lot of people are long dissatisfied with that city and just want to tear down all of its symbols like Fight Club. You have to wonder what that city has been like and for how long to get to that point.

    I disagree with the point that we have embraced anarchy in favor of empathy. Seattle is not full of empathetic people. Someone can claim consideration because of their identity, sure, but are they really empathetic toward other people? That's just a cover for selfishness. As that miserable city burned, one friend wrote to me, "Everyone here is so heartless! It's a bunch of psychopaths and I am a psychopath too thanks to my ever growing up here!"


    I was thinking of this in relation to Will Smith walking up and smacking Chris Rock in the middle of an awards show.

    At the height of his career, Smith was actually the wholesome guy who never cursed, never rapped about guns, etc.

    That was his response to just disrespect. Imagine now how many men are out there responding to far more serious infractions. Throw guns, unemployment, drugs and other factors in there and you get an ongoing gun violence epidemic.

    you got that right, actually, it's a no brainer. Reacting to a "dis" with physical violence and/or toxic masculinity is a major part of our current crime problem. It is a major part of Ghetto Subculture and Black Twitter knows it, too, that's why they were having a viral time of it discussing it last night and why so many of them said it was none of whypipple's business. Because some like it that way!  They want to stay tribal and they want to keep that culture those types, including lots of black women., want strong tribally protective black male role models to show up more, as if to repair the damage of slavery and generations of women and their babies collecting welfare as long as there is no man in the house.

    (to the point where I saw some black guys on twitter ask why all the white women were saying they wouldn't like it if their man did that but black women were spllit, it's exactly why so many blacks were dissing some biracial actress for chiding Smith as "not really black"

    this is exactly the main thing that rap culture still exults, paying back any dis in spades, getting respect at all costs.

    It is the same thng that's part of gang culture worldwide (including groups like the Mafia)

    (is also why doing your homework is for white wimps - I thought Obama fixed that, I was wrong)

    of course other skin-color low income culture males go for this, that's why rap is so popular and it was always part of white trash culture long before rap


    very to the point:

    But there are teeth:

    Gun violence survivors far more likely to have pain, substance use and psychiatric disorders: study

    BY MONIQUE BEALS - at TheHill.com, 04/05/22 6:05 PM ET

    Gun violence survivors are far more likely to be diagnosed with pain and substance use and psychiatric disorders and suffer financial consequences after their firearm-related injury, a new study out Monday found.

    In the first month following their firearm injury, gun violence survivors had pain diagnoses at 249 percent the rate of the study’s control group. They were also 200 percent more likely to suffer psychiatric disorders and 670 percent more likely to be diagnosed with substance use disorders, the Annals of Internal Medicine study reported. 

    One year after their injury, survivors’ likelihood for pain diagnoses was still up 40 percent when compared with the control group. They were also up 51 percent for additional psychiatric disorders and 85 percent for additional substance use disorder diagnoses relative to the control group, the study showed [....]

    Op-Ed: The Sacramento shooting escalated American violence. We know how to shut it down again

    BY THOMAS ABT @ LATimes.com, APRIL 7, 2022 3 AM PT

    Johntaya Alexander did her big sister a favor early Sunday morning, showing up to give her a ride home when the downtown Sacramento clubs closed at 2 a.m. Minutes later, 21-year-old Johntaya, who dreamed of becoming a social worker, lay dying in her sister’s arms, cut down by gunfire that killed five others and wounded a dozen more.

    As Sacramento police continue to investigate a shooting described as the worst in the city’s history, authorities elsewhere in the country face the same grim task. During a single incident in Dallas last weekend, 11 people were shot and one killed. Across Chicago, two people died and 17 others were wounded. Still more victims perished from gunfire in Baltimore, San Francisco, Albuquerque and other cities.

    And it’s not summer yet, the time when shootings reach a crescendo nationally, as warm weather brings more people outside and conflicts can escalate, with often deadly results.

    Gun violence has been on the rise in the United States since 2020, when the pandemic, social unrest and surging gun sales combined to cause homicides to spike by nearly 30%, the largest single-year increase in recent history. In 2021, the numbers rose by another 5%, and the trend appears to be continuing in 2022.

    What can be done? Unfortunately, the hyperpartisan politics gripping Washington means progress at the national level will be slow. But cities and states can take constructive action on their own.

    Last summer, the Council on Criminal Justice convened a Violent Crime Working Group, to research evidence-based, local solutions for the problem of rising gun violence in the U.S. The group — made up of 16 leaders from violence intervention organizations, law enforcement, the public health sector and academia — outlined an approach to reducing violence that leaders can set in motion quickly, without the need for large expenditures or new legislation.

    They must:

    • Get focused. Set a concrete goal and commit to saving lives by reducing violence. Experts agree that an annual 10% reduction in killings and shootings is an ambitious yet achievable target.

    • Get educated. In city after city, gun violence is concentrated among a surprisingly small number of people, groups and locations. Effective violence reduction must begin with a rigorous “problem analysis” to identify those people and places. Operation Ceasefire in Oakland confronted such high-risk individuals and groups with a double message of empathy and accountability, and the initiative cut firearm homicides in that city by 31% over seven years.

    • Create a concrete, multidimensional plan for focusing efforts where violence is most concentrated. In 2019, Dallas launched its Task Force on Safe Communities. The city began a place-based effort to remove blight, improve lighting and deploy street mediators in areas with the greatest violence. In 2021, violent crime dropped 9%.

    • Rely on the community as well as the science. The most effective anti-violence strategies are steeped in credible research and consultation with those most affected by crime in their daily lives.

    • Stay balanced. Police and prosecutors have to hold violent perpetrators accountable, but that’s not enough. Street outreach workers, treatment and service providers, community leaders and others must also work to prevent violence before it happens. Reducing violence is a team sport, and all the community’s players must get involved.

    • Finally, place responsibility for violence reduction at the top. Every city suffering from high rates of violent crime should have a permanent department dedicated to violence reduction within the mayor’s office, with senior leadership reporting directly to the mayor. These departments can put intervention programs and workers into neighborhoods, administer funding and act as a hub for anti-violence work — but they must be sustainably staffed and substantially funded with support from state and federal grants.

    The Sacramento shootings that ended Johntaya Alexander’s life set a record nationally in terms of deaths and injury so far this year, and sadly, we know it won’t be the last such incident. Violent crime is a deadly serious challenge, but we’re not helpless. If we demonstrate courage and commitment, engage communities and rely on effective, proven strategies, we can save lives.

    Thomas Abt is a gun violence expert and senior fellow at the Council on Criminal Justice. He chaired the council’s Violent Crime Working Group.

    There are guns all over the world. In some places, you see them literally all the time in the hands of security, police and soldiers. In developing countries, the chief of a village often has one. It's part of life.

    Only the United States guarantees them as a commercial item. Guns everywhere else seem to be distributed through social and professional channels and, so, when people are shot, it's not the result of an antisocial loner.

    I think it's time the Second Amendment ends or is at least revised. It contains the words "well regulated militia," which describes what I described in other countries. Perhaps amending the constitution to forbid it as a commercial item? The problem therein is that it's the United States we are talking about, where money rules everything.

    You need two thirds majority in congress to make that happen. Honestly, none of this would be this anxiety and fear inducing if we just scrapped that amendment somehow and just had weapons distributed the same way they are everywhere else.

    In a lot of those other places people drive automobiles without licenses or after drinking or don't use seat belts or baby car seats or  whatever. 

    We don't do that in the U.S. We're more into civilization and not letting people main and kill each other with automobiles. Drivers are required to have a license that is only given after a test at a certain age to show you know how to operate a vehicle safely. When you drive a vehicle you are also required to have insurance that will pay for damage to life limb and property in case of accidental occurrence of the same things.

    In addition, there are many rules of the road while driving and police officers enforce them with summons, fines and arrests. There's even rules for where and how you can store vehicles (parking) when you are not using them, and there also you are subject to summons and fines if you break the rules.

    Furthermore, after a very long fight and much promotion, those who felt that drunk drivers were not being punished enough won over both the opinions of lawmakers and the public, and now drunk driving is taken very seriously with  not just the loss of driving PRIVILEGES, but also prison time for repeat offenders.

    None of this whole setup was operational when there were just a few horseless carriages on the road, people were "free" to buy them and use them however they wanted. It took time.

    p.s. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Exactly, artappraiser, and that concept ironically is applied much better throughout the world than here.

    In the United States, everything is for sale. So what's about to change that? 

    Take a look at the preconditions in Israel, a place that certainly isn't short of weapons: 

    1. An individual who is listed by the Ministry of the Interior as a citizen or permanent resident, and who has been in Israel for at least three years prior to their application for a firearm license. The Firearm Licensing Department can grant a license to a citizen or permanent resident even if they have not spent the last three years in Israel, on condition that the individual has served in the Israeli military or national service.
    2. An individual with at least a basic knowledge of Hebrew – the ability to answer questions, follow instructions and complete forms as required. The applicant's level of Hebrew is evaluated by a firearm clerk. 
    3. Minimum age requirement:
      • A citizen or permanent resident of Israel who has completed compulsory military service – age 18.
      • A citizen or permanent resident of Israel who has completed two years of national service – age 21.
      • An Israeli citizen who has not completed military or national service as per the above – age 27.
      • A permanent resident of Israel who does not have citizenship and has not completed military or national service – age 45.
    4. A health declaration signed by a medical doctor.
    5. Completion of the required firearm training, including theoretical exam and practical shooting requirements, as per the Firearm Training Ordinance of 2018.

    Additionally, to what you are saying is some cultural stuff. I was briefly an NRA member when I worked as a security guard. The gear that my company provided was really subpar and the NRA online store was the best place to get pants, belts, and various gear for the job. At no point did I actually buy a gun but I had my foot in that world simply because of the job.

    A lot of non-lethal defense items for security/law enforcement are also sold through gun stores or gun accessory stores, so you end up stepping in that world even if you're not intending to go shooting.

    It's pretty odd that cars are so regulated when the US is a tough place to get around without one and that has only recently been adjusted. I still just think the gun thing would be adjusted if some sort of national/public service was tied to it, as that would fit with what the Second Amendment entails in the first place. Just my thoughts.

    So I saw this in the feed:



    This is actually a sort of non-news, as an increase in gun ownership among blacks was reported as due to Trump 4 years ago. Now it's due to Covid. 

    I'm old enough and have been a Dag enough to say that this has been an issue forever now and the dialogue never really changes.

    Gun crime would go down dramatically if the government nationalized/subsidized the industry as alcohol was in many states and, in order to acquire one, you had to commit to some sort of national service and/or permit process. There has to be some sort of buffer of social acceptance, as guns are distributed through social networks everywhere but the United States. There is not a place where they are 100 percent prohibited.

    But as long as they are a consumer item available to the broad public, you will always have this problem. It's what it is. :(

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