The IEET grieves for the innocent children, staff and families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, CT USA. Our condolences to everyone effected by today’s tragedy. We need to reevaluate the culture of violence (including the amount of guns so readily available) in the United States, and help anyone who may be mentally ill as best we can.
Truly another example of just how easy it is to kill innocents, appalling!
So what’s going wrong with society, or individual mindsets within society, as compared to 10 or 20 or 30 years ago? Seems that if we attempt to analyse this change we may find a root cause, (not necessarily a root motive – although we could all make calculated guesses as to motives, Human condition, mental illness, social decadence etc?)
Here are some views that I cannot help but to voice..
1. It’s too easy to kill innocents?
And I’m not pointing directly at the US here, the UK is suffering the same increases in gun crimes, just not at the same volume. Here we have increased gang culture mindsets and often a problem with children shooting children through gang warfare. In the UK there is a deterrent of 5 years imprisonment for illegally owning a gun, rifle, shotgun, ammunition, even a taser, (although this deterrent is rarely applied, and is something the govt has been at contention with the courts). In the UK it is often the case that senior gang members will bully and apply fear towards younger children to hide their guns and to return them when required, so how can you apply a 5 year sentence here? Answer, you cannot in most cases.
Yet “deterrent” lies at the root of what prevents Humans from committing violence, robbery and other heinous acts. The “deterrent” makes you think twice before you “think” about committing an act, let alone plan for it and act upon it?
The opportunity to acquire weapons is obviously a problem that now(?) even more than ever needs re-evaluation in the US. It is not easy for a whole nation to change it’s culture regarding firearms overnight, it takes time, it takes heinous acts such as these to provoke change. Yet the discussion is not limited to certain weapons, but all weapons? The damage done recently was with pistols, proving that any gun can be utilised for multiple kills, this is it’s purpose is it not?
By removing the opportunity to acquire weapons easily, together with appropriate deterrent for illegal possession, then the difficulty to possess a gun or any weapon can be increased substantially?
I’m not sure if this applies currently in the US as legislation, however, if all persons are required to apply to possess a weapon through more stringent process in the first instance, then opportunity can be made difficult for possession, and this specifically applies to persons suffering from paranoia or other serious mental illness.
Making the process of application lengthy, expensive, and tiresome will help to reverse the opportunity for guns ending up in the wrong hands?
Q: Why do you want a gun? - Should be the first question being asked, not at the gun store, but by a qualified and experienced police officer through due process of application at a relevant official premises, meeting with each individual and evaluating them using the required psychometric testing, documented medical histories, and ultimately enquiring why the gun is wanted? Shooting clubs and love of blasting targets? Obviously this is why all Humans want guns? Protection? From what exactly?
3. Are there more individuals suffering from mental illness and social duress this century, this decade? Maybe so, yet this is a problem that should be investigated not as justification to maintain the status quo regarding gun policy and ownership, or more specifically, support the ease of acquiring weapons through purchase?
Increased social mental illness, healthcare, drug abuse, or even general social decadence is something that requires evaluation as separate process to tackling opportunity and deterrent for individuals to commit the slaughter of innocents with guns?
4. You could most likely argue that weapons will still be readily available illegally through black markets, (as they are here in the UK), which will bypass the present legal process of application and purchase and identity recording, making the situation even worse? This is something that needs focus also, yet I would speculate that the mental paranoia and mindsets associated with individuals that shoot kids and innocents describe the kind of individuals that would not understand the black market or approach dangerous individuals to acquire weapons? It is arguable? Yet the tiresome and expensive process to acquire weapons through due process can still only help mitigate opportunity for possession by individuals suffering mental paranoia?
Obviously everything highlighted here is not news! It is not “rocket science”, and most have thought these concerns through for themselves? Yet thinking about solutions is not enough, voicing your concerns is the next step, and finally, support for action and legislation can then be applied towards correcting the direction of social behaviours, and using a democratic process?
Barack Obama cannot change gun laws and legislation by himself?
#Occupy - Voice your demands!
Posted by Intomorrow on 12/16 at 06:39 PM
you write detailed comments; can’t hope to follow-up on your’s however here’s 2 cents worth:
will go out on a limb to reiterate what Hank and others have written, that we ought to think about devolving—real devolution—America into smaller nations. This country has advanced in many ways but is of course large and unwieldy. In the past (yes, another rambling diatribe) perhaps Rightists were interested in smaller, efficient, government, on their terms naturally yet since 9-11-‘01 IMO they became both jingoist and statist, the worst of all worlds.
This is to state the obvious, that America is a large, predatory-but- productive, and as we can all see now, violent, nation for being so advanced in other ways. Because when a 20 year old shoots an entire roomful of six year olds, one might be justified in thinking this country is violent—and IMO the reason it isn’t more so is America throws enormous funds at its ‘problems’:
“here’s your Food Stamps, now please go away and don’t kill anybody, alrighty?”
Rightists despite all their hard-edged savviness don’t grasp how the above works; America is bribing the people towards the bottom not to harm each other, so statism ‘works’ in that respect (not to mention how Free Ridership benefits the kin of Rightists as well). ——————————————
The question is: can America be reformed substantially so that its violence is reduced? doesn’t appear so. Progressives have to realise much of America’s tension is from its Madisonian heritage, plus Adam Smith, not the Buddha, is its focus; if you wont admit such you are running away from the reality of American violence being intrinsic.
Being a child of the ‘60s- ‘70, I’ve always been confused concerning the interface of academia and activism; IEET for instance is not primarily activist, you are not going to agitate for secession. But it does appear we haven’t gone anywhere in reducing the tensions causing/contributing to American violence and it at this time does not appear we will. America is simply too large and now it goes without saying the population is larger, canceling out the gains of the past few decades. Just you watch: another commission will be formed, ultimately advocating superficial reforms, such as the reforms instituted after the riots of the ‘60s—leaving the underlying social tensions smoldering beneath the surface.
Posted by CygnusX1 on 12/17 at 06:01 AM
Devolution of the United States of America into what exactly? Seems like this also would be a return to 1776? Although I think I understand your meaning regarding US central administration struggling to keep all states smiling all of the time? Perhaps it would be a good thing, I can’t comment on that. Local government, Big Society, direct democracy.. whatever you want to a call it, would be a step in the right direction as compared to crony representative duopoly politics that seems rife/commonplace around the world today?
How would the people of the US or individual states vote regarding right to bear arms? Regardless, and whatever the outcome, direct democratic referendum would place the responsibility with the individual, and at least give them a voice regarding their issues and regarding their future? (Same here in the UK by the way, social disgruntlement is supported by apathy and lack of opportunity to incite real social and economic change - we don’t get referendums here either, despite idle promises by successive govts.. surprise, surprise!)
These social issues you mention are the same the world over, and the same in the UK. Difference here in the UK is we don’t all possess guns, and without possession of these, angst is limited to punch ups in bars and with police. Although gang culture is now commonplace, and something ALL children here have to deal with and face.
Have learned some more details concerning this incidence in particular that need clarification - 1. He did use an automatic rifle, possessed at least 2 pistols, and had a shotgun ready in the trunk of his car. 2. These were his mothers weapons allegedly?
This makes the issue of dealing with possession of weapons even more difficult to control. Answers on postcards please!
Posted by Intomorrow on 12/17 at 08:40 PM
V. big issues. But here’s another stab at it:
First, the recidivism in crime is deplorable, there’s scarcely a corrective system; rather, a penal system—with such a large nation it pretty much has to be that way.
Second (what irks me most) is how the Right generally wants devolution but at the same time wishes to keep America the way it is! What doublethink. Perhaps we ought to ignore them even though it basically is their country.
BTW hypothetically if no guns existed, murderers would use other weapons, such as Molotov cocktails, bombs.. or even merely swords. A Klebold and Harris team armed with swords could kill as many as with a gun by decapitation.
Posted by Intomorrow on 12/17 at 09:00 PM
“How would the people of the US or individual states vote regarding right to bear arms? Regardless, and whatever the outcome, direct democratic referendum would place the responsibility with the individual, and at least give them a voice regarding their issues and regarding their future?”
You ask the right questions, Cygnus; there’s only one way to discover the results, by attempting what you reference—if things don’t work out, they don’t work out; but by now IMO such really should be tried as the way it is done at this time is far too cumbersome.
“These social issues you mention are the same the world over, and the same in the UK. Difference here in the UK is we don’t all possess guns, and without possession of these, angst is limited to punch ups in bars and with police. Although gang culture is now commonplace, and something ALL children here have to deal with and face.”
What you write above pops in and out of my mind: gangs are literally all over the place now, yet this outcome was predicted long ago (realistically predicted in cinema via the film ‘Clockwork Orange’), it is no huge surprise and besides in the ‘50s there were gangs, not to the degree as today but the situation is cyclical over the course of decades: another reason it was little surprise when gangs made a resurgence in the ‘80s. I remember the leather-clad “hoods” of the early to mid ‘60s; then they were absorbed into the counterculture until the era of crack in the ‘80s.
Posted by Intomorrow on 12/17 at 09:41 PM
... PS, one more for today.
Not sure what you mean by postcards; perhaps you mean answers broken up into clearer answers? (you are hinting at less run-on sentences, eh? okay, will try).
Here’s something coming to mind (will keep it short) concerning these issues: the exacerbation of the difficulties by law enforcement and courts prosecuting minor, quite petty, offenses such as possession of small quantities of substances, porn, and other infractions that are actually to mostly make money for the system. On top of that, though judges and attorneys are biased, juries are citizens with little training in the issues, who may be vastly more biased than judges and attorneys.
What an awesome mess, Cygnus: science is radically outstripping our already ludicrously outmoded systems. I can remember ‘68 as if it were yesterday, and in those 45 years conservatism turned out to be in effect only really slowing down progress—not change. The formula can be expressed:
change minus progress = dystopia.
Posted by Henry Bowers on 12/20 at 10:27 AM
Hmm . . . in today’s news, looks like it was the Devil after all.
I invite this whole website to suspend their non-scientific, superstitious denial of reality: repent, and believe in the evangelium.