BESIDES the easy access to guns, what else do you think contributes to the high rate of violence and all the mass shootings in our country? Is it feelings of hopelessness? Untreated and mismanaged mental illnesses? An overly paranoid society? What is at play behind these incidents? Are you even surprised anymore when you hear of yet another mass shooting? Obviously we have a problem that is systemic - so how do we work to resolve it? Again, not arguments on guns - been there done that. What else do we need to address as a society?
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I have a strong lean along with you, I believe, being social structure as a greater root cause exasperating or causing a psychological change. I also think there are influences desensitizing the morality of violence - Media & Gaming for instance.
I AGREE! and possibly go back to some of the old ways.. the old traditions of family and crafts and outings and life together as a family.. family supports each other.. and big government, culture and diversity seem to attack and tear this down..
Isn't that amazing how Americans were less afraid when there was much more violent crime?
Why do all FORGET GOD? He doesn't matter? He would solve the problem if children "taught" the ways of JESUS!
Norine religious diatribes don't belong here. You obviously have no knowledge of history if you think Christianity = no violence.
I'm sorry I answered your question- which you did not have the common courtesy to respond to. There are over 300 million people in this country which would give the same number of "answers". I can guarantee this awful situation will get worse.
Peter - I gave your answer a thumbs up.
Norrine - if someone pointed a gun at you and said "Convert or die", would you find that irrelevant? That is how the US as we know it was created.
It wasn't a lack of "common courtesy" there have been many answers and I've been busy and coming back to respond and may have missed some initially. So nice to jump to conclusions about others. Save your scoldings for someone else.
You are absolutely right i think so.
I don't know if they were all medicated, but some were and the side effects of some of those medications are indeed dangerous because they lead to violent thoughts and increased risk of suicide.
Holding pharmaceutical companies and their partners accountable is a conversation that should have begun long ago.
Yeap. All were!
Sadly we have a govt. that doesn't serve its constituents but special interests and the NRA is a huge lobby for no change. It doesn't matter what the majority of people want when there is money and corruption.
I agree with you but I would like to think (perhaps desperately) that there are some politicians elected for all the right reasons and will and do actually represent the people. It is frightening that the NRA has such a tight control of so many.
You have a point there. This sounds like the Virginia Tech shooter.
They'd rather die gaining some form of notoriety than live invisibly. -- absolutely, this latest shooter said as much on social media and was egged on by others who think like him. Sad that we glorify these killers in the media like we do.
I think your assessment is right on. I too believe guns are a problem, but I think we tend to get hung up on that debate without looking at the underlying issues that also need to be addressed.
Also, people in European countries have mental illnesses (just like human beings everywhere) but much lower rates of gun violence. If it were the mental illnesses and not the guns, they'd all have just as much gun violence as the US.
I am also ashamed of the lack of knowledge of mental illness shown in these comments. I guess it proves t o all people who suffer with bipolar disorder, aspergers syndrome, adhd, schizoaffective disorder, OCD & more should keep it quiet. Ignoran
Most of us know that the majority of people with a mental illness would never harm a soul - but that doesn't change the fact that some of the shooters did have issues, this latest kid, Lanza and the theater shooter.
news cycles do indeed make it appear more prevalent I agree with that. As for teaching values in school, our schools do it through secular programs and it is inclusive of everyone and it helps establish a sense of community.
I agree. The media is not helping any by sensationalizing every issue. They should be forced to provide 1 positive news segment for every negative news segment.
Good analysis. Couldn't agree more.
So many excellent observations and you are right. We are conditioned here to celebrate violence and always fear. I think it makes it easier for the govt. to keep us in perpetual war to normalize violence and keep people afraid.
You make good points. Mixed cultures always suffer throughout history but I think a lot of drug abuse is "self" medicating and is very sad. Its all very heart breaking.
right I agree, the reason I phrased the question that way was to not get the topic stuck on guns themselves, but to get to deeper root causes.
Hormones are a contributing factor for sure, but as for politeness, that isn't the same thing as genuine social skills. Anyone can be taught basic manners. This fellow was seen as "polite" by many. I agree with you on healthcare.
Hormones are NOT a part of the problem. That is the stupidest EXCUSE I've heard up aside the gun did it.
Testosterone does lead to aggressive behavior ever heard of "roid rage" it's due to increased testosterone. No one said it is a cause or an excuse, but a contributing factor (hence we see many more male shooters than females).
It is a rare thing to happen and I do not believe for one second it has anything to do with testosterone. You are talking steroids and is blown way out of proportion
Excess testosterone can enhance aggression and some people do have hormonal imbalances particularly the young. This is basic science. young men = more T which could help tip the scales - not a cause, but one ingredient in the soup.
I'm perfectly aware of what you are talking about but the studies have been dramatized. It's not hormones or watching violent tv shows. The meds and an increase of people breeding with mentally ill people. Diet and nutrition. Having healthy relations
demon I'm convinced you just like to argue for arguments sake. Forget it, I've had enough and we have plenty of answers to the question now anyway... good grief.
All very valid points yes.
I've been curious about this link as well!
Yeah great solution then we can all cower in fear wondering what wannabe hero might hurt themselves and others because proper training is not a requirement to buy/own a gun. Instead of one potential shooter, lets make sure there are many.
If you cower in fear it is based on your ignorance of guns. Most sensible gun owners would be comfortable with this idea. How many guns have you shot? If you say none...you've made my point.
How would even a hundred people with handguns be able to stop one or two intelligent people shooting from a height with rifles without significant loss of life?
Not everyone would have to carry a gun. Awarding the veteran hero Chris Mintz a medal is nice but if he had been armed his efforts to stop the murderer would have been dramatically increased, likely saving lives along with his own health.
I've been around guns all my life - I'm not anti-gun, I'm pro common sense and arming a whole bunch more people to the teeth without proper training is not the answer.
Is it not far more easier and healthier to make the US one big Gun Free Zone. What you suggest is the world upside down. Children who "play" with guns are not criminals. They simply have far to easy excess to weapons. How do you stop that !
Actually Christin you are required to go through safety arms classes in order to obtain your gun. And it is not a matter of cowering to own a gun. I'm got more than one and I"m no coward! You are clearly uneducated.
I am not uneducated, but I am real tired of you trolling my question and being rude to me demon especially when reading and context are obviously not your forte. No, you do not have to be trained as military and police do to have a gun license.
it's rare that a "good guy with a gun" saves the day, since your average joes aren't trained to respond to such situations. I'd be interested to know how many of these alleged hero's had military and or police training. The answer isn't more guns.
No, it isn't rare. It's actually quite common. The regular media doesn't report such things at all though, so they only seem rare. I have no idea if there is military background in any of them and I never said more guns was the answer.
Can you give us 3 recent examples?
How about instead of listing some I'll leave this link: https://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/armed-citizen/
There you go.
Researching people, young and old, who have protected themselves, others/siblings, with guns from various criminals is an interesting exercise, but not one media supports. Check out criminals calling 911 due to fear of homeowners with guns!
Again, if more guns were the answer, we'd be the safest nation on Earth - sorry even if guns do protect some people that's great, but more guns does not equal less gun violence.
I agree that mental health issues are a large contributor in many cases and that we should be doing a better job of funding and destigmatizing these issues so more could be helped.
Diana I agree with you. No one is interested until there is a death, to change something. Why do we have to sacrifice our kids, family members or friends before change takes place?
You can't help those who refuse help and many families suffer greatly trying to help. They need to reestablish the funds for mental health institutions as they were cut under the Reagan administration.
I think it's definitely one huge piece of the puzzle for sure.
Why the increase in mental health issues? It's my understanding from reading that schizophrenia and other serious mental illnesses have declined, yet anxiety and depression are on the rise. Is it lifestyle and stress?
I think anxiety and stress left untreated do lead to deeper issues and in some people it causes them to snap. Most with mental illnesses are not harmful.
I'm not sure about it being to expensive or hard to access. I do know many people who are mentally ill refuse help and refuse the medications. Many of the medications are very dangerous and they choose drugs instead. Heroine, coke etc.
Well, $200 an hour might not be too expensive and a two month wait might not seem long to everyone, but for people who are in crisis, broke, and in need of help it's both.
Well I know quite a few doctors in the field of medicine and mental health and now a day it is easier to get help without money than with. This is from my experience and others who work in the field. There are places for emergencies.
I agree, in fact this guy talked about gaining notoriety online before the act and others were egging him on. Media will never cooperate though as they like the ratings giving shooters attention brings.
Yes, we need to commend that sheriff and community for refusing to help promote the murderer's name!
I agree 100%. Everyone wants 15 minutes of fame.
In abandonment of my own answer, I think that this answer is spot on.
Interesting to hear other perspectives. I honestly feel the same way you do and guns are not "normal" for a great deal of our society honestly. I grew up in a house full (dad hunts), but never touched one and never had the desire to.
Hi Nell Rose,
I can see how you have come to your conclusions on gun violence, but oddly gun violence has risen in the UK since additional advances in Gun Control. Gun violence in the UK has risen because criminals do not respect rules and laws.
Show your sources for gun violence increasing in the UK. They have far FAR less gun violence than the US. That statement is false.
This study reveals gun violence in UK increased after additional Gun Control:
UK gun violence increased; did not say more than the US.
It's easy to research the people who have protected themselves, and especially interesting to look up reports of how young people successfully used guns to protect selves and their families.
There are far more people dying due to guns than being protected by them, so I don't buy into that "good guy with a gun" nonsense. If that were true we should be the safest nation on Earth.
That is incorrect all are required take safety classes. Thank the liberals for no other gun teaching. Back in the day we took our guns, bee bee guns to school where we were taught by teachers and local law. No one shot each either.
Here in Michigan, any adult without a felony record can fill in some forms, lay out some cash, and own a handgun. If one buys from a licensed dealer, one need not even have a permit to buy a handgun. No training or test is required.
I did not know that! It's to bad that the schools still do not teach gun safety and how to handle them.
Christin, please indicate where you are getting this data about more people being killed than protected by guns. You don't need a bunch of good guys, per say, you need reg citizens who own guns to deter the bad guys. We are safer than many countries.
It isn't extreme. No other country has this problem to this extent and gun laws are what those countries have in common.
While I do not agree with a ban - I do agree that there needs to be very strict background checks and a close to the loopholes and also required liability insurance for firearms owners.
I can definitely see how that could be a contributing factor to someone who "snaps". I wonder how we go about figuring out who is about to reach the breaking point. Very sad.
Better yet, put a stop to bullying!
There's such a weird acceptance of bullying in America. The victims of bullying are told they're at fault for being bullied and then the authority figures in their lives tell them to fight back. I guess that doesn't work out so well.
Thanks, Kyllyssa. Often the victims are blamed, especially when ganged up on. They are given vague directions to "stand up for themselves", yet they sre punished for trying to fight back - which they can't do anyway, since they're outnumbered.
Yoleen this so true. My teen son is dealing with a band of bullies now and he isn't a fighter and detests violence. Although the school is working with us it still troubles me that it happens and is even carried over to social media. No escape :(
The columbine shooter had been coached by unidentified MEN. He was on anti depressants and was jewish. He made sure he only killed the Christians. And NO ONE deserves that.
I agree particularly with learning to end bullying, but also with teaching kids how to manage bullies and not let it destroy their own self-esteem. Mental health in this country has been progressively worse since being largely defunded in the 1980s
Amen to that!!!
I am not big on giving insurance companies more money, but it would seem to me a need to carry liability insurance might deter some folks too. If your gun is used to harm someone you're on the hook. We insure cars - why not guns?
Kristin, you are living in a world with rose colored glasses, you cannot stop cyber bullying. It continues even after the first victim perishes, it continues in online games and MMO games. There is now way to stop it, unless you turn off the internet
I don't believe all the shooters were having this problem - but it is a common denominator with several. Ease of access to guns is problematic for sure.
If you catch a thief in your house, are you able to shoot him ? And kill him. Do you think killing someone for stealing a TV is justice. What you propose is civil war. You can not train citizens to behave nicely. It's better to have no guns at all.
It's not like something you can train for once. Officers for example, whose job it is to stop crime, train extensively and have ongoing training and even they screw up. This idea is lunacy - sorry
Peter Stip, do you think criminals and the like would go by the 'no guns' rules?
Christin, Osam at least has a point, in that citizens with guns stopping shooters would actually help people protect each other from lunatics.
So why make anything illegal if that's your rationale?
Plus look at ANY developed country w/ strict gun control - less gun deaths. It's a statistical fact.
It's a no brainier to say. The less weapons a country has, the less chance off a shooting, by excident or aimed. The more weapons, more excidents. Training won't help. A toddler sees a weapon, plays with it. BANG. No training that can avoid this.
Aime, there is a difference when you would make the thing illegal that would protect people from the people who have said item illegally anyway, versus curtailing actions with law.
Peter, see the study I referred to in my answer regarding more guns.
Osam I agree, we need to have the right training to use firearms of any kind. It doesn't matter what you use them for, training should be part of the licensing. Good call! =)
do you have sources for this? I know that some have - but I have not seen anything that says all of them were. I know those drugs are bad news though for many people.
Just research it everyone of them has been found to had been on them.
"just research it" doesn't fly when you are the one making such a claim. You need to provide proof if you are going to assert it as a fact, otherwise I can only assume you saw it on a meme or something.
OK Christina give me the name of EVERY one because I can't remember them all. Then I will research it for your lazy ass and post them right here just for you. But give me ALL the names form 1980 until now. Because your request just doesn't fly sugar
You are the one who made the claim so I asked you to back it up. We don't do the cause any favor by stating something as fact that we can't back up. No need to curse or be rude
It's fact your request is unrealistic. There is not one source for ALL. You have to look up each one. Give me the names and I'll show it to you. So give me the names and I'll help you. Your remarks were brash and rude.
My comments were not brash or rude - you decided to take them as such without understanding my intent. At no point did I curse at you or berate you.
She didn't say anything rude. Meanwhile you're throwing around terms like "lazy ass" and condescendingly calling her 'sugar'. *eye roll* It's not really unusual to request sources when someone makes a statement that appears to be fact.
If you did not think she was brash that is fine. But anyhow she doesn't wan tto do the work and just google it...that is lazy and she isn't producing the list so she must not really want to know.
One more time - when YOU make a claim the burden of proof is on YOU. YOU said ALL were on medications and refuse to cite your sources and would rather troll and cause problems. I'll just close the question now as some have to ruin everything.
Yes, the media does like to perpetuate sensationalism and fear - I agree. If the media did their actual job when it came to news, we'd have citizens who were by far more informed and less afraid of everything under the sun.
Glorification of gory violence and personal responsibility are indeed far more important concepts than people are willing to acknowledge. Trying to blame something/one else frees criminals to do as they wish when violent entertainment is chosen.
I love Halloween and I'm not a violent person. Many other cultures watch violent movies and don't do such things, so I can see a bit of the point in desensitization - but I don't think it's a cause.
Indeed. I saw it on HuffPo earlier and the people egging him on - wow, unbelievable.
so many interesting things to delve into here and I too fear the stigmatization of people with mental illnesses and blaming that instead of addressing the many other underlying issues.
I agree that all individuals with mental health problems are not violent, but individuals with healthy mental health do not commit mass murders.
There is a big difference between mental illness regarding mental health and mentally disturbed. Losing your temper is mentally disturbed & may have consequences with subsequent actions. Look at the spearing incidents with high school football.
Mental issues is a huge part of the recent activity with guns. The deeper issue is the emotional turmoil kids are under today with their parents both having to work, either parent missing from the home, lack of interest in the kids. Its emotional.
Yes, we have an overall massive violence problem in the US. Ironically our violent crime rate overall i s down, but when violence erupts now it seems to be on grander scales more often than in the past.
There are definitely absentee parents, but also a lot who don't have a choice. Some families both parents work excessive hours just to keep a roof. Sad for sure and a peer problem indeed in most cases.
One facet of why they happen at schools is because they are gun-tree environments. The victims have no protection from people who would do such things. These murderers are sane enough to know where they want to commit such acts.
Is it though? A peer problem? Maybe its an emotional problem where the teen is unable to handle the stress because his / her parents are missing from the home. Maybe its an outlet for this stress?
This is all very true of course and something we need to make sure isn't erased through revisionist history. I have no doubt our very history may play a role.
The involuntary servitude of African Americans intrigues me, because in African American histories, originating from Africa, the tribes sold their own people into slavery. White man only carried out what the black tribes started.
the ends doesn't justify the means - slavery was wrong period, no matter who started it.
Yes, we have so many guns and such a fear mired society that glorifies violence - it's a perfect storm for these problems we see.
don't apologize - these are the exact kinds of things we all need to be discussing. I agree a lot with establishing boundaries and allowing kids to be able to face disappointment and grow from it, definitely constant negativity has to play a role.
Absentee parents and/or parents who give their kids anything they want are good points. two of these shooters had moms who gave them guns despite knowing they were mentally disturbed - boggles my mind!
I agree there is a real lack of parental involvement. People rely on the government way to much. But still look up each one and everyone was on some type of anti depressant or phsc drug.
Absolutely and that's sad. This latest shooter planned and bragged on social media and people were encouraging him to do it. He was angry at the world and felt harming strangers was somehow the answer to make him not feel invisible.
And Christin all I said was there is NO one source give me the names of the shooters and I'd do it for you. But since I made the comment that they were on meds you won't. But still you comment. You don't understand my intent.
It seems that way at times, but I still see great good in others. unfortunately with so much media negativity we are conditioned to believe there is a bogeyman around every corner and trust no one which fuels it further.
2 of these kids were smothered by their mothers - who, knowing they had mental issues, gave them guns. I don't think all of society is cold, I think when we disconnect and go out in the world we see most are good people doing the best they can.
History has been much more violent and it has nothing to do with evolutionary theory which is not "satanic" this sounds more like it belongs on a religious debate board.
Speaking about mental illness...
I would say Max has a point. There is certainly a correlation to a secular society, which takes away the idea of consequences after one dies, and violent crime. If there are no consequences after death, only pain, etc., now really hurts me (right?).
Then how do you explain why very secular countries like Sweden (88% irreligious according to Gallup) that have lots of guns but only a fraction of the gun violence the US has? How about Japan with .056% of the gun violence and very little Jesus?
Hi Kylyssa, Another part of this is to another point in My Answer to this question. I said, "Max has a point", but not that it is the only point... when more citizens are armed or there are Real consequences right now that is also a good deterrent.
As humans, we can have an answer to this. There are plenty of other nations that don't have this problem. We need to look at what they are doing right.
On this point there is a book from Dr. Rich Ganz worth reading, PsycoBabble: The Failure of Modern...
Christin, I'd like to believe that humans can have answers to all the problems we encounter, but that's not the case. If it were, humans would already have the answers - we've had many centuries to figure it out, and we're no smarter than those past
Yes we are smarter - we advance all the time in many ways. I don't view humans as a lost cause. We'll fix this eventually or we'll go extinct ;).
So people in countries without this level of gun violence aren't human? I do agree that the worship of money and disregard for human life has gotten out of control but other countries have come to solutions. Why couldn't the US do the same?
I said that because I want to get to the deeper issues because everyone gets defensive on their gun positions and rarely delve deeper. There is a lot to say - hence my asking "besides guns"..
I can understand that. But it is the main reason. And if you avoid talking about the main reason nothing will change. The right to have a weapon should not be a taboo issue.
and plenty of other questions and forums have addressed gun rights - hence I asked a different question.
Peter, try the parents are the reasons why kids have guns today. Fetish or love of firearms is not something for a household with kids. Parents take kids to see those movies. Parents allow kids to play those violent games.
Thanks, although I am looking more beyond guns - the underlying issues that cause these young men (mostly) to do such heinous things as though it were a sport. Sad.
I do agree with teaching nonviolence and peace - but I don't believe that children grow up not doing things their parents forbid. Often just the opposite - they rebel.
Teaching nonviolence can't be done while exposing them to the darknesses of popular culture. Little eyes and ears that should be protected from the heinous are constantly exposed to it, but adults insist on their right to so-called entertainment.
Love conquers all.If you love your child deeply and are a caring parent,rarely a child will disregard your values.
Unfortunately, there will always be those who need to be stopped. And unfortunately, sometimes, with violence. Defending oneself, and others, is important. There may always be people who need to be defended against as well (again, unfortunately).
Yes this is true, but the point of the question was to look at the deeper reasons why people snap or turn to violence - beyond the guns themselves (I agree easy access makes it easier to snap)
Guns are not the issue? Its the people behind them. Some are mental cases who should be confined and not allowed to have access to firearms. Such as the mother / son combo of two years ago. She knew her son was not all there.
no one said guns are not part of the issue - my purpose was to not get hung up at the gun and delve deeper. I agree with you on the Lanza people - that mom should have known better. This mom in the lastest shooting - same deal.
Yes, too bad empathy is not a subject that can be taught really, but things that lead to empathy could - non-revisionist history books might be a good start. In my boys school they have a citizenship series they do all year it's a nice program.
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