Gun Violence in America Year, to Date, as of April 22, 2023

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  1. peoplepower73 profile image89
    peoplepower73posted 14 months ago

    I watched Fareed Zakaria's show yesterday and saw these shocking statistics that I thought were worthy of sharing.

    According to the Gun Violence Archive (The link to the site is at the end of this post)

    19,942 Americans have died in gun-related incidents this year.

    541 Children and Teenagers (0-17) have been killed in shootings

    169 mass shootings Year to Date
    .

    "Our thoughts and prayers are with you and now is not the time" Are platitudes used by politicians, others, and the NRA when they know they are not going to do anything to stop or even reduce this violence.

    I believe gun violence will never be reduced as long as the following exists..

    A poorly written 2nd amendment that can be interpreted by gun people to mean one thing and by gun control people to mean something else.

    A means to detect those who's mental issues are a danger to themselves and others.

    I have observed there are two basic mentalities in this country when it comes to guns. There are those who have a tendency to think guns are required for the greater good of the themselves and the country and the government is coming for their guns, especially after mass shootings.

    There are also those who have a tendency to believe some form of gun control, including mental health checks are required for themselves and the greater good of the country.

    My dad was an avid hunter and I grew up with guns, but when is enough, enough? This just occurred.

    https://apnews.com/article/texas-prom-p … 72c5419c09

    Here is the link to the Gun Violence Archive.

    https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 14 months agoin reply to this

      "A poorly written 2nd amendment that can be interpreted by gun people to mean one thing and by gun control people to mean something else."

      That's why we have SCOTUS.  To interpret that amendment (and the rest of the document), because the nature of people will be that they will interpret it any way they think will get them what they want.  It is not possible to "interpret" the phrase "shall not be abridged" but one way...but we see otherwise reasonable people giving dozens of interpretations.  Truth and honesty is not something automatically built into people.

      "A means to detect those who's mental issues are a danger to themselves and others."

      Don't you mean we need that, not that nothing will change as long as we have it?  A crystal ball would be fantastic there, but we don't have one.  I watched a TV special the other day on asylums of yesteryear, where the mentally ill were simply locked away for life.  We decided then that the "cure" was to lobotomize them...and we did so with abandon.  Did you know that JFK's sister was lobotomized in one of those hell holes? 

      That's the kind of thing we have now when government decides who is mentally ill (might be a danger to themselves or others) today.  We need that crystal ball, badly.

      1. peoplepower73 profile image89
        peoplepower73posted 14 months agoin reply to this

        Wilderness:

        Even members of SCOTUS have different interpretations of what the 2nd  amendment means. Scalia was an originalist and even he couldn't define it clearly. 

        What a well regulated militia was when the 2nd amendment was ratified is not the same as what a well regulated militia is today. Can it even be  defined today? Is it even necessary today?

        When mass shootings are committed by mentally ill, there is no way of knowing they are going to create such a crime.  It's like lighting a match to test it.  However, if we do nothing, they will still have access to weapons and we won't know until they use them. 

        Therefore, everybody who wants a gun could be screened by a shrink and then granted a license to buy the weapon from a dealer. Granted, it can't be retroactive.  It has to be from a certain point forward and controlled by the federal government, not the states, because it will get too messy with too many laws and waivers. 

        Something has to be done.  It can't continue to be a normal way of life.  Even if you are a law abiding citizen and a responsible gun owner, to buy another gun, you would be subject to obtaining a license from a shrink.

        Gun advocates compare deaths with cars to deaths with guns.  The irony is one has to take a test and show ownership of insurance before being granted a license. Why can't the same be done with guns from a certain point forward? Yes it won't catch everybody in the beginning, but after a period of time, it should provide better screening and reduce the number of senseless deaths by the mentally ill.  That's my proposal, but I'm open to any other persons ideas.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 14 months agoin reply to this

          "What a well regulated militia was when the 2nd amendment was ratified is not the same as what a well regulated militia is today."

          You make my point.  The amendment does not mention that only the militia shall have weapons, it does not mention what should happen when there IS no militia.  It does not say that is the only reason, and we KNOW those writers were leery of governments.  Yet those few words are consistently used to claim that the amendment is dead and means nothing.  That the words "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed" mean nothing are are not applicable to anything or anyone today. 

          "When mass shootings are committed by mentally ill, there is no way of knowing they are going to create such a crime. "

          "Therefore, everybody who wants a gun could be screened by a shrink and then granted a license to buy the weapon from a dealer."

          These two comments are a very real problem for me.  On the one hand you say we cannot determine who is a danger and then proceed to say we should require a gun buyer hire a psychologist and waste the time and money to find out nothing, in order to exercise constitutional rights.  That's worse than paying to vote.

          Driving a car is not a right; it is a privilege.  Owning a gun is not a privilege; it is a constitutionally guaranteed right.  Massive difference between the two.  It is not apples to oranges - it is like comparing a ton of plutonium to a 6 oz orange and saying they are similar.

          "Yes it won't catch everybody in the beginning, but after a period of time, it should provide better screening and reduce the number of senseless deaths by the mentally ill."

          Go back and read the first quote from you.  No psychologist in the world can predict what you are asking them for, and they are very open about that inability.  If they cannot, then your "should" becomes useless verbiage, words without meaning.

          As I stated, I would wish (STRONGLY!) that it were otherwise, but reality says differently.  I also have a rather strong aversion to getting a mental exam done by a politically biased group of quacks from the government.  If that is what is necessary to exercise my rights in this country then I'm in the wrong country.  You see, I have very little faith (read: none at all) that the whole exam won't turn political very quickly and the ghost of J Edgar Hoover will be knocking on my door to conduct me to an institution for those insane enough to actually want a gun.

          There is also the small problem that the large majority (95%?  98%) of guns used to kill with are not legally owned by the shooter.  A mental exam won't do a thing for someone that does not bother to do it and gets their gun anyway.

        2. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 14 months agoin reply to this

          An interesting read, and something that we (the country) should look into in far more depth.

          It seems that most guns (used in a crime were not obtained legally by the one carrying them, and that the more stringent the laws, the higher the percentage of illegally procured guns.  To put it more simply, all the laws in the world won't help if criminals ignore them, and that's exactly what we see happening. 

          Should you wish to pass a law on mental exams, you must also design an enforcement system to use to prevent it from being ignored.  And that's not so easy, but to do otherwise simply removes our rights to no gain.

          https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2 … me-rep-fa/

      2. Kathleen Cochran profile image77
        Kathleen Cochranposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        " It is not possible to "interpret" the phrase "shall not be abridged" but one way."  Doesn't say anybody can own any gun - especially when the writers of the constitution couldn't envision an AK-15. This argument is the laziest excuse for not protecting our population from firearms meant only for the military.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 14 months agoin reply to this

          If you deny someone the right to own a gun then you are "abridging" their right.  Nor does the argument that the writers couldn't envision an AR-15 (not an AK) have anything to do with anything - neither cannons nor mortars (both far more deadly than an AR-15 were listed as not available.

          You're right - it is a lazy argument, and not an honest interpretation of "shall not be abridged".  Under your argument no one  could own anything but a BB gun, or maybe a water pistol, and that was very obviously NOT the intent of the amendment.

          1. Kathleen Cochran profile image77
            Kathleen Cochranposted 14 months agoin reply to this

            The intent of the amendment was to insure the country had an armed militia. If only they had included those words.

  2. IslandBites profile image90
    IslandBitesposted 14 months ago

    This reminded me something I read a few days ago.

    Americans purchased nearly 60 million guns between 2020 and 2022, according to an analysis by The Trace, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that tracks gun violence. Yearly gun sales are running at roughly twice the level of 15 or 20 years ago. 

    Yuck.

  3. peoplepower73 profile image89
    peoplepower73posted 14 months ago

    The gun industry is big business and has one of the most powerful lobby's  in DC, along with the NRA.

  4. tsmog profile image83
    tsmogposted 14 months ago

    On the mental illness line of thought. The mentally ill attribute only 3 - 5% of all violent crimes in the U.S. Those crimes done with a gun will be less as low as 1%.. So, fairly, can one not ask if mental illness is a real threat to gun violence?

    A very comprehensive article by the American Psychological Association titled; Mental illness and violence: Debunking myths, addressing realities is a good read. The sub-title is;

    "A growing body of research is helping to tease apart why some people with serious mental illness are prone to violence while others are not, and how clinicians and others can help through improved treatment and informed myth-busting"

    https://www.apa.org/monitor/2021/04/ce-mental-illness

    It is a lengthy read, though may offer enlightenment.

    And, from ILLINOIS CRIMINAL JUSTICE INFORMATION AUTHORITY comes . . .

    An Overview of Research on Mental Illness and Violence

    https://icjia.illinois.gov/researchhub/ … ere-a-link

    A quote from the article;
    "A large body of research exists on the relationship between mental illness and violence.[9] Studies have repeatedly shown that the majority of individuals with mental illness are not violent and that the majority of violent acts are not committed by those with mental illness.[10] Further, research indicates only 3% to 5% of violent acts can be attributed to persons with SMI.[11] Though some believe only a person with mental illness could commit an act of mass violence, researchers estimate that persons with mental illness are responsible for fewer than 1% of all gun-related homicides.[12]"

    One more from Columbia University Department of Psychology is an article titled; Is There a Link Between Mental Health and Mass Shootings?

    https://www.columbiapsychiatry.org/news … al-illness

    A quote is;

    "First, understand that mental illness as the primary cause of any mass murder, especially mass shooting, is uncommon. Half of all mass shootings are associated with no red flags—no diagnosed mental illness, no substance use, no history of criminality, nothing. They’re generally committed by middle-aged men who are responding to a severe and acute stressor, so they're not planned, which makes them very difficult to prevent. So, we must look much further upstream."

    One thing to remember is there are differences between mental illness, which is a diagnosis, mental health/wellness, a violent mind, and a state of mind at the time of incidence including things like rage, which is not a mental illness, though may be a symptom for mental illness if constant and not spontaneous.

    A good read for the violent mind published at Psychology Today follows;

    Insight into the Violent Mind
    Identifying the negative thought processes that contribute to violence.

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog … olent-mind

    To me, the emphasis of screening for mental illness is in a sense a cop-out attempting to blame all gun violence away from everyday people's actions resulting from a state of mind of some sort. The emphasis seems to be on mass shootings by people with mental illness, yet is that really true? Or, is it simply someone feeling pissed off they were fired, or were being bullied, or felt they were ostracized? It peaked with becoming enraged and acting out with purpose.

    How can that be screened for the purpose of purchasing a gun?

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 14 months agoin reply to this

      I think this is a matter of definition.  I'm not a health care professional, certainly not a psychologist.  I understand that those people that go out to simply to kill strangers do not necessarily suffer from such things as schizophrenia, bipolar or other common mental illnesses.

      But.  In my considered opinion as a layman (probably using terminology I don't understand) those people are crazy as a loon.  It is not normal to decide to simply "off" a dozen or so people, or even one, and that puts them squarely in the looney bin as far as I'm concerned. 

      They may not suffer from the psychologist's definition of "mental illness" but they are not normal, healthy people either.  They are insane as far as I'm concerned and I have no better terminology to describe a brain malfunction that causes people to act in such an aberrant manner.

      1. tsmog profile image83
        tsmogposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        We are in agreement as I see it. Yes, "crazy as a loon" fits my sentiments too. Yet, is it a state of mind that is spontaneous, then returns to normal again? Is that further enhanced by having a violent mindset?

        I am sure many to all have felt the experience of rage and acted upon it. I know I have tossed a wrench onto the workbench when breaking a bolt when trying to remove it. Spontaneous action from rage, yet quickly return to calm seeking to resolve the dilemma.

        "I have no better terminology to describe a brain malfunction that causes people to act in such an aberrant manner."

        That is the key as I see it while agreeing with you. And, also agree with you, how can that be screened to be able to purchase a gun?

        1. peoplepower73 profile image89
          peoplepower73posted 14 months agoin reply to this

          Without going into any details, I have been in group therapy for coming off of  Zoloft (Sertraline) after taking it for 20 years.  I learned in group that extreme lack of sleep by a troubled mind can cause paranoia in some people. 

          I believe many of those who commit mass shootings are suffering from lack of sleep, thus resulting in paranoia and then committing the unthinkable because the brain is being scrambled by lack of sleep. 

          This is my theory. Therefore, if there was a way of screening those who have that mind set before they obtain their weapons could prevent them from committing those crimes.

          As far as statistics goes, try telling that to loved ones who have lost their children and others in senseless shootings. "Yes our thoughts and prayers are with you and now is not the time." is BS for doing nothing.

          1. tsmog profile image83
            tsmogposted 14 months agoin reply to this

            You are saying you can screen for lack of sleep and/or paranoia before it happens? Isn't that putting the horse before the cart?

            The last paragraph is pure BS seeking an emotional reaction as I see it. It does support your position of screening for mental illness, does it?

          2. wilderness profile image95
            wildernessposted 14 months agoin reply to this

            An interesting idea, and one I would think might contain some answers.  I don't think sleep deprivation is uncommon today, and it most definitely affects our mental state.

            Of course that applies only to mass shooters, or at least primarily them.  A very small subset of total killings.  Once more, though, your statement about screening for that is based on the false assumption that if it is illegal to obtain a gun then no killing will occur.  Both because illegal guns are far more common (when used for a crime) than legal ones and because guns are not necessary to kill.

            "Yes our thoughts and prayers are with you and now is not the time." is BS for doing nothing."  But it is also BS for taking rights from people for nothing in return.  It is my opinion that we should never simply flail about in the dark, violating the rights of millions, with nothing but a hope that it might work.

        2. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 14 months agoin reply to this

          I have long felt, ever since I found there was no correlation between gun ownership rates and homicide rates, that the problem in America lies within our people.  It is not external, it is not an inanimate chunk of iron - it is in our makeup, in our society and culture, in our own brains.

          But I don't see it as simply rage.  We all descend into that pit at times, and we all do stupid things - we just don't kill as a result.  I can, however, see a person in a rage over something someone did to them getting a gun and killing that person.  It is an acceptable reaction to them, at least at that point.  And they will likely recover from that aberration, though I think I would walk very lightly around them for the rest of my life! big_smile

          But the mass murderer that spends weeks or months planning their deed; that's not from rage.  Perhaps despair, perhaps depression, I don't know.  Whatever it is, though, the end result is the same; it becomes reasonable to take the ultimate step in violence and murder people innocent of anything at all.

          In both cases, seems to me, the acceptance of violence is the problem.  For some reason we Americans glorify violence.  We virtually drool over it on the movie screen, we flock to violent sporting events, hoping to see someone hurt.  And we turn it loose inside of us when we don't feel good about something.

          At this point it is not screenable; the field of psychology/psychiatry tells us that such aberrations, whether sudden and urgent or long planned out, are not predictable.

          1. tsmog profile image83
            tsmogposted 14 months agoin reply to this

            Well said!! Coming out of the closet. Oh No!! I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 1 with psychotic episodes in 1994 at the ripe age of 40. Yes, there are two types. Type one experiences both mania where at least one was a full-blown one and not hypomania and depression that cycles over a year between them. Type 2 is depression and mania that never reaches a full-blown episode.

            That is why I have an interest in mental illness with this topic. Seeking to understand my disorder I got an associate of arts degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Of course, verbal therapy with a psychologist for a few years along with quarterly psychiatrist appointments for med reviews. An adjustment may be required in some cases at different times of one's life as they lose efficacy.

            As seen, people afflicted with disorders that are diagnosed are closely monitored. After the hellos of a therapy session, the first question is "Do you have homicidal or suicidal thoughts? Next, do you feel safe? Then the session begins.

            I shared only for the purpose of diagnosed disorders in relation to screening for a gun purchase plainly is not practical or even sensible as I see it. Yes, reporting it on the form does make sense, yet that is dependent on honesty as there is no bank of people with disorders other than from research projects, which are protected.

            As far as commonalities of people for mass shootings a researcher, Jillian Peterson, PhD has undertaken that project. Two articles that are transcripts of a dialogue interview offer insight if curious. Links following;


            Speaking of Psychology: How to stop mass shootings, with Jillian Peterson, PhD from American Psychological Association.
            https://www.apa.org/news/podcasts/speak … -shootings

            and,

            Two Professors Found What Creates a Mass Shooter. Will Politicians Pay Attention? The subtext is; "Mass shooters overwhelmingly fit a certain profile, say Jillian Peterson and James Densley, which means it’s possible to ID and treat them before they commit violence." It is a Politico article and also a dialogue. The question is how as I see it and would it be practical for screening for a purchase of a gun?

            https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/ … a-00035762

            Worth reading if interested while a quick skim offers much too.

  5. Kathleen Cochran profile image77
    Kathleen Cochranposted 14 months ago

    How can a sane person be Pro-Life and Pro-Guns at the same time? Either you protect life or you don't.

    "Every single conceived baby should live to the moment of birth!"
    "If you take one step onto my property, I'll blow you to hell!"

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 14 months agoin reply to this

      Only the insane would make such a statement and mean it.  Unless, of course, they are speaking to someone with immediate intent to harm.

      1. Kathleen Cochran profile image77
        Kathleen Cochranposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        Gun violence is worse in red states:

        https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/ … BCnslgSJOc

      2. Kathleen Cochran profile image77
        Kathleen Cochranposted 14 months agoin reply to this

        Fine with being labeled "insane".

  6. Kathleen Cochran profile image77
    Kathleen Cochranposted 14 months ago

    Washington is the 10th U.S. state to generally ban assault weapons, joining California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, as well as D.C., according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

    Notice: No where in these laws does it say anything about confiscating guns.

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 14 months agoin reply to this

      A good thing.  Those folding stocks make the gun so MUCH more deadly!  And the black paint - don't forget the scary black paint.

      1. peoplepower73 profile image89
        peoplepower73posted 14 months agoin reply to this

        Wilderness:  That's all you got is a scary gun?  Here is my take.  Responsible gun owners and others take the thought of gun control personally. "Oh no, you are not coming for my guns." 

        Gun control people don't take it personally and are looking for some solution for senseless gun killings. Even it they have to start from the place where  it does not affect responsible gun owners.  It has to start some place and some form of sacrifice has to be made, even if one is a responsible gun owner. 

        For the greater good of the country, we can't allow the killing of innocent children and others, just because you and people like you think they are coming for your guns. You and others look towards, the NRA, and the 2nd amendment to give you justification and  excuses for not doing anything about gun control.

        There is currently a mishmash of gun laws at the state level.  If you can't buy the gun from one state, you just buy if from a state where you can or out of back of pickup truck in a parking lot. or online, or making your own ghost gun.   

        In my view, gun control needs to be managed at the federal level with standards that apply not only to gun owners, but to gun sellers as well.

        It's a fact that many of the mass shootings are done by people suffering from mental illness who should not be in possession of fire arms. I'm tired of hearing there are more people killed by other means, so therefore we should ban cars, knives, spoons, clubs and anything that can be used as a killing instrument.

        My vison is to have a department within homeland security that would be responsible for uniform gun control laws across the country. It would also be responsible for implementing laws at the local level, including the sales and possession of firearms to mentally ill and terrorists. 

        The NRA could require safety training and certification granting the buyer to own guns, much like a driver license certifies that you understand the laws to keep you and others safe while driving a vehicle.

        The 2nd amendment gives anybody the right to bare arms, including the mentally ill and terrorists, all in the name of forming a well regulated militia to protect yourself from the remote probability of tyranny. Conservatives are more concerned about protecting their property.  While liberals are more concerned about making sacrifices for the greater good of the country. If gun control laws are required to make the country safer, then i am all for those laws, even if it requires amending the 2nd amendment to fit todays modern defense structure.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 14 months agoin reply to this

          Of course gun control people don't take it personally; the continual attempt to keep guns from people doesn't affect them - only other people.  What's to take personally when it doesn't affect you?

          "I'm tired of hearing there are more people killed by other means, so therefore we should ban cars, knives, spoons, clubs and anything that can be used as a killing instrument."

          If you're tired of it then do something about it.  Stop those killings!  After all, doing so will save far more lives than keeping people from buying a gun!

          "The NRA could require safety training and certification granting the buyer to own guns,"

          And safety training will keep an insane killer from killing?  You have to know better.

          "While liberals are more concerned about making sacrifices for the greater good of the country"

          No, liberals are more concerned with Big Daddy in Washington providing for them, including their needs for safety.

          1. peoplepower73 profile image89
            peoplepower73posted 14 months agoin reply to this

            I am trying to do something about it.  At least I have an idea.  What do you have? I noticed you didn't comment on my comment about amending the 2nd amendment to fit modern times.

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 14 months agoin reply to this

              What is your idea for preventing murders from "cars, knives, spoons, clubs and anything that can be used as a killing instrument." (your words, that you are tired of hearing)?

              1. peoplepower73 profile image89
                peoplepower73posted 14 months agoin reply to this

                You got it wrong.  I'm tired of hearing those things as excuses for doing nothing about mass shootings and killings.

                "No, liberals are more concerned with Big Daddy in Washington providing for them, including their needs for safety."

                That is a false equivalence.  You know and I know the 2nd amendment gives everybody the right to bear arms including mentally ill and terrorists.   

                The federal government and local law enforcement have everything in place to defend us from tyranny. We don't need it for the reasons it was created for. What we do need as The United States of America is uniform laws managed at the federal level so that we all abide by the same gun laws. 

                We are no longer the 13 states that need a well regulated militia. It's now called the Department of Defense and local law enforcement. But conservatives don't trust them to defend and protect them, so they use the 2nd amendment to protect them and who cares if it gives the rights to mentally ill and terrorists.

                It is a form of selfishness to only think about yourself and not the greater good of the country and its people.  Who cares if innocent  children are killed almost on a daily basis, don't take my guns away from me. (Which is really a remote possibility.) I am saying it needs to be amended.  It is already in the constitution, so it is a "Big Daddy" federal law. Your words.

                https://www.ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-libra … draftsmen.

 
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