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Old 01-10-2011, 08:01 PM   #81
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Its TV. Controversy is its business. Extreme views get play.

Even though the topic is hot here on the forum we have managed to be polite to each other. That probably is more like real life if and when people talk about these things in real life.
Thanks Martha. You are spot on right. Does anyone else miss Walter Cronkite? TV news is now all about creating drama. It's not about reporting the news and letting you draw your own conclusions. It's about creating conflict and generating ratings.

I do appreciate the fact we've managed to be polite. It's really quite remarkable given our diverse views.
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:02 PM   #82
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Fair enough. I agree that over time we could become less of a gun culture.
One of my in-laws still has a rifle used in the War between the United States and the Yankees. But I admire your optimism.
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:24 PM   #83
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One of my in-laws still has a rifle used in the War between the United States and the Yankees. But I admire your optimism.
Hey, I am not optimistic. I am just acknowledging the possibility that our culture can change. It has changed on other issues.

FWIW, I own guns. I had my first gun when I was maybe in second or third grade. Growing up every family I knew had guns and hunted. You could get out of school to go hunting. We had a gun safety class after school. We brought our rifles to school and stored them in our lockers without a concern. I have long personally approved of hunting--we meat eaters sometimes are way too divorced from how we get our food. But I also think that there are way too many guns floating around out there.
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:31 PM   #84
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One of my in-laws still has a rifle used in the War between the United States and the Yankees. But I admire your optimism.
Interesting choice of words there, but I could also counter by quoting Santayana here in saying that those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it. And I hope none of us, regardless of what side we're on, wants to repeat it.

If we remember the climate in the 1850s it was in some ways like we have now: two sides convinced that those on the other side weren't just wrong, but also motivated by evil, stupidity or a desire to oppress the other. When you take that viewpoint you pretty much eliminate the option of coming to the table with an open mind and trying to talk through differences.

Plus, even though that war wasn't *only* about slavery, it was the one 800 pound gorilla that couldn't be avoided. It wasn't something you could accept halfway as a compromise any more than someone can be "almost pregnant." I don't think the main issues facing us today are so all or nothing as that one was, where one side has to surrender completely.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:38 PM   #85
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Interesting choice of words there, but I could also counter by quoting Santayana here in saying that those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ... I don't think the main issues facing us today are so all or nothing as that one was, where one side has to surrender completely.
I agree with you (and I was trying to inject a little bit of humor). We have to peacefully create change in the political climate. We must speak out (politely and rationally) when inflammatory and inaccurate network "news" people (tv and radio) mislead the public. I've been turning my nose and looking the other way, way too much. We have to pull a Gandhi. But then if I boycott all the dreck, how do I know what to protest?
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:05 PM   #86
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One of my in-laws still has a rifle used in the War between the United States and the Yankees. But I admire your optimism.

ummm...technically speaking, those would be the same people. The "Yankees" were the United States troops (north), & they weren't fighting each other. The other side would have been the Confederates (south).

I had to chime in since 5 of my ancestors fought on the side of the Confederacy. 2 of 'em did some time as prisoners of war at Ft. Delaware, another fine "Yankee" institution!
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:15 PM   #87
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ummm...technically speaking, those would be the same people. The "Yankees" were the United States troops (north), & they weren't fighting each other. The other side would have been the Confederates (south).

I had to chime in since 5 of my ancestors fought on the side of the Confederacy. 2 of 'em did some time as prisoners of war at Ft. Delaware, another fine "Yankee" institution!
I didn't make up that quote - that was the aunt of an in-law, who was raised in the South, with the idea that the southern states were the REAL United States, and the Yankees were evil incarnate. I'm no expert on the subject, so I was amazed at the views expressed by some of the people I met and heard of when I first visited the South. But then, this is a big country with room for lots of opinions, and as long as they are expressed nonviolently, I will listen to all, and disagree with many. My ancestors didn't arrive in the U.S. until over 100 years later. I just want everyone to get along and work together.
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:20 PM   #88
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(Aren't projectile launchers the only things that come to mind when seeing crosshairs?)
Same with the "bullseye targets" used by previous political campaigns (oh, but that's different). Or how about politicians who use the word "enemy" when referring to half the population? Doesn't this conjure images of war with opponents shooting each other? Or how about those who put up Halloween decorations of disliked politicians strung-up by the neck? Regardless, I can grasp political metaphor for what it is. I don't try to turn something into something it is not.

My point is the following. James Fallows' article was interesting until he felt compelled to get political. Fallows writes, "But we know that it has been a time of extreme, implicitly violent political rhetoric and imagery, ...". This statement is false and historically empty. Political rhetoric and imagery in the United States has been around since the beginning of time, or at least since the founding of the country and its liberal tolerance for political expression (liberal with a little "l"). It is no different today than it was 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 50 years ago, or 200 years ago. It may seem like it is worse today, especially to those on the "losing" end of campaigns, but it is not. Right or wrong, good or bad, politics has *always* been vicious.

And what about the riots this past year in Greece, France, and even the UK. People died in mass demonstrations of anger and hostility. But no. Instead of being thankful that our political attitudes are tame compared to many places in the world, we try to over-analyze the acts of a lone gunman.

The Tuscon shooting was a sad tragedy, for sure, but that's all it was. Statistically, the number of people killed in Arizona by drunk drivers over a given weekend is about the same as the number of people who were killed by that one gunman in Tuscon. Aren't those drunk driving deaths equally tragic? I'm more concerned about the high number of drunk drivers on the road than I am by random acts of violence by a single assailant (sane or insane).
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:31 PM   #89
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My point is the following. James Fallows' article was interesting until he felt compelled to get political. Fallows writes, "But we know that it has been a time of extreme, implicitly violent political rhetoric and imagery, ...". This statement is false and historically empty. Political rhetoric and imagery in the United States has been around since the beginning of time, or at least since the founding of the country ...
I guess Fallow slept through history class:



Burr–Hamilton duel From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Quote:
Both men had been involved in duels in the past...

Additionally, Hamilton's son, Philip, was killed in a November 23, 1801
And these violent men were the nation's leaders, not (apparently) some random psychotic( assuming that is what the shooter turns out to be).

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Old 01-10-2011, 11:04 PM   #90
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I'm more concerned about the high number of drunk drivers on the road than I am by random acts of violence by a single assailant (sane or insane).
I was with you until right there. The attempted murder of a member of Congress and the murder of a federal judge is significant in a way that highway deaths are not. Even if the gunman's motive was not political, this was an attack on people we have chosen to represent us in the legislature and to confront and pass judgment on criminals, many of them with very violent pals. It appears that Representative Giffords was atacked because of who she was, and it occurred while she was doing her job. An attack like this, no matter what the motivation of the assailant, will cause these folks to take measures that distance them from the people they serve. That's not good for our country--I want these representatives to have no excuse not to meet with their constituents. Attacks like this might (if they become fashionable among the lunatic fringe) discourage well qualified people from serving.
In my view, it is similar to an attack on a police officer. A police officer's life is no more valuable than any other person's. But if a cop is murdered by a thug, it's an attack not just on him but on our social order and it threatens the institutions that guarantee our freedom and security. So, a line-of-duty murder of a cop or an attack on a Congressman is more serious because it holds more risk for society. I'm fine with the penalty being more severe, and with all of us talking about it in a different way.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:45 PM   #91
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Its TV. Controversy is its business. Extreme views get play.
Indeed. Without giving anything away, I would suggest watching the first 90 seconds of tonight's (Jan 10, 2011) Colbert Report. It'll show up here in a few days. He manages to rather respectfully make a very good point on this subject.
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:17 AM   #92
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IS there a reference to help with understanding this, as it seems counterintuitive?

Ha
An interesting article on the subject --

If suspect Jared Lee Loughner has schizophrenia, would that make him more likely to go on a shooting spree in Arizona? - By Vaughan Bell - Slate Magazine
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:25 AM   #93
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IS there a reference to help with understanding this, as it seems counterintuitive?
Counterintuitive, or counter to what the prevailing culture ("psycho killer on the loose") has told us to expect?
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:16 AM   #94
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Interesting, but not helpful, IMO (unless I missed something).

OK, so maybe psychotics are statistically overall not much more inclined to violence than the average person (I would have preferred numbers to 'fractionally', and 'substantially'). And maybe those with addictions are more likely to commit violent acts. Those numbers inferences, IMO are distractions.

I'd imagine the addicted create violence in the act of stealing money to feed their addiction. It is a means to an end. Often completely unnecessary to get the money, but they are in this position with a gun, not thinking clearly, and they pull the trigger even if they could get out w/o pulling the trigger. But with assassinations, the violence is the end itself.

Quote:
This is despite the fact that your chance of being murdered by a stranger with schizophrenia is so vanishingly small that a recent study of four Western countries put the figure at one in 14.3 million. To put it in perspective, statistics show you are about three times more likely to be killed by a lightning strike.
There is no point to that. Assassinations are also extremely rare events. So any trend in their causes would also be extremely rare. A better way to look at is, of the people who were killed by lightening, what was the cause?

NWS Lightning Safety Fatalities

We might as well say that no one should ever be under a tree, because that is where most lightening fatalities occur. Or we might say there is little risk at being under a tree in a lightening storm, because your chances overall of being killed by lightening are only ~10 in 300,000,000.

So more to the point I believe, is of assassinations/attempts, how many are caused by psychotics? Just off the top of my head, Reagan (Hinckley), Gerald Ford (Squeaky Fromme), John Lennon (Chapman - I guess this is 'murder' not assassination, but it fits as violence as the end goal, and Lennon was a political activist in a way). Others have political ties (Lincoln-Booth, etc), but the % of psychotics seems high to me.

IMO, the author of that article either does not understand that, or has an agenda.

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Old 01-11-2011, 08:45 AM   #95
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Counterintuitive, or counter to what the prevailing culture ("psycho killer on the loose") has told us to expect?
Yeah, the Slate article says:
The fact that mental illness is so often used to explain violent acts despite the evidence to the contrary almost certainly flows from how such cases are handled in the media. Numerous studies show that crimes by people with psychiatric problems are over-reported, usually with gross inaccuracies that give a false impression of risk.

What they summarized in Slate is consistent with the study I posted above.

There is one point where just about everyone can agree: The media is a problem.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:50 AM   #96
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This reporter understands it:

Shootings bring out worst of Web rumor mill - The Red Tape Chronicles - msnbc.com
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:53 AM   #97
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There is one point where just about everyone can agree: The media is a problem.
They are the pushers, but we're the ones with a needle in our arm. They're only selling what we buy. . .
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:01 AM   #98
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Indeed. Without giving anything away, I would suggest watching the first 90 seconds of tonight's (Jan 10, 2011) Colbert Report. It'll show up here in a few days. He manages to rather respectfully make a very good point on this subject.
You got me curious M Paquette. I found the clip of Colbert's remarks here. Scroll down for the video:

Stewart, Colbert Draw Contrasts In Response To Tucson Shooting (VIDEO)

He did manage to make a good point.
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Old 01-11-2011, 09:06 AM   #99
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There is one point where just about everyone can agree: The media is a problem.
I was watching coverage of the Giffords tragedy last night and the smarmy blow-dried talking head reporter matter-of-factly mentioned that his cameraman had scaled the fence and entered the Loughner's back yard so he could shoot pictures for their "breaking news coverage". He seemed genuinely put out that the Loughner's had gotten upset with them.These slimeballs have no respect for privacy and their audacity knows no bounds. The FBI should have arrested him for tampering with a crime scene/criminal trespass to set the tone for the rest of his sleazy colleagues.

Also wonder how Gabrielle's doctor can spend hours each day in front of a camera talking about her injury, present condition, treatment, etc. Isn't he bound by HIPAA privacy laws?

This horrific event is a tragedy for certain, but the news media is making it much worse by turning it into a 24/7 three-ring circus, IMO.

Mentally unstable and want your 15 minutes of fame? The media will be happy to oblige.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:03 AM   #100
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They are the pushers, but we're the ones with a needle in our arm. They're only selling what we buy. . .
And we can agree on that too!
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