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Author Topic: Portland shooting  (Read 10101 times)

john beardsworth

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #80 on: June 14, 2014, 05:59:59 PM »

I rather think you are deranged which is as good a reason to curb gun ownership as any.

+1 though easier to get away with saying  his comments are deranged and ridiculous. Rubbing your weapon isn't good for you, "ligament”.

john beardsworth

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #81 on: June 14, 2014, 07:33:10 PM »

That's great. Meanwhile 15000 murders a year and dozens of school shootings. But so long as you had fun....

This was a response to a post that was subsequently deleted.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 04:37:46 AM by john beardsworth »
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mjrichardson

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #82 on: June 15, 2014, 04:09:57 AM »

This is an interesting discussion, even better if it can stay away from name calling and defensiveness, we all have different opinions.

For what it's worth, I have never understood why people outside the States comment on what's happening inside, Americans are the only people who can affect what happens inside their own country, I have visited many many times and have some great friends over there but honestly, it always feels like a different planet rather than a different country!

That being said, it's a discussion so i will give my unasked for and uninteresting views! I have always felt that gun ownership is more about fear than anything else, fear of attack, fear of nature, fear of the guy walking down the street, it's all fear, I don't see power in any of it.

I also feel that there is so much emphasis placed on rights and not enough on what's right, if that makes sense. Sure it can be your constitutional right to have a gun but do people actually feel it's right to own a gun? It always seems to me like it comes back to fear. It doesn't help that the media always roll out clips of people who are the most extreme they can find, the view from the outside is that everyone is spitting, chewing tobacco, wearing checked shirts and oily baseball caps and proclaiming their god given right to own a bomb if they choose to, that's not the America I know but it is the America that is often portrayed.

I am lucky enough to have travelled more than most and have seen the world from a lot of different angles, in my opinion there are lots of issues that need to be addressed alongside gun control, kids that are stuck behind computers day in and day out, unhealthy from eating poorly, not developing their social skills because they rarely play, etc. etc. all these things are global rather than limited to the US but still, combine this with the apparent American way of promoting and positively reinforcing everyone and everything to the n'th degree is dangerous in my view. If you have been told your whole life that everything you do is awesome and you are fantastic then when you hit your teens and realise that actually you're just as average at most things as everyone else is, it can hit hard as you realise that you've been lied to all your life, surely?

I know my opinion is only valid for me but ultimately, I am sad when I read these stories of pointless killing but then I'm also happy that I'm not part of a culture where I'd be so scared of what was going on around me that i'd feel it necessary to exercise my rights and own a gun for protection, that would be the real tragedy.


Mat



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Justinr

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #83 on: June 15, 2014, 05:13:12 AM »

This is an interesting discussion, even better if it can stay away from name calling and defensiveness, we all have different opinions.

For what it's worth, I have never understood why people outside the States comment on what's happening inside, Americans are the only people who can affect what happens inside their own country, I have visited many many times and have some great friends over there but honestly, it always feels like a different planet rather than a different country!

That being said, it's a discussion so i will give my unasked for and uninteresting views! I have always felt that gun ownership is more about fear than anything else, fear of attack, fear of nature, fear of the guy walking down the street, it's all fear, I don't see power in any of it.

I also feel that there is so much emphasis placed on rights and not enough on what's right, if that makes sense. Sure it can be your constitutional right to have a gun but do people actually feel it's right to own a gun? It always seems to me like it comes back to fear. It doesn't help that the media always roll out clips of people who are the most extreme they can find, the view from the outside is that everyone is spitting, chewing tobacco, wearing checked shirts and oily baseball caps and proclaiming their god given right to own a bomb if they choose to, that's not the America I know but it is the America that is often portrayed.

I am lucky enough to have travelled more than most and have seen the world from a lot of different angles, in my opinion there are lots of issues that need to be addressed alongside gun control, kids that are stuck behind computers day in and day out, unhealthy from eating poorly, not developing their social skills because they rarely play, etc. etc. all these things are global rather than limited to the US but still, combine this with the apparent American way of promoting and positively reinforcing everyone and everything to the n'th degree is dangerous in my view. If you have been told your whole life that everything you do is awesome and you are fantastic then when you hit your teens and realise that actually you're just as average at most things as everyone else is, it can hit hard as you realise that you've been lied to all your life, surely?

I know my opinion is only valid for me but ultimately, I am sad when I read these stories of pointless killing but then I'm also happy that I'm not part of a culture where I'd be so scared of what was going on around me that i'd feel it necessary to exercise my rights and own a gun for protection, that would be the real tragedy.


Mat





I think the answer to your first question is because America does have rather a strong influence on the rest of the world be it politically , economically or culturally so in effect we are all 'stakeholders' and so feel entitled to comment upon developments within the country. Certainly the US is not shy of suggesting the the great American dream is the only way forward for civilisation and regular browsing of the web will go to support the contention that there is little regard for other cultures by America as a whole. This may not be intentional and I doubt that the majority of it is, but the English speaking web is to a great extent based on American social mores and it rankles after a while.

Now why people should be scared of one another is an interesting question, the country boasts of its multiculturalism and integration, but just how deep does that tolerance run? I'm not talking just about race here but culture generally. For instance, the Irish are a pretty easy going bunch but even they feel threatened by the Polish and other eastern Europeans, colour doesn't come into it, and I know many British also feel that their country no longer belongs to them hence the success of UKIP (a rather right wing anti immigration party) in the latest elections. Perhaps this fear and the consequent comfort that comes from gun ownership is due to the fact that the content of the melting pot is not quite as homogenous as wished. The development of human nature is probably lagging far behind the rush of globalisation so we need to be aware and make allowances for the fact that we are not all 'one people' and are hardly likely to be be for many generations yet. Certainly I should be be more conscious of the fact that my use of irony in a cynical manner may not be understood as being such by those living elsewhere.
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john beardsworth

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #84 on: June 15, 2014, 05:26:47 AM »

For what it's worth, I have never understood why people outside the States comment on what's happening inside, Americans are the only people who can affect what happens inside their own country, I have visited many many times and have some great friends over there but honestly, it always feels like a different planet rather than a different country!

So should we not comment on Israeli treatment of the people who occupied the land they've taken, on the Syrian government's tactics in the civil war there, on the treatment of women in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan, or should non Brits not comment on how we use sperm to select our head of state? We've probably more first hand experience of the US, and are more exposed to American culture than to what's actually happening in those other societies. In the end a heavy drinker has to decide for himself if he's alcoholic or just a bore, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't tell them they've had enough.

mjrichardson

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #85 on: June 15, 2014, 06:00:39 AM »

Well, that's interesting, of all the points I made in that post, the paragraph I thought the least about was the bit that both of you have picked up on, John, you had nothing to say about any other part of my post.

Just because I don't understand why people post strong views on the social situation in America doesn't mean they shouldn't, just that I don't think it makes any difference to a culture that believe the only way to live is their own way. Suggesting that we shouldn't comment on global injustices is taking my point to the extreme and not really necessary. I guess it's hard to explain your entire viewpoint on everything as a context to what you write on an internet forum. I've spent the last 23 years travelling, working and living in over 80 countries, I have views on most of those places, the common link being they are all based on my view of the world. not anyone elses.

Mat

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john beardsworth

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #86 on: June 15, 2014, 06:16:33 AM »

Well, that's interesting, of all the points I made in that post, the paragraph I thought the least about was the bit that both of you have picked up on, John, you had nothing to say about any other part of my post.

That's because "what's it to do with you?" is always wheeled out to invalidate an outsiders right to make any comment or intervene in a dispute. As for the rest of the post, I suppose I just don't disagree much with what you say or feel strongly enough that I would break my preference for keeping (or trying to keep) my own posts short and concise.

John
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 06:46:44 AM by john beardsworth »
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mjrichardson

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #87 on: June 15, 2014, 11:51:07 AM »

I think it's pointless because this issue isn't about race, religion, gender, it's about the perceived rights of americans, if as a nation there is not enough strength of opinion to change the basis on which everything is built then what possible influence will the outside have? You could have every citizen of every country in the world tell America that their basis for owning guns is wrong and puts innocent lives at risk and what do you think will be the response? It will be that the world is wrong and America is the most powerful nation on earth because of it's rights. There's no group to support, no underdog to fight for, you're arguing against what are seen as basic rights, you can't win. The only change will come from within and it won't be because outsiders think it's wrong.

I honestly don't expect people to agree with my view, that's because it's my view, you're obviously entitled to your own.

Mat
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #88 on: June 15, 2014, 04:52:42 PM »

Outsiders' opinions.

Ok, let's forget about opinions for a moment. let's check some facts. Facts how people form their opinion about things they know little about. And how the less they know, the more they are certain they are right.

Take tha situation in Ukraine, for instance. The attached map shows "where a U.S. survey respondent situated Ukraine; the dots are colored based on how far removed they are from the actual country, with the most accurate responses in red and the least accurate ones in blue.?

You can mock a typical American's knowledge of geography, sure, but that is not the point I am trying to make. That's not the kicker. The real kicker is this:

Quote
The farther their guesses were from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene with military force.

The above is a study by two professors from Harvard and Princeton Universities, published, among others, in a Washington Post article.

john beardsworth

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #89 on: June 15, 2014, 05:17:36 PM »

A mildly-amusing distraction, but we're discussing an issue that we know plenty about.

mjrichardson

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #90 on: June 15, 2014, 05:24:08 PM »

I agree, the geographical knowledge of a section of americans, apart from being embarrassing, has little to do with what's being said here.

Mat
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #91 on: June 15, 2014, 05:46:22 PM »

... we're discussing an issue that we know plenty about.

Seriously!?

Or you are just confirming the lack of secondary knowledge, i.e., that you even don't know how much you don't know?

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #92 on: June 15, 2014, 05:48:35 PM »

... has little to do with what's being said here.

Or it actually shows how ignorant people tend to have stronger opinions?

mjrichardson

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #93 on: June 15, 2014, 05:55:01 PM »

Well i guess so, your opinions on what's being said do appear quite strong.
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Justinr

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #94 on: June 15, 2014, 06:14:02 PM »

Here are some more facts.

Gun ownership in the US is 97 per 100 people, in the UK its 6.2.

Gun deaths in the US is 10.3 per 100,000 so in the UK it should therefore be, on a pro rata basis, around 0.6 but it is in fact less than half that at 0.25.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #95 on: June 15, 2014, 10:22:42 PM »

I think it's pointless because this issue isn't about race, religion, gender, it's about the perceived rights of americans, if as a nation there is not enough strength of opinion to change the basis on which everything is built then what possible influence will the outside have? You could have every citizen of every country in the world tell America that their basis for owning guns is wrong and puts innocent lives at risk and what do you think will be the response? It will be that the world is wrong and America is the most powerful nation on earth because of it's rights. There's no group to support, no underdog to fight for, you're arguing against what are seen as basic rights, you can't win. The only change will come from within and it won't be because outsiders think it's wrong.

There are a few things to say:
- The first is a question I'll ask once more. Do we know for a fact that a large majority of Americans are in favor of the free availability/ownership of guns? Assuming we'll agree that the way politics work in the US is such that large gaps may occur between the desire of the majority of the people and the resulting political decisions (2 parties influenced by the same lobbies), why not clarify this once for all through an open referendum?
- You are obviously right that change can only come from inside for now. But I guess you would agree with me that a lot of people in the US, I hope a large majority, are in contact with people outside the country, would it only be through such online discussion forums, and that such debates have the potential to influence the way some people think?

As far as the origin of change, another reason why I think that this debate isn't useless in the long run is the fact that the very notion of state is being phased out among many people belonging to younger generations. It means that those guys recognize themselves less in the nation they belong to compared to other association of people across countries. The legitimacy of the concept of nation itself is at stake. Farmers in Oregon would somehow finally be able to make their dream come true of uniting with farmers in British Colombia (and France, although they may not realize this).

If we can find a way to make such a world work (and my bet is that we will), physical location and local laws would have a lot less impact on what matters to people providing some basic conditions are met.

Today, there is not yet any "physical" connection between this very deep transformation of mindset and the local laws in countries, and not all layers of the population have an actual perception of what this means either (farmers may have a lot less than IT engineers), but things can change extremely fast. In a context where they do, I guess that the conditions I am talking about will include aspects ensuring the minimization of the odds of physical violence in each locale. Gun ownership law would probably have to be aligned to a world standard. Put it the other way around, a vast majority of people may end up prioritizing their real freedom of association over debatable gun ownership with little practical value.

In short, Facebook kills the guns.

If you think such things cannot happen, think about the way people are giving up on their desire to be untraceable in favor of the experience provided by smart phones. Think of the way security has been leveraged by the US government to let people accept a potential tremendous reduction of their freedom through laws such as the Patriot Act. We have many examples where a value (security) make people accept to lose other things they thought was extremely important to them (freedom). I would argue that gun ownership is an order of magnitude less important to people than their own safety, so it seems obvious to me that they will be willing to trade gun ownership in favor of something else with more actual value to their daily lives.

Future will tell.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: June 15, 2014, 10:33:18 PM by BernardLanguillier »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #96 on: June 15, 2014, 10:40:37 PM »

... Farmers in Oregon would somehow finally be able to make their dream come true of uniting with farmers in British Colombia (and France...

"Proletarians of all countries, unite!" - The Communist Manifesto (1848), by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Facebook meets Marx?

Wishful thinking wet dream?

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #97 on: June 15, 2014, 11:08:04 PM »

"Proletarians of all countries, unite!" - The Communist Manifesto (1848), by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels

Facebook meets Marx?

That's absolutely not the point I was trying to make.

I don't see those virtual communities as being politically leaning towards the left of the right. There would be politics in them just as there is in the real physical world, but those politics may be more relevant to the people belonging to these communities.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 01:23:49 AM by BernardLanguillier »
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mjrichardson

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #98 on: June 16, 2014, 02:37:15 AM »

There are a few things to say:
- The first is a question I'll ask once more. Do we know for a fact that a large majority of Americans are in favor of the free availability/ownership of guns? Assuming we'll agree that the way politics work in the US is such that large gaps may occur between the desire of the majority of the people and the resulting political decisions (2 parties influenced by the same lobbies), why not clarify this once for all through an open referendum?
- You are obviously right that change can only come from inside for now. But I guess you would agree with me that a lot of people in the US, I hope a large majority, are in contact with people outside the country, would it only be through such online discussion forums, and that such debates have the potential to influence the way some people think?



Hi Bernard

I don't believe that a large majority of Americans are in favour of the free availability of guns, I wrote that as a nation there is not enough strength of opinion, which is very different! If the voice of the people who wanted change was loud enough then the opportunity has been there, this is a quote from Obama last week..

Mr. Obama said: “Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country on earth that would put up with this.”

“Until that changes, until there is a fundamental shift in public opinion in which people say: ‘Enough, this is not acceptable, this is not normal, this isn’t, sort of, the price we should be paying for our freedom,’ ” Mr. Obama said, “sadly, not that much is going to change.”

Obviously this is just an isolated quote but it's fair to say that there has been every opportunity for restrictions on gun ownership to be put in place.

So, as America is the land of the free, where the common man can influence his future, it would appear that the majority is pro guns. The President and government, according to some on this thread, are held in check by the threat of an armed uprising if they don't represent the majority. One could assume that the power lies with those who have the guns, is America, rather than the land of the free, actually the land of the armed who can keep the rest in check with the threat of armed action?

I agree that the world is getting smaller, we can only hope that as more and more young people reach out, they will see that there are different ways of doing things, not all will work in all situations but it's possible to positively change things. I think Slobodan has proved that there is a way to go but with luck the younger generation will be more interested in seeing the world as full of opportunity to learn and develop. Maybe facebook and other social media channels can start adding maps to their backgrounds to help the geographically illiterate?

Mat
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: Portland shooting
« Reply #99 on: June 16, 2014, 02:47:45 AM »

I don't believe that a large majority of Americans are in favour of the free availability of guns, I wrote that as a nation there is not enough strength of opinion, which is very different! If the voice of the people who wanted change was loud enough then the opportunity has been there, this is a quote from Obama last week..

Mr. Obama said: “Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country on earth that would put up with this.”

“Until that changes, until there is a fundamental shift in public opinion in which people say: ‘Enough, this is not acceptable, this is not normal, this isn’t, sort of, the price we should be paying for our freedom,’ ” Mr. Obama said, “sadly, not that much is going to change.”

Obviously this is just an isolated quote but it's fair to say that there has been every opportunity for restrictions on gun ownership to be put in place.

So, as America is the land of the free, where the common man can influence his future, it would appear that the majority is pro guns. The President and government, according to some on this thread, are held in check by the threat of an armed uprising if they don't represent the majority. One could assume that the power lies with those who have the guns, is America, rather than the land of the free, actually the land of the armed who can keep the rest in check with the threat of armed action?

Fair comments.

Now, there is one caveat I think. The fight is not only between the voice of the people who are against guns and the current status quo. You have to add to the status quo a very strong industrial lobby on both Democrats and Republican sides in favour of maintaining the status quo. I don't know what means this lobby is using.

I don't think there is any company putting money on the table against guns, so the question is how many % of voters the gun lobby manages to counter balance.

Are they only able to make a 50-50 mind share lean in favor of the status quo?

Do they have the power to turn a 60-40 or a 70-30 in such a way that the status quo remains?

How can we get this visibility and is there a point beyond which we can safely say that democracy is at risk?

Cheers,
Bernard

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