Social Question

anartist's avatar

Has anyone else wondered about the huge number of large-scale violent crimes done by nut-jobs on the U.S.?

Asked by anartist (14730 points ) July 20th, 2012

Crimes that leave many dead or injured; crimes that are usually marked by significant weaponry? Crimes that are not part of a terrorist political or religious agenda or guerrilla war, nor are they for personal gain. Like the killings at the theaters at the Batman opening last night, or the Columbine killings, or the incident of the postal worker shooting up his former office [and adding to the English language “going postal”]?

Does it seem to have any connection to the American emphasis on the rights of the individual or on the American right to bear arms? How many other countries have “the right to bear arms’?

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52 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I was trying to get my head around this as I drove to work today. Why is it so prevalent here, although we do seem to be spreading it around a bit. The insistence of the NRA and others on the huge magazines and the assault weapons is insane. No one needs a 30 round magazine. I grew up hunting with a single shot rifle or a 5 round shotgun. I don’t have a good reason it occurs here so much. I’ll watch your other responses with interest.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Keep in mind that these are not nut jobs.

They are american citizens who are gun owners and will shoot you if you want to control their guns.

These are american patriots who feel that shooting people is their god given right.

Isn’t america great? We (that is, the government) can control a woman’s right to choose if she has a child, but we can’t control whether a person can go into a movie theater and kill 16 people.

What a country!

anartist's avatar

Do no other countries have a right to bear arms/own guns? Have skeet ranges as sport and hunting as sport/survival?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@anartist It’s a wide variety. Some countries restrict who can own long guns, some restrict rifles, some require citizens to have a rifle.

bkcunningham's avatar

If you really want something to think about, look up the number of people who obtain hunting licenses in America and then look at the stats on large scale violent crimes, like your question asks about.

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t think it’s a huge number of incidents, but of course I haven’t been involved with any of the shootings and killings to which you refer. If you’re one of the victims, or involved as a family member, then the number would seem infinite, I suppose.

anartist's avatar

@CWOTUS why do we not hear of these things at all in other countries?

CWOTUS's avatar

Probably because they’re local, dealt with locally, and generally (unless they rise to the level of “mass murder” such as last year’s Norwegian massacre) not thought to be of general interest to an international audience.

I was in Malaysia last week, and after looking at a couple of English-language newspapers (the Straits Times, a respected and well-known journal), I read about an amok incident that had occurred in Malaysia prior to my arrival there. I haven’t seen anything on that in the Western press (not that I’ve searched for it). I’m sure that all kinds of things happen all over the world that we don’t hear about.

PS: Malaysia seems to be a beautiful and generally peaceful country and a place I’d like to consider visiting again sometime. This did not at all seem to be representative of the country or the people that I met there.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I’ve also seen stories of mass killing in Russia, China, and a few other countries, but they keep them fairly quiet. Our media throws them out there for everyone.

thorninmud's avatar

I do think that the American culture of individualism feeds into this. It creates an odd inner conflict. On the one hand, we’re undeniably social creatures whose sense of identity is inextricably linked to our social group. Deep down, we all want to belong and be accepted. But on the other hand, there’s this powerful mythos in American culture of the maverick individual, the outsider, whose greatness lies in his insouciance—or even contempt—about fitting in.

Most of the perpetrators of episodes like this are guys who have experienced social exclusion. To deeply social creatures like us, there are few things more traumatic. So what do you do with that? In this culture, the temptation is to remake yourself in the image of the mythical glorious, contemptuous maverick. It appears to be a way of reclaiming some measure of grandeur that has proven unattainable through social means. When alloyed with the festering resentment left by the social exclusion, this can easily take a violent expression.

anartist's avatar

@thorninmud If that is true, that is a very sad twist to an American virtue.

Ron_C's avatar

America is a country that mixes god, guns, and politics. The amazing thing is that so FEW have been shot.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Ron_C, you and I don’t agree very often and this is one of those few times we agree.

ucme's avatar

Stick a whole bunch of moronic pilgrims into a cooking pot filled with firearms & the gawd given right to use em & you’re going to have one lethal cocktail.

incendiary_dan's avatar

In a society that is based on inflicting violence on people and the natural world to maintain itself, it’s no surprise that violence is rampant and organized. This country is the biggest empire, and empires are necessarily violent. There’s more than most of us are willing to talk about, because we only want to recognize that violence which goes the wrong way on the hierarchy we’ve been acculturated to. But far more comes down that hierarchy than goes up.

ragingloli's avatar

@bkcunningham
Do not forget this list.

woodcutter's avatar

It’s the 24 hr news cycle and a big story of the type that is pounded into us relentlessly. You never see a ”breaking news” story that interrupts regular broadcast about something terrible that didn’t happen.

anartist's avatar

@ragingloli It is curious that most of those listed above the U.S. are Latin American. I wonder if the majority of that gun violence is drug- or guerrilla-warfare related.

@woodcutter newspapers are about news. Something not happening is not news. Unless, of course, it is a very dramatic tale of our intelligence agencies, military, or police forces thwarting a terrible threat to the U.S. And these stories, for security reasons, are only revealed much, much later, if ever.

CWOTUS's avatar

Oh, come on. Every country mixes god and politics. Admittedly not so many have so much freedom to own and use weaponry. Considering the size of the population (and the 24/7 news cycle) it’s not as bad as some of you seem to think.

The worst “gun violence” is done in the inner cities among rival gangs of drug thugs. If we’d finally learn the lesson that we should have learned in the 1920s we’d stop this stupid “War on Some Drugs” and end a lot of that violence, too.

I think that a lot of politicians like the drug violence, because a) it helps to keep “those people” in check (and you know who “those people” are, because “protecting turf” is the biggest reason why black-on-black crime leads all other categories, and b) it helps them (now that the threat of World Communism is on a back burner) to maintain a threat that “only they can protect us from”.

But we don’t learn much, or quickly.

woodcutter's avatar

I just got to thinking…It seems the crazy shooters are young, and students, college material. Is the curriculum too harsh that all the pressure makes them snap? Discuss.

woodcutter's avatar

@anartist What I was driving at, was, the crimes that were stopped before they spun out of control deserve equal coverage hardly get on the air. Stories such as “little old lady chases crackheads out of her house with her little pistol her deceased husband left her.” There was no blood and gore or visceral emotion to feed off of to make it pay to bother telling.
We crave tragedy.

Ron_C's avatar

@bkcunningham “this is one of those few times we agree.” Wonderful, thank you.

YARNLADY's avatar

Anyone who thinks this type of behavior is prevalent in the U. S. or limited to the U. S. isn’t paying much attention.

wundayatta's avatar

I attribute to the easy access to guns and the myth of the American wild man and the normal penchant for people to go crazy from time to time.

anartist's avatar

@CWOTUS I agree with ending the pointless war on drugs and legalizing much of the trade. I wonder what that would do to Latin American gun violence statistics?

@Ron_C many of those stories DO get covered. There just is little follow-up, except maybe a citizen’s award. No manhunt, no arrests, no trial, etc. And many never get reported like a friend of mine who was held up by a guy threatening her with a “gun in his pocket” and she said “G’wan, i you had a gun, you’d show it.” He left. The bartendress ho threateed a would-be robber with a barstool at the Ben Bow [many years ago] was legendary. She had her stories.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

“nut jpbs” is not a meanful or useful term.

The incidence of gun violence in the USA continues to be a matter of interest, concern and study. There are comparisons of the incidence of homicides in the USA and other countries. While there are countries in South America, the former Eastern Block and Africa with much higher rates than the USA, the USA leads most Western nations in gun-related homicides by a great margin.

Studies of attitudes about guns and legislation concerning the access to and control of such weapons have looked at the effects of such influences on the homicide statistics.

While it is true the guns themselves do not kill people, it is also true that people with guns kill many more people than those who do not own and keep guns where there are readily accessed.

In my opinion, In the USA the Second Amendment is broadly misinterpreted. I suggest that Most gun enthusiasts could not accurately summarize or paraphrase what it says and means. It seems to me that Courts have done a poor job of clarify its meaning and efforts to legislate in the area of gun ownership and licensing have been obstructed by fear of the powerful and financially well supported by the NRA and the arms and munitions industry.

Until these issues are clarified and until actions are taken to implement practical legislation, there is no reason to expect run-related homicide statistics to change. The gun culture of the USA has had broad and deep effects in that country.

rooeytoo's avatar

I think it is because these guys were all spanked as children.

Why is it always men, do women ever go nuts in the gun tower and wantonly exterminate anyone who passes by?

Harold's avatar

As an outsider looking in, it seems to me that there is more violence in the US than in other western countries. Perhaps it is because of the example set by the leaders, whose response to anything they don’t like is “Let’s attack them and blow them up.” Perhaps it is the stupid and dangerous attitude that anybody has the right to carry a gun. I know not all the US is the same, but the attitude of the southern rednecks to anybody who dares to be gay/democrat/atheist/intelligent is truly frightening, and I for one will never visit there.

Last year, I was in London, visiting the tower of London, and queueing up to see the crown jewels. I started chatting to a man in the queue in front of me, who stated that he was from Chicago, and that it wasn’t too violent there, as they only had around 1300 murders per year….. Are you all complacent about it? Is that the problem? We have had mass murders here in Australia too, but at least our government did something about the gun laws after the Port Arthur massacre (March 1996).

Whatever it is that is responsible, I hope and pray for all your sakes that it changes soon.

rooeytoo's avatar

There is always the rare exception to the rule, but the majority are males, why is that???

@Harold – yep the government did something but apparently forgot Sydney, people are shooting each other at an alarming rate there and Melbourne is not far behind. But I agree these usually have a gang theme behind them. These mass murderers are really hard to figure.

anartist's avatar

@rooeytoo you know what the Beatles said ‘appiness is a warm gun, mama, bang bang shoot shoot. [Pun intended]

woodcutter's avatar

@Harold You sure don’t know much about the American south that’s for sure. Maybe that’s why you padded your response as a preemptive back pedal? Stop listening to people who also get their information second hand, or third or 20th, or lazy people who don’t bother to really see for themselves.

Harold's avatar

@rooeytoo -You are correct to say that Sydney shootings are gang related, and they are not mass killings. It is definitely not at a US scale.
@woodcutter-denial doesn’t change things. If you are happy there all the best.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Harold, do you believe Chicago has an average of 1,300 murders annually?

rooeytoo's avatar

I have discovered that many aussies are anti-american. Everytime something distasteful occurs here, someone on the telly or radio is bound to comment that it is because of american influence or we are getting to be like the yanks. I get a kick out of it, my aussie husband says a well balanced aussie male has a chip of equal size on both shoulders. I also think it is just a matter of time, Norway has had their biggie, didn’t canada just have one???

anartist's avatar

I also wonder if the same states where the most cults and the most “survivalist” or “militia movements” are, Texas, The Rocky Mountain States, California, are also the states with the most frequent occurences of random rage shootings? Like the Branch Davidians in Waco Texas, and the Weavers at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, with resulting militia movement backlash And maybe, why those states seem to have such a preponderance of such things. Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, also hid out in Montana.

CWOTUS's avatar

Interesting that you’d mention Branch Davidians and Ruby Ridge, @anartist. Especially interesting because those were places that were raided and fired upon by the feds before they had committed any violent acts. It could be argued that the arranged marriages among some of the Davidians constituted ‘violence’, I suppose, but that was violence on a pretty minor scale compared to what Janet Reno and her minions did to “correct” the situation.

woodcutter's avatar

THIS ^^^

woodcutter's avatar

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-12-29/news/ct-met-chicago-crime-stats-1230-20111230_1_gang-violence-fewer-murders-crime-numbers
@Harold Here ya go. Like I said up yonder, stop believing all the BS you hear from random retards. Deep down inside I think you like it when you can twist shit up in a way to make Yanks look bad. It’s OK to envy us but please…don’t project.

mattbrowne's avatar

It happens in Europe too. It’s just a bit more difficult to order 6000 rounds of ammunition online.

anartist's avatar

@mattbrowne but online is international. Couldn’t it just slip through?

Harold's avatar

@woodcutter- Envy???? ROFLMAO. Why would I have any possible reason to envy the US? You obviously do not realise how deeply unpopular the arrogant American attitude is in the rest of the world. No, I am not saying you are all like that. But I have met many thoroughly obnoxious American tourists in my travels, and your foreign policy sucks.
@bkcunningham – I wouldn’t think that someone who was obviously proud of his city would make up something like that. I thought he would be a pretty reliable source. Is this incorrect? I will admit that I have not researched it.

rooeytoo's avatar

omg I get so tired of hearing about arrogant americans. In my travels and dealings with people from all countries I have reached the conclusion that there are as many obnoxious australian, german, irish, _________ (insert the name of any country you choose) as there are americans. The yanks do NOT have the corner on market of obnoxiousness. As for foreign policy, I think pretty much the same is true of that as well.

bkcunningham's avatar

Yes, it is incorrect, @Harold. There were 440 homicides in Chicago in 2011. Of those, 27 were stabbings.

Ron_C's avatar

Doesn’t anyone wonder about the $750 billion scam that the worlds largest banks pulled on the citizens of the U.S.!

I can’t imagine the number of pensions lost, the number of people that died because of the loss of medical or housing paid by their pension money. I also suppose that there were a large number of suicides or DNR’s (Do Not Resuscitate) caused because of the loss of their pensions. We already know that foreclosures are rampant and that the quality of life for many seniors has deteriorated to the point where they are living in poverty or just plane giving up. Yet no one went to jail and many used their golden parachutes to fly away from the disaster they caused but executive malfeasance.

I believe that those bank managers and ‘businessmen” are guilty of crimes against humanity and should be sitting in jail waiting for their trial at the Hague. Instead they are relaxing in their mansions without a worry in the world because they are protected by the elite of both major political parties.

woodcutter's avatar

@Harold If you repeat a lie….you become…..a liar. Thats right. You never met a Chicagoan that told you there were 1300 murders in a year unless he was a politician from there. But don’t be so hard on yourself you wouldn’t have been the first person to be misled by a Chicago politician. Now granted, 423 murders in one city is nothing to be proud of especially when that city has the strictest gun laws in the country. What’s not adding up? Here is the answer: You cant have pistols there but there are over 400 murders so…. these kills are being perpetrated by criminals who don’t care about gun laws, same as in Australia. Criminals have all the guns…they’re happy. Their victims are disarmed and I can tell you ,they are not happy. You could have made your point easy enough without juicing the numbers

I think you attempted to use embellishment to try to make a point on Fluther and got busted doing it. Except the very word embellishment means exaggeration, more or less. What you attempted to pass of as fact ,(using hearsay as cover), is that 877 additional souls were taken that year, that were not. You more than doubled your quote for impact. That is not stretching the truth… that is lying….to us…thinking that on a liberal Q&A site, nobody would check.

Harold's avatar

@woodcutter- I have no reason to make that up. The man who told me may have been a liar, but as I said, why would he lie about his own city. Anyway, it is apparent that you will believe what you want, so there is no point trying to convince you.

@bkcunningham – I stand corrected, thankyou.

Harold's avatar

@rooeytoo- I have some interesting stories about American tourists I have met in my travels, but I won’t bore you with them. However, I will quote the tour guide at Lake Titicaca who listed off the nationalities in order of how much they annoyed him, and guess who was at the top of the list?!? That is just one example.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Harold – I have some pretty interesting stories as well and they involve aussies, germans, etc. as I stated before. I came to the conclusion that most international travelers are wealthier types and feel they should have service to match their lofty state in life and let me tell you, it is not just yanks. You’re not going to convince me, I have my own personal experience to draw upon.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)

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