Social Question

josie's avatar

Why does the president need to show up in Newtown, Connecticut after an outrageous mass murder?

Asked by josie (22932 points ) December 16th, 2012

It does not get much worse than what happened in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday. Some lunatic murders a bunch of small children and teachers in a school. One more bit of evidence that sociopathy is slowly becoming an American epidemic.

But why does the president have to go there?

Are the shocked and grief stricken families incapable of dealing with these outrageous circumstances unless Beloved Leader arrives to comfort them?

Is he more sensitive to this outrage than you and me. If not, why didn’t we all go there to give solice? If so, what is the source of his special level of empathy?

Or is he just another opportunistic politician? And if that is the case, has he no shame?

The event is truly an outrage. At least the shooter had the decency to kill himself.

But what exactly does any of that really have to do with the President. I think that making it a political photo op is at best narcissistic and creepy, and at worst disgusting.

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73 Answers

bookish1's avatar

I get what you’re saying, @josie. And I think he is a calculating politician. I reckon he knows he’s damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.

poisonedantidote's avatar

If you run a factory, and your workers start to get killed, the boss has to answer for it. The cynic in me, is telling me that he is the wrong side of the election to be trying to win over the people, however he could still be trying to secure some kind of legacy as a good president.

If I was the president, I would show up too, to announce I have made serious changes to gun laws, and made mental health care changes to make it easier to get help, and to apologize for not having done it the last 4 years when it would have helped.

bolwerk's avatar

As president, it’s virtually impossible to divorce PR from your other duties/activities. It’s very possible that this is a mix of both sincere empathy and PR stunt. He probably is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t, as @bookish1 says – but probably more damned if he doesn’t. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t care, though, since I would guess most people do, politician or not.

jonsblond's avatar

This is one of our nation’s worst tragedies, and it happened at a public grade school. I have not been a fan of Obama, but when he showed his emotion the other day when he addressed the nation, I believed he actually cares. He has children. He is being there for our country at a time when it is heartbroken.

chyna's avatar

If he didn’t go, he would be criticized and if he does go, he will be criticized. Remember how much flak George W. got for not going to New Orleans after Katrina sooner than he did?
I think it ‘s a good idea for him to go and just listen to the parents. I don’t doubt that he really is shocked and shares the grief of those families as almost everyone who has heard about it does.

Coloma's avatar

I agree with @bookish1
Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. @chyna Exactly! I was JUST going to use the Katrina example. really….would any of us want to be president? Not I. I also think he is, sincerely shocked and saddened, aren’t we all? He has children, and he is not a monster for cryin’ out loud!

SavoirFaire's avatar

Why shouldn’t he show up? The position of President of the United States is in no small part symbolic. Would the families be able to overcome their grief without him? Of course they would. But that doesn’t mean he can’t help. People want to see him there. He can provide a special kind of comfort, even if not a strictly necessary one. Why criticize him for serving his people in that way?

I think you know all this, which means that it’s really this question that is a disgusting display of narcissism and/or opportunistic politicking.

wundayatta's avatar

He has to go. Otherwise people will think he doesn’t care, and he will never hear the end of it. Presidents must go to the scenes of all disasters and let the folks know the nation cares. Don’t forget, he is not an individual. He actually is the symbol of the nation, as @SavoirFaire told you. The nation cares about this. So the president is there. Any president would be there, except maybe Bush II, would would have gone a week late and a dollar short. Would that make you happy, @josie?

glacial's avatar

I think @bookish1 is right. He’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Personally, I don’t see the point, but I also don’t think it does any harm. It’s hard to see how there can be political gain in either going or not going. Instead, I expect he would take heat from whoever thinks he should do the opposite thing. Whatever that is.

jerv's avatar

Such are the responsibilities of leadership. A leader must, in times of crisis, reassure the people.

Also, one of the biggest slams against the current Republican party its that they are out of touch, uncaring, and generally inhuman. Our government is of the people, for the people, and by the people; what better way to display that than by showing that you share the same outrage and sadness that all Americans, regardless of political affiliation feel?

Unless you feel that we would be better served by replacing our elected officials with soulless computers, how can you object to a leader fulfilling his responsibilities?

Kardamom's avatar

Maybe he actually gives a crap.

The alternative is to not go and absolutely look like he doesn’t care at all. He’s trying to do something in the midst of all of this sadness and chaos. All of us are trying to do something, although most of us are probably just sitting at home crying. But he’s actually in a position of trying to do something that might actually help, even though he’ll be damned by those that hate him. He has to do something, and this compassionate visit is the first step, even if some people see him as just a politician. He’s also a father and a human being.

He seems like a decent person, any President should go. It’s part of their job as a representative of the nation.

Coloma's avatar

@Kardamom I’m duking it out over in the gun control question….Colomas’ in trouble yet again, for daring to call out illiterate gun totin’ “hillbillies.” haha

JLeslie's avatar

It’s tradition. The President goes to the scene of national tragedies, and this has turned into one. I had people on my facebook the day it happened upset the President had not spoken to the country earlier in the day on the matter.

I just saw him speaking at the memorial service in Newtown. All sorts of God and Jesus in his speach.

hearkat's avatar

“Is he more sensitive to this outrage than you and me? If not, why didn’t we all go there to give solace?”

As our elected leader, he is there to represent all of us, because we can’t be there ourselves.

bkcunningham's avatar

So he can pray with them and ask God to bless and comfort the families. What do you as an atheist think about the POTUS invoking the name of God and Jesus in a speech, @JLeslie.

bolwerk's avatar

@bkcunningham: As long as he doesn’t persecute people with other religious beliefs, I don’t see why he shouldn’t be free to make references to his own religious beliefs, at least as long as they don’t interfere with the overall secular nature of his office. Answering, in case you’re curious, because I’m an atheist too.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham I don’t have a big problem with it. I just mention it because many Republicans seem to want to think all democrats and Obama want to take God out of everything. He tried to be inclusive and acknowledge all faiths.

Sunny2's avatar

It’s his duty as president, but I think he genuinely cares and is pointing out that these mass killings are something we have to do something about it. What, remains to be seen. I’m sure the NRA will stop any attempt to get rid of weapons, so it will have to be something other than that. God forbid we should lose our ability to have any kind of weapons we want to have.

YARNLADY's avatar

The President of the United States is a father and the head of our nation. Perhaps a non-parent would not be as likely, but this man is, first and foremost a human being. We all wish we could offer comfort in this tragedy.

_Whitetigress's avatar

@josie
You asked “Are the shocked and grief stricken families incapable of dealing with these outrageous circumstances unless Beloved Leader arrives to comfort them?”

I’m a moderate. I don’t care if Romney won, Obama won, I better get a goddamn president of the United States to be in my city when something of this magnitude goes down! Why? Because I’m shook the fuck up. I’m confused as hell. I hardly know what to believe in at this point! The President of the United States embodies millions of peoples mindset. It’s reassuring to hear another human being with power on your side, to comfort. Not everyone can be strong on their own. Is this hard for you to understand?

Beloved or not, the leader of a nation must lead.

Symbeline's avatar

Many look to the president for inspiration and guidance, so it makes sense if he shows up. I mean he can’t do a hell of a lot about what went on, but he can show the people that he’s concerned, and wants to comfort them, if only a bit. Probably a lot of people appreciated it.
I can’t say what his intentions are truly, nor do I know a damn thing about how politics work and what you gotta do to maintain your position, but as @YARNLADY says, he’s a human being. Anyways I like to think he showed up because he gives a shit, even if he can’t fix that kind of tragedy.
And if he doesn’t care, at least some people think he does. It’s always better than if he just went, yall know what, I can’t be arsed.

ucme's avatar

Because first & foremost he’s a parent, the good kind.

jrpowell's avatar

You forgot to mention your outrage about how much air force one and the secret service costs for Obama’s tour to prove that he is a leader.

It’s cool, I bitched about Bush doing it when he stood on a pile of rubble after 9/11.

ucme's avatar

That was only because he saw the oppurtunity for real estate.

Seek's avatar

All I can say is that I was watching his first press conference after the incident, and wept along with him. A good 60% of the time he spent on screen he had his head down, and hands clutching the podium, “scratching” the corner of his eye, trying not to show he was crying.

The man has two school-age daughters. He has the same hopes and fears as the rest of us have for our own children, and I don’t doubt in the least that this has affected him deeply.

I wish I could go there myself to hug the parents that can’t hold their babies tonight, and have to go through what must be the worst possible pain of organizing a funeral instead of a Christmas dinner. Since that is not feasible, I am glad that my elected officials are making an effort to show their support. Cost be damned. These families have paid much more.

Seek's avatar

@bkcunningham, And if you want consensus, I’m with @bolwerk. If he wants to think those poor babies are happy in Heaven, more power to him. He’s already acknowledged that I’m not less than a citizen for my lack of religion, so Obama and I are cool on such matters.

Coloma's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Can you image the pain of looking at those gifts that will never be opened? This will ruin these families holidays forever more. :-(

Seek's avatar

I was wrapping my son’s gifts last night and was misty-eyed thinking about it. He’s four and a half. I’m home-schooling him Kindergarten now. I can’t imagine being the parent of one of those babies. I’ve never been so thankful to be spending money on Legos and Hot Wheels.

bkcunningham's avatar

I just hope he actually does go to ask God’s peace and comfort and let the community know he is representing all of us and tell them our hearts are broken and we’ve wept with them. I hope he doesn’t turn it into an advancement of anyone’s political agenda. What a dirty shame that would be.

glacial's avatar

@bkcunningham I assume that by “I hope he doesn’t turn it into an advancement of anyone’s political agenda”, you mean “He’d better not say one word about gun control.”
Though perhaps I am wrong; please correct me if I am.

Frankly, if I were a parent under these circumstances, that is exactly what I would want him to talk about. I would be desperate for him to talk about it. I would be angry if he did not talk about it.

bkcunningham's avatar

@glacial, if I were a parent under these circumstances, that is exactly what I would not want him to talk about. I would be desperate for him to not talk about it. I would be angry if he did talk about it.

There is a time and a place for everything. To me, pushing a political agenda before my child’s body is given a proper burial is NOT the time nor the place.

glacial's avatar

@bkcunningham Then we have a perfect draw. It obviously doesn’t matter what he chooses to say. As I said earlier, he is damned if he does, and damned if he doesn’t.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t understand why it matters that he is a parent. I do understand that parents probably identify in a way that people without children don’t. I think we all are horrified by any sort of mass shooting, and the children is just gut wrenching, and we all know that parents love their children in a way that is almost incomprehensible before you have kids, but we all understand loss.

It is basically tradition for Presidents to show up for these things, as I said above. If the President was single and childless would he not go? Not mourn? Not understand? Not want to comfort the citizenry in any way he could? I really hate that we want our Presidents to also represent family, married, kids, even let’s go as far as straight, Christian, none of that should matter in my opinion as a qualification for a President. The Priests are there for comfort, they don’t have children.

@bkcunningham what do you mean exactly about you hope he does mean what he says about God and peace and comfort? You think itis not genuine he wants to try to comfort the parents, families, community?

And, I love how Republicans rished to shit everyone up about gun control. The media and republican right wingers did a great job at trying to make itseem thoughtless and disgusting to bring it up during this time of mourning. I would not expect the President to talk about it at a memorial service anyway, but I just marvel at the Republican/NRA machine,

bkcunningham's avatar

@JLeslie, I didn’t say that. Sorry. You are seeing words that aren’t there my dear friend. Please, read again what I said.

JLeslie's avatar

Should be rushed to shut, sorry for typos.

@bkcunningham My rant about republicans is not really directed at you personally, sorry if it looked that way. I do feel like republicans have jumped on that band wagon though mighty fast.

jerv's avatar

What offends me is that there are many people who are using this to push for prayer in school; in their minds, this never would have happened if the godless Liberals hadn’t pushed so hard to keep God out of public schools. Similarly, they are pushing to arm teachers to prevent this short of thing from happening again.
If anybody is politicizing this, they are. So where is the outrage there? Why are you giving them a pass?

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv prayer in school? Oy vey. I hadn’t heard that yet, who was saying that? I have seen comments about parents being too lenient with kids, bring back more corporal punsihment, etc. Just mystefies me.

Seek's avatar

Yeah. Give the teachers guns. You know, the only people willing to sit down and be insulted and harassed to the point of breaking by your delinquent kids every day.

Exactly how long would it be before some teacher goes apeshit and blasts that backtalking bastard in the head?

Jaxk's avatar

This was a national tragedy. I have no problem with Obama making another national speech about it even though it isn’t clear whether he’s using it as a way to comfort or another “never let a good crisis go to waste” speech. He timed it for maximum viewership, right at the opening kick-off of Sunday night football. I don’t think that was a coincidence.

Regardless how you feel about the second amendment, it seems a bit risky to use this as a tool to demonize anyone. We’re talking about altering the ‘Bill of Rights’. I would think we’d want to think long and hard about that. Instead we’re running on pure emotion and adrenalin. The killer killed himself so now we need someone to blame. The hunter in Michigan or the Skeet shooter in Connecticut, it doesn’t matter as long as we have someone to take the fall. Let’s just arrest everyone with an NRA card. That should solve the problem.

Coloma's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr LOL…so true! Teachers and school bus drivers have the patience of saints.
If I was a school bus driver I’d pass out sedatives in their fruit juice upon boarding. haha

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk The majority of people are not talking about a hunter in MI nor a skeet shooter in CT. Especially politicians, I never hear them talking about completely outlawing guns.

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie No, the politicians are generally too smart for that, but some other (non-government) people are screaming, “Ban all the guns!”. The loonies are out.

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie

At this point we are only demonizing. The proposals are yet to come.

JLeslie's avatar

@jerv Well, the congressman make the laws.

bolwerk's avatar

@JLeslie: What? Our black caesar president doesn’t make all the laws by absolute fiat? I’m shocked!

jerv's avatar

@JLeslie…and the people elect the congressmen.

Seek's avatar

@jerv Well, some of them do.

wundayatta's avatar

@jerv We don’t need to arrest everyone with an NRA card. Just have them turn in their assault weapons. Along with all the non NRA folks with assault weapons. That would be a healthy start. We don’t want to arrest people, though. We just want military grade weapons less easily available.

jerv's avatar

@wundayatta Define “assault weapon”. There is the rub.
In some cases it is clear, but the CA definition is rather broad. (That also is why Barrett won’t sell to CA law enforcement; their rifles are 49-state-legal, but CA got over-zealous in their legislation.) In truth, if only one bullet is fired per squeeze of the trigger, it does not fit the accepted definition of “assault rifle” so we already have some confusion over terminology.
However, it also doesn’t address the issue that most firearms violence involves handguns; weapons that fall well outside the definition of “assault weapon”. To my mind, that is like banning planes because they can kill 300 people in a single crash while leaving cars alone despite the fact that they kill (on average) 47 people for every person that dies in a plane crash.
Oh, I should also point out that “military grade” is also rather comical. Trust me, those are built by the lowest bidder, and often handed down through generations; some of the 0311s I served with had M16s older than they were! On average, it is safe to say that anything you buy at the sporting goods store is better than what Uncle Sam issues to grunts.
I agree that civilians don’t need firearms that fire more than one bullet/shell per pull of the trigger (burst/full-auto should remain in the hands of the military and law enforcement) but the M1911 and M9 semi-auto pistols are also “military grade”. Want to ban all handguns too? After all, many are “military grade weapons”. Look how well that worked in DC ;)

As you can see, the devil is in the details. Additional legislation regarding “assault weapons” will run afoul of The Law of Unintended Consequences. So how about we enforce existing laws and work on the other side of the equation; the people? I know plenty of places that have easy access to guns that do not have a bunch of trigger-happy psychopaths running amok.

wundayatta's avatar

If we can’t get rid of the worst weapons, how can we have a chance at getting rid of other threats?

Ultimately, we’d only want weapons out there that are paired by electronic signature to an individual and cannot be transferred. We’d want people to prove a need for a weapon, and it can’t be for defense against people. The gun would be deactivated except under appropriate threat conditions. Like the President or some suitable agent would have to authorize each use, the way they do it on CIA shows.

You want to go hunting? You get approval from the local gun chief for a specific period of time. The gun automatically shuts off at the end of that time if you haven’t gotten authorization for further usage. Something like that.

I’m sure it sounds way too restrictive to some folks. Don’t like that? Then let’s use a system they use in England or some other country where no guns are allowed.

Patton's avatar

Sorry, @wundayatta, but when the government’s boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence. What you are advocating is straight up fascism, and it’s more than a little disappointing to see that someone gave you a GA for it.

jerv's avatar

/headdesk

@wundayatta Aside from the fact that anybody in office who approves this will have a hard time ever getting re-elected, and any company that tries to make such products may go under from lack of sales, there is also the fact that this isn’t the 23rd century, nor is it sci-fi. While some of what you want is technically possible, it isn’t commercially viable; the production cost is too high, and the R&D/retooling costs are also too much for a product that won’t sell.

Nice dream, but not happening except in fiction. As for outright bans, guns are banned in schools. However, as a machinist, I would be able to increase my income dramatically is I just shed a few scruples. Now, how would you deal with organized crime, rogue craftsmen, and the like? Think it through. Look at the problems you would cause, and ask yourself, “Is it worth it?”. Was Prohibition worth giving crime syndicates steroids?

Seek's avatar

I think I would be OK with the occasional rogue craftsman.

It’s a whole lot harder for Joe Crazyperson to find a rogue craftsman with absolutely no morals to sell him a weapon while he’s scratching his palms, itching to shoot someone, than it is for him to walk in to WalMart and say “I want that one”.

The simple idea that you have to know someone who knows someone who will trust you with their business is one good way to reduce the numbers. Mostly because even black market businessmen, drug dealers and the like are smart about who they sell to. They don’t want to get caught, because then the jig is up.

Paradox25's avatar

Like a few in this thread have said already, he’s damed if he does and damned if he don’t. Personally I felt that the president did the right thing here. This was the same thing with W Bush and Katrina, damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. In the end I feel that opinions pertaining to a question like this, along with whether one president made the ‘right’ choice, ironically themselves will come down to individual political preferences. I know there will be exceptions.

jerv's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I see one small problem there. Like the legal market, the black market follows the laws of supply and demand. There were far more people who knew how to make alcohol during Prohibition than there are today, just as certain war-torn nations today have more people that know how to make an AK-47 out of scrap metal.
If guns are ever banned, I predict a lot more interest in the sort of skills I use to make a living; tabletop machining centers are cheap, multi-purpose, legal, and can make all of the bits that a cheap 3D printer can’t and that cannot be picked up at Home Depot. G-codes are easy to learn, so it wouldn’t take much for anybody who cares to to set up shop in their living room.

wundayatta's avatar

I think you underestimate the amount of skill you have, @jerv. It would take much longer for someone starting from scratch. I think it would be a barrier that only a few would get over.

You ban guns, and a lot of guns will go away. You run programs to get people to turn in guns, and lots of guns come off the street, as they have in Camden, NJ. We can get back to being a place like England where there are way fewer guns around. Or Australia. It would be worth it and it would be effective.

bolwerk's avatar

@jerv: has this phenomenon you keep bringing up where people start manufacturing their own guns happen en masse in other westernized countries? Particularly ones, like Germany or Japan, which I think can safely be said to be considerably more mechanically inclined than the USA?

jerv's avatar

@wundayatta It isn’t wise to undermine a rare moment of humility by feeding my ego. Besides, if our new guy can operate a CNC mill without killing himself, it can’t be that hard; the boy is kind of dim.

Looking at non-firearms-related violence rates, I am not sure I can agree. Specifically, @bolwerk, isn’t it quite possible that the reason places like Japan and Germany don’t have DIY gunsmiths has more to do with the fact that they have no desire for guns? How many people in those nations wave around a copy of their country’s constitution and claim that having a gun is a God-given right? I would wager that there are fewer than there are in America. I don’t think the law has much to do with it; it’s more of a societal issue.

Oh, and @wundayatta, if you are citing Camden as an example, you chose quite poorly. You also ignored the situation there with the police department.

bolwerk's avatar

@jerv: I dunno, but at least Germany has an actively resurgent fascist movement. You don’t get much more weapons-crazy than that. Even if I could buy that culture might amplify the American desire to get an illicit weapon a la moonshining, that what you’re talking about, at least for now, isn’t documented (so far as I know) says a lot.

Also – again, giving your argument the benefit of the doubt – how many people would do what you’re talking about? Anyone who wants a gun, or a few really diehard people?

jerv's avatar

@bolwerk The lower receiver is a regulated firearms part. See this; an AR-15 with the lower receiver replaced with a 3D printed part just as a proof-of-concept. It actually fired six rounds before failing. And that doesn’t even get into SLM and SLS (selective laser melting/sintering) printing. Of course, I am more likely to find such things in passing than you as it pertains to my trade, and Open Source anything pertains to my hobbies.

As for how many, hard to say. I know hunters that prefer bows over guns, but you must bear in mind that we are a diverse nation, so it’s hard for me to truly say. Surely there are not as many gun nuts (not firearms enthusiasts, but actual, “Gun control is Fascism!” nuts) here in low-crime Seattle as there are in Texas.

I find it funny that I am being questioned so thoroughly for pointing out a hypothetical that fits more closely with evidence than the optimistic viewpoint that gun control reduces crime despite evidence to the contrary. Once again, people confuse correlation with causation.

bolwerk's avatar

@jerv: first of all, you’ve repeated the claim about people building their own guns repeatedly. You seem pretty certain about it, but I still haven’t heard any documentary evidence from you or anyone else. Second, what evidence is there that gun control increases gun crime? There are clearly factors that limit the effectiveness of gun control (a big one: lack of it elsewhere), but the claim that gun control has no effect at all seems a bit out there.

wundayatta's avatar

@jerv In Camden, they are having a record response to their gun buy back program. How is that a poor example? There are more than a thousand fewer guns on the street now than a few days ago.

bkcunningham's avatar

@wundayatta, I love the last two paragraphs in the story you linked. “Camden Police Chief Scott Thomson said most of the 533 handguns and 504 long guns, including five semiautomatics, were operable.

“Some residents, interviewed Friday, said they turned in guns simply because they no longer wanted them in their homes. One man said he would use the $400 he received to buy Christmas gifts.”

Seek's avatar

@bkcunningham Better than selling them to Joe Randomguy at a gun show.

bkcunningham's avatar

Do you know anything about the gun shows or firearms laws in New Jersey, @Seek_Kolinahr? Jersey has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and there aren’t many gun shows in the state. From what I’ve read, they have one gun show a month and about 200 people, mostly antique dealers, attend.

Seek's avatar

Nope. I live in Florida, where the state fairgrounds dedicate nearly a full month twice a year to the firearms expo. And that’s just one show, in one city.

If you wanted, you could probably hit a gun show at least once a month somewhere in the state. More so the month before hunting season.

jerv's avatar

@wundayatta And the crime rate dropped to zero overnight and will stay there forever!

Seriously, yes, there are fewer guns on the street, but how has it affected the crime rate? It hasn’t been long enough to tell, so claiming that gun buybacks are effective is like me citing the drop in gas prices as the reason for teen pregnancy. Please, no more non sequitors or red herrings; show me what the crime rate looks like a year from now when there is enough data to qualify as “statistically significant” and I might change my tune, but I have yet to see documented evidence that such programs work. Also, the cynic in me wonders how many people got their homes broken into and guns stolen for a quick buck.

The fact that your link goes to a page that has links to an article titled, “Marginalize NRA as the radical group it is” also makes that source suspect a best. Obvious bias is obvious.

@Seek_Kolinahr It is safe to say that at least most licensed gun dealers would prefer to remain licensed. Accordingly, they tend to be a bit more careful about who they sell to than you might think, even in places that don’t require background checks for gun show sales. Of course, it’s rather moot, as any under-21 kid who has ever got someone else to buy alcohol for them can attest, but you cannot blame dealers for what a legal purchaser does after the transaction.
And that assumes that gun shows are even the source of weapons. The statistics I’ve seen indicate that friends/family members, street dealers, and fences account for at least ⅔ of the firearms used in crimes; criminals generally don’t get guns through normal retail sources.

bkcunningham's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr, you commented on my post regarding New Jersey. I live in Florida too. I am aware, as all residents should be, about all laws-including weapons laws. Violent crimes have declined significantly in Florida since the 2005 “stand your ground law” was passed. Now not all of the decline can be attributed directly to the law, but crime is down just the same.

I wonder what the comparison of crime stats would show between Florida and New Jersey?

wundayatta's avatar

@jerv That’s the paper of record in my area. Most of the people here are Democrats. A lot of believe the NRA is a radical organization whose policies are destructive of our communities. We don’t take that very kindly.

jerv's avatar

@wundayatta In other words, a biased source from the opposite extreme of a paper that runs pieces on why teachers should be armed. Reality isn’t a democracy or a consensus; it is what it is, and facts are what they are no matter what people think of them.

I’m trying to look at the bigger picture here, and see what actually works and what doesn’t, what is related to what, and basically get an objective view of reality. Thus far, I have seen little relationship between strict gun laws and reduction of violent crime (and some evidence to the contrary, though not enough to say widespread gun ownership reduces crime), no evidence of the effectiveness of buyback programs, and nothing that cannot be explained in other ways, like the aforementioned link between crime rates and poverty rates.

Maybe my fact-based mentality is why I cannot embrace extremism the way your local paper and Ted Nugent do. However, it is obvious that you live amongst a different type of Democrat than the ones I grew up around. Your hometown goes on about the evils of the NRA while my ex-homestate quietly elects a registered Socialist to Congress because the Democrat candidate wasn’t liberal enough.

Seek's avatar

Crime in general, or death by gunshot? Because crime in general is not an apples-to-apples comparison. There are things illegal in Florida that are no big deal in New Jersey, and vice versa. For example, we’re allowed to pump our own gas here.

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