Social Question

jca's avatar

Does it seem to you as if every other day there's a shooting in a public place?

Asked by jca (27954 points ) January 25th, 2014

Today there was a shooting at a mall in Maryland. Now it seems like I can’t keep track of all the shootings there are. It seems like every other day there’s a shooting at a mall, a college, whatever.

What is up with all the shootings?

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35 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

Yes… CNN is every where. When shootings happen in other countries its too bad so sad, then it happens close to home and we are shocked. Murder and vice are everywhere but statistically remote.

DWW25921's avatar

What’s up is all the “gun free zones” are a haven for crime because normal people aren’t allowed to be armed and the bad guys want an easy target. I think it’s Switzerland… One out of every 2 citizens owns a gun and are encouraged to carry. Lowest gun crime rate in the world. Statistically speaking, the more anti-gun laws there are is directly proportionate to more gun crimes. Just look at New Jersey or Chicago… What a mess! You know what they say, “an armed society is a polite society.” I think that’s true. I also think people should be encouraged to keep and carry firearms. Places that do this have far less gun crimes.

ragingloli's avatar

@DWW25921
Switzerland has one of the highest gun crime rates in Europe.
You want the lowest gun crime rate in the world, go to Japan. They have ultra strict gun regulation.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@ragingloli it’s the culture not the firearms.
@jca It’s not uncommon but sensationalized here in the states because of the anti-gun agenda. The more media attention it gets the more copy-cat attention seekers imitate what they see.

ragingloli's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me
it’s the culture not the firearms.
colonial culture is one of the reasons for my anti-colonialism

DWW25921's avatar

@ragingloli No it’s not! I read about this sort of thing all the time. I found the article I was reading to reference my first comment. I’m right so… (awkward) yeah.

http://www.stephenhalbrook.com/articles/guns-crime-swiss.html

Seek's avatar

Firearm-related death rate per 100,000 population
Country Total (calculated) Homicides Suicides Unintentional Undetermined

Switzerland 3.84 (mixed years) 0.52 (2010) 3.15 (2008) 0.10 (1998) 0.07 (1994)

United Kingdom 0.25 (2010) 0.04 (2010) 0.18 (2010) 0.01 (2010) 0.02 (2010)

Japan 0.06 (mixed years) 0.00 (2008) 0.04 (1999) 0.01 (1999) 0.01 (1999)

Seek's avatar

Looks like Swiss people like to shoot themselves.

Seek's avatar

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

If you sort by homocide rate, the US is shown to have a higher firearm homocide rate than any European country.

And Switzerland has the highest gun death rate in all Europe.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It’s important not to look at just gun crime but violent crime altogether.
It’s the culture and we need to fix it.

Kropotkin's avatar

No. I don’t live in the USA.

ibstubro's avatar

Honestly, no, @jca, it doesn’t seem to me “as if every other day there’s a shooting in a public place”

I choose my news by not having a broadcast TV channel that repackages human pain and suffering as entertainment. Most of my news comes via radio: NPR has great world events news (That’s how I learned of the Maryland shooting), and the local station hits the local highlights. Honestly, if it doesn’t warrant mention on one of those two venues, I probably have no need of knowing. I check Google or Yahoo news on the internet, now and then. —Yahoo impressed me during a major horror (Sandyhook, I think) when they devoted the entire news section to the tragedy at hand. Google and the rest continued the “Dog Rescued From Mud Puddle” fluff. That just sickens/infuriates/saddens me.

My opinion is that people need to focus more on their local communities where we can make a difference and less on ‘tut tutting’ about the world in general.

PLEASE DO NOT MISTAKE THAT OPINION AS A JUDGEMENT ON YOUR QUESTION OR YOURSELF.

funkdaddy's avatar

@DWW25921 – you should read this

Gun Politics in Switzerland

Some points worth considering

* In 2005 over 10% of households contained handguns, compared to 18% of U.S. households that contained handguns. In 2005 almost 29% of households in Switzerland contained firearms of some kind, compared to almost 43% in the US.

* To purchase a firearm in a commercial shop, one needs to have a Waffenerwerbsschein (weapon acquisition permit). A permit allows the purchase of three firearms. Everyone over the age of 18 who is not psychiatrically disqualified (such as having had a history of endangering his own life or the lives of others) or identified as posing security problems, and who has a clean criminal record (requires a Criminal Records Bureau check) can request such a permit

* To buy a gun from an individual, no permit is needed, but the seller is expected to establish a reasonable certainty that the purchaser will fulfill the above-mentioned conditions (usually done through a Criminal Records Bureau check). The participants in such a transaction are required to prepare a written contract detailing the identities of both vendor and purchaser, the weapon’s type, manufacturer, and serial number. The law requires the written contract to be kept for ten years by the buyer and seller. The seller is also required to see some official ID from the purchaser

* To carry a loaded firearm in public or outdoors (and for an individual who is a member of the militia carrying a firearm other than his Army-issue personal weapons off-duty), a person must have a Waffentragbewilligung (gun carrying permit), which in most cases is issued only to private citizens working in occupations such as security.[12] It is, however, quite common to see a person serving military service to be en route with his, but unmunitioned rifle.

These seem to be either in contradiction, or carefully skirted by the article you linked.

bolwerk's avatar

If you’re looking at the breadth of the USA, there is almost certainly a shooting in a public place every day, probably several. There is at least one every few days in New York City alone, and NYC is probably the safest large American city with regard to gun violence.

What you perceive “every few days” (I have no idea what it actually is) is polite, white middle class Amerika getting shot up. Shootings are supposed to happen to them in ghettos in big cities, not the nice white people (”usas far as the newspeople are concerned) in affluent suburbs like Columbia, Newtown, Columbine, Blacksburg, and Aurora.

Paradox25's avatar

I’m sure the politically correct will blame white privilege over other issues.

ragingloli's avatar

@DWW25921
Well, your source is wrong, either by ignorance or deception. Actual statistics paint a different picture.

ucme's avatar

Not here, no.

Seek's avatar

The main thing is, we Americans shoot each other to the tune of over 10,000 homicides per year. There are only 365 days in a year. You do the math.

DWW25921's avatar

@ragingloli I’m a little frustrated with google. I want good information when I look something up, not information it thinks I want. We’ve dealt with this before…

@funkdaddy Thanks for the intel.

Seek's avatar

@DWW25921

Just the other day, I went into my Google settings and deleted my entire search history, and turned off personalised search.

It’s a whole new internet.

DWW25921's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr Part of my problem is that I have several google accounts and they seem to know where I’ve been no matter what I delete… I’ll do what you suggested… again.

Seek's avatar

I have several as well, but I only search from my main account, unless I’m searching things directly related to my side work, in which case personal results are helpful.

cheebdragon's avatar

Why does everyone insist on bringing Wikipedia into this shit? Wikipedia is an embarrassing source of information….right up there with Fox News.

funkdaddy's avatar

@cheebdragon – can you cite a better collection of information? Have you seen the references at the bottom?

So wikipedia compiles knowledge from more sources than I could ever find. If I want to know more, I read those sources.

bolwerk's avatar

@Paradox25: and I’m sure the pig ignorant will reflexively ignore text and resort to strawmen about privilege and political correctness.

@funkdaddy: @cheebdragon is probably right. It’s one thing to use Wikipedia to find a source, but depending on it as a source is probably about as good as depending on the Heritage Foundation or Reason Foundation. For information about many controversial topics, it’s probably worse than useless.

Symbeline's avatar

Speaking of Japan, it’s usually a pretty safe place, but this still happened. I read that in a ’‘Play’’ magazine years ago. It’s not a gun crime, as the guy used a truck, and then a knife to kill people. And of course, somewhere someone blames video games for this.
Kinda weird, since like 50% of video games come from Japan, and back THEN most games came from Japan…yet it’s a very peaceful country compared to so many others, as far as this type of shit is concerned, anyway.

bolwerk's avatar

@Symbeline: this happened there too!

funkdaddy's avatar

@bolwerk – really? Can you cite an article where only one side of a controversy is presented? I find usually it’s a good way to get a handle on at least the major arguments for each.

And again, I can’t find a better single source to start a search. If you have one, please share.

bolwerk's avatar

@funkdaddy: I’m not sure one-sidedness is their problem. If anything, it’s the opposite problem with their articles about social science and controversial political issues being prone to false equivalence and truth-by-committee decrees. Any lack of evenhandedness on Wikipedia is almost certainly going to be either obscure or subtle. I mean, it is the encyclopedia anyone can edit, afterall.

Again, I would see nothing wrong with using them as a source for finding other sources. Or even as a source about non-controversial trivia or something. But their sources (they even admit they’re not a primary source) need to be subject to the kind of critical review you subject a Google search to. And sometimes that’s difficult to do because they might cite obscure library texts or something.

Buttonstc's avatar

One aspect of this which has been cited repeatedly (and basically ignored repeatedly) is the woeful lack of adequate mental health care availability in the US.

The vast majority of these mass shootings in the news (Ssndy Hook, Colorado theater, Gabby Giffords etc. etc.) have been done by individuals who were psychotic or so severely mentally ill as to compromise their better judgement.

I just saw an interview on 60 minutes with Virginia Senator Creigh Deeds who had just gotten back from taking his mentally ill son (off his meds) to the ER, been subsequently assaulted by the son who then killed himself. Reading his diary writings revealed his delusional state. It was heartbreaking.

Scott Pelley cited compelling statistics regarding the reduction in mental health funding and an intrrview with staff at Yale/New Haven hospital revealing the shortage of available beds available for the 10–20 young people IN CRISIS who come to their ER each day.

For those interested, the full interview will be available on their website for viewing. Its a compelling look at this problem and difficult to argue against.

Obviously, the vast majority of those with mental illness aren’t dangerous. But for that small percentage whose delusions compel them to resort to gun violence, the care available is woefully inadequate in a country which seems to have money for everything else under the sun.

Here’s a written synopsis from a news site:
.
http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/11/creigh-deeds-to-push-for-mental-health-reform-after-stabbing-97377.html
.
.

ibstubro's avatar

I’m with @cheebdragon and @bolwerk, here, regarding Wikipedia. On nearly anything but trivia or fluff, I feel guilty even asking Wiki.

Back when I first found Wiki, I spent quite a bit of time on there, and I was shocked at some of the poorly written and poorly edited content. To the point that I finally felt compelled to register and start editing certain posts. I mainly was concerned with grammar and sentence structure, but I could have just as easily slanted the content in a whole different way.

I find that most people are totally unaware of the fact that they can register with Wiki and willy-nilly change much of the content. As long as your intent appears good, it will likely be approved and posted for all to see.

Buttonstc's avatar

*fans of Colbert are quite aware :)

(Or should be )

cheebdragon's avatar

Wikipedia is just as reliable of a source as fluther. If you find a link from Wikipedia go to that site for the information and link back directly to that source.
Linking to Wikipedia is like me telling you that the sun is purple, so go find information to support my statement.
Fuck that, if you want to throw out facts, back it up with something substantial.

funkdaddy's avatar

mmmm hmmm

Maybe it’s not cool anymore?

The last one is my favorite, if you’re limited for time and can’t make it through them all.

cheebdragon's avatar

Notice how old the questions are and learn from it…

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