Social Question

Mariah's avatar

What should we take away from our latest mass shooting?

Asked by Mariah (25863points) June 14th, 2017

A shooting just occurred in Virginia that targeted Republican Congressmen: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40275055. Several people were hurt, but there have been no fatalities resulting from this so far.

I’m frightened. I feel like we’re dangerously close to total political chaos. I’m afraid this country will never heal.

What are you thoughts?

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44 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

I feel like the political situation is unprecedented in my lifetime, but the rest is essentially the same as it has always been.

There are and always will be causes to act for. Some people act in ways that I can’t fathom or stomach, but that has always been the case.

It’s important to keep moving forward, but also important to keep perspective.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The shooter was exercising his second amendment rights to own a dangerous weapon.

We should be celebrating the freedoms we have in the USA where any person can own a gun and shoot a congressman.

flutherother's avatar

Well let’s wait and see who did it and for what reason but I can understand your fears that the political chaos in the country might spill over into violence. I don’t see any healing taking place until Trump is legitimately replaced.

elbanditoroso's avatar

White man, James T. Hodgkinson, 66, of Belleville, Ill.

Not a muslim

Not a refugee.

Maybe we need a travel ban for people from Illinois.

SavoirFaire's avatar

It’s too early to say for sure, of course. There’s still so much we don’t know. But the interval between an event occurring and the event being politicized seems to be getting smaller and smaller every time. So perhaps we should focus more on what these mass shootings are taking away from us.

Coloma's avatar

My take, is that there is not a damn thing I can do, therefore, sadly, it just becomes another headline. Not shocking, not surprising, just the way it is. I am a firm believer in creating your own reality. Nobody has ever been able to solve the problems of the world nor will they ever be.

You do what you can do and then, for your own mental health, just check out and let it go. What will be, will be and there is no new news under the sun. Political insanity, murder, corruption, the whole ball of dirty wax has been with us since the dawn of humanity. Our current political climate and chaos is nothing new, just, yet another recycling of historical unrest.

tinyfaery's avatar

Don’t fear what you cannot control. Just live your life.

LuckyGuy's avatar

So many people lost their pensions and/or life savings to greedy “businessmen” who never have enough. There is so much concentration of wealth, with no sign of a trend reversal, that I am surprised there are so few events of this sort.
When someone has nothing to lose, they have nothing to lose.
I don’t have a good solution that doesn’t sound “anti-American” but it is clear some change is necessary.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I think the bandit makes a good point. Mass shooting victim is apparently one aspect of this society where we find democracy at work. It’s macabre that it turns out to be refreshing that Congress folk are not immune. The shoot-em-ups aren’t restricted to “just plain folks.” There are 2 things I “take away” from this incident. The first is that like the frog in the pot we will adjust to the routine slaughter regardless of the climb of rate or casualties. The second is that when factoring the stresses inherent with our society, the lackadaisical attitude on mental health, and the staggering mountains of available weaponry, there is only one direction in our future regarding the frequency of these incidents. The truth has always been that we are far below our potential considering the “opportunities”.

josie's avatar

The shooter was a Bernie Sanders fan. I guess those of us who did vote for Bernie should now feel guilty? Or blame Bernie the same way some people blamed talk radio for the Gabby Giffords shooting?

Actually, the take away is that there is an epidemic neurosis or sociopathy with the following symptoms:
a. Someone other than me is responsible for the life challenges that I face
b. Someone other than me is responsible for deflecting these challenges, and they aren’t doing it.

JLeslie's avatar

The shooter has died.

What I thought was:

A man who supported Bernie, so probably he is having a difficult time right now, maybe unemployed, or underemployed, or uninsured, or something that makes him feel badly about himself, depressed, and enraged.

Another reminder that when you are a target group being at a gathering you can be vulnerable and a target. Black churches, synagogues, mosques, marathons, and even baseball games.

I’m guessing this man had signs of being desperate. We need better mental health services, and more understanding.

Not much different than a suicide bomber. Americans method of choice just often is gunfire, because guns are easy to come by. If you can understand why this guy snapped, you can start to understand why men will blow themselves up for other reasons.

Tragedy might bring some unity. The media is talking about this too. We’ll see.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@JLeslie wrote…“tragedy might bring unity”

Fat chance. This is already being politicized. This is going to be used as a reason to tap our phones and internet lines 24/7 and have harsher laws.

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso Possibly. At minimum it will probably ramp up security for our politicians.

filmfann's avatar

Bernie Sanders spoke on the floor of the Senate, and announced that the shooter had volunteered in his campaign, and Sanders solidly denounced the shooting.

Then you have Donald Trump, who completely disavowed knowing Paul Manafort, who managed Trump’s campaign, when it was discovered Manafort had connections to Ukraine and Russia.

My take away? Bernie is a class act.

filmfann's avatar

By the way, has anyone else noticed the similarity between James Hodgkinson and Walter from The Big Lebowski?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I think it is disgusting and my feeling is that the divisions between the left and right in our country have been spinning out of control for awhile now. I’ve been to places like Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Latin American countries where there is generalized political violence in the streets. It is obvious to me that we can easily devolve into this.

I’m a Social Democrat. I really have a problem with many of our national representatives on both sides of the aisle. There are some who I truly dispise. But a few years ago I stopped posting inflammatory, ad hominem political attacks on the net, unless they were laced with humor. I could see on sites like Sodahead where the more vicious remarks could lead IRL. I saw that even we could become what I saw in Latin America and the Greater Antilles.

Last February 8th, after Elizabeth Warren had been shut down by members of Congress in mid-speech, Marco Rubio, Florida Republican senator from Miami, gave a speech. I was extremely impressed. He addressed the increasing, vitriolic political divisions in America.

But not many people saw it, and it wasn’t mentioned in the media outside of C-Span. I think it behooves us all to hear this man’s speech. It’s only 8 minutes long:

https://youtu.be/kepdzLUNE64

imrainmaker's avatar

Lawmakers will realize the risks now atleast and take away the guns.

ragingloli's avatar

White, male patriot™, doing his constitutional duty with his god-given guns to try and save his country from tyranny.
Conservatives should be celebrating this one man well regulated militia.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The same thing we took away from Sandy Hook…nothing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@imrainmaker If they didn’t “realize the risks” after Sandy Hook, what would be so unique about this most recent one that would bring them to their senses?

chyna's avatar

@dutchess This is politicians being shot at. Not random children. In their eyes, it will make a difference.

Jaxk's avatar

The rhetoric in the country has reached a level I’ve never seen before. When we use terms like bigot, racist, homophobe, or treasonous, we are not trying to spur debate but rather to end it. We are dehumanizing our opposition and personally attacking them. It’s little wonder that in this environment some will take it literally and try to eliminate the evil. It is much easier to attack some evil thing than it is to attack another human. It’s time to lower the temperature and bring back civil debate. I don’t see that happening anytime soon but I can hope.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@filmfann I have to admit it. That made me laugh.

kritiper's avatar

Everybody needs to carry and be handy with side arms. It may sound crazy, but what’s going on isn’t sane.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Marcos speech resonates with me as I have felt like this for years. I voted for him in the primaries but that was before this speech. If he had spoken so candidly during his campaign Trump may not have been president. More dialog like that is needed.

Folks it’s not guns it’s the political divide. If you want to see all kinds of crazy then try to take the guns away. While our gun laws are crazy and need reform you will not see the pro-gun or anti-gun proponents move an inch. The outcome of this is bizzare laws that are both nonsensical and ineffective. This simply because the larger problem is in our culture, not guns. People refuse to compromise or walk outside the lines and think on their own. Americans have had guns for hundreds of years yet this sort of thing is happening when divisions are both artificially and organically the largest. People live in bubbles, the single thing that keeps me here on fluther is that those of us who remain can debate and have opinions at odds yet still remain civil. Good luck finding that in many other places. People just don’t respect each other if they disagree on even the smallest fucking political thing. When you look at the whole it’s usually trivial differences and worse than that often simply semantics.

Patty_Melt's avatar

When holsters make a comeback, they can’t be leather, there are not enough cows.
Damn people, shooting those whose politics differ from your own?
At least in the old days, most shooters did a call out.
This was a practice game for a charity event involving both dems and pubs.

dappled_leaves's avatar

What is the point of trying to take away something from this specific incident? America has a gun problem that it refuses to acknowledge, let alone fix. We just saw the anniversary of the Pulse shooting. These are events on opposite poles of the political spectrum, but they are both very easily imagined and enacted in the U.S. – so, inevitably, they will happen. There are always going to be angry people; the question is how much damage they can do with whatever is to hand.

DominicY's avatar

I fear that we may devolve into political violence as well. That is not unprecedented in other nations, as @Espiritus_Corvus mentions. Venezuela is experiencing it right now. Of course, Venezuela has had problems much more immense than what we face, but it’s possible we may be sliding toward another civil war. That is the worst case scenario that I fear.

At the same time, we can’t act as if this man was anything other than a nutjob looking for an excuse. People who want to kill someone will find the inspiration to do it somewhere. Does anyone remember when Gabrielle Giffords was shot? It seems this event has been completely erased from the minds of Americans. That didn’t seem to be followed by increased violence, hopefully this won’t be either.

The political leanings of the shooter are largely irrelevant, and those who take this as an opportunity to bash the left are completely missing the point. (Not saying people here are doing this, but I’ve seen this all over the internet today). Not only are they missing the point, but they are increasing the divide and making the problem worse.

The gun debate is a distraction. It does not get at the root of the problem. Not saying it’s useless, but I feel the issue may be about better mental health care too—rarely do people who commit acts like this live a stable life. Rarely do they get the treatment they need.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@DominicY _“The gun debate is a distraction. It does not get at the root of the problem.”

Yes, I know. I must know, because it is what I hear absolutely every time this happens. Even though “the problem” is never the same. The guns are always the same, though. Funny, that.

Patty_Melt's avatar

“Police officer attacked with hammer.”
“Several victims stabbed at London Bridge.”
“Bomb kills children after Manchester concert.”
“Bomb attack at Boston Marathon.”
“Greyhound driver killed with boxcutter.”
“Anthtax scare.”
“Oklahoma truck bomb.”
Any of this sound familiar?
There are all sorts of weapons, and guns are not the only ones used by bad guys.
I don’t get how people want to ban guns, but welcome the shooters…..........
stabbers, bombers, hijackers.
Sigh

johnpowell's avatar

@Patty_Melt .. I totally don’t understand why people think like you. From what I gather your argument is other stuff kills people too so guns are super cool.

Are you so insulated that you think this shit is normal? Do you know three people were shot in a UPS facility today? Do you know that there have been around 150 mass shootings this year. That is almost one MASS SHOOTING EVERY FUCKING DAY.

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

And lets have some fun… Wanna have some word fun?

So the argument for the second amendment is to have the ability to resist tyranny. The Bernie Bro that shot up the people circle jerking destroying healthcare for 24 million to give 800 Billion in tax cuts to the rich. He used the second amendment as you always wet dreamed it when a Democrat was in power.

Remember when Trump said Clinton was a second amendment problem? Not a joke. The orange idiot said that.

And this is the sound of me respecting you less. We are in negativeland here.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Sure there are crazy people all over the place. And in places where guns are harder to come by, you get assaults through other means. And yes, even here there are people who are dumb as well as deranged. The folks attempting mass murder with hammers or box cutters in the United States have my sympathy. If you live here and can’t lay your hand on a gun, you truly must be isolated to the point of insanity. But I don’t understand the fears of gunners here about being deprived of their rights. If possession of a firearm were declared illegal tomorrow, it would be equivalent to outlawing sand on the beach, or outlawing speed, heroin , marijuana, etc. Deranged people are a given. Whether their numbers can be managed or reduced is up for debate. The question unworthy of debate is : if a land with deranged people is awash in guns, is it the box cutter and hammer mass murders scheduled to rise beyond epidemic levels?

flutherother's avatar

@Patty_Melt. These guys used knives, boxcutters , hammers and fake anthrax because they couldn’t get hold of real weapons. Allowing them to buy rifles and semi automatics is where the insanity lies. You can’t predict who will become a shooter but you can predict they will try to arm themselves with a gun. That’s why people want to ban them.

Pachy's avatar

We have become one effed-up society. Glad I won’t be around to see what’s coming.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^Got dat right.

janbb's avatar

I’m in Europe right now and truly wishing I could stay. I was asked by a castle docent where I was from and I said New Jersey. I realized I did not want to say I was American.

And isn’t Steve Bannon happy now?

JLeslie's avatar

@janbb Don’t feel that way. When that crazy former president in Iran was a Holocaust denier I didn’t hold it against Iranians I met and knew. Anyone who would is just dead wrong. Same with being American. I have Europeans all around who love being in the US, and who appreciate the American people they know and meet.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Ironic that this tragedy affected the same people who are in bed with the Gun Lobby and the NRA. The same people who steadfastly refuse to consider any sort of sane, reasonable gun control legislation. What say ye now, Republicans?

LostInParadise's avatar

I have been feeling for a while that there is something wrong, but it is hard to point a finger at who is responsible.

When Mikhail Gorbachev got rid of the Soviet Union, he made an interesting statement. He told America that he was going to do something very cruel in depriving us of an enemy. In contemplating that statement, it is easy to feel nostalgic about simpler times. The Soviets had said they were going to bury us, and it was our job to stop them. Simple. Why the hurry to send a man to the moon? To beat the Russians, of course.

Nowadays enemies are much more amorphous – terrorists and hackers and deranged gunmen. Who is to blame? Who do you get angry at? How do we unite to solve our problems? It is not at all clear.

JLeslie's avatar

@NomoreY_A What they are saying is things like what Cathy Gifford did, and the “anarchists” and all this hate talk from the left is egging on unstable people like this shooter.

Believe me, I know we can say the same about the Republicans a million times regarding things they have say and done when it comes to Hillary, Obama, and somany others. I’m just telling you what they are saying. I agree with them about Gifford, and other people who are jacking up the hate and violence talk.

NomoreY_A's avatar

@JLeslie I agree with you to a certain extent, but I didn’t see or hear any Republicans cry foul during the election, when their Golden Boy was egging on the morons to kill Hillary (“You Second Amendment people out there, anything we can to about this?”) or when the crowd was yelling at Chump to, “Hang her, hang her”. With them it’s always do as we say, not as we do. Fuck that and fuck them. And ain’t it strange, that their vaunted and much hyped “Armed Citizen”, who is always packing heat so they can stop these tragedies, never seems to be around when these tragedies strike?

JLeslie's avatar

^^I agree that a bunch of fuckheads, more than a bunch, did the same shit on the republican side. Horrible, hateful, inciting violence, both speech and actions. I have condemned all of that sort of thing, both sides, and I do have Republican friends who condemned it also. Not all of them are ok with that sort of thing.

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