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US Gun Violence: a Country in Crisis

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  • US Gun Violence: a Country in Crisis

    I watched an interview President Biden gave when talking about the recent mass shooting in Texas, in which he shared that there had been more children die because of guns in the US, than active police officers and soldiers combined - a horrifying statistic - and I was reminded of a website I used to look at from time to time (if ever there was a mass shooting mainly) which tracks US gun crime. If like me, you have trouble understanding the magnitude of the US problem, this might assist with your thinking.

    So far this year, this website confirms that there have been:
    • 18,322 gun violence deaths - that's 8,158 homicides/murders and 10,164 suicides.
    • Additionally, there have been 15,335 people with gun violence injuries.
    • There have been 233 mass shootings and 12 mass murders.
    • So far, 693 children have died and 1,722 have been injured.
    • 618 of the above incidents have been unintentional shootings and 475 have been because of defensive use (yeah, that's right - the next time someone says guns are necessary for self-defence, remind them that 1.4% of gun related violence this year was self-defence).
    Harrowing statistics - shocking to see that the number of suicides even outnumbers the number of murders.

    The website is here: https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/

    Gun control is a national issue, it's one that requires constitutional reform and so it needs addressing nationally - but gun violence is disproportionately one that seems to impact East, South and South West US more than anywhere else (as the maps below show):





    Anyway, RIP to the 48 people who died due to gun violence in the US yesterday (2 June) - 5 of the incidents involved 2 or more people dying with an incident in Iowa taking the lives of 3 people (2 people were shot dead by the gunman, and the gunman then shot himself dead). Shocking.

    Let's see what today brings.

  • #2
    Interesting that you open this topic as I was just searching the Internet yesterday and came across the Giffords website that scores each state based on their respective gun laws. Unsurprisingly, the states with low-fence laws are the ones with the highest per-capita gun-related deaths.

    The NRA has such massive influence in US politics. I just can't see things changing anytime soon.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by JSparksFan View Post
      The NRA has such massive influence in US politics. I just can't see things changing anytime soon.
      Sadly you’re right.

      I don’t know how the US fixes the problem (NRA membership is low compared to the population) but it seems to me that if you teach a generation of children that guns are their birthright you’ve already lost.

      Personally I’d start by making all guns purchasable only through the local police station, and I’d ban all guns that held more than six bullets at a time. I’d put a massive tax on the sale of bullets (making them more expensive) than the gun) and invoke a legal limit on the number of bullets a person can own.

      I’d create a law that prevents the automatic inheritance of guns - all guns need to be handed in and only antique guns (which I guess can be inherited for ornamental purposes) need to be registered and licensed to new owners. Then I’d raise the ownership age limit to 21.

      Basically gun control is needed before banning guns and if you can condition successive generations into understanding they don’t need a gun, you don’t even need to look at amending the constitution - though the constitution needs reviewing (a legal requirement to review it every hundred years would make sense?)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Artoo View Post
        Basically gun control is needed before banning guns and if you can condition successive generations into understanding they don’t need a gun, you don’t even need to look at amending the constitution - though the constitution needs reviewing (a legal requirement to review it every hundred years would make sense?)
        That's a lovely thing to aspire to but I just don't see how you could ever achieve this without amending the constitution - the right to bear arms is enshrined in law and whilst education is as important as legal reform, I can't see how it ever working without the legal reform.

        It's probably education first and legal reform later - though some initial legal reform by way of accessing ammunition and accessing automatic weapons would be a good start!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Wayne View Post

          That's a lovely thing to aspire to but I just don't see how you could ever achieve this without amending the constitution - the right to bear arms is enshrined in law and whilst education is as important as legal reform, I can't see how it ever working without the legal reform.

          It's probably education first and legal reform later - though some initial legal reform by way of accessing ammunition and accessing automatic weapons would be a good start!
          It’s going to have to go hand in hand somehow. An amendment wont be tabled or passed without the majority of the US being on board - so it’s going to take a huge cultural shift before the legal side catches up.
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          • #6
            Only the US could have such a pathetic yet avoidable problem.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Hugo View Post
              Only the US could have such a pathetic yet avoidable problem.
              The problem isn't avoidable since the problem doesn't start with guns to begin with. There are people with such deep personal struggles that they feel the only way to handle their struggles is to cause pain and destruction to other beings. If they don't do so with guns, they'll find other tools that will do the job just right.
              If you want to solve the problem, you need to understand why people take up arms in the first place.
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              • #8
                Literally every headline coming out of the US in the past 5-10 years is a sign of a "country in crisis", even when it doesn't come from gun-related incidents. I really really hope things start to change because it seems way more people are pissed about these constant shootings than they were years ago (when they were just as constant and deadly).
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                • #9
                  So yesterday’s numbers are in:
                  • 21 people died due to gun violence.
                  • 45 people injured due to gun violence, including one incident with 5 injuries and 1 death.
                  • There were 2 incidents where multiple (2 or more) people were killed - one of these was a woman in Memphis who had a non-contact order against her work colleague, he shot her dead in the car park of the Amazon distribution centre where they both worked. He was then stopped in a routine traffic stop by police and shot dead.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Wayne View Post

                    That's a lovely thing to aspire to but I just don't see how you could ever achieve this without amending the constitution - the right to bear arms is enshrined in law and whilst education is as important as legal reform, I can't see how it ever working without the legal reform.

                    It's probably education first and legal reform later - though some initial legal reform by way of accessing ammunition and accessing automatic weapons would be a good start!
                    I don’t think the constitution makes any mention of semi-automatic guns or hand grenades, so I don’t really see the right to buy an AK-47 enshrined in the law.
                    Part of the problem is not just that you can buy a gun at your local Walmart, but that you can buy guns that allow you to mow down whole crowds in a matter of seconds.
                    I also think the constitution doesn’t protect insanity like “My first rifle” - unless some nutcase wants to argue that an “armed militia” includes 4-5 year olds.

                    Tbh, I often feel that “but it’s a constitutional right” is just a crutch for politicians to justify why they aren’t doing anything. There are plenty of ways to implement stricter gun laws without violating the 2nd amendment.

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                    • #11
                      Another attack happened in Philadelphia.
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                      • #12
                        Oh no why so many shootings in such a short span of time in America?

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                        • #13
                          It's not just about the gun themselves, but how the gun culture is so enshrined into the population. Just watch any Hollywood movie coming straight out of liberal LA...
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                          • #14
                            So yesterday’s numbers are in:
                            • 36 people died due to gun violence.
                            • 120 people injured due to gun violence.
                            • There was a mass shooting in Philadelphia where 3 were shot dead and 11 others were injured - multiple gunmen firing into a large crowd of people, shooting as many people as they could.


                            The mayor (Jim Kenney) had this to say:

                            "Once again, we see lives senselessly lost and those injured in yet another horrendous, brazen and despicable act of gun violence…..My heart is with the family, friends, loved ones of those lost or injured, and with everyone impacted by this terrible tragedy. “

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                            • #15
                              There was also another mass shooting with 1 death and 7 injured….

                              PHOENIX -- A 14-year-old girl was killed and eight others were wounded early Saturday in a shooting amid a crowd of people at a strip mall northwest of downtown Phoenix, police said.

                              Sgt. Andy Williams told reporters that nine people were taken to hospitals after the 1 a.m. shooting sent people running near 10th Avenue and Hatcher Road. The 14-year-old girl died after being taken to the hospital, two women have life-threatening injuries, and six have injuries that are not life-threatening.

                              In an interview posted by ABC 15 Williams said no suspects were immediately identified and no arrests were made while authorities pieced together witness accounts.

                              Williams said it appeared that a handgun was used after an argument erupted among those gathered for what he termed “some sort of party.”

                              “Many rounds were shot into this crowd of people as everyone fled the area,” he said.

                              Williams said the wounded range in age from about 17 to 24.

                              The shooting happened about an hour after police reported that a teenage boy was shot and killed outside his home about three blocks away. It was not immediately clear if the two shootings were related.

                              Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego responded to the shooting on Twitter, saying: “Seems we can’t go a day without another mass shooting.”

                              “Time has run out,” she said. “Change must happen now.”

                              https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/...-mall-85190989
                              There we’re 21 different incidents yesterday where 2 or more people were injured or killed in the US by guns - that’s insane.

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                              • #16
                                What will be considered enough for reform? Ten mass shootings a day? A hundred?

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                                • #17
                                  The problem is that all of those articles only lead to the question 'Are guns too easy to get?' when it should be 'Why do people feel the need to solve their problems by shooting people?'.
                                  Even on this forum, there are people who seem to believe that it's the gun who motivates the people to do the shootings - and without guns, we'd all solve our problems by starting to talk with each other .
                                  Saying that you don't know what to answer? That's fine.
                                  Saying that you don't have the time to answer at the moment? That's OK.
                                  Not answering at all? Ouch... Biggest communicative fail you can do.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Thriller View Post
                                    What will be considered enough for reform? Ten mass shootings a day? A hundred?
                                    What do you expect a reform to achieve?
                                    Saying that you don't know what to answer? That's fine.
                                    Saying that you don't have the time to answer at the moment? That's OK.
                                    Not answering at all? Ouch... Biggest communicative fail you can do.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by theMathematician View Post

                                      What do you expect a reform to achieve?
                                      Less gun violence.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Thriller View Post

                                        Less gun violence.
                                        Knowing that it may lead to violence with over weapons?

                                        See, all those people doing those shootings aren't normal people who see a gun and suddenly turn into lunatics shooting down everyone they can reach.
                                        Many of those shootings aren't spontaneous; they are planned. Those are people who want to play god and believe that it's time for the ones they consider 'bad people' to get their punishment. Do you really believe that without guns, they would just skip their plans and try to handle the challenges of life like a normal person would?
                                        Not really. They would find other ways - the more spectacular, the 'better'.
                                        Saying that you don't know what to answer? That's fine.
                                        Saying that you don't have the time to answer at the moment? That's OK.
                                        Not answering at all? Ouch... Biggest communicative fail you can do.

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                                        • #21
                                          Well the point is those people currently have access to a weapon that can quite easily and quickly take out multiple lives. It’s much harder to make a bomb or run around with a knife.

                                          Some people may be determined to kill or inflict harm regardless, but having a gun makes it easier to do so, plus there are plenty of “impulse” killings where something has escalated and a gun has been used - maybe in place of other forms of violence had the gun not been there.

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                                          • #22
                                            Timmy, cool down.

                                            Guns make everything easier.
                                            There are hundreds or thousands of side casualties a year. Many infants die just because they are playing with their parents guns. Access to machine guns makes people kill others very easy. Impulse buying is also a huge issue. No background checks and selling guns to maniacs is another huge problem. Also gun control in some cities only to have guns freely available just 30 mins away is yet another problem which makes state or city based restrictions rather ineffective.

                                            Anyone defending that loose gun laws has nothing to do with gun mortality because it's the people who are sick... is just insane. There are sick people everywhere, spare us with that worn out argument.
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                                            • #23
                                              Originally posted by LittleLinda View Post
                                              Tbh, I often feel that “but it’s a constitutional right” is just a crutch for politicians to justify why they aren’t doing anything. There are plenty of ways to implement stricter gun laws without violating the 2nd amendment.
                                              The NRA isn't even that powerful anymore. But in their heyday, they convincingly equated guns with freedom because of the constitution, and they were able to spin that into a Republican narrative that has made gun rights an essential platform. Politicians don't have to do anything to keep that promise. It's an easy way to keep themselves in office. They don't have to provide solutions.

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                                              • #24
                                                DnBLover : Well, I believe in the sick people theory, but that's just my view on it. I'm not against stricter gun laws; I'm against the idea of stricter gun laws magically reducing the amount of such incidents because of the aforementioned sick people theory.
                                                Saying that you don't know what to answer? That's fine.
                                                Saying that you don't have the time to answer at the moment? That's OK.
                                                Not answering at all? Ouch... Biggest communicative fail you can do.

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                                                • #25
                                                  I don't hear about sick people gunning people down regularly in other countries.

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