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School Shooting in South Florida

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numberwang said:
GProgrammer said:

They can't be blaming this on mental issues because

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/28/trump-sign-bill-blocking-obama-gun-rule/98484106/

Trump signs bill reversing Obama rule to ban gun purchases by mentally ill

Do you think think Trump voters do most of the murders in the USA? Because most of the murders are concentrated in Democratic dominated districts.

And not democrat dominated states....go figure



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dirtylemons said:

Perhaps this is naive of me, but I honestly think that if a sincere and intelligent argument can be made in favor of a law likely to reduce violence, the majority would support it. You're never going to get everybody, but all you need is the majority in order to change the law.

I don't know if naive is the right term. Maybe it is. But this seems to not take take into consideration powerful forces rallying to misinform and oppose something.
If there is a proper intelligent argument for something, it's nothing that millions of dollars and unintelligent misdirection can't destroy.

Back in the day, only the children of rich families were allowed to go to school at all. Until parents stood up and said that their children deserved education as well. And so public education was born.
Would you say it's a coincidence that every single developed country on the planet reached the same conclusion when it comes to healthcare, except for one single country (USA) where multinational pharmaceutical corporation top the charts of highest grossing companies each year, and they are allowed to  'donate' hundreds of millions every year to politicians who 'just happen to' vote in their favor, news organizations, adds on TV and online, etc?
(By the way, prescription drugs are not allowed to be advertised on TV anywhere except USA and New Zealand)

Because if we look at the conclusion most people in USA reached according to poll after poll, most of them seem to favor some form of universal healthcare. Even among republicans.

http://www.newsweek.com/why-are-most-republicans-backing-single-payer-healthcare-584879


But no matter how many people want it, if they are mislead by certain usage of words, like you know how some people said they hated Obamacare because they have the Affordable Care Act (even though it's the same thing), or certain news outlets convincing people that Social Democracy is the same as Marxism Socialism, or climate change is a hoax while they get funding from the fossil fuel industry, etc, change won't come to pass. Because not enough people end up holding their representatives accountable. They re-elect them.

But there are also just different ideals. I don't think any argument would easily convince people who think the government will come for them if they lose their guns.

I'm certainly not against the idea of people needing to regularly pass some sort of test to maintain a gun license, as with a driver's license. Personally not a fan of having to join any club, and I'm a little wary about random police inspections. But again, I'm not against the concept in general.

With the way police some times, but sadly often enough, behave, especially in the US, the same thought crossed my mind when reading that segment.
Switching out the club part for required training would seem like a proper substitute.

My problem with the no-fly list being used as a measure for being able to legally purchase a gun or not is that there doesn't appear to be any clear way you get your name on the list or can prevent getting on it. Secret government lists as a means for restricting one's rights is where my paranoia really begins to kick in.

I'm not exactly sure what you were saying on the bolded part. Seems to be a typo in there. Could you rephrase that?

And I'm going to push back on the claim that a law was passed which helps mentally ill people get guns. Technically correct, but the specifics of the bill pertain to people who cannot manage their finances due to some mental disability. This is a very specific form of mental illness and I don't see why such people should be prevented from owning firearms, when their disability has nothing to do with their grasp on reality. Rather their ability to process numbers and the like. Admittedly, this affects such a small portion of individuals that it seems to be more of a political football, but I'm not against the law as it stands now.

From what I can gather, the "people who couldn't handle their finances" may have been a slight misunderstanding.
They are affected by this too, but it's not aimed specifically or exclusively at them, but at anyone who receives government funding for some kind of mental illness:

"The rule, which was finalized in December, added people receiving Social Security checks for mental illnesses and people deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs to the national background check database. "

Snopes explains it here:
https://www.snopes.com/trump-sign-bill-revoking-obama-era-gun-checks-people-mental-illnesses/

Basically, nothing changed because that Obama era bill had not yet come into effect before Trump rescinded it.

Maybe the current legislation as related to firearms works for Australia. If so, Godspeed. I'm no expert and only have the publicly available statistics at my disposal.

And as John Oliver pointed out, NRA lobbies money to defund public statistics about gun violence.
I don't know what else is going on, but we have to do a lot of research ourselves by looking at a lot of different places in this day and age.

I'm simply hesitant to assume that what works for one country would automatically work for another. Japan has a higher suicide rate than the U.S., but I wouldn't conclude from this that Japan needs to be more like the U.S. in order to reduce said rate.

I don't presume something that worked for another country would automatically work for the US either. But USA's gun statistics are comparable to third world countries (accounting for population differences) and I think that something meaningful should be attempted in order to change that. That gun homicides have been dropping is nice, but what's going on is still mind boggling to people looking in from the outside.

Suicide, or violence involving one self of ones family is of course much more difficult to regulate. If a country should strive to be more like another, I would look at specific things they can learn from each other.

Again, I'm going to push back on one of these claims. The suicide rate in Australia saw a spike right after the new gun laws, then a drop, but has been consistently on the rise for the past decade or so. I don't know what correlation between the two there are, if any, but I wanted to point that out.
As I say, I'm not against trying new gun laws, provided they have a reasonably likelihood of reducing violence behind them. But with the continuing decline of gun crime in the U.S., I admit I'm more wary to stray from the current path, potentially risking an unnecessary spike in violence where one need not occur.

Interesting. It may have been that it was just gun related suicides that dropped, which in that case isn't useful, unlike the gun homicides that dropped without non firearm related homicides increasing.
I'm looking at some charts now and suicides in 2017 were about the same as in 1996, but slightly higher in 2017. I also read that 2015 had the highest rates of suicide per 100,000 people. I'll look into this more.

Last edited by Hiku - on 15 February 2018

Hiku said:
dirtylemons said:

Perhaps this is naive of me, but I honestly think that if a sincere and intelligent argument can be made in favor of a law likely to reduce violence, the majority would support it. You're never going to get everybody, but all you need is the majority in order to change the law.

I don't know if naive is the right term. Maybe it is. But this seems to not take take into consideration powerful forces rallying to misinform and oppose something.
If there is a proper intelligent argument for something, it's nothing that millions of dollars and unintelligent misdirection can't destroy.

Back in the day, only the children of rich families were allowed to go to school at all. Until parents stood up and said that their children deserved education as well. And so public education was born.
Would you say it's a coincidence that every single developed country on the planet reached the same conclusion when it comes to healthcare, except for one single country (USA) where multinational pharmaceutical corporation top the charts of highest grossing companies each year, and they are allowed to  'donate' hundreds of millions every year to politicians who 'just happen to' vote in their favor, news organizations, adds on TV and online, etc?
(By the way, prescription drugs are not allowed to be advertised on TV anywhere except USA and New Zealand)

Because if we look at the conclusion most people in USA reached according to poll after poll, most of them seem to favor some form of universal healthcare. Even among republicans.

http://www.newsweek.com/why-are-most-republicans-backing-single-payer-healthcare-584879


But no matter how many people want it, if they are mislead by certain usage of words, like you know how some people said they hated Obamacare because they have the Affordable Care Act (even though it's the same thing), or certain news outlets convincing people that Social Democracy is the same as Marxism Socialism, or climate change is a hoax while they get funding from the fossil fuel industry, etc, change won't come to pass. Because not enough people end up holding their representatives accountable. They re-elect them.

I'm certainly not against the idea of people needing to regularly pass some sort of test to maintain a gun license, as with a driver's license. Personally not a fan of having to join any club, and I'm a little wary about random police inspections. But again, I'm not against the concept in general.

With the way police some times, but sadly often enough, behave, especially in the US, the same thought crossed my mind when reading that segment.
Switching out the club part for required training would seem like a proper substitute.

My problem with the no-fly list being used as a measure for being able to legally purchase a gun or not is that there doesn't appear to be any clear way you get your name on the list or can prevent getting on it. Secret government lists as a means for restricting one's rights is where my paranoia really begins to kick in.

I'm not exactly sure what you were saying on the bolded part. Seems to be a typo in there. Could you rephrase that?

And I'm going to push back on the claim that a law was passed which helps mentally ill people get guns. Technically correct, but the specifics of the bill pertain to people who cannot manage their finances due to some mental disability. This is a very specific form of mental illness and I don't see why such people should be prevented from owning firearms, when their disability has nothing to do with their grasp on reality. Rather their ability to process numbers and the like. Admittedly, this affects such a small portion of individuals that it seems to be more of a political football, but I'm not against the law as it stands now.

From what I can gather, the "people who couldn't handle their finances" may have been a slight misunderstanding.
They are affected by this too, but it's not aimed specifically or exclusively at them, but at anyone who receives government funding for some kind of mental illness:

"The rule, which was finalized in December, added people receiving Social Security checks for mental illnesses and people deemed unfit to handle their own financial affairs to the national background check database. "

Snopes explains it here:
https://www.snopes.com/trump-sign-bill-revoking-obama-era-gun-checks-people-mental-illnesses/

Basically, nothing changed because that Obama era bill had not yet come into effect before Trump rescinded it.

Maybe the current legislation as related to firearms works for Australia. If so, Godspeed. I'm no expert and only have the publicly available statistics at my disposal.

And as John Oliver pointed out, NRA lobbies money to defund public statistics about gun violence.
I don't know what else is going on, but we have to do a lot of research ourselves by looking at a lot of different places in this day and age.

I'm simply hesitant to assume that what works for one country would automatically work for another. Japan has a higher suicide rate than the U.S., but I wouldn't conclude from this that Japan needs to be more like the U.S. in order to reduce said rate.

I don't presume something that worked for another country would automatically work for the US either. But USA's gun statistics are comparable to third world countries (accounting for population differences) and think that something meaningful should be attempted in order to change that. That gun homicides have been dropping is nice, but what's going on is still mind boggling to people looking in from the outside.

Suicide, or violence involving one self of ones family is of course much more difficult to regulate. If a country should strive to be more like another, I would look at specific things they can learn from each other.

Again, I'm going to push back on one of these claims. The suicide rate in Australia saw a spike right after the new gun laws, then a drop, but has been consistently on the rise for the past decade or so. I don't know what correlation between the two there are, if any, but I wanted to point that out.
As I say, I'm not against trying new gun laws, provided they have a reasonably likelihood of reducing violence behind them. But with the continuing decline of gun crime in the U.S., I admit I'm more wary to stray from the current path, potentially risking an unnecessary spike in violence where one need not occur.

Interesting. It may have been that it was just gun related suicides that dropped, which in that case isn't useful, unlike the gun homicides that dropped without non firearm related homicides increasing.
I'm looking at some charts now and suicides in 2017 were about the same as in 1996, but slightly higher in 2017. I also read that 2015 had the highest rates of suicide per 100,000 people. I'll look into this more.

Purely a matter of opinion, but I think a one-on-one argument is virtually always going to be more effective than an information campaign, no matter how costly and widespread.

We're wading into different waters here, but I'll try to follow as much as I can.
On the universal healthcare issue, I'm torn as well. I'm not against taxpayer-subsidized healthcare for those who genuinely need it but would face an undue financial burden to pay out of pocket. What I am against is universal healthcare that automatically covers any issue a person claims to have. I'm not in the medical profession, but I have many acquaintances who are, and they all confirm my suspicions about hypochondria in the U.S. A majority, if not the majority, of people seeking healthcare (in the U.S., at least) are seeking attention and drugs whenever they just feel a little off. As if they're entitled to never be in pain or feel disturbed. Also, plenty of people are just reckless and I have no problem with expecting them to pay their own medical bills. But for something like breast cancer or anything which a person doesn't knowingly risk on their own, taxpayer money going to that is fine with me.
I'm also okay with people/corporations donating as much money they like to whoever, and I'm against the banning of commercials, whatever commodity they may be peddling (assuming it's legal).

I don't disagree at all about people not holding their representatives accountable. I admit I'm jaded with the whole thing, as I've only voted once in my life, and even then, I didn't really expect much, if anything, to improve. People seem to treat politics much the same way they do with sports fanaticism. Anything for their team. That hinders progress more than any information campaigns, in my opinion.

Sorry, what I meant about the no-fly list is that I don't know how one gets on it. If this information is publicly available, I'm not aware and haven't yet found it. Some articles listed 'possible' ways one could get on the no-fly list, but no concrete rules seem to have been released by the government. So the idea that the government can restrict a person's rights, based on a measure the citizen isn't even allowed to know, that seems very dangerous to me.

Looking at the original bill, the only people being used as a source to identify the affected individuals as mentally impaired was the Social Security Administration. I don't think they're qualified to say whether a person is a potential hazard to others or not. So using them as (seemingly) the sole basis for restricting a person's right to own a firearm seems like a wrongheaded way to go about it.

And I'm all for reducing gun violence, which is why I'm happy to see it steadily drop in the U.S. Yes, it's still significantly higher than one would expect from such a developed country, but I'll take what I can get. And it's also why I'm wary about making any potentially radical changes to the current laws when it seems we're already on the right track. I know that must sound like a harsh/extreme thing to say in the wake of so much violence, but looking at the big picture, I can only hope that the next twenty-five years see the same trends as the past twenty-five.



dirtylemons said:

Purely a matter of opinion, but I think a one-on-one argument is virtually always going to be more effective than an information campaign, no matter how costly and widespread.

We're wading into different waters here, but I'll try to follow as much as I can.
On the universal healthcare issue, I'm torn as well. I'm not against taxpayer-subsidized healthcare for those who genuinely need it but would face an undue financial burden to pay out of pocket. What I am against is universal healthcare that automatically covers any issue a person claims to have. I'm not in the medical profession, but I have many acquaintances who are, and they all confirm my suspicions about hypochondria in the U.S. A majority, if not the majority, of people seeking healthcare (in the U.S., at least) are seeking attention and drugs whenever they just feel a little off. As if they're entitled to never be in pain or feel disturbed. Also, plenty of people are just reckless and I have no problem with expecting them to pay their own medical bills. But for something like breast cancer or anything which a person doesn't knowingly risk on their own, taxpayer money going to that is fine with me.
I'm also okay with people/corporations donating as much money they like to whoever, and I'm against the banning of commercials, whatever commodity they may be peddling (assuming it's legal).

I don't disagree at all about people not holding their representatives accountable. I admit I'm jaded with the whole thing, as I've only voted once in my life, and even then, I didn't really expect much, if anything, to improve. People seem to treat politics much the same way they do with sports fanaticism. Anything for their team. That hinders progress more than any information campaigns, in my opinion.

Sorry, what I meant about the no-fly list is that I don't know how one gets on it. If this information is publicly available, I'm not aware and haven't yet found it. Some articles listed 'possible' ways one could get on the no-fly list, but no concrete rules seem to have been released by the government. So the idea that the government can restrict a person's rights, based on a measure the citizen isn't even allowed to know, that seems very dangerous to me.

Looking at the original bill, the only people being used as a source to identify the affected individuals as mentally impaired was the Social Security Administration. I don't think they're qualified to say whether a person is a potential hazard to others or not. So using them as (seemingly) the sole basis for restricting a person's right to own a firearm seems like a wrongheaded way to go about it.

And I'm all for reducing gun violence, which is why I'm happy to see it steadily drop in the U.S. Yes, it's still significantly higher than one would expect from such a developed country, but I'll take what I can get. And it's also why I'm wary about making any potentially radical changes to the current laws when it seems we're already on the right track. I know that must sound like a harsh/extreme thing to say in the wake of so much violence, but looking at the big picture, I can only hope that the next twenty-five years see the same trends as the past twenty-five.

If by one-on-one arguments you mean something like what you and I are doing here, where we can go "hold up, do you have a source for that information? That's interesting, I didn't know that" and exchange ideas back and forth, rather than just watch a segment on the 6 o'clock news, then yeah I think these type of conversations would be much more effective. It's just not how most people consume their news. Especially the older demographic who don't really know how to fact check things online, and only take the word of their favorite news anchor.

As for universal healthcare, that's a bit of a tangent, but every country seems to have their own take on it. I agree about the hypochondria part, and I can tell you that how it works in Sweden wouldn't cover that. Perhaps the doctors visit would be subsidized somewhat, but the way it works here is that first and foremost, if it's not a prescription drug for some sort of condition that the doctor determined you have, you pay for it yourself. And even if it is a prescription, you still pay out of your own pocket until you reach a certain ceiling. For us right now that lies around $200 per year. Your purchases get subsidized more and more the closer you get to $200, and once you reach that number, you pay nothing for the rest of the year. You still pay for a doctors visit and such, but it's generally around $12 per visit.
Now, what if a person can't even afford $200 a year for medicine? Well then if you ask the government for assistance and you prove that you can't afford it, they'll pay for it. That's how everyone is essentially guaranteed healthcare. No one will die for not being able to afford it. And no one goes bankrupt.
In the US there are around 46 000 people every year who die simply because they can't afford healthcare. Part of the reason for that is because USA has some of, is not the, highest drug prices in the world, among developed nations.

What is the major difference between USA and other nations then that makes this the case? Well, congress passed a law (in the early 2000's I believe) that prevents the government from negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. This does not seem to be the case anywhere else that I've heard of. And to illustrate the effects this has, a drug manufactured in the United States can be up to 5 times cheaper to buy from Canada. Same US based manufacturer. So it's significantly cheaper to drive to Canada and buy the same drug after it has been manufactured in the US and shipped to Canada. That makes zero sense. But that's why you hear so many stories about people getting drugs they need from Canada, illegally.
Aside from making the pharma companies offer their goods at more reasonable prices (they'll still be very wealthy, no worries), I also feel like US tax payers wouldn't need to pay significantly more than they already are for such a program. I don't think USA needs to spend tax money as much as they are on certain things like their defense budget for example.
USA already spends 2-3 times more on healthcare per person, than the UK. And get much less out of it. That doesn't add up.

The other difference, and it's something you said you're ok with, is that the pharmaceutical companies can donate huge sums of money to politicians, which in many cases probably influences the way they vote. Now corruption of this kind happens all across the globe, but generally much more difficult to pull off in many other countries, as they have to jump through hoops to not leave a trail back to them, and strict limits to how much money can be donated, etc.
In the US its just done right out in the open. Here, have a few hundred thousand dollars and make sure to vote against allowing people in the US to import cheaper drugs from Canada. (Based on a true story of Democrat Cory Booker: https://theintercept.com/2017/01/12/cory-booker-joins-senate-republicans-to-kill-measure-to-import-cheaper-medicine-from-canada/ )

So I'm curious, why are you ok with corporations being allowed to donate huge sums of money like that? I think if there's anyone who does not have our best interest at heart, it's generally big corporations who want to earn a lot of money.
I don't think every politician became one in order to screw people over just to earn money. But rather, many of them probably had good intentions, and then later realized that in order to get things they want to pass, they have to play this game to some extent. And before they knew it, they're on the payroll of these people and have to do their bidding to some extent if they want to get re elected.

As for commercials, I haven't really thought about it much. But what I will say is that I was a bit taken aback by the military commercials during Super Bowl. It looked like a Call of Duty commercial, sort of glorifying the whole thing, and I've just never seen anything like that anywhere else before, so it felt a bit surreal. And I could sort of sense the gun culture to an extent. As in how normalized it is there. At least that's how I felt about it.
I've lived in three countries where you rarely ever hear or talk about guns. Not counting news about shootings that occurred elsewhere.
On that note, a while ago I overheard some people talk about "another mass shooting" and the other person asked "Where?".
The first person said "Guess", sarcastically. And the second person said "Oh....".

Not saying that these countries are a utopia compared to USA. Just that people have a different mindset about guns depending on where they live.

I understand what you mean by the no-fly zone thing now. But I think my argument may differ a bit from what you just said.
I question the ethics of preventing people from flying without giving a proper explanation. I've heard that's the case as well.
What I'm saying is, if intelligence agencies already went as far as preventing someone from flying because they're suspected of coordinating with terrorist groups, on two accounts, wouldn't it stand to reason that they also prevent this person from buying guns?
I don't know exactly what danger they thought he posed though, but I get the impression that messing with people's rights to the second amendment is a much more convoluted process than taking away their right to fly somewhere.

About the bill to restrict mentally ill people from buying guns, I agree that it would probably affect a lot of people who probably do not pose a danger if they got a hold of a gun. Or at the very least that the qualification of receiving government funds for their mental illness doesn't properly evaluate the risk assessment.
But what I would have rather seen is a compromise bill introducing a more proper process of assessing risky individuals, instead of just simply killing it.
And this is especially true for Trump and his party who for the past eight or so particularly lethal mass shootings since he became president keep saying that this is a mental issue. That is also a problem. But they've not only done nothing about that, but even rolled back this bill.

And I wouldn't say your view on the gun violence is particularly harsh or extreme to me. You seem pretty sensible, and I've heard much worse.
The important thing in these situations is to talk about solutions. We can have different ideas about what the solutions may be. But some don't even want to do that much.
The shooter was able to buy his AR-15 rifle legally, authorities say: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/02/15/florida-shooting-suspect-bought-gun-legally-authorities-say/340606002/
Maybe this seems unreasonable to someone who lives in the US, but I don't think any civilian, let alone a teenager, should be allowed to legally purchase a weapon that can so easily take so many lives of both children and adults in a school, where everyone is paralyzed with fear of being shot next if they try to run away or do something.
This is very different from someone getting stabbed, or hit by a car. After people become aware of such things, they can either run away, or take appropriate action. But not here. They could only hope that they wouldn't be next, before police arrives to help them. And some of them weren't so lucky. And they were next...

We've now witnessed 3 of the deadliest mass shootings in American history in just the last 5 months.
That may very well mean little, but there was a time when something like the Columbine shooting shook the whole world. And now this is just yet another mass shooting.

Last edited by Hiku - on 16 February 2018



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don't worry guys, the GOP and it's voters will pray the sociopaths away and you can all enjoy your 2nd ammendment rights without ppl nagging that it's unsafe for so many guns to be around - it will work any second now #believe #MAGA



Hiku said:
dirtylemons said:

Purely a matter of opinion, but I think a one-on-one argument is virtually always going to be more effective than an information campaign, no matter how costly and widespread.

We're wading into different waters here, but I'll try to follow as much as I can.
On the universal healthcare issue, I'm torn as well. I'm not against taxpayer-subsidized healthcare for those who genuinely need it but would face an undue financial burden to pay out of pocket. What I am against is universal healthcare that automatically covers any issue a person claims to have. I'm not in the medical profession, but I have many acquaintances who are, and they all confirm my suspicions about hypochondria in the U.S. A majority, if not the majority, of people seeking healthcare (in the U.S., at least) are seeking attention and drugs whenever they just feel a little off. As if they're entitled to never be in pain or feel disturbed. Also, plenty of people are just reckless and I have no problem with expecting them to pay their own medical bills. But for something like breast cancer or anything which a person doesn't knowingly risk on their own, taxpayer money going to that is fine with me.
I'm also okay with people/corporations donating as much money they like to whoever, and I'm against the banning of commercials, whatever commodity they may be peddling (assuming it's legal).

I don't disagree at all about people not holding their representatives accountable. I admit I'm jaded with the whole thing, as I've only voted once in my life, and even then, I didn't really expect much, if anything, to improve. People seem to treat politics much the same way they do with sports fanaticism. Anything for their team. That hinders progress more than any information campaigns, in my opinion.

Sorry, what I meant about the no-fly list is that I don't know how one gets on it. If this information is publicly available, I'm not aware and haven't yet found it. Some articles listed 'possible' ways one could get on the no-fly list, but no concrete rules seem to have been released by the government. So the idea that the government can restrict a person's rights, based on a measure the citizen isn't even allowed to know, that seems very dangerous to me.

Looking at the original bill, the only people being used as a source to identify the affected individuals as mentally impaired was the Social Security Administration. I don't think they're qualified to say whether a person is a potential hazard to others or not. So using them as (seemingly) the sole basis for restricting a person's right to own a firearm seems like a wrongheaded way to go about it.

And I'm all for reducing gun violence, which is why I'm happy to see it steadily drop in the U.S. Yes, it's still significantly higher than one would expect from such a developed country, but I'll take what I can get. And it's also why I'm wary about making any potentially radical changes to the current laws when it seems we're already on the right track. I know that must sound like a harsh/extreme thing to say in the wake of so much violence, but looking at the big picture, I can only hope that the next twenty-five years see the same trends as the past twenty-five.

If by one-on-one arguments you mean something like what you and I are doing here, where we can go "hold up, do you have a source for that information? That's interesting, I didn't know that" and exchange ideas back and forth, rather than just watch a segment on the 6 o'clock news, then yeah I think these type of conversations would be much more effective. It's just not how most people consume their news. Especially the older demographic who don't really know how to fact check things online, and only take the word of their favorite news anchor.

As for universal healthcare, that's a bit of a tangent, but every country seems to have their own take on it. I agree about the hypochondria part, and I can tell you that how it works in Sweden wouldn't cover that. Perhaps the doctors visit would be subsidized somewhat, but the way it works here is that first and foremost, if it's not a prescription drug for some sort of condition that the doctor determined you have, you pay for it yourself. And even if it is a prescription, you still pay out of your own pocket until you reach a certain ceiling. For us right now that lies around $200 per year. Your purchases get subsidized more and more the closer you get to $200, and once you reach that number, you pay nothing for the rest of the year. You still pay for a doctors visit and such, but it's generally around $12 per visit.
Now, what if a person can't even afford $200 a year for medicine? Well then if you ask the government for assistance and you prove that you can't afford it, they'll pay for it. That's how everyone is essentially guaranteed healthcare. No one will die for not being able to afford it. And no one goes bankrupt.
In the US there are around 46 000 people every year who die simply because they can't afford healthcare. Part of the reason for that is because USA has some of, is not the, highest drug prices in the world, among developed nations.

What is the major difference between USA and other nations then that makes this the case? Well, congress passed a law (in the early 2000's I believe) that prevents the government from negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. This does not seem to be the case anywhere else that I've heard of. And to illustrate the effects this has, a drug manufactured in the United States can be up to 5 times cheaper to buy from Canada. Same US based manufacturer. So it's significantly cheaper to drive to Canada and buy the same drug after it has been manufactured in the US and shipped to Canada. That makes zero sense. But that's why you hear so many stories about people getting drugs they need from Canada, illegally.
Aside from making the pharma companies offer their goods at more reasonable prices (they'll still be very wealthy, no worries), I also feel like US tax payers wouldn't need to pay significantly more than they already are for such a program. I don't think USA needs to spend tax money as much as they are on certain things like their defense budget for example.
USA already spends 2-3 times more on healthcare per person, than the UK. And get much less out of it. That doesn't add up.

The other difference, and it's something you said you're ok with, is that the pharmaceutical companies can donate huge sums of money to politicians, which in many cases probably influences the way they vote. Now corruption of this kind happens all across the globe, but generally much more difficult to pull off in many other countries, as they have to jump through hoops to not leave a trail back to them, and strict limits to how much money can be donated, etc.
In the US its just done right out in the open. Here, have a few hundred thousand dollars and make sure to vote against allowing people in the US to import cheaper drugs from Canada. (Based on a true story of Democrat Cory Booker: https://theintercept.com/2017/01/12/cory-booker-joins-senate-republicans-to-kill-measure-to-import-cheaper-medicine-from-canada/ )

So I'm curious, why are you ok with corporations being allowed to donate huge sums of money like that? I think if there's anyone who does not have our best interest at heart, it's generally big corporations who want to earn a lot of money.
I don't think every politician became one in order to screw people over just to earn money. But rather, many of them probably had good intentions, and then later realized that in order to get things they want to pass, they have to play this game to some extent. And before they knew it, they're on the payroll of these people and have to do their bidding to some extent if they want to get re elected.

As for commercials, I haven't really thought about it much. But what I will say is that I was a bit taken aback by the military commercials during Super Bowl. It looked like a Call of Duty commercial, sort of glorifying the whole thing, and I've just never seen anything like that anywhere else before, so it felt a bit surreal. And I could sort of sense the gun culture to an extent. As in how normalized it is there. At least that's how I felt about it.
I've lived in three countries where you rarely ever hear or talk about guns. Not counting news about shootings that occurred elsewhere.
On that note, a while ago I overheard some people talk about "another mass shooting" and the other person asked "Where?".
The first person said "Guess", sarcastically. And the second person said "Oh....".

Not saying that these countries are a utopia compared to USA. Just that people have a different mindset about guns depending on where they live.

I understand what you mean by the no-fly zone thing now. But I think my argument may differ a bit from what you just said.
I question the ethics of preventing people from flying without giving a proper explanation. I've heard that's the case as well.
What I'm saying is, if intelligence agencies already went as far as preventing someone from flying because they're suspected of coordinating with terrorist groups, on two accounts, wouldn't it stand to reason that they also prevent this person from buying guns?
I don't know exactly what danger they thought he posed though, but I get the impression that messing with people's rights to the second amendment is a much more convoluted process than taking away their right to fly somewhere.

About the bill to restrict mentally ill people from buying guns, I agree that it would probably affect a lot of people who probably do not pose a danger if they got a hold of a gun. Or at the very least that the qualification of receiving government funds for their mental illness doesn't properly evaluate the risk assessment.
But what I would have rather seen is a compromise bill introducing a more proper process of assessing risky individuals, instead of just simply killing it.
And this is especially true for Trump and his party who for the past eight or so particularly lethal mass shootings since he became president keep saying that this is a mental issue. That is also a problem. But they've not only done nothing about that, but even rolled back this bill.

And I wouldn't say your view on the gun violence is particularly harsh or extreme to me. You seem pretty sensible, and I've heard much worse.
The important thing in these situations is to talk about solutions. We can have different ideas about what the solutions may be. But some don't even want to do that much.
The shooter was able to buy his AR-15 rifle legally, authorities say: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/02/15/florida-shooting-suspect-bought-gun-legally-authorities-say/340606002/
Maybe this seems unreasonable to someone who lives in the US, but I don't think any civilian, let alone a teenager, should be allowed to legally purchase a weapon that can so easily take so many lives of both children and adults in a school, where everyone is paralyzed with fear of being shot next if they try to run away or do something.
This is very different from someone getting stabbed, or hit by a car. After people become aware of such things, they can either run away, or take appropriate action. But not here. They could only hope that they wouldn't be next, before police arrives to help them. And some of them weren't so lucky. And they were next...

We've now witnessed 3 of the deadliest mass shootings in American history in just the last 5 months.
That may very well mean little, but there was a time when something like the Columbine shooting shook the whole world. And now this is just yet another mass shooting.

I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the older generations when it comes to fact-checking. Perhaps my parents' generation is in a sort of twilight here, but my grandparents were definitely the types to encourage me to use the library and check up on books and old newspapers, not just take a person's word at face value. The internet is largely lost on them, but I don't think that means they place no value on fact-checking.

So yes, I'm not against a taxpayer-subsidized healthcare system, as long as it discriminates between needs and wants. I do believe a government should tend to its citizens' health needs, but not their every whim as pertains to healthcare.
Having lived in Hungary (which has universal healthcare), I'm also wary of how one pays into these systems. In Hungary, every person is expected to pay in, even if you're unemployed. If you don't pay, you're in violation of the law and the fines simply add up. Hungary already had a dreadful homeless problem, and I don't know if these two things are linked, but I imagine the one is certainly not helping the other. I'm not even sure if the homeless have the same access to healthcare since they obviously don't pay in to the system.
I'm not sure about your 46,000 number. I looked it up, and the only studies offering that number were comparing deaths of uninsured citizens with those who have insurance, finding the aforementioned discrepancy. If this is the number you're referring to, then I take issue with it because I would be counted among them were I to die right now. I don't have health insurance, because I've never needed the hospital and haven't been to a doctor in years (even then, it was just a mandatory physical). So I instead choose to set aside some money from each deposit in case any medical needs should arise. If I were to die suddenly because of some undiagnosed condition, it wouldn't be due to a lack of access to healthcare, it would be simply due to how I choose to run my life. If implementing anything resembling a universal healthcare system would result in my being taxed beyond what I already am, I confess I would be extremely resistant.

Again, this is obviously just a matter of personal preference, but I'm not in favor of government dictating/negotiating drug prices (I'm not well-read on the issue, so I'm only responding to your statement, for the record). If companies outside the U.S. are offering it cheaper, then I support a citizen's right to buy what they want/need, thus depriving the local provider of their business. But the idea of the government forcing a company to do anything beyond comply with the laws we're all expected to follow, well, I'm cautious.
And I definitely think there is plenty of waste in virtually, if not literally, all areas of government spending. So I would really rather they reform their budget instead of simply taxing people more and more. The amount of money they're already getting, they should be doing a lot better than they are.

I'm certainly not trying to make the case that it's moral to buy off a politician. And if they lie about or otherwise try to hide this, then some disciplinary action may be necessary. But I still support the right of people to give money to whoever they want, for whatever purpose (as always, provided it's legal). I honestly don't know if it's specifically illegal to pay a politician in exchange for their promise to vote a certain way. If it is, then by all means, go ahead and prosecute. But ultimately, politicians only have the power they are granted by their constituents, and if people are really outraged at their representative, then they should recall them or at least not vote them back into office. From my perspective, people just get comfortable with certain names and faces, and don't want the other side to 'win', so they'll simply hold their nose and try to keep politicians even they think are bad.
I wouldn't argue that corporations are some kind of benevolent force. Not that everything he said is Gospel, but I grew up hearing my father repeating this mantra about corporations: "Profit over people." And I think it generally holds true. But if the citizenry are fed up with a corporation and/or a politician, then they should deny these people their support. As long as I have the ability to opt out of propping up such entities, I repeat my belief that they should simply be held to the same standard as all citizens.

I don't watch much television, and when I do, it's usually something recorded, so I rarely see commercials anymore. My only comment on the issue is that I don't think I've ever seen a commercial for guns, despite their immense popularity here. The only place I see guns being so fetishized (as one would expect a product to be in a commercial) is in movies, serials and video games. I'm not saying they're to blame, and I enjoy all of these. But I do think they speak to the culture, and I find it a bit hypocritical when celebrities start decrying gun culture, but seem to have no problem profiting off of its glamorization. As a person who fully supports any law-abiding citizen's right to own firearms, even I find it disturbing how quickly guns are made to be the solution in popular fiction.

Just now, I was reading about Kathy Griffin, and I don't know for sure if she was joking or not, but I'm inclined to believe she was sincere when she stated that she's been put on the no-fly list. I assume this is because of the video she did with the mock Trump head, and if so, I find that to be an utterly ridiculous reason for restricting one's ability to take an airplane. So when a comedian has their ability to fly restricted due to a controversial video, I'm not about to say that they should also lose their right to own a firearm.

A compromise bill probably wouldn't have been a bad thing. As I mentioned before, I see the issue as more a political football between the two major parties. But I also admit I'm a bit sensitive to this mental health issue, as I see this largely being a case of overdiagnosis. The majority of people I know have been diagnosed for something or other, and it just seems unlikely that they all have these issues which put their lives out of their control. This probably won't surprise you or anybody reading my posts, but I myself was basically diagnosed as "mentally ill" and in (supposedly) dire need of various drugs as well as a stay in a mental health facility. I rejected these diagnoses, perhaps rashly, but I've never been in a physical conflict with anybody who didn't initiate it themselves, and I lead a relatively productive life. So I do worry about profiteers who will misdiagnose people and end up costing them some of their rights. This may very well be my paranoia speaking, and I admit I'm biased by my own experience. But that's what I have to inform me.

Sorry, I don't recall if I stated it here or in a reply to somebody else, but I'm intentionally avoiding information about this latest shooting, at least for now. I've found that so many details get bungled in the immediate aftermath of these things, and I'd rather wait until everything is sorted out before making an assessment.
Anyway, I'm not inherently against restricting certain types of firearms from civilian purchase, or at least increasing the standards of being able to own one. But I would need to see how many homicides have been committed with a specific type of firearm versus how many people have used the same type for protection. Another user sent me Jim Jeffries' bit about gun control, and of course he's a comedian, even says his bit is not to be taken seriously. But obviously some people do, and one of the claims he makes that I've read/heard many times is that no one ever protects themselves with these kinds of firearms. But if you actually look up cases of self-defense with so-called assault rifles, you will find many cases. As I say, my standard for new law is analyzing how much life has been taken versus how much life has been preserved.
As we've seen with the attack in Nice, it's possible to murder almost 100 people inside of just 5 minutes with a truck. And I think it's important to note that the people who commit mass murder intentionally pick locations where they can rack up the highest kill count in the shortest period of time. That probably seems obvious, but I really do think that if it wasn't guns, we'd be seeing more mass attacks via other means.

I really hope it doesn't come off as my trying to normalize these mass shootings in any way. I just find it hard to be so focused on the means instead of the individuals. As has been pointed out, the U.S. has more guns than anywhere else in the world, and compared to how many gun-owners there are, it's the tiniest fraction of them who do these things. And I think it would be more helpful to figure out what's driving these people to so blatantly disregard the lives of others.



numberwang said:
GProgrammer said:

They can't be blaming this on mental issues because

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/28/trump-sign-bill-blocking-obama-gun-rule/98484106/

Trump signs bill reversing Obama rule to ban gun purchases by mentally ill

Do you think think Trump voters do most of the murders in the USA? Because most of the murders are concentrated in Democratic dominated districts.

1. Tell us again the political alignment of the majority of mass shooters?

2. If the Republicans would help the Democrats get the poor and socially under-served out of poverty, you'd have fewer murders in Democratic districts.  Instead, R's do everything they can to keep the poor poor because the resultant crime is a profitable enterprise and the poor can't exert social influence over the dominant white power structure.



Massimus - "Trump already has democrat support."

dirtylemons said:
Machiavellian said:

I would say that in the US the only way to deal with the issue is to go to the extreme.  Either you ban all guns and try to do what Australia did or you allow everyone including teachers, to have guns and go the wild west.  Half measures are not going to work in America because Americans love their guns more than they love anything else. 

Why would extremes be more favorable than moderation? Arming or disarming the entire populace seems like a recipe for disaster.

Because half measures do not work as we have seen.  If you want this type of stuff to go away or be reduced significantly.  There are a lot of guns in the US.  Getting a gun is very easy in the US for anyone.  Gun laws that really not going to deter someone from purchasing or obtaining a gun in the US unless it goes all out.  People that have their guns in the US will always preach about needing them for protection or some other excuse. 

Going back to the Wild West, would be like every nation having a nuke or the Cold War.  If everyone is armed everywhere then incidents can be responded to instantly and maybe less loss of life.  If you go the total ban, then you make illegal for anyone to have a gun and you put punitive crime.  No more stand your ground nonsense.  You kill with a gun you serve max time.  Hell, we could even make New York a prison for and dump anyone who disobey these rules.



Machiavellian said:
dirtylemons said:

Why would extremes be more favorable than moderation? Arming or disarming the entire populace seems like a recipe for disaster.

Because half measures do not work as we have seen.  If you want this type of stuff to go away or be reduced significantly.  There are a lot of guns in the US.  Getting a gun is very easy in the US for anyone.  Gun laws that really not going to deter someone from purchasing or obtaining a gun in the US unless it goes all out.  People that have their guns in the US will always preach about needing them for protection or some other excuse. 

Going back to the Wild West, would be like every nation having a nuke or the Cold War.  If everyone is armed everywhere then incidents can be responded to instantly and maybe less loss of life.  If you go the total ban, then you make illegal for anyone to have a gun and you put punitive crime.  No more stand your ground nonsense.  You kill with a gun you serve max time.  Hell, we could even make New York a prison for and dump anyone who disobey these rules.

But they already are being reduced significantly. Gun crime (and violence overall) has consistently gone down almost every year for over a quarter of a century. The current rates for the U.S. are less than half of what they were in the early 90s. I don't know what to attribute that to, but it would seem to be a good thing that gun violence is on the decline.