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  #1    
Old January 16th, 2013, 08:56 PM
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I read an article on Cracked (so right away, you know that it isn't a reliable source) saying that the problem wasn't guns, video games, or whatever, but that we glorify the troops. We say they're "heroes", and everyone wants to be in the troops, everybody "supports the troops", but not everybody can.

Not that Cracked is the Bible to social issues, but I think they bring up some good points. The gun debate boils down to one point anyways: What would be some points in which we could take action and reduce violence in America?
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Old January 16th, 2013, 09:16 PM
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Stop glorifying violence as a culture and make sure parents are more responsible about what their children are exposed to, AKA be a better parent.
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  #3    
Old January 16th, 2013, 09:33 PM
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I have to agree for most part with Livewire. However, I believe mental illness, poverty, and desperation also play a part.

Also, not all military personell kill people. I've come across quite a few troops while working at my job who just do menial tasks that aid the military, like cooking and doing radio work (like my grandfather did). I don't know about the "heroes" part, but most troops are taught to survive instead of murder. Unfortunately, in a lot of war situations, survival demands you take another life and I've yet to meet a soldier who's proud of the fact that he/she's killed another human being. And war takes it's toll on everyone, even soldiers.

Suicide rates amongst American soldiers are at an all time high. Take a moment to think about some of the reasons why.

The final part in this film made me realize military life isn't as black and white as people want to believe:



Don't demonize someone just because they're in combat fatigues.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 03:00 AM
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I don't think it's even possible to narrow down to a single cause for violence. There are so many factors that could be taken into account. You have causes stemming from environmental circumstances (rough neighbourhood), childhood growth and treatment (probably ties in with environmental circumstances), cultural clauses etc etc.

Though I do think we should be making more of an effort to really shun criminal behaviour or violence in general so that people learn to make the establishment that it's not something that they should be proud of. I wouldn't know how it is in other countries, but in Australia we really have the problem of everyone being so closely tied into thinking the way it's reported on the news. And when things should be reported on the news in a harsh manner, they are usually ignored. It is extremely easy to find cases of abuse or violence simply walking around the area due to the fact the punishment system here is so utterly weak that it really doesn't exist (unless of course you're avoiding government fees, then you really get beaten).

In my personal opinion the largest causes would have to be the ever complicating society that we are growing into that really causes confusion for a lot of people, and for those who don't have the moral support it really destroys them. Another huge factor (not so much here) but in other countries that I've noticed is this really justification of war, "the sworn oath to defend your country and become a hero!"

But in essence, you could probably write a set of books and still have room for more on the topic. It's extremely general.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 04:21 AM
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What kind of violence are you referring to? Gun control? Domestic abuse? Bullying? There are really so many subcategories that fall under the heading of "Violence".

Personally, I think it's human nature to be violent. Look at Cain and Abel, the first recorded act of violence in human history. There were no wars, no propaganda, no media influence, no (diognosed) mental illnessess. Just a human being who felt threatened. The most basic human (and non-human) instinct when one feels threatened by it's peer(s) is to dominate. Think about this: why do newborn babies, with no knowledge of right or wrong, clench their fists when they get angry? Take the basic human instinct to dominate and throw in weapons, religious views and power and you've just created the recipe for disaster.

Not to mention some of it is just common sense. "We're seeing more and more acts of violence every decade". Well derp, of course you are. The human race is multiplying at an exponential rate, so it's only natural there are going to be more people wanting to dominate and more people to dominate.

I'm not saying any of this justifies acts of violence. All I'm trying to say is that people need to chill out and stop asking why. To admit that violence is hard-wired into our brains is to admit that human beings are flawed, something not everyone is so readily able to admit. We need to focus more on ourselves rather than trying to put the blame on everything else..

As for a solution to violence in general, that's a totally different discussion. Personally I think it's a matter of a much needed spiritual revolution, which in itself is a totally different discussion.

Very broad topic.
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  #6    
Old January 17th, 2013, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by CarcharOdin View Post
I have to agree for most part with Livewire. However, I believe mental illness, poverty, and desperation also play a part.
Mental illness I could see, mainly with sociopaths and anti-social personalities. The mentally ill are more often the victims of violence than the ones causing it.

Poverty and desperation are definitely two major causes. People in poverty tend to form their own counterculture that clashes directly with the law. (see "Code of the Street"). This contributes to a lot of violence, particularly in cities.

It's also worth noting that most violent crimes aren't planned, but are committed out of extreme emotion/desperation.

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  #7    
Old January 17th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Violence itself isn't a problem. It's people expressing their violent urges badly. Everyone gets angry, but most people can control themselves and not attack someone. We can't get people to stop feeling angry and having violent thoughts, but we can teach people how to handle those thoughts and feelings.

Empathy, I think, is the best thing you can teach someone, but also one of the most nebulous. It's not a skill in the typical sense, but it is nevertheless important that people learn it. It's what lets us see things from someone else's point of view and realize that you're hurting someone who has feelings like you do when you attack them. We have a lot of things in our culture which people use as excuses for ignoring "the golden rule," most of them ultimately boil down to "they're different." It's okay to be mean to them because they're different.

Now if that were all it wouldn't be so bad, but we make it ridiculously easy to act violent and get away with it. Weapons are everywhere and we stupidly defend the misguided notion that we should have them.
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  #8    
Old January 17th, 2013, 04:21 PM
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The problem is that we're descended from animals that fought and killed to survive. Violence is a basic part of human nature and the tendency toward it exists in all of us. All this crap people keep throwing out to explain it away is just stupid. You take a kid raised in isolation his whole life and make some sort of attack on something he values (his life, stuffed toy friend, whatever) and you'll provoke a violent response. Part of raising a child is training them to be able to keep those violent urges in check and teaching them that there are better ways to solve a problem than by physically harming the instigator(s). If there's a failure, it's because some combination of parents, school, and any other major caregiver failed to adequately raise the child.
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  #9    
Old January 17th, 2013, 05:17 PM
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Taking weapons like guns away would make it a hell of a lot harder to harm someone as effortlessly as they do now. You can't really prevent people from attacking each other or having anger issues, but you can at least take away some tools. It's not hard to shoot someone in the heat of the moment when you have a gun within reach.
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  #10    
Old January 18th, 2013, 10:12 AM
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Taking weapons like guns away would make it a hell of a lot harder to harm someone as effortlessly as they do now. You can't really prevent people from attacking each other or having anger issues, but you can at least take away some tools. It's not hard to shoot someone in the heat of the moment when you have a gun within reach.
Pretty much. You can deal with guns (not completely, but mostly), but dealing with violence in general is something else entirely. With fewer guns, there will at least be (hopefully) fewer fatalities.
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  #11    
Old February 1st, 2013, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twocows View Post
The problem is that we're descended from animals that fought and killed to survive. Violence is a basic part of human nature and the tendency toward it exists in all of us. All this crap people keep throwing out to explain it away is just stupid. You take a kid raised in isolation his whole life and make some sort of attack on something he values (his life, stuffed toy friend, whatever) and you'll provoke a violent response. Part of raising a child is training them to be able to keep those violent urges in check and teaching them that there are better ways to solve a problem than by physically harming the instigator(s). If there's a failure, it's because some combination of parents, school, and any other major caregiver failed to adequately raise the child.
People forget that we are indeed animals who have killed and hunted other animals, even our own in some cases, to the top of the food chain. Violence in inherent to human beings, as with almost all creatures. I would go on to add what I neglected to mention in my forst post, and what Odin added afterwards, the addition of poverty, socioeconomic status, etc, & mental illnesses that can exacerbate our deeper tendencies.
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  #12    
Old February 2nd, 2013, 06:41 PM
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I think nationalism and religion are the main causes for violence. They also bring people together in harmony.

Everything in moderation and minding your own business is quite important!!
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Old February 12th, 2013, 09:43 AM
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However, I believe mental illness
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Originally Posted by Livewire
mental illnesses that can exacerbate our deeper tendencies.
Mental illness is not the cause. Outside of substance abuse disorders and antisocial personality disorder, people who are mentally ill are equal to or less likely than the normal population to be violent. In fact, people who are mentally ill are 2.5 to 4 times more likely to be the victims of aggressive crime.

Psychology!
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Old February 12th, 2013, 10:23 AM
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Mental illness is not the cause. Outside of substance abuse disorders and antisocial personality disorder, people who are mentally ill are equal to or less likely than the normal population to be violent. In fact, people who are mentally ill are 2.5 to 4 times more likely to be the victims of aggressive crime.

Psychology! :)
So aside from two big ones, undiagnosed mental illnesses don't contribute to any crimes? Funny how most of these big killings involve some mentally unstable and/or 'manic-depressive-off-their meds' type who finally snaps or decides to act on their dark tendencies.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 10:50 AM
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So aside from two big ones, undiagnosed mental illnesses don't contribute to any crimes? Funny how most of these big killings involve some mentally unstable and/or 'manic-depressive-off-their meds' type who finally snaps or decides to act on their dark tendencies.
You're putting words in my mouth a titch. XD I didn't say that people with a mental illness don't commit crimes. I'm saying they don't commit violent acts any more often than the "normal" population does.

I hate to be that person that points this out, but I'm sorta offended by the way you described bipolar disorder - that's a very hurtful stereotype of people with that disorder. When properly medicated, bipolar disorder is very manageable and the "off-the-meds" stereotype is hurtful towards people who do take their medication regularly or otherwise would if they had the resources to get treatment.

I'm really struggling to reply to this. There are just so many things here that I want to say. This blog post does it much better and probably more concisely than me.

Fake edit: I can't post links yet, so here's a quote.

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First of all, mental illness is being talked about as if it’s something that the state can just fix. I’m seeing Facebook status updates everywhere that read kind of like this: “No matter what you think about gun control, dealing with mental illness is our first priority.” Don’t get me wrong – I think that identifying mental illnesses at a young age and providing care, treatment and resources for families struggling to deal with them is essential. But I think inherent in this statement is a 1-1 assumption that mass murderers = mentally ill people who could have lived normal lives if only they had been treated in just the right way. The problem with this is it’s kind of naive (can we really eliminate violence from society that simply?) and also implicates the mentally ill in a way that isn’t fair. Mental illness comes in infinite shades, and many of them are not violent.
...
We do need a conversation about mental illness in America, but it should not be in response to the question, “How can we eliminate violence?” This creates a prompt where mentally ill people are cast as the problem in need of a solution, painted as scary and broken, and most problematically, “fixable.” I wish that we cared about mental illness because we understood how painful it makes the lives of those who suffer from it, and how complicated it makes the lives of their families. I wish it was because we want to inspire more understanding of complexity, more of a drive for creativity to help people understand one another. I worry that instead we are just creating fear and stigmatization of a misunderstood group of people when really what we’re trying to do is talk about something other than guns.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 10:56 AM
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So aside from two big ones, undiagnosed mental illnesses don't contribute to any crimes? Funny how most of these big killings involve some mentally unstable and/or 'manic-depressive-off-their meds' type who finally snaps or decides to act on their dark tendencies.
It is true that people with mental illnesses are less likely to be violent and more likely to be victims of violence. Of course there are going to be exceptions.

It feels a bit funny the way you ask "undiagnosed mental illnesses don't contribute to any crimes?" as if you're suggesting it's the mental illness which is an underlying cause. Could not a person be violent for other reasons and just happen to be also mentally ill? Like if you had a poverty-stricken person who grew up around violence their whole life who also had a mental illness and they shot someone, would you say it's because they are mentally ill?

And as far as I can tell, most of these big shootings aren't done by someone snapping. They're usually planned out, at least in the sense that you usually read about how the person was talking/thinking/writing about how much they hate this or that and how they wanted to shoot a bunch of people.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 11:55 AM
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It is true that people with mental illnesses are less likely to be violent and more likely to be victims of violence. Of course there are going to be exceptions.

It feels a bit funny the way you ask "undiagnosed mental illnesses don't contribute to any crimes?" as if you're suggesting it's the mental illness which is an underlying cause. Could not a person be violent for other reasons and just happen to be also mentally ill? Like if you had a poverty-stricken person who grew up around violence their whole life who also had a mental illness and they shot someone, would you say it's because they are mentally ill?

And as far as I can tell, most of these big shootings aren't done by someone snapping. They're usually planned out, at least in the sense that you usually read about how the person was talking/thinking/writing about how much they hate this or that and how they wanted to shoot a bunch of people.
I'm not saying that if you happen to be mentally ill then you're automatically a sociopath just waiting for a chance to kill people. But many times these killers have deep rooted mental issues and/or disorders that contribute to their behavior. Jared Lee Loughner, the shooter of Gabby Giffords in 2011, was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic.

And I agree, there are many other factors that contribute to violence, namely poverty, socioeconomic status, hard drugs and alcohol, ease of access to deadly weapons, etc. It can vary on a case by case basis, but all of those things create a toxic cocktail that produces violent behavior. They all contribute.

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I hate to be that person that points this out, but I'm sorta offended by the way you described bipolar disorder - that's a very hurtful stereotype of people with that disorder. When properly medicated, bipolar disorder is very manageable and the "off-the-meds" stereotype is hurtful towards people who do take their medication regularly or otherwise would if they had the resources to get treatment.
.
Again, I'm not saying mental illness = violence. Perhaps we misinterpreted each other. It's unfortunate, yes, but that is the stereotype. And I'm aware of that. And if our goddamned congress would do anything about it, then people would have easy access to the proper medications they need. I already articulated my views into earlier posts in regards to the OP.
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  #18    
Old February 13th, 2013, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Livewire
I'm not saying that if you happen to be mentally ill then you're automatically a sociopath just waiting for a chance to kill people. But many times these killers have deep rooted mental issues and/or disorders that contribute to their behavior. Jared Lee Loughner, the shooter of Gabby Giffords in 2011, was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic.
I don't know about this particular case, but just because a person has a mental illness doesn't mean that said illness definitely contributed to their behaviour. You can be schizophrenic without your schizophrenia contributing to your behaviour - either by receiving proper medication and support or by simply not being a violent schizophrenic, something which is probably far rarer than you realise.

I feel like people are really quick to link violence with mental illness, which I really doubt is helped by news and media; you hear often of people with mental illnesses murdering people or being violent or whatever, but when was the last time you saw "Person diagnosed with schizophrenia - does absolutely nothing" as a headline? I imagine it was never, because no-one really cares about that. If it's not controversial it's not interesting so when given an opportunity to link something like mental illness to violence people will absolutely love that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Livewire
So aside from two big ones, undiagnosed mental illnesses don't contribute to any crimes? Funny how most of these big killings involve some mentally unstable and/or 'manic-depressive-off-their meds' type who finally snaps or decides to act on their dark tendencies.
In general I... really feel like mental illness is used as a bit of a scapegoat here and it's actually pretty damaging to mentally ill people. I personally find it pretty offensive that it's a) assumed that mental illness is the underlying cause of violence and for that reason, treating it rather than the real underlying cause (whatever that may be) will solve the problem when in reality I feel like mental illness accounts for a very small proportion of violent crime which is blown up by media and b) it's assumed that people 'off-the-meds' are automatically unstable and dangerous. A lot of people with mental illnesses are totally fine without medication and are able to handle their condition by themselves using their own techniques which they've developed over time. It's very possible in many cases. People also have a good number of reasons why they might decide not to take medication; they might not have access to medication for financial reasons, they don't want to feel reliant on medication, they may feel like medication makes them worse, whatever. Usually it's actually quite a legitimate reason and usually people who don't take medication will have other resources to help them cope. I'm also not at all fond of these 'dark tendencies', mentioned in this thread and in others iirc, which it's assumed that mentally ill people have. Generally because they, uh, don't have them. There's a difference between dark thoughts and dark tendencies - many mentally ill people have dark thoughts, sure, but very few act on them. But once again, you only hear of the ones that do.

I'll also throw this out there - I can say with a fair degree of certainty that many of you guys know people with mental illnesses which you don't know about and, because of the huge numbers of misconceptions and negative stereotypes surrounding mental illnesses, which they've likely chosen not to share with you for fear of judgement or whatever despite being absolutely normal, outwardly healthy people who can handle themselves just fine and don't turn into mass murderers at the drop of a hat. I wish this was an issue which more people would talk about to help clear up misconceptions about it but it's a bit of a vicious cycle; as long as these misconceptions continue, mentally ill people won't want to come clean about their conditions and as long as they don't come clean about them, the misconceptions won't be resolved. It's an awkward situation but honestly I feel like the assumption, implied whether or not deliberately, that the mentally ill are dangerous is just about as valid as the old assumptions that all black people were thieves or that all homosexuals were paedophiles. We shouldn't be dealing with stuff like that in this day and age.
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Old February 16th, 2013, 06:55 PM
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Taking weapons like guns away would make it a hell of a lot harder to harm someone as effortlessly as they do now. You can't really prevent people from attacking each other or having anger issues, but you can at least take away some tools. It's not hard to shoot someone in the heat of the moment when you have a gun within reach.
I respectfully disagree. Weapons don't kill people, people kill people. If we start banning weapons because they're being used for murder, shouldn't we ban knives? After all, they're both used for injury, as well as other purposes.

I'm involved in competitive marksmanship at my high school, and we learn extreme basics of safety, and the person who is handling the items are the most important factor.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 10:45 PM
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I respectfully disagree. Weapons don't kill people, people kill people. If we start banning weapons because they're being used for murder, shouldn't we ban knives? After all, they're both used for injury, as well as other purposes.
Gun control isn't a question of principle, but an issue of practicality. While your logic makes sense, the gun control view is that guns are simply too darn dangerous - and it's the people who don't respect safety, value human life, think violence is the go-to way to solve problems that use the gun to such dangerous effect. While you can't control people, you can (at least to a better extent than you control people, but let's not even go there) control guns. Also it is much easier to use a gun offensively, all I have to do is shoot without getting into harms way - and if you can shoot, they die. At least with a knife you have to get up close and personal - I think they've had this conversation 500 years ago when knights were just beginning to adopt firearms XD just a joke.

As a Canadian I'm happy that guns are as controlled as they are. I also believe that you can't just start banning weapons in the States because guns are simply everywhere and they can't be regulated because they are so untraceable and commonplace. Also because the law abiding citizens will hand in their guns, but the criminals will still have theirs. But an important disclaimer: this is again, an issue of practicality. As a principle, a weapon as dangerous as a gun should be banned and I advocate for their sudden disappearance from the world, but it is simply impractical and unexpected-consequences-prone to enact a blanket gun ban.
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Old February 26th, 2013, 09:17 AM
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I think seeing violence can influence others to do it themselves. For example, if a kid sees their parents or older siblings doing something violent, they might want to act out on it.
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