What actually should be done about gun violence in the US?

in guns •  19 days ago  (edited)

Every time after these shootings there's a push by certain people to restrict rights of various types. The most obvious is the "right to bare arms", which in the US is complex. There is also a drive after these latest attacks to censor social media even further, because these shooters have posted things online. There's also often this push for more policing of online forums by traditional enforcement, which I myself am very tempted to do, but also am very wary to do so, since freedom can be impacted.

There's also a temptation to blame mental health, because it is hard for many normal people to understand how these people become so violent. But often murderers are not necessarily murderers because they are mentally ill. Many of them may have mental health issues, but that's because many people have mental health issues. Many of them have issues with drugs, because many people have issues with drugs.

One of the things I did hear mentioned is that many of them have past incidents of violence, such as domestic violence.

I think there is something there in the talk about mental illness though.

The shooters are not just crazy people. Crazy people are not gonna shoot up any place. Statistically there is no link between mental illness and gun violence. In fact, apparently the mentally ill are less likely to commit gun violence. Of course, some may be more prone to self harm.

But, America is in a horrible state when it comes to mental health. The mentally ill just wander the street, many homeless, while others are locked up in jails, because we don't really have anywhere for them to receive care.

And if certain people who exhibited certain signs of violent tendencies received mental care, because we fixed the mental health issues in America, that might actually go a long way to fixing the issues of mass violence in America.

I actually heard some idiot say on TV that every country has mentally ill, but only America has this issue with gun violence.

Yeah...America has more of an issue than anyone else pretty much...because it's a combination of a ton of factors that are a huge problem. We have massive numbers of people with guns. We have massive numbers of guns. There are people with basements and bomb shelters and such full of guns, which make the numbers look a bit crazy when you talk about gun ownership. Quite a few of those guns in those numbers have also likely been lost, stolen, and/or smuggled over a border as well. The drug war caused a massive demand for illegal narcotics, which in turn built empires that have a massive demand for guns.

But surprisingly, they are not necessarily the ones doing mass shootings, it's often solitary people that just stew in their own hate until they boil over.

And if there were things in society that looked for the warning signs and then got them mental healthcare, that might go a long way to fixing the problem.

In a sense, they too are victims, of our society just being massively fucked up and not giving a damn about any of us. If years ago, when they were just a disaffected youth, someone has taken the time to talk about their problems and bring them into a circle that wasn't all about hate, with people that they could talk about their issues, but that helped them to overcome them, could all of those people have been saved?

In effect, I guess I'm asking if Hitler could have just ended up being a painter. Perhaps a pointless question that will just piss off people. But, at the same time, maybe there's some alternate reality where he was. Of course, maybe in one of those alternate realities where he was, someone else took his place.

I think that it's important that we do fix the mental health crisis in America though, even if it won't necessarily stop every shooter. Maybe it will just stop a few. Maybe a few more will become just normal people in society. Maybe a few people that would have perpetrated domestic violence will become more mentally stable. Or maybe just some people will get counseling and it will help them. It's worth doing in pretty much every case, unless they do such a fucked up job that it's just a waste of money and everyone's time...which is sadly somewhat of a pretty big possibility.

But the fact that government fucks most everything up isn't a reason to not try. It's just a reason to kick their ass until they get it right.

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Mental illness isn't the cause of gun violence though,

even if in some ways violence, domestic and otherwise, is somewhat of a mental health issue. These people often have issues with anger and other things that need to be addressed, but they are not mentally ill.

But, just like dealing with mental illness can't stop public shootings alone, neither can banning guns. Nah, are you a fucking idiot? Guns are totally the cause of shootings. They shoot things. Of course, you could also shoot people with air rifles. You can also blow them up. Or even just stab them. Of course, many people aren't necessarily smart enough to figure out how to build their own bombs without blowing themselves up. You can't buy a pre-built bomb at the local sporting goods store like you can with an AR-15. A few minutes and you have a mass killing device. Maybe with a few days wait.

But it's not like some background check will magically pick up all these mass shooters.

Not all of these people are convicts. I'm not sure how many are, but it often seems like most of these shooters at most were just angry young white dudes.

But, a background check is a call to the FBI to see if someone has a criminal background. That's a bit concerning, since it seems like they always can look up after what the deal was with their background check, meaning there's a database somewhere with everyone who's bought a gun. That means that someone could hypothetically hack that database and just go around robbing guns. Or the government could. But it also means that they could correlate who's buying massive stocks of guns with who's saying scary shit online. Not that that means that they're gonna necessarily shoot people up. Maybe they just got crazy views or they like saying crazy shit online, and like things that go bang.

There is a massive risk of losing our freedom of speech in all of this shit,

if we aren't seriously careful. What happens if they raid your house just because you said some shit online, then fucking kill you, and you didn't plan on doing shit? Nothing probably. Might not even be more than a blip on the news, if that. Maybe more likely to have the raid on the news than the fact that you were found innocent.

Many of the people on the mainstream media don't seem at all concerned with the potential censorship and freedom of speech concerns as they blatantly call for 8chan to be banned, and social media to step up censorship. Did none of these media outlets even consider inviting someone from the ACLU or another civil liberties organization to talk about the censorship implications? Nah? You don't care? Yeah, thought not.

Honestly, I don't really care that much about protecting someone's right to say Mexicans are stealing our jobs and brown people are gonna replace us all, but there are much bigger implications than that. Freedom of speech is more than just something in the constitution. It's a fundamental right that has various implications depending on the society. Some countries don't really care that much about the freedom for someone to speak their mind...until they overstep the line and people start to revolt. But freedom of speech is more than what some law or country says it is. Speech and expression is a freedom greater than any one thing. Limiting it in any way will have farther reaching implications than just what you intend it.

Lets say you pass a law that makes it illegal to encourage or incite violence. This is a common rule in the TOS of many online forums and social networks. War is a form of violence though. Revolution can often be violent. Even something simple that might seem like a good idea can be a really bad one, fully dependent on how it is enforce. We would need to be very careful in how we would write any such limitation on the freedom of speech, and how we would enforce it.

And if you think that this congress and/or senate could write and pass any such limitation, you gotta be fucking delusional. I'm surprised when they pass anything. And anything that they do pass has to have so much pork and corruption in it, just reading it, you gain 20 pounds and at least three pentagrams on your chest to summon the beast.

And thinking that social networks are going to work together to get rid of whatever you think incites violence is likely just as delusional. Believe it or not, there are people that run websites that believe in freedom of speech, even when a website ends up falling into the recesses like 8chan. They'll likely just sell it and move on with their lives.

But even if social networks did work together to deal with some problem that you think is causing violence with white supremacy, it will just drive these people somewhere else, which may have greater security, or perhaps be encrypted, ensuring that it's harder for law enforcement to track them.

Right now, they're actually calling for declaring Antifa a terrorist organization,

despite them never killing anyone. For years I didn't really understand the right wing hate of Antifa, because I actually only really knew about them from years prior, and occasionally hearing about them on the news, and thought it was just exaggerated. Unfortunately, the same thing happened with Antifa that has happened with the feminist organizations and others. Antifa is supposed to be anti-fascist. They're supposed to be the non-non-violent protestors that are just against like fascism and hate, and probably corporations and other shit a bit too. The problem is that they started calling everyone fascists and Nazis, rather than just the actual fascists.

Now, there actually is a grey area, which is what Trump kinda capitalized on. Supporting Trump does not make you a fascist, and you shouldn't attack someone just for supporting Trump.

Antifa was formed to fight neo-Nazis. They came out of the punk movement according to wikipedia, where sadly there are quite a number of skinheads. Skinheads and neo-Nazis aren't gonna attack you with kittens and rainbows. When you're fighting neo-Nazis, you kinda need your craziest most violent people, because they can bash heads. Sadly that has meant that they can occasionally be a little too violent, and get really negative press, because we have a massive network of right wing media in America, and they're left wing. It's not like most of those people probably got into it just wanting to punch a republican...okay...maybe some of them did. They kinda have seemed to get worse and worse as these non-liberal lefts have taken over the left wing.

I'm sure you've noticed that a lot of the left wing aren't so big on freedom of speech anymore. They don't really care if you have the right to speak your mind. They want you banned from all social media if you accidentally misspeak.

Yeah, it's a problem.

Same thing happened inside Antifa that happened in all of the left. Suddenly your opinion doesn't matter unless you agree with them, and they will wage war with you if you don't agree with them, and you're a Nazi.

It's sad and hard to admit.

Of course, "not all men". LOL! Everyone is different in real life, and the people that have taken a hold in the left that aren't necessarily liberal are not necessarily the majority.

Antifa has been the ones fighting the neo-Nazis and white supremacists until now. They are a major reason that there aren't more of them and they haven't taken hold. While punching a Nazi in the face doesn't change their mind, it might make them less likely to come out and rally their supporters. And when you face them off with protestors every time, you make it known that people oppose them. Even if that might give them more attention sometimes.

They're not a traditional organization though. They're more like anonymous. That's part of the problem. They have no leader. They do what they want to do as individuals. Many may be anarchists even.

I hope that many involved with Antifa take this all as a wake-up call though. Fox News and the president are declaring war on them. They have to make it clear that they're not terrorists. They have to consider possibly making a few more rules. I dunno.

Back to the subject at hand.

Limiting freedom of speech

and moving anyone that might have extremist views farther and farther into the recesses of the internet will do nothing. In fact, the ones that aren't horrible people and try to come back won't be able to, because bans on places like Facebook are forever and they have no recourse. Oh, you said something bad 10 years ago? Fuck off and die!

Many of the people that are gotten rid of and swept off with the rest will not be white supremacists either.

Limiting the sale of certain guns could probably severely decrease the number of shootings though.

Going to the heart of the matter is very effective. But you gotta seriously consider what you're passing, the wording of it, and why.

Can't say I have that much faith in those currently in office to pass anything well written.

Many politicians, including several of the Democratic presidential candidates, are calling for an assault weapons ban. Assault weapons are not a thing. It's just a fucking style or look. It's just saying you can't have a gun that looks like one from the movies or the ones carried by the military. You change the stock and the look of the gun, and suddenly it's legal.

But, limiting what guns are sold at different places is totally doable. It's just that if you aren't careful about what you're actually passing, you're not going to have any meaningful change.

For example, you could limit the guns sold in standard stores to only bolt action rifles if you wanted. Maybe you could sell shot guns and certain other guns as well, as long as their fire rate is low enough.

When you're talking about limiting what guns someone can own though, that is a bit more difficult to pass, and concerning, considering the law and history of the right to bare arms in America.

You don't have a right to bare arms in order to hunt though.

You don't even have a right to bare arms in order to protect your personal property...well...at least not from robbers. You have the right to bare arms to join the militia.

Oh, you aren't part of the militia? You don't even know what a militia is really? Yeah...that's because the government has already killed a fuckton of militias, and has a massive standing military. There are still some small militias, but they aren't integral to the defense of the nation anymore, like they're supposed to be. Really, the American military should be split up into a ton of much smaller militias that defend America, and are not led by one single leader.

Yep, America's supposed to have a decentralized military.

I actually might not have a problem with joining a militia if it were formed like that. One of the major drawbacks of the military is that you lose all your freedoms. A militia might be just a bit of training and then you're in the reserves. But I digress.

Much like the right to bare arms isn't for hunting or personal protection, kinda, most of the supposed solutions to gun violence are kinda bullshit.

Assault weapons are not a thing, as we already established, they're just a look. Like pretty pink paint on your guns. Illegalizing assault weapons doesn't do much. Of course, the legislation could do more than just illegalize a look of a gun. It might implement other limitations. Background checks likewise wouldn't necessarily protect us from mass shooters. The gun show loophole likewise is not actually a thing. You get a background check at a gun show just like everywhere else...if they're a licensed gun seller.

What the "gun show loophole" is actually talking about is that if you buy a gun from a private citizen, that private citizen does not have to run a background check.

I don't even know how a private citizen would really know how to run a background check, if they could really. I guess if we did make it so they had to run them, some service to do it for them would pop up. If that service doesn't already exist.

I can't imaging the shady guy selling guns out of the back of his van or trunk of his car would really care, but that's not really what most people that sell their guns are like. Most people that sell their guns to private citizens are normal people selling their guns to other normal people. And you know what those people do with those guns they buy from other normal people? Shoot them at a gun range after registering them, mostly. Maybe keep them in a gun safe.

It's not like there really is a bunch of criminals buying guns at gun shows. In reality, criminals don't need to go to a gun show. Hell, they could probably find a guy on Facebook or Craigslist. But, if you know a guy...

I've never really thought about how to get one...but it's not like I probably don't know someone who knows someone. But all of this shit is just like fucking myths. There are enough guns out there, if you really wanted one, you could probably find one though.

Passing laws for stricter gun control to make it harder to get guns might decrease gun violence and crime and maybe even suicides, over time...but a lot of the shit that they talk about normally wouldn't necessarily touch mass shootings.

The young troubled teens that have become the stereotype for mass shootings don't have records. At most they have a few weird interactions and some things that people thought were a little weird, but might not necessarily be the best thing to cause someone to get put on a watch list.

Oh, they like going to a gun range? So do tons of people. Including a bunch of people that buy guns because they're worried about mass shooters. You know what keeps people from shooting random strangers when they pull out their gun? Practicing at the gun range.

Of course, if they say they wanna kill everyone, and have plans on their wall of buildings, next to a display of a bunch of assault weapons, that might be a red flag. Or maybe they're just really into architecture and guns and are aware that people suck.

Making laws about red flags might be seriously dangerous if you don't write them perfectly...or if who's got the power to determine what is a red flag and what happens to you makes a poor decision. Maybe you're just a kid that has been picked on and abused by other kids, but would never actually kill anyone, but maybe were in a dark place. Maybe you could end up taken away and put in some facility and then end up never really recovering and having a shitty life where you just always are poor and live in a shitty rat hole.

Sound far fetched? Yeah...except every day people are put in prison for some tiny mistake that might not even be their fault, and it fucks up their entire life.

But there are a ton of things we could do.

We could make it harder to get guns. We could make people pass background checks...but that alone won't help against new offenders. It will help against gun deaths as a whole though. We also could pass laws limiting the types of guns, but don't think for a fucking minute that some law that makes it so you can only get wooden weapons that kill masses of people will actually make anyone safer. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's really important that mass shooters look cool while they do it. In that case, maybe pass a law that all guns have to be bright pink. Would make them a lot easier to see.

Likewise, making these social media sites more limited in free speech won't do jack shit but make us less free.

About the only thing that will make us safer and maybe work on mass shootings is mental health reform, ironically. But it would require them to do it right. Passing some bullshit law that puts people away because people think they're a danger to themselves or others...HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE! Yep, those laws exist. We would have to ensure that there are mental health professionals in schools and people actually get healthcare and can see someone when they're troubled without it costing an arm and a leg.

We could also pump up the investigations of white supremacist, but they would probably catch a number of questionable conservatives that are borderline. I hate to be the barer of bad news, but talking about people of another race replacing you is white supremacy 101. So when they talk about Mexicans stealing your job, that's kinda racists. He didn't steal your job anyway. The rich asshole gave it to him because he can pay him far less under the table.

The FBI should be investigating domestic terror to a far greater degree than they are though. For a long time they've kind of ignored it. It's kinda hitting the fan now. Maybe they should get on that.

There's a lot of things we could do to make things better, but the bottom line is that any legislation has to be done right...and when both sides are lying a bit, and can't seem to work together on anything...it doesn't give me a lot of hope.

Maybe we could make some massive bill that helped reform mental health and made it so that you had to have a mental health evaluation to get a gun to ensure you weren't gonna kill a bunch of people. And maybe we could limit certain things like bump stocks...not that they couldn't 3D print them. Maybe we could make it a bit harder to get guns...but we'd have to do it right, especially if we wanted Republicans to vote for it...or just do it so poorly that they were fine with it. But if we actually want to solve the problem of mass shootings in America, we have to actually change society so people stop going fucking kill crazy all the time. And that's not easy. None of this is fucking easy. Don't believe anyone that tells you it is. There is no law that they got anywhere near passing that will even touch this issue.

Also, it's fucking amazing that you read this far. Writing this took all day.

Please, leave a comment below, even if you disagree. Tell me why you disagree.

Unless you are now convinced that for some reason I'm just some idiot that "watches CNN". I don't know why that's a thing. I technically watch all the news networks, Fox the least of all, because it's gotten really fucking bad lately and can't even really be called news, but I fucking hate CNN. I'm not sure if I would call them left wing necessarily, but they have exploited their image as left wing for ratings, and it's resulted in some weird ass shit that I don't really like. I prefer non-partisan news, but since there's no mainstream media left like that, I usually watch bits from them all.

Correction...I do know why that's a thing...but talking points about liberals watching CNN and how they're all idiots and blah blah blah are just moronic.

Anyway, leave a comment below, before I write more.

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Wow you wrote quite a bit here. I went to skim over it and get the gist and it just kept going. I'll probably find it an enjoyable read based on what I've read of yours.

Maybe I'll make a reciprocal wall of text after I read it all.
:)

P.S. This post has 9 tags. What gives? Did something change the amount you can have?

Yeah, you can have a max of 10 on SteamPeak now.

Hopefully you enjoy it. If it hadn't been freewrite I probably could have shortened it up a bit. Maybe I'll do a rewrite...cuz it's so long no one's gonna read it.