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Old 12-15-2012, 07:56 PM   #24
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Join Date: Oct 2005
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Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
There will always be outliers. Of course giving everyone the very best in health care, and being part of loving families and having meaningful and enjoyable work, it's still entirely possible for people to do awful things, and I do not believe there is any way the dangers of that can ever be fully mitigated. Like you said, maybe someone wants to be (in)famous, or make a religious or political point, or any number of possibilities.

Doing more to make treatment options not only available, but also doing more to remove the stigma attached to it can make it more likely for people to get the help they need, and hopefully head off as much heartache as possible.
But why do you see those outliers way more in America than you do in other countries? Its not necessarily better access to mental health care; its pretty hard to get it for free in Canada, for example. We do have guns, not machine guns, but there's still remarkably lower gun violence and violence in general. In many cultures with very low in-group violence, they simply do not have the values of dominance and competition that we do, at least not inside the groups.

If someone is likely to be a danger to themselves or others, then I don't think it's a good idea for them to have weaponry. However, if they are that much of a danger, then they really should be getting help anyway. The people that aren't dangerous to themselves or others... aren't dangerous to themselves or others and should be considered outside the scope.
Assuming the boy didn't have any help (his parents, again, were extremely wealthy, and its actually hard to get a proper diagnosis to begin with, so if the reports are true, he has had healthcare, very possibly great healthcare), there is absolutely nothing about gun control that could have stopped this, unless to own a gun you want an entire household and every houseguest they'll ever have do a psychological screening test before they can buy a gun. The boy's mother bought the gun, not himself. He didn't "own" the gun, and there's very little you can do without getting pretty invasive about who has access to who's guns.

I don't think it would help the stigma. My sister is a bartender and was telling me her regulars were trying to argue that autistic people should all be registered and forced into getting some kind of help. Its not helping stigma if its turning into scapegoating and witch hunts.

Furthering the military comment, there were many accounts of Civil War soldiers repeatedly loading weapons. They wouldn't fire, even in the setting of a battlefield were other people were shooting at them. They'd pantomime the actions expected of them, and found after the fact lying next to their rifle loaded with multiple shots, without once having actually fired. It's an amazing contrast between some of these people, being put in the place were violence was not only allowed but actively encouraged and rewarded, and to see the unwillingness to engage in it, set against how easily it seems others can resort to it.
I'm aware of this, actually in World War 1 only 15% of soldiers would shoot, World War II wasn't much better. Training was basically "this is how you use a gun!" There's one machine gunner on the German side who was responsible for half the deaths on the landing of Normandy. There's a lot of factors that go into it, that gunner actually survived and talked about how it was fairly easy when they're far away, it was only that when others got close that he started to feel bad. In Hearts And Minds, one Vietnam vet who flew planes talked about how he found it very easy to drop bombs, because it was so mechanical and he never saw the bodies. I think this is probably why so many people don't have a problem with drone strikes, its only the other side that is getting hurt at all and none on our side has to deal with it.

Now a big problem with that is not necessarily all veterans were so filled with love for all of God's creatures that they couldn't shoot; I'm not too too familiar with the American Civil War, but in WWI you have to understand that the fatality rate was huge. To shoot was to give away your position and very likely get shot. Self preservation has a lot to do with it as well.

Not only that, but I don't think soldiers are the only ones getting trained in times of war. Didn't we condone it? Didn't we send them off to kill for us, and changed our tune when it turned out we were wrong and we weren't helping? Romney never served in the army, but he was far more violent than lets say John Kerry, who was a combat veteran and a member of Vietnam Veterans Against The War, Romney was arrogant enough to get out of the draft and yet push and protest to send others to die in his place. A civilian warmongerer is worse than a soldier who's plenty capable of knowing what's going on.

Versus could talk more about this, but I don't want to ask him to, so he is more than welcome to tell me I'm wrong, but soldiers just aren't turned into mindless sadistic killers. Some become more violent that "good" soldiers are supposed to be, but we should be very aware and we've known a very long time that exposure to combat causes some degree of psychological harm.

There's also the fact that you don't have to go through training to be one of most! people who are willing to cause harm because an authority figure told you to.
Adorn your hearts, you who see the blossoms
At flower-viewing hall
For the Buddha does not exist
Apart from this.

-Princess Yodo
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