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Politics "Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -and both commonly succeed, and are right." -H.L. Menken

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Old 12-14-2012, 05:44 PM   #1
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Gun ownership and mental health (psychological) screenings

Fuck you if you think this is an appropriate solution to gun control.

If people have a right to defend their homes with weapons, then it follows that PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEFEND THEIR HOMES WITH WEAPONS!

So for those that think mental screenings would be an appropriate solution to gun control and gun violence, tell that to the person with social anxiety or the mentally handicapped who you think don't deserve to defend themselves because you think criminality is the result of an insanity.


...That is all.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:21 PM   #2
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Not to mention its not very logical, the guy got his guns from his mother's arsenal, and the Columbine shooters didn't buy their guns legally either.
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:40 PM   #3
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Finally, someone said it. We can't forget the bodies of the deceased are barely cold and this political and religious crap is being sounded off on various boards at the moment. With someone with personal ties to the situation, fuck all of you for trying to make it so.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:19 PM   #4
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Bourbon... I'm afraid you may have missed my point.

My thread WAS a political point in response to how people are scrambling to try and find solutions to what has just gone down.

This isn't a thread calling people to shut up and have a moment of silence for the deceased. I apologize if I led you to think it was.
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Old 12-14-2012, 09:29 PM   #5
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Sorry AshleyO. I'm just overrun with emotions because I have cousins who's kids go to that very school, not to mention one of my uncles is a part of the first responders that arrived shortly after it happened and as far as I can tell, he's still there helping with the clean up. If anything, I should have sat down and waited for at least a day before saying anything after I calmed down.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:03 PM   #6
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Don't apologize to me. There's no reason to.

You may as well say what you're going to say. Everyone else is, aren't they?

I just didn't want to confuse anything.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:14 PM   #7
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Yeah, everyone's going to say what they're going to say, but they should at least self edit like I normally do, except I didn't this time. I never meant to confuse anything myself and would prefer to try to keep the discussion going as the one who started the thread intended. I've just had a rough day and sometimes it's hard to read sarcasm in written word.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:00 PM   #8
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Fuck you if you think this is an appropriate solution to gun control.

If people have a right to defend their homes with weapons, then it follows that PEOPLE HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEFEND THEIR HOMES WITH WEAPONS!

So for those that think mental screenings would be an appropriate solution to gun control and gun violence, tell that to the person with social anxiety or the mentally handicapped who you think don't deserve to defend themselves because you think criminality is the result of an insanity.


...That is all.
I don't ever think it's ever been about "people having the right to defend themselves." Think about it.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:30 PM   #9
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With gun control? Oh sure. I can see in other ways why someone would want to limit gun control. The Mulford Act was a reaction to The Black Panthers becoming publicly militant.

Sorry. It's late and I could think about it, but I'd probably hit it on several points from different perspectives. I could dissect it all day tomorrow though.

There are some lines of dialogue as far as gun control that I don't think I've ever seen because most of the dialogue is between liberal pacifists and a bourgeois understanding of property defense from conservatives. Especially the conservatives. You start introducing the idea of grassroots political parties finding it necessary to arm themselves, they'll sing a different tune about who gets to own guns. Case in point with The Black Panthers.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:42 AM   #10
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Damn it... I was perpetuating this sort of mental illness/mass shooting connection. Exploring the idea further showed a whole world of science and fact that doesn't back it up. If mental illness were a solid factor, wouldn't there be more women and people of color who do this sort of thing as well?

My jury is still out on gun control, I've been having to re-evaluate the stance I was force-fed from birth.
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:20 AM   #11
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Ape. I almost... I ALMOST want to agree with you. That mass shootings such as this could be likely the result of white middle class discontent.

But even I'm not quite ready to make that leap even though so far as I have seen, most of the shooters of the past few decades seem to have been white and middle class. But we must also take into consideration that other kinds of crimes are under-reported or even reported differently.

So I want to say you're on to something, but even I don't think there's enough evidence to draw a conclusion of mass shootings based on class and race.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:09 AM   #12
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Mentally healthy individuals do not gun down 26 people.

The de facto restriction of health care (it's expensive thus hard for people without much money to get) means some people are not getting the help they need. It's entirely possible that something like that coupled with the perception or reality of desperate conditions create an atmosphere of crushing despair that can push people to awful places.

It's all speculation at this point until more information comes out.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:25 AM   #13
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Mentally healthy individuals do not gun down 26 people.

Holy. God. Damned. Shit.

You know... it actually took me a while to understand how oblivious you actually are. Admittedly, I could sort of get it, but this is crystal clear.

God forbid any mentally healthy individual ever finds it necessary to disturb your precious peace or they ever find it necessary to have to gun down 26 people in self defense.

Fuck you, Jon. You don't know people. This shit right here ^... this is YOUR standard and YOUR expectation of people. Well fuck you. It aint that simple.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:29 AM   #14
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Holy. God. Damned. Shit.

You know... it actually took me a while to understand how oblivious you actually are. Admittedly, I could sort of get it, but this is crystal clear.

God forbid any mentally healthy individual ever finds it necessary to disturb your precious peace or they ever find it necessary to have to gun down 26 people in self defense.

Fuck you, Jon. You don't know people. This shit right here ^... this is YOUR standard and YOUR expectation of people. Well fuck you. It aint that simple.
You know it is a goddamn leap to go from what I said to implying that I support a blanket ban on any person affected by mental illness you disingenuous fuck.

It's like you see my name on a post and you can't step on your dick fast enough to straw man me.

Shut up, AshleyO.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:47 AM   #15
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FUCK. YOU! This is not what I'm talking about. I already know that you don't support some blanket ban.

Let me try to clear this up for you.

Violence... in all of its manifestations... do not necessarily come from unhealthy minds.

DO YOU UNDERSTAND NOW? You short-sighted doughnut.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:35 AM   #16
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In order for a human being to pull the trigger on 20 kids + 6 adults, one of whom being the guy's own mother, something really wrong has to happen.

Ever read http://www.amazon.com/Killing-Psycho...dp/0316040932? It's fascinating. The book discusses how much mental conditioning is required to get professional soldiers to fire on other professional soldiers. People have an extreme natural aversion to violence and killing. To circumvent that, requires either a deliberate process to wear down the aversion, or an emotional and/or chemical (same thing it's all filtered through meat) imbalance, triggered by any number of stimuli.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:45 AM   #17
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...violence and mental instability are NOT completely connected. Mental conditioning is not the same thing as having a mental instability.

Holy shit.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:52 AM   #18
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...violence and mental instability are NOT completely connected. Mental conditioning is not the same thing as having a mental instability.

Holy shit.
Holy shit I didn't say they are the same thing, or that they were connected. They are two entirely different means that can (not WILL) result in aberrant behavior.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:31 PM   #19
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Mentally healthy individuals do not gun down 26 people.

The de facto restriction of health care (it's expensive thus hard for people without much money to get) means some people are not getting the help they need. It's entirely possible that something like that coupled with the perception or reality of desperate conditions create an atmosphere of crushing despair that can push people to awful places.

It's all speculation at this point until more information comes out.
Its not a fair reason to point out, a lot of people are trying to make this about mental health care, but its being a simpleton on a cultural problem. Yeah, some people don't get the help they need and its tragic, but others do and shit happens all the same. The Aurora shooter, it turned out, got excellent care from a psychiatrist who is a pioneer in violence prevention. A sense of alienation can be a factor, that perhaps healthcare COULD help with, but not necessarily, and so can the desire of infamy and adoration (mass killers and serial killers are seriously romanticized, and seem to really enjoy it.) We don't know enough to speculate.

And even if its mental illness, mental illness manifests itself in cultural ways. Someone in Florida is not going to get ice madness, and a Canadian with social anxiety disorder or agoraphobia isn't going to be diagnosed as a Hikikomori. When mass killings seem to be a social disease, we should really look for cultural reasons why this happens.

As for the army thing, the thing is, yes, I think generally when we live in comfort, we have an aversion to violence, but we also have a fight or flight response like every other animal. The best way the army gets soldiers to fight is to instill a feeling of fraternity, you look out after your own. Even when people get turned onto violence, they might not shoot if they don't feel like people are depending on them. During the GI Revolt in Vietnam, soldiers who would frag officers were still being violent and still had that sense of fraternity, but they still has a conscious to try and end the violence with the Vietnamese. In times of anomie, anybody can do horrible things. In times of war, everybody can do horrible things, even civilans with no army training (like what often happened during the collapse of Yugoslavia or civilian Nazi supporters).

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Ape. I almost... I ALMOST want to agree with you. That mass shootings such as this could be likely the result of white middle class discontent.

But even I'm not quite ready to make that leap even though so far as I have seen, most of the shooters of the past few decades seem to have been white and middle class. But we must also take into consideration that other kinds of crimes are under-reported or even reported differently.

So I want to say you're on to something, but even I don't think there's enough evidence to draw a conclusion of mass shootings based on class and race.
The book focuses more on serial killers than mass shooters (although they are talked about), but Hunting Humans by Elliott Leyton talks a LOT about factors of class in each study case. I had to read it for the course he used to teach before he retired, and the new professor supplemented with more recent studies, but what I remember is that often, the killers are seeking social status or power over those who have status over them. Kemper, for example, said he tried to only kill women who seemed rich, and was distressed and felt guilty when one of his victims he later suspected was actually poor. Bundy was very much like this, very obsessed with class and status, and sought to exert control and power and vengeance because he wanted to be elite. Can't have it, so must destroy it. Maybe one factor is the sense of entitlement to privilege.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:46 PM   #20
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That mass shootings such as this could be likely the result of white middle class discontent.
I don't think its discontent. I think it has more to do with people feeling entitled to use the bodies of others for their own purposes.

Looks like Saya already touched on this... it makes sense that she would as thinking more deeply about her points in discussions related to a shooting earlier this year.

Its like ****-culture, taken to a deadly extreme.
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Old 12-15-2012, 03:48 PM   #21
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In some patriarchal societies the men are given overt power of life and death over other people who are not men. One example is ancient Rome, fathers were given the right to kill their children, even if their offspring were well into adulthood.

There other examples if one cares to put a little time and research into it.

Also, if we recall it wasn't that long ago (in the us) that white dudes used to kill poc just to assert their dominance over them as they felt they were entitled to do.

The same sense of entitlement remains, it just seems that the folks who feel it are less and less discriminating about who they target.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:44 PM   #22
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Its not a fair reason to point out, a lot of people are trying to make this about mental health care, but its being a simpleton on a cultural problem. Yeah, some people don't get the help they need and its tragic, but others do and shit happens all the same. The Aurora shooter, it turned out, got excellent care from a psychiatrist who is a pioneer in violence prevention. A sense of alienation can be a factor, that perhaps healthcare COULD help with, but not necessarily, and so can the desire of infamy and adoration (mass killers and serial killers are seriously romanticized, and seem to really enjoy it.) We don't know enough to speculate.

And even if its mental illness, mental illness manifests itself in cultural ways. Someone in Florida is not going to get ice madness, and a Canadian with social anxiety disorder or agoraphobia isn't going to be diagnosed as a Hikikomori. When mass killings seem to be a social disease, we should really look for cultural reasons why this happens.

As for the army thing, the thing is, yes, I think generally when we live in comfort, we have an aversion to violence, but we also have a fight or flight response like every other animal. The best way the army gets soldiers to fight is to instill a feeling of fraternity, you look out after your own. Even when people get turned onto violence, they might not shoot if they don't feel like people are depending on them. During the GI Revolt in Vietnam, soldiers who would frag officers were still being violent and still had that sense of fraternity, but they still has a conscious to try and end the violence with the Vietnamese. In times of anomie, anybody can do horrible things. In times of war, everybody can do horrible things, even civilans with no army training (like what often happened during the collapse of Yugoslavia or civilian Nazi supporters).



The book focuses more on serial killers than mass shooters (although they are talked about), but Hunting Humans by Elliott Leyton talks a LOT about factors of class in each study case. I had to read it for the course he used to teach before he retired, and the new professor supplemented with more recent studies, but what I remember is that often, the killers are seeking social status or power over those who have status over them. Kemper, for example, said he tried to only kill women who seemed rich, and was distressed and felt guilty when one of his victims he later suspected was actually poor. Bundy was very much like this, very obsessed with class and status, and sought to exert control and power and vengeance because he wanted to be elite. Can't have it, so must destroy it. Maybe one factor is the sense of entitlement to privilege.
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.

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.

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.
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Old 12-15-2012, 05:53 PM   #23
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*snip*
Oh thank fuck. I was getting worried that my points were going to go amiss.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:56 PM   #24
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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.


Quote:
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.

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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.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:06 PM   #25
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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.
That is a hell of a question, isn't it? We know this kind of thing is not only an American phenomenon - for example the 2011 Norway attacks.

I do agree that access to health care is not the whole story - people can fall through or slip through the cracks. The best health care in the world is useless if it isn't taken advantage of, but it is extremely difficult to utilize something that isn't widely available.

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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.
Exactly - even if we had the most stringent psychological screening it would have been useless in the case of this specific incident. That doesn't necessarily make it a bad idea though. We all know that there is a staggering range of things that fall under the category of "mental health", and it can range widely in terms of how people are able to function. I think we can do a better job of making sure firearms are available to people who will be responsible owners without needlessly alienating people. We already have a very loose kind of psychological screening, http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-4473-1.pdf question 11f. Self reporting is a bit of a joke, but I don't think that taking a serious look at possibly expanding on that is a terrible idea to be discarded out of hand.

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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.
You're probably right, and that's too bad. If people need help they should get it, but forcing things on people seems wrong. Where exactly that line falls between allowing people to make their own decisions or stepping in when it becomes a clear health / safety issue is hard to distinguish.

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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.
Exactly. One of the ways that make it "easier" for people that have that natural aversion to killing is to create distance. It could be physical distance, like artillery strikes where you push a button and the blip on a screen goes away, or psychological distance (othering!) ethnic/racial distance, religious or political.

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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.
Right. In addition to the reluctance to kill another human being, is a built in sense of guilt/shame/horror at the action. That's a big part of the "traumatic" in PTSD. That's how healthy people react to horrible things. The "My god what have I done" factor. When people are able to repeatedly commit atrocities without experiencing that, something is very wrong. Whether it is a permanent or temporary natural state that doesn't allow them to experience it, or it is somehow conditioned out of them, in either case it indicates that there is a breakdown.

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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.
Of course. There's been a ton of research on how to get the desired results. There's a whole range of what people respond to. There's the deference to authority you mentioned, the group identification, individual conditioning... However to really commit atrocity is a whole other level.

"In Milgram's first set of experiments, 65 percent (26 of 40) of experiment participants administered the experiment's final massive 450-volt shock, though many were very uncomfortable doing so; at some point, every participant paused and questioned the experiment; some said they would refund the money they were paid for participating in the experiment. Throughout the experiment, subjects displayed varying degrees of tension and stress. Subjects were sweating, trembling, stuttering, biting their lips, groaning, digging their fingernails into their skin, and some were even having nervous laughing fits or seizures."

'Normal' people can be encouraged/pushed to do awful things, but there are definite mental and physiological consequences.
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