ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This article does a good job of analyzing what underlies mass shootings. Remember that America has had plentiful guns for a couple of centuries and only recently developed a persistent problem of mass shootings. Also there are other countries with guns that don't have this problem. So if you want to fix it, you have to look at the root causes, which include...


* Intolerance and segregation. The more separated people are by race, class, gender, etc. the more they tend to think of different as "other," lesser, and fair game for torment. The more integrated, the better the chance of making friends across the lines and learning to use diversity for constructive problem-solving.

* Violent propaganda. It is widely taught and demonstrated that "might makes right." This plays into a massive morass of violent problems in America today including child abuse, domestic battery, police brutality, etc.

* Poor job prospects. People who can't get a job that pays enough to live on feel frightened and angry. It is difficult or impossible for them to participate in society, so they feel little if any loyalty to it.

* Social fragmentation. When job options, home insecurity, and other forces drive people to move frequently then that shatters social ties. The family has gone from extended to nuclear to now having lots of singles and single parents. When people don't have a social support network, that undermines their ability to handle challenges well. It also means that more kids grow up without learning a good set of coping skills.

* Lack of meaning. People want their lives to matter. They want to make a difference -- usually, want to make the world a better place. Profession, relationships, and home are among the things most people turn to for meaning. Unemployment and menial labor, lack of family ties, and frequent moves undermine that sense of significance. People go looking for ways to fill the gap, and that can leave them vulnerable to cults, violence, and other problems.

So how do we fix it?

Gun control will help little if at all, because the problem isn't the guns. It's the people who think that violence is a good way to express feelings and solve problems. Even if you could take away the guns, they would just find some other way to make trouble, and some of those ways are MORE damaging. Like, say, bombing a family health clinic or burning down a church, two other problems that are spiking right now for largely similar reasons. Or maybe they'll join the police where their coworkers will cover their ass if they decide to shoot people.

Things that would help reduce the level of violence:

* Teach emotional first aid skills, both for yourself and for others. Right now the average EFA knowledge is so bad it's like not even knowing that scrapes need to be cleaned so they don't get infected and you shouldn't put butter on a burn. A great deal of harm is done by not treating small psychological injuries, or not noticing that someone is having problems, which means they get bigger. Know the warning signs for mental illness.

* Teach tolerance. Teach coping skills. These have some innate instincts but are mostly learned techniques. Anyone can grab a poster of coping skills, stress relief activities, conflict resolution, tolerance principles, etc. and hang that at work or school or wherever else someone will let you post it.

* Integrate and relate. Encourage people to mingle in different combinations. Make meaningful connections with others. Look for common ground. Know how to promote diversity. Mix It Up At Lunch was designed for school children, but can work in any large group.

* Discourage violence; don't repeat or promote sayings that condone it. Instead teach peacemaking skills, de-escalation, and nonviolent conflict resolution.

* Provide resources for self-regulation. These may include quiet rooms, reference materials, comfort objects, or whatever else helps people feel safe and calm after something upsetting. Quite a lot of violence -- especially in public places -- happens because someone gets wound up and then has no way to wind back down. That means the next thing that can go wrong tends to trigger an outburst, sometimes a violent one. Think of these as social firebreaks: they prevent small problems from becoming large problems.

* Establish a right to work. It's not that there's a shortage of workers or work that needs doing; what we have is a resource distribution problem where a few people are hogging so much wealth that it doesn't leave enough circulating to meet personal or public needs. Restore the high-tax-bracket system that was developed after the Great Depression, and that would fund public works and public-service jobs for everyone willing and able to work.

* Similarly cover the rest of people's survival needs. Nothing makes people feel threatened, panicky, and belligerent like not knowing if they'll be able to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

* Support meaningful work. If the only jobs available are trivial crap paying starvation wages, that is miserable. Bring back the good jobs; penalize companies from shipping them overseas. Promote co-op businesses.

* Always balance authority and responsibility. Authority without responsibility encourages people to mistreat those below them. Responsibility without authority saddles people with a job they can't do for lack of resources.

* Make sure public authorities are professional and accountable. Not only is this essential for proper function, it also cuts off a source of encouraging misbehavior through example. When the authorities behave abominably and get away with it -- when priests rape children, police murder civilians, soldiers bomb hospitals, politicians routinely lie, executives create products that kill people, etc. -- then other people may think, "All I need is more power and I can hurt people however I want." This is not okay. This is not how a sane society works. When public authorities are held accountable for misbehavior, both they and others will behave better -- or get replaced with someone else who will.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-05 11:34 pm (UTC)
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexseanchai
Right to work as distinct from "right to work", I presume? The latter being the "can't be required to join a union" thing to break collective bargaining.

Right to work

Date: 2015-10-05 11:58 pm (UTC)
shiori_makiba: Makiba Shiori in Kanji and Roman Letters (Default)
From: [personal profile] shiori_makiba
Or its other cute definition of "we can fire you for no reason other than we felt like it and there is nothing you can do about it." Which seems to be how Florida likes to define it. The only way they can get in trouble for this kind of behavior is if YOU can prove discrimination (certain forms of discrimination that is, some like sexual orientation discrimination are still legal last time I looked) as the motive. Which isn't easy to do for numerous reasons.

Re: Yes...

Date: 2015-10-06 12:37 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] chanter_greenie
... God, I want to live in your world. Good lord do I. Your national jobs program idea just gave me starry eyes and a literal lump in the throat.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-06 06:47 am (UTC)
cmcmck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] cmcmck
All that said and I entirely agree with you, the problem IS also guns and the ease of access to them.

We have none of the problems of mass shooting here because we went for strict gun control after the first two when we decided that enough was enough.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-06 05:46 pm (UTC)
meridian_rose: pen on letter background  with text  saying 'writer' (Default)
From: [personal profile] meridian_rose
Exactly. Seeing incidents reported from the USA of gun violence, toddlers accidentally shooting themselves/family members, and the number of police officers killing unarmed people and shooting pets horrifies me.
It makes me glad we have strict controls and that our police officers, outside of specialist units (eg airports), are not routinely armed. I know I mentioned to you before the incident where a blind man was Tasered because police "mistook his cane for a sword". In the US, that would likely have been a fatality.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-06 08:24 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
clockworklady from livejournal.
I shuddered in recognition when reading one of the EFA posts that detailed emergency reactions. As well as flight and fight, there's 'appease' and 'dissociate'.
How many school kids have to resort to the latter two because they can't get the help they need, fight back or escape? Appease sounds good in theory because it teaches kids how to be nice. While that is helpful, it can also enforce a twisted submissiveness: that torment only happens to them because they deserve it, and if they make up for 'deserving it', then they might get some peace, even if they aren't being treated fairly.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-06 07:34 pm (UTC)
snippy: Lego me holding book (Default)
From: [personal profile] snippy
Permission to post else-Net? I like your reasoning and want to propagate it.

So much on point!

Date: 2015-10-06 12:48 am (UTC)
ng_moonmoth: The Moon-Moth (Default)
From: [personal profile] ng_moonmoth
And so much of it relating to what are often called "soft" skills -- which, because they are not "hard", and therefore not aligned with what many cultures deem suitable for males, are devalued or spurned in favor of more "manly" responses. "[T]he people who think that violence is a good way to express feelings and solve problems" skews overwhelmingly male, due to this attitude being a heavily stressed element of masculine indoctrination in far too much of the world.

A lot of the other things relate to another favorite saying of mine: "If you stop making more suicide bombers, there won't be any more suicide bombers." Every culturally acceptable form of expression denied to someone increases the likelihood that they will decide on, or even desire, culturally unacceptable methods to at least be recognized in some fashion.

Something else I didn't see much of is the concept that power shared is power multiplied. Empowering other people enables them to unleash their own power. And if it's done right, the empowerment will not be at the expense of another's power: "I empower you by recognizing and supporting your right to have your grievances heard in the corridors of power" would be an excellent example of that.

Re: So much on point!

Date: 2015-10-06 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> And so much of it relating to what are often called "soft" skills -- which, because they are not "hard", and therefore not aligned with what many cultures deem suitable for males, are devalued or spurned in favor of more "manly" responses. <<

Absolutely. It's like putting a sealed pot on a hot stove. If there is no pressure valve, it will explode. This is very easy to predict.

>> "[T]he people who think that violence is a good way to express feelings and solve problems" skews overwhelmingly male, due to this attitude being a heavily stressed element of masculine indoctrination in far too much of the world. <<

Absolutely. Society has no grounds to complain when it trains men to be violent and intolerant, and they respond to perceived offensives by not tolerating them and lashing out violently.

Hence why SPOON puts a lot of effort into teaching very simple ethics from a very early age: "Powers are for helping, not for hurting."

>> A lot of the other things relate to another favorite saying of mine: "If you stop making more suicide bombers, there won't be any more suicide bombers." Every culturally acceptable form of expression denied to someone increases the likelihood that they will decide on, or even desire, culturally unacceptable methods to at least be recognized in some fashion.<<

There's another thing to work on: solving problems at the lowest possible level. This is true for everything from children's discipline on up to corporations and governments. When someone expresses that they have a problem, do not blow them off. Acknowledge that they have a problem and try to figure out some mutually acceptable solution.

In local-America, if you don't have the power to force people to accommodate your needs, they usually won't and there's little if anything to be done about it. So problems go unsolved, and get bigger, until something explodes. Sure, we make a fuss when it's a person with a gun, but frankly that's rare. Far more people are killed by unsafe products, shoddy medicines, buildings/bridges/levies/etc. that nobody could be arsed to maintain, and other ordinary stuff.

>> Something else I didn't see much of is the concept that power shared is power multiplied. Empowering other people enables them to unleash their own power. And if it's done right, the empowerment will not be at the expense of another's power: "I empower you by recognizing and supporting your right to have your grievances heard in the corridors of power" would be an excellent example of that. <<

That's definitely worth adding. This one works best for people with some degree of official or social clout. What you do is watch for people with less of it who are having good ideas that get ignored, echo what they said so people will pay attention to it, and attach their name to it so credit is preserved. I've shown this one with Stan and the Omaha police chief in Polychrome Heroics, Victor and Igor and Nandru over in Frankenstein's Family.

Making sure that everyone has a place at the table really cuts down on problems across the board. If you've got more than a little power, just delegate. When someone says, "Hey, this is a problem," then you can hand them some resources and say, "Yep, that's a problem, go work on it since you cared enough to notice it." There are a handful of corporations actually designed around that principle, and it works.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-06 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mosinging1986.livejournal.com
Allow people to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights and teach them to properly use guns to defend themselves against evil people like this man, and all the others like him.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-06 03:18 pm (UTC)
ext_12246: (mazeoftwistylittleljentries)
From: [identity profile] thnidu.livejournal.com
And when the first defender starts shooting at the wild shooter and misses, the second defender (who didn't see where the first one was aiming) will assume that the first one is an accomplice and shoot at the first defender. Then the third defender...

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-06 04:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mosinging1986.livejournal.com
I don't know how your comment relates to mine, sorry.

Criminals don't give a damn about gun laws or little "No Guns", stickers on buildings like they have in my city. They're going to have guns anyway. Might as well equal the playing field by allowing the law abiding, decent people to have an equal chance at defending themselves. That's much preferable to being a helpless, sitting duck who can do nothing more than beg for mercy from a person who clearly doesn't care about your life, anyone else's life, or even his own.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-07 04:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cissa.livejournal.com
Exactly. Not to mention the cops, who will eventually show up.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-06 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lb-lee.livejournal.com
I'm REALLY not comfortable with that reasoning, actually.

My alma mater had the dubious distinction of having the biggest US school shooting until Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook--the infamous University of Texas massacre (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman).

There are plenty of guns in Texas. They just ended up mostly worthless because after shooting his wife and mother, Whitman murdered his way to the top of the campus tower, and systematically started picking people off from the twenty-eighth floor, where he couldn't be reached by others. He shot for an hour and a half until police made it through the bullets, up the tower, and shot him to death.

The mass amount of guns were not helpful in the Whitman shooting. Because Whitman was a former Marine, got a very strong position, and a lot of cops back in those days didn't have rifles--only shotguns or revolvers, which didn't have the accuracy.

I don't want the answer to someone like Whitman to be, "more sniper rifles." I want the answer to be, "Whitman should never have had access to as many guns and ammo as he had in the first place, considering he had been going to shrinks due to overwhelming feelings of violence and hostility."

--Rogan

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-06 07:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mosinging1986.livejournal.com
I'm REALLY not comfortable with that reasoning, actually.

So? Difficult topics are, by nature, not comfortable to deal with.


He shot for an hour and a half until police made it through the bullets, up the tower, and shot him to death.

How about that? Good guys with guns were the only thing that stopped a bad guy with a gun. That's exactly my point.

Obviously, you can't account for every situation. You can have your own gun and be trained in using it well, but if you are somehow caught off guard and the gun is taken from you, it's not going to help you much at that moment.

But people live in a fantasy land where they think it's even possible to take away all the guns. That's nonsense. Evil people intent on doing evil things are going to find a way to get them, regardless of laws.

I don't want the answer to someone like Whitman to be, "more sniper rifles." I want the answer to be, "Whitman should never have had access to as many guns and ammo as he had in the first place, considering he had been going to shrinks due to overwhelming feelings of violence and hostility."

No one is arguing against having some kind of screening for who buys guns. Those are already in place and just need to be enforced.

But again, the leftist fantasy of putting stickers on buildings and expecting criminals to obey them is laughable. So is disarming the entire populace - of the law abiding people, since those are the only ones who would abide by it anyway!

It's childish. And it's deadly.

Another set of views to consider

Date: 2015-10-06 11:56 pm (UTC)
ng_moonmoth: The Moon-Moth (Default)
From: [personal profile] ng_moonmoth
Please read this. As you do, please pay particular attention to the experiences of John Parker, Jr. and Joe Zamudio.

After you have done that, if you wish to scrawl inflammatory graffiti across my friend's blog, I can't stop you. They might choose to, but they are also known to me as someone who will tolerate, and even encourage, rational debate. You should decide how close to, and on which side of, that edge you care to walk.

If you choose not to follow and reflect on that link before posting further here, I will choose to regard that as confirmation that you are trolling. It's up to you, now.

As far as "more guns are the answer", nobody on UA93 had a gun. But there's a monument that sits in a Pennsylvania field where once there was a smoking crater, that testifies to the fact that people rose up and took action in defense of freedom and liberty, using the tools they had at hand. People are always far more dangerous than the weapons they wield.

Re: Another set of views to consider

Date: 2015-10-07 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Yeah, this is the point where I need to step in and ask folks nicely to maintain civil discourse of controversial topics. It's okay to disagree. It's not okay to attack each other. And I don't have time to do detailed moderating today, I'm working the fishbowl.

[personal profile] ng_moonmoth, thanks for digging up the supporting links.

>>People are always far more dangerous than the weapons they wield.<<

THIS is why I feel that gun control will not solve the problem, nor will more guns. Over in India it's acid. Ireland had problems with domestic bombing for years. And so on and so forth. The problem is the people. We have got to make sure that humans are sane and well-cared-for or they go apeshit and hurt each other.

Re: Another set of views to consider

Date: 2015-10-07 12:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mosinging1986.livejournal.com
I read the first page and I don't see what the relevance is. I already stated that of course not every instance can be stopped. Notice also how the instances where people have defended themselves were ignored. Nothing unbalanced there.

After you have done that, if you wish to scrawl inflammatory graffiti across my friend's blog, I can't stop you.

Oh, grow up, you insufferable infant. There was no graffiti. There was nothing inflammatory. It was a civil discussion on an important issue and I simply stated facts - fact, of course, that were ignored. (Like you've also done.)

RE: Re: Another set of views to consider

Date: 2015-10-09 01:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fayanora.livejournal.com
If you actually did read all you claim to have and still don't get it, you're either being willfully obtuse, and thus a troll, or you're denser than the black hole at the center of our galaxy.

Ye gods, man!

Date: 2015-10-09 01:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fayanora.livejournal.com
You're the one being childish, or denser than a black hole, only hearing what you want to. You've missed the point by millions of lightyears because you've apparently already made up your mind and don't want to be confused by the facts. I smell troll on you.

Re: Ye gods, man!

Date: 2015-10-09 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Cool it, folks. Name calling is not helpful. I've already had to delete a couple of anonymous comments on this thread that were really beyond the pale.

Re: Ye gods, man!

Date: 2015-10-09 02:04 am (UTC)
ng_moonmoth: The Moon-Moth (Default)
From: [personal profile] ng_moonmoth
>> Cool it, folks. Name calling is not helpful. <<

I enthusiastically second that. When I detected the likely presence of a troll, I set up a low hurdle with some level-1 troll bait on the other side. (Mainly because I didn't like how they responded to [livejournal.com profile] lb_lee by not addressing the issue they raised and falsely attributing their stated discomfort. Apologies to [livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith if that was out of line.)

Now that the troll revealed themself by stumbling over the hurdle, faceplanting in the bait, and pronouncing it yummy, let's all abide by one of the most important rules of civil internet discourse and Don't Feed The Troll.

Re: Ye gods, man!

Date: 2015-10-09 02:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
At this point I have replied to several people reminding them to be civil, and deleted more than one completely obnoxious anonymous message. I would rather not close comments on this thread, but if I don't see a return to rational and productive discourse, I'll have to.

Thanks for helping with moderation duties.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-06 03:23 pm (UTC)
ext_12246: (maze)
From: [identity profile] thnidu.livejournal.com
Yes... but each of those goals is at least as difficult to achieve on a large scale as gun control. Meanwhile we could be improving gun control.

A person whose temper flares and who would pull out a gun to shoot the person who (they think) just insulted their mother, is not automatically going to go "bombing a family health clinic or burning down a church" if they don't have a gun.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-06 05:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] danceswithwaves.livejournal.com
I agree. Because it's a lot easier to get your hands on a gun than a bomb. So people who would harm others will be deterred by the effort if nothing else.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-07 04:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cissa.livejournal.com
Because for most of us, laziness trumps all else. :p

But this is a good thing!

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-08 04:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cat-sanctuary.livejournal.com
This thread of arguments seems logical to sane people, but in practice it breaks down because people like us don't naturally think the way murderers do. In fact statistics are at least equally likely to support John Lott's claim of "More Guns Less Crime." Some reasons:

(1) Ordinary criminals, who are motivated by greed and ego and don't usually intend to commit murder, look for easy victims and avoid anyone who is or might be armed.

(2) Relatively rational murderers, who are motivated by revenge, jealousy, etc., want to avoid being caught and reduce the charges against them if they are caught, and therefore *don't* just pick up a gun (even if they have one) and shoot the person they want to kill. They're close enough to consensus reality to notice that (in the U.S.) people tend to think of deaths involving motor vehicles as "accidents" and deaths involving assault as "fights" rather than premeditated murders.

(3) Homicidal maniacs who are listening to the voices in their heads are, in fact, likely not to have or use firearms--although it's much more likely to become a big news story if they do.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-07 06:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fayanora.livejournal.com
Ye gods, even you're bringing mental illness into this? Oy vey.

These mass shooters aren't mentally ill, they're just whiny, privileged, entitled white males who think the sun shines out their every orifice and yet have a fragile ego. Society teaches them they're god's gift to women and so they get butthurt when women can't tolerate their shitty personalities. Society also teaches them they're better than people of color, so most of them are racist to boot. They're the Dudley Dursleys of the world, put on pillars and taught to be horrible to other people, and so they get this messed up notion in their heads that anyone who doesn't recognize their obvious superiority and/or give them what they want is being willfully obtuse at best, and malevolent at best, so these shootings are at least partly revenge against that perceived malevolence. Also they know on some level that they're losers who will be forgotten, but they lack the self awareness to realize they should try to better themselves, so instead they opt for infamy. I think if the media refused to release the names of mass shooters, we'd see a huge decline in the number of these shootings, as a major reason for them happening would be eliminated. It would also help if the media stopped blaming this BS on mental illness and instead called these shooters out for what they are: losers who deserve to be forgotten; losers who could have improved themselves, but instead opted to seal their fate as losers permanently.

So no, these people don't need mental health counselling, they need to be taught that they're no more important than anyone else, that women don't owe them shit, that the world doesn't owe them shit, and that life is hard so they should stop whining and wear a helmet. The problem isn't mental illnesses they don't even have (mentally ill are FAR more likely to be VICTIMS of violence than perpetrators), the problem is parenting and society; if we were to crack down on getting rid of this whole "boys will be boys" business, teach kids to respect one another's boundaries and that no means NO, I'm willing to bet we'd see a dramatic decline in mass shootings.

I mean yeah, that other stuff contributes too, but all of that s tiny compared to the influence of letting white boys think they're hot shit when they're really old cold turds.

Well...

Date: 2015-10-07 06:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I don't think that sane, healthy, happy people consider mass murder an okay way to express feelings or solve problems. That is a sign of something deeply wrong somewhere.

These guys talk in ways that indicate serious disjunction from consensus reality, and often from everyday functionality. It may lean toward the more or less organized end of the spectrum. It may or may not match up to whatever the official desk reference lists as mental illnesses this year. That doesn't excuse the behavior, nor does it mean that mental illness is necessarily associated with violence. It does suggest ways of getting ahead of it and preventing future problems, like not encouraging the delusion that having a penis or white skin makes it okay for you to hurt people. It's a lot easier to avoid than to fix.

Re: Well...

Date: 2015-10-07 07:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fayanora.livejournal.com
I don't think that sane, healthy, happy people consider mass murder an okay way to express feelings or solve problems. That is a sign of something deeply wrong somewhere.

The power of privilege is enough to make an otherwise sane person behave in crazy ways. It isn't that these people are insane or mentally ill, it's that they've been programmed to a reality tunnel that doesn't match those of everyone else around them. Like Robert Anton Wilson said, someone who's playing a game of football will look crazy to anyone who thinks the only sport in existence is baseball. The kinds of people who become mass shooters are playing football, while the rest of us are playing baseball.

These guys talk in ways that indicate serious disjunction from consensus reality, and often from everyday functionality.

True, but that isn't insanity or mental illness. It's the reality tunnel they were raised with. Everyone has their own reality tunnels, but some are farther out of line with other peoples' than others. These people are perfectly sane within the context of their own reality tunnels. But these are deeply TOXIC reality tunnels, because they conflict so much with consensus realities.

There IS a difference between mental illness and having an off kilter reality tunnel, I'm just having difficulty wording it because I'm tired. But basically, the actions of these shooters are a direct result of the way they were raised, of the privileges they were raised with, the things society taught them - intentionally or otherwise. Whereas mental illness may or may not be a result of how one was raised, as there's often physical reasons for the mental illness.

Put another way, mental illness is the result either of problems with the hardware or glitches in the software, whereas the kind of people who become mass shooters don't have anything wrong with software or hardware other than the fact that their software was programmed to think of itself as Admin when it's really just another workstation with no special access, and so naturally the software gets frustrated when none of the other workstations recognize its imaginary Admin status. Then the program gets so frustrated that it downloads malicious software guns.exe and starts deleting other workstations in a rage, often ending up deleting itself in the process.

PS

Date: 2015-10-07 07:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fayanora.livejournal.com
True, but that isn't insanity or mental illness. It's the reality tunnel they were raised with. Everyone has their own reality tunnels, but some are farther out of line with other peoples' than others. These people are perfectly sane within the context of their own reality tunnels. But these are deeply TOXIC reality tunnels, because they conflict so much with consensus realities.

In other words, put someone with that same reality tunnel in a society where that kind of reality tunnel is pretty much the norm, and there's no issue; they're happy, they live their lives, all is well. They're not ill, they're just misplaced. And the fact that this kind of severe misplacement can happen in our society says that something is deeply wrong with society. If anything, it is SOCIETY that is mentally ill.

Because I'm tired I was slow to this realization

Date: 2015-10-07 07:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fayanora.livejournal.com
I don't think that sane, healthy, happy people consider mass murder an okay way to express feelings or solve problems. That is a sign of something deeply wrong somewhere.

Society taught them that violence is a problem solving tool. If society didn't do that, then mass shootings would indeed be mental illness of some sort, but it's not mental illness to behave in a way society tells you to. Oh sure, to those of us who weren't in their position growing up, it looks like mental illness, but that's for the same reason that so many white people think racism is extinct; if it's not in our personal experience, we don't realize it's there. Having had encounters with lots of the sort of people who I'd bet money could all too easily become mass shooters, and having read about mass shooters, I have become aware of it.

And now I shall stop, because that paragraph took me like, 20 minutes to write. I go sleep now.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-08 03:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cat-sanctuary.livejournal.com
True: the high-profile school shooters have been male (although Mercer was in fact biracial; in the clearer photos he looked Black). However, it's not that women haven't been committing massacres followed by suicide, it's just that so far they've not shot up schoolrooms. Often women's smaller-scale lapses into homicidal insanity have been considered only local news because only one or two people were killed.

We've had at least two cases in my home town, one where a woman shot another woman and herself, one where a woman used a car to kill a few other people and herself. In Alexandria, Virginia, normally the epitome of a place where well-adjusted people enjoy affluent lifestyles and rewarding jobs, a teenaged girl literally stomped a young woman to death for no reality-based reason, on a busy road, and was locked up before harming anyone else or herself. Susan Smith's double infanticide wouldn't have been world news if she'd been sane enough to report it as an accident; it became news because she tried to blame an imaginary man.

Mental illness per se is not the factor they have in common, because some of these people, like Timothy McVeigh, would have passed any psychiatric examination *while sober*. *Drugs* are the common factor. Some of the deadliest of these killers have, like McVeigh, used more potent street drugs, or, like wossname in Charleston, mixed street and prescription drugs. But a lot of people who've reported only mild depression, and not seemed dangerous, have become homicidal maniacs on prescription antidepressants too. Stimulants that make most users feel good, from meth to Prozac, can make some users feel murderous.

Mealy-mouthed efforts to blame "mental illness," rather than accurately reporting the facts about these people's known use of legal or illegal drugs, is indeed part of the problem. Commercial media suppress those facts, because heavenforbidandfend the corporations that market the antidepressants should have to pay damages every time a pillhead decides to ram a busload of tourists into a cement wall.

Hmm...

Date: 2015-10-08 04:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
It is also to be considered that a person who seeks help when troubled, and is given medication which sends them off the deep end, has much less fault in the matter given that they did what they were supposed to do in seeking help and it just made matters worse. Discussing that without either discouraging people from seeking help, or denying justice to victims, is very difficult.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-10-07 07:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fayanora.livejournal.com
A problem with "right to work" is that, well... I don't remember the quote well enough to look it up, but somebody (might've been Bucky Fuller, dunno) said we need to get rid of the notion that people need to earn a living, that having a job is not really feasible in the modern age for most people, and we need a new system that doesn't have jobs as a requirement. I think the implication was that even if we switched to a system in which everyone is fed, clothed, sheltered, and watered, and maybe even moderately comfortable, that there STILL aren't going to be nearly enough jobs for everyone. I think he may have also been hinting that we need to encourage people to invent ways of putting themselves out of a job, let the machines do most of the work, and then do whatever hobbies or education we want. Though now I might be getting into Robert Anton Wilson territory, there.

Well...

Date: 2015-10-09 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
There is never going to be a shortage of work that needs doing, and rarely of people that need things to do. What we have is a resource distribution problem caused by a few people hogging so much wealth that money ceases to be an effective exchange medium for connecting jobs and workers. A cash economy is not the only option, and has only been the norm for a few centuries at most. There are other ways to meet people's needs and switching is fine. All we need is some way to ensure that people's needs get met.

Cool It

Date: 2015-10-09 04:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I have asked several times for this conversation to calm down and return to civil discussion. I've had to delete more than one utterly rude anonymous comment. I expect people to follow the rules of logic, debate, and Don't Be a Dick in this blog. Otherwise I'll have to close the comments on this post, and I'd rather not have to do that.

Re: Cool It

Date: 2015-10-09 05:24 am (UTC)
ng_moonmoth: The Moon-Moth (Default)
From: [personal profile] ng_moonmoth
I hope you don't have to. There's what I regard as a very important topic at the core of this, which often gets engulfed in flame. Your blog is one of the very few online places I can imagine where it might be possible to keep the heat low enough to avoid incineration.

So let me step back for a moment and attempt to refocus on what I think is the central topic. We inhabit a world in which a symptom of most of its prevailing cultures is an increasing frequency of spawning mass murderers. What cultural changes might succeed in stemming this increase, and perhaps eventually reduce the frequency?

Please help keep the thread open! If you disagree with someone else's opinions, bring information beyond your own opinions to support your position -- ideally, from primary sources. We are all on notice; anyone who fights fire with fire will likely cause [livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith to close this space before it gets destroyed.

Please stay on topic! Whatever you want to bring in, the discussion will advance only if you can explain how it relates to the central topic and how it might help.

Please think (at least) twice before posting anything! We are dealing with an emotionally charged topic here. Angry words said in haste will only stoke flames that will threaten this space.

I realize that these are nothing more than already-known standards about how to have productive discussion on sensitive topics, and that [livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith could have chosen to remind us themself. I am speaking up because I personally want to have the discussion continue here; [livejournal.com profile] ysabetwordsmith's flist appears to be diverse and civil enough to make that possible.

However, the current temperature and trend of the discussion is ominous. Please heed the title and userpic of the comment I am replying to, lest Ragnarok ensue!
Edited Date: 2015-10-09 05:26 am (UTC)

Re: Cool It

Date: 2015-10-09 06:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Thank you.

The things that bother me the most:

* I see a widespread increase of indifference to other human beings, expressed not just through mass shootings but in many other ways.

* And humanity's prevailing response to this is not to address the underlying stress and damage which push people in that direction, but instead, take away tools. No guns. No knives. No shampoo or quite a variety of medications on airplanes now.

Among the things that most separate us from other animals, and which compensate for the big muscles and sharp teeth we sacrificed to get here, are our wits and our tools. Take those away and we're not very competitive at all. This is a problem.

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