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so the us goverment is blaming video games again for the mass shootings


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1 hour ago, feckyerlife said:

well Japan has always allowed the mafia too police the streets, which is a major reason Japan has low crime

I think it's got much more to do with not being a cultural cesspool.

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3 hours ago, feckyerlife said:

well Japan has always allowed the mafia too police the streets, which is a major reason Japan has low crime


There is no mafia in Japan, and they aren't a safe nation because they 'allow' gangs to police the streets. Do more research.

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33 minutes ago, feckyerlife said:


The Yakuza and the mafia are two separate things, and one of them doesn't exist in Japan.

Also, as an extension of your logic, the Yakuza don't police the streets of Japan any more than the actual mafia polices the streets of the United States.

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36 minutes ago, Dryspace said:



I'm curious--who told you that mass shootings are mostly an American thing?

They are?


The US comprises 5% of the global population and 31% of mass shooting incidents. Nearly a third of global mass shootings occur in a nation comprising one fiftieth of the earth's population.


Between 1966 and 2012, the US experienced 90 mass shootings by the accepted four-fatality definition (and that excludes familicide). The next four countries in the statistics- Philippines, Russia, Yemen and France, only comprise 54.


By every measure, mass shootings are an unequivocally American phenomenon.

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I really should refrain, but okay--I'll try to go in order here (If you choose to respond, please respond to each point, and I ask that you avoid implicit or explicit ad hominem):


The assertion was that "mass shootings are mostly an American thing". You claim that this is a fact because even though mass shootings happen everywhere, they happen six times more in the U.S. The basis for your assertion is a single study by Adam Lankford, for which he has as far as I know refused to show his data--even though his results--such as they are--have been used for purposes of anti-firearm propaganda. In addition to other questions of methodology, he excludes mass shootings which aren't the "right type" of mass shootings.


Most people are aware of the fact that "terrorism" and genocide are far, far less common in the U.S. than in other areas of the world. So by excluding these mass shootings, the figures for the U.S. would be skewed higher. I don't know about anyone else, but if get a phone call informing me that a mass shooting just occurred at my loved one's office, I don't breathe a huge sigh of relief after finding out that it was "only an act of terrorism". "Oh...PHEW!.....I was terrified for a moment there! I thought it was one of the bad types of mass shootings!"


But at any rate, does this mean that you also claim that homicide in the U.S. is "unequivocally a black phenomenon", since the black population is only just now ~13%, but between 1980 and 2008 committed 52% of homicides (U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Justice Statistics)? That was a rhetorical question, because it in fact does mean that you claim that--unless you employ a double standard in the way you characterize statistics. Or unless a factor of six is 'unequivocally' and a factor of four is 'not at all'.


" a nation comprising one fiftieth of the earth's population."


Now, this was clearly a simple error on your part, but 5% is one twentieth, not one fiftieth. Here's where we get to the good part. Would you kindly explain what in the world you could possibly mean by:


"the accepted four-fatality definition"


Oh, the accepted one! That one! It's just...wait--accepted by whom, exactly--seeing that there are many definitions currently in use in various nations, jurisdictions, agencies, etc. around the world. Of course, you do remember that we are talking about mass shootings, not mass killings, right?


Here is what you said earlier in this very thread about mass shootings:


"the definitions for "mass shooting" actually vary significantly. For instance, most European nations record "mass shootings" as any incident in which more than 1 person is killed or injured. In the US, the traditional definition has been four or more fatalities. Newer definitions are four or more injuries."


But even regarding mass killings, here are your own assertions from earlier in this very thread:


"we can all agree that requiring four fatalities to count as a "mass" killing and excluding familicide even when more than four due are fairly ridiculous."


"I think most people would argue that, say, 3 dead and 15 injured, for instance, is a "mass killings""


"I personally think any single murder incident involving the deaths of two or more people and a total casualties, I'd say, of maybe 5 dead or injured, is a "mass killing""


A mass shooting is a mass shooting. Given the definitions of the words 'mass' and 'shooting', it is understandable that a number of victims must be selected for statistical purposes. I defy anyone, though, to give me a logical reason why a person shooting a mass number of people because of this idea is not a mass shooting, but a person shooting a mass number of people for that idea is.


Or why a person shooting a mass number of people for god is not a mass shooting, but a person shooting a mass number of people for glory is.


Although it is true that mass shootings have exploded in the U.S. since the 1960s (I don't believe it is coincidence that Lankford began his "study" at 1966--the year of Whitman's Texas tower shooting), the assertion that mass shootings are mostly or unequivocally an American thing is simply not true. Alas, the world would be that much better a place if it were.

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Firstly, I didn't cite a specific set of statistics so I don't really know how you can assert the ones I've been using are from a particular individual and therefore "exclude particular kinds of shooting that don't correlate with his views"- especially without citing the original academic study (which, having been published in a peer review academic journal, is a damn sight more authoritative than most). The onus is on you to demonstrate bias in either his methodology or statistical capture here.


The exclusion of terrorism and genocide from the study is entirely in line with official US statistical reporting methodologies for mass shootings. Whilst it's true these events may comprise mass-casualty events involving firearms they aren't recorded as mass shootings by the US in the same way that victims of conflict aren't recorded as mass shootings. We can have a discussion about the validity of that exclusion but it's entirely in line with the recognised reporting methodologies so asserting that the author intended to misrepresent the statistics by using an accepted model sounds like an attempt to poison the well to me. Moreover I don't think there's a coherent justification for including acts of genocide, terrorism, conflict et al in these statistics. The methodology used was applied uniformly across the 177 countries that were evaluated. Quite aside from terrorism, war and genocide being particularly hard to record- ambiguous in final casualties, in method of death, in perpetration- the latter are commonly perpetrated directly or encouraged by the authorities of sovereign nation states that hold the monopoly on violence. 


Similarly, US reporting and recording of mass shootings tends to exclude incidents linked to gang violence or familicide, as I've already pointed out. Various other academic reviews of the subject- Lott, Moody, Gius- all used methodologies excluding either one or both of familicide and gang violence. Indeed, Gius looked only at shootings in public places where the victims appeared to be targeted indiscriminately. 


As I've already pointed out, there's as strong a correlation between other factors such as poverty and homicide rates than there is ethnicity, so asserting that one must naturally believe that murder is an "unequivocally black phenomenon" in order to believe that mass shootings are "unequivocally and American phenomenon" is an obvious non sequitur. Can you point to any stronger correlation than "being American" which can satisfactorily explain why the US has a mass shooting rate more than six times what it's population should account for? As a aside yes, I do think a factor of six is substantially more statistically significant than a factor of four. A full 50% more, in fact.


Everything I wrote previously on different recording methodologies used around the world remains entirely true; the "four fatality" definition is used by the FBI in their recording of mass shootings and regardless of whether I think it's appropriate it is true to call it accepted. 

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The statement "By every measure, mass shootings are an unequivocally American phenomenon" is simply false. Mass shootings happen with regularity in many places all over the world. There is no legitimate argument to be had. Even if we take your figure, it's not by "every measure", it's by one particular measure. Further, if Pinkland consumes 1M potatoes per year and Blueland consumes between 4M and 6M, that doesn't mean that potato consumption is unequivocally a Blueland phenomenon. It means that Bluelanders eat a lot more potatoes than Pinklanders.


The "six times higher" figure which you use as the basis for deeming a thing "unequivocally the domain of x" is found only in Lankford's study as far as I know, which--among other issues--excludes "terrorism". Even if mathematically correct, it is by no means a pure, unambiguous measurement of reality. It is, if nothing else, an exclusive measurement based upon a viewpoint, which is subject to challenge.


Therefore I have already demonstrated bias. I invite you to explain why you think a guy shooting up a place for disrespecting Allah is fundamentally different from a guy shooting up a place for being disrespected himself. And why one shooting of a mass of people is a mass shooting, but the other shooting of a mass of people is not a mass shooting. I'm not talking about genocide and war. The original assertion was not that "mass shootings according to the definition currently in use by x are mostly an American thing". It was "mass shootings". I explained my logic. What is yours?


As far as Lankford, I consider him and his conclusions to be ridiculous. Why? Because he states that the results of his study (surprisingly, he says) show absolutely that it is the number of available firearms that determines the number of mass shootings. More guns means more murder. And I might be inclined to agree--if the universe began in 1966. Unfortunately, Lankford fails to explain how this conclusion is consistent with the fact that there were far more American homes with firearms in the many decades prior to the 1960s and yet no phenomenon of mass shootings as we have today.

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The phrase "By  every measure, mass shootings are an unequivocally American phenomenon" does not preclude mass shootings from occuring elsewhere. If I'd intended to infer that they uniformly took place in the US, I'd have used the word "solely" or something similar which I didn't. I don't think many people would dispute the statement "by any measure, vodka consumption is an unequivocally Russian phenomenon" even though I've got assorted bottles of the stuff in my drinks cabinet. What's "unequivocal"- read unambiguous- is that the US is the world leader in creating firearm spree killers and mass murderers. 


I've already addressed the "excludes terrorism" comments- Langford's study uses the same statistical methodology as the FBI in their recording of mass shootings. I'm still waiting for you to explain why using an accepted methodology suggests intrinsic statistical bias and what, indeed, you propose as a more coherent methodology. Can you point to a peer review academic study that uses this proposed methodology and give me a summary of the findings?


I don't really feel the need to gratify your straw men with a response; I've pointed to a study using a widely accepted definition and the onus is on you to provide a satisfactory explanation as to why you feel this is inappropriate, as well as a source of equal empirical merit that demonstrates the conclusions of the study I reference are wrong. If you cannot do that, then there's simply no further point in discussing; the only reason you take issue with the methodology is because its results don't meet your personal views. If the FBI don't count terrorism incidents as mass shooting, why should he?


This interpretation of Langford's findings is completely incorrect. Yes, he states that that the nation with the highest level of firearm ownership has by a phenomenal margin the highest rate of mass shootings- that's categorical fact and difficult to dispute. But he makes no causal link between firearm ownership rates and mass shooting rates (in fact, the next four nations cited by total incidents have wildly varying ownership rates with several nations with far more firearms per capita appearing much lower down the rankings). And far from concluding "more guns means more murder" as you stated, he doesn't even draw this conclusion about mass shootings let alone singular murders.

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We're not talking about the FBI or the definitions they use for this or that purpose. We're not talking about peer-reviewed studies. We're talking about Pete4000uk's statement that video games are world wide, but mass shootings are "mostly an American thing". We both know that certain limited definitions are created and used for specific reasons. That is not what we are talking about. When a person makes a statement about champagne consumption, is it reasonable to argue based on the assertion that most of that consumption is actually sparkling wine and not Champagne? There are reasons for making that distinction; this would not be one of them. In my opinion.


I'm the one who is insisting that a mass shooting is a mass shooting. That's not "my personal view", it's my understanding of the English language. You are the one who is trying to argue a case based on an exclusion of mass shootings that are not the right type of mass shooting. That's not your idea of course, but you are choosing to adopt it for the purpose of your argument. Also, you insist that most people think vodka is little consumed anywhere outside of Russia, when I would guess that most people simply think that Russians consume a lot more vodka than non-Russians.


I believe my interpretation of Lankford's findings is correct. Here are Lankford's own words:


"The difference between us and other countries, that explains why we have more of these attackers, was the firearm ownership rate. In other words: firearms per capita."


"I was a little surprised that it wasn't attributable to other things...It really was the firearms, and I was surprised at the strength of that statistical association."


"You could certainly make the argument, I think a lot of people would, that American gun culture is to some degree holding us back from real reform when it comes to guns."


"Australia is one example — they had a horrible mass shooting there a number of years ago and they did enact better gun control. They engaged in a gun buyback program that reduced the number of firearms in their country by 20 percent and they have seen major dividends in terms of fewer mass shootings in that country."


The venerable and nothing-if-not-honest New York Times quoted Lankford's "study" and concluded "The only variable that can explain the high rate of mass shootings in America is its astronomical number of guns." (Go get 'em Times!)


I already showed a bias regarding the definition of a mass shooting. I trust we can agree that he also has a bias tending toward the "firearms cause murder" mentality.


I also believe my observation regarding Lankford's seemingly deliberate disregard of blatantly relevant data such as changes in the state of a particular location over time to be valid. Nineteen sixty-six began the era of mass shootings in the U.S. That is where Lankford's "study" begins.

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Your definition of mass shooting is apparently a law unto itself. It doesn't correlate with other commonly accepted definitions of mass shooting; as far as I can tell it's a meaningless reimagination on your part and I'm still waiting for you to explain your definition and provide examples of peer-reviewed academic sources that mirror your definition and result in different conclusions than those outlined in the paper I've referenced. Until that point I don't really see what else we have to discuss; if you don't have an alternative methodology and sources to back it up then I struggle to see how take issue with the conclusions of the one I've cited.


You know you've quoted comments (apparently) from Lankford that are entirely independent of the peer-review article I've been citing, yes? I'll be glad to quote the entire conclusion from his paper for you if you wish. In fact, f*ck it. Let's:



Perhaps the most obvious step the United States could take to reduce public mass shootings may also be the most politically challenging: reduce firearms availability. There is evidence that this approach was successful in Australia, which suffered numerous domestic mass murders and four public mass shootings from 1987 to 1996. Just 12 days after a mass shooter killed 35 victims in the last of these attacks at Port Arthur, the nation agreed to pass comprehensive gun control laws. It also launched a major buyback program that reduced Australia’s total number of firearms by approximately 20% (Chapman, Alphers, Agho, & Jones, 2006; Small Arms Survey, 2007). This study’s data show that in the wake of these policies, Australia has yet to experience another public mass shooting. Citing the Australian case, the President of the United States has suggested that similar policies could help America as well (White House, 2014).


However, even if limiting firearms availability might be an effective means for reducing public mass shootings, for now, it does not seem politically feasible—at least in the United States. In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, American support for gun control rose considerably, but it has declined in the years since (Pew Research Center, 2014). It may take more cases of unambiguously successful gun control, such as Australia’s, to begin to gradually change America’s gun culture. Or it may take more scholarly research which provides empirical evidence of the link between firearms availability and public mass shootings and thus shows that policymakers and legislators may be able to directly influence the prevalence of these high-lethality crimes.

Beyond the subject of firearms, future studies of public mass shooters may be able to shed light on additional social and cultural factors that help explain why some countries have significantly more offenders than others. For example, in the United States—perhaps more than in any other country on the globe—there is a tremendous social premium on fame (Pinsky & Young, 2008; Sternheimer, 2011; Twenge, 2014). In fact, according to Pew Research Center surveys, 51% of Americans aged 18–25 years say that “to be famous” is one of their generation’s most important goals in life (Pew Research Center, 2007). Unfortunately, many American public mass shooters also seek fame and glory—but they obtain it through killing—and the media coverage they receive in the United States seems to give them exactly what they want (Langman, 2015a; Lankford, 2013; Lankford & Hakim, 2011; Larkin, 2009; Newman et al., 2004). However, like most aspects of this criminological challenge, the impact of fame seeking and media coverage on the frequency of these attacks could be better understood in a global context.

Ultimately, more cross-national studies of public mass shooters could help ensure that future strategies for prevention are based on reliable scientific evidence. Some countries and cultures are clearly safer than others; it would be a shame not to learn from them. Once the best policies and practices are clearly identified, perhaps they can be increasingly shared and implemented worldwide.




The first tenet of his conclusion relates to availability of firearms. This is not the same thing as proliferation. It does not necessarily relate to the number of firearms per capita or the number of firearms per household but the legislation around their storing and carriage. The second is cultural- both firearm culture specifically and human culture, notably the (broadly American) desire to be "famous". 

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I am doing nothing other than using the dictionary definitions of the words 'mass' and 'shooting', along with the generally understood idea of a person showing up at a location and shooting up the place. Pete4000uk made a statement regarding mass shootings, and you are the one who is insisting, vehemently, that we be using one (which one, exactly?) of the many definitions of the legal term 'mass shooting' in a casual discussion of mass shootings. You are actually demanding that I provide evidence for my use of the term 'mass shooting' to mean 'a shooting of a mass of people'?


I already, at least twice, provided my logic for not excluding "terrorism", and I even invited anyone to provide a legitimate reason for counting Albert the Disgruntled's shoot-up but not Ahkmed the Devout's. I understand that an agency may not count Ahkmed for the purposes of statistics, but what does that have to do with the issue of whether or not mass shootings are "mostly an American thing"?


You claim that Lankford is talking about access and not proliferation of firearms. That is not correct. Lankford:


"The difference between us and other countries, that explains why we have more of these attackers, was the firearm ownership rate. In other words: firearms per capita."


"Lankford notes that other countries, by limiting gun ownership, show a lower incidence of mass shootings"




As far as his "study", I thought I explained sufficiently why I consider it to be worthless. He completely fails to account for why mass shootings didn't happen before 1966. Either incompetent, or a tool for the propagandists. You did know that faux-scientists exist, yes?

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Then why are you proposing we exclude people killed in conflict? They're victims of firearms, are they not? Sounds to me like you're trying to defend an arbitrary definition you've created that includes certain things you feel are likely to sway the statistics in your favour, and excludes others that mean you have to answer awkward questions like "are the tens of thousands of collateral damage victims plus numerous spree killing incidents perpetrated by US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan going to count as American?"


When someone colloquially refers to a "mass shooting", they are referring to exactly what Lankford describes. We both know this, and your attempts to redefine the discussion away from it are frankly a waste of time.


Again, you've quoted something independent of the actual thesis. I've quoted the whole conclusions from it above. Lankford's views expressed elsewhere have little to no bearing on the conclusions of his academic paper.


I mean, neither of the specific quotes you've highlighted really supports the argument you're making. Both of them are also inarguably true. The principle difference between the US and other comparable countries is firearm proliferation- don't think anyone is going to dispute that. An explanation and a causal link are two different things; proliferation explains higher incidence but it doesn't cause it- that's the factors that drive proliferation which are mostly societal and cultural. And there's pretty compelling evidence that firearm restrictions do prevent mass shootings; just look at Australia. 


Your explanation of why you consider it worthless is, in my view, petty nonsense, and you've not produced any counter-evidence, so your rebuttal is basically meaningless and will remain so until you can cite an authoritative academic study employing your proposed definition of a mass shooting that contradicts the conclusions he has made. I'm waiting.


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"Then why are you proposing we exclude people killed in conflict?"


Because that doesn't fit the explanation I described in my previous post: the dictionary definitions of the words 'mass' and 'shooting', along with the generally understood idea of a person showing up at a location and shooting up the place.


"When someone colloquially refers to a "mass shooting", they are referring to exactly what Lankford describes."


Are they? I've tried my best to illustrate why I think that, if the average person were asked about a recent mass shooting, he wouldn't respond with a blank stare because the mass shooting was "terrorism", Islamic or otherwise. No, I don't know this as a result of a study I've performed, any more than you do. But I would be genuinely surprised if it were not the case. But even if I am wrong about the average person, in no way does that affect my stance: If the circumstances of two shootings are similar in every way except for the motive of the shooter, I do not identify one as a mass shooting and not the other. This is not a "law unto [my]self"; the fact that there is no agreed-upon definition of either 'terrorism' or 'mass shooting' means that one is justified in applying rational thought--and a standard interpretation of English.


What can Australia say? The data for mass shootings both before and after Port Arthur is too sparse to draw definite conclusions. Australia is smaller than the state of Texas; I know there have been at least two mass shootings since 2002 according to at least one of the definitions you have put forth--for a 'mass killing'. It should be noteworthy to you that Australia's "no mass shootings since..." declaration is based on a definition of 'mass shooting' as the killing of five or more people, not including the perpetrator.


I don't believe that firearm legislation in Australia has had any definite effect on homicide or suicide rates. And it has nothing whatever to do with the reason why a human being willingly takes the life of another human being. I don't dispute that a reduction of firearms can result in a reduction of firearm deaths, just as I don't dispute that killing a man can prevent him from informing on you to the police. Consistent data is limited, but there seem to have been very few airplane crashes in the millenia prior to the 1900s. We can observe that no airplanes means no airplane crashes--but how does that tell us anything about why planes crash?


How is my view of Lankford's "study" petty nonsense? He claims to be performing real science in order to determine why the U.S. has so many mass shootings. He's claiming to study why airplanes crash so much more in this place than in that place, and he's coming back saying, "It's the planes! It really is the planes! More planes means more plane crashes!". And for some reason, he neglects to take any look at a vast earlier period of time in that same place in which there were as many or more planes, but far, far fewer plane crashes. Which is more significant: That Location B has one-tenth the number of airplanes as Location A and also one-tenth the number of plane crashes, or that Location C has the same number of airplanes as Location A but one-tenth the plane crashes?


The U.S. didn't have a problem with mass shootings from 1776 to ~1966, yet guns were ubiquitous. Now we have a mass shooting problem, and as far as I know, a lower presence of firearms in households than ever before. How is that petty nonsense?

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So where is this dictionary definition of "mass" "shooting"? As far as I can see, it's only your selective interpretation which precludes conflict or other actions perpetrated by the state. Why not also include gang crimes?


Well then frankly you've failed. The average person does not draw equivalence between indiscriminate public mass shootings conducted by individuals and acts of terrorism. The definition Lankford and the FBI use is reflective of what, in common parlance, would be viewed as a mass shooting. As I've already pointed out, the dictionary definition of the terms "mass" and "shooting" would include incidents that you exclude, so if an argument from linguistic pedantry is all you have to present it falls pretty flat pretty quickly. I mean if we're truly being pedantic, a "mass" "shooting" doesn't require anyone to be killed. You weren't objecting to the FBI definition when you were arguing that mass shootings require multiple fatalities.


There were 13 mass shootings in Australia between 1971 and 1996 resulting in 5 or more deaths, excluding the biker shootout which is really gang crime. Six of these were familicide so would have been excluded from US mass shooting statistics. Since the implementation of the firearm control act in 1997, there has been one double-fatality shooting at a university, three or four familicide shootings, and the Sydney Hostage Crisis which is arguably an act of terrorism and which only killed 3. By the recording standards used by the US authorities, the mass shooting rate in Australia had dropped from 7 between 1971 and 1996 to zero between 1996 and 2018.


The gun death rates per capita in Australia have halved since the buyback. Figures on the wider trend are a little more complex (not that we're discussing the wider trend anyway- I thought this was solely about mass shootings?) Homicide rates climbed between 1990 and 1999, with the buyback taking place in 1996. However much of this was driven by infighting between the various biker gangs in Sydney and Melbourne, which had been ongoing since the mid-80s. By 2001 the homicide rate had dropped below the 1996 figure and by 2015 it had almost halved from it's peak of 1.8 per 100,000 to fractionally below 1. Proportionally that's a smaller she'd than the US had to lose in the same time (and achieved) but the murder rate per capita was so much lower anyway it stands to reason that it becomes exponentially more difficult to continue a decline.


Again, you're not citing the conclusions of Lankford's study, you're citing other comments he's made subsequently. He's entitled to postulate on cause an effect as much as he wants; trying to infer the conclusions of his research paper are inaccurate because of later comments he's made that rub you up the wrong way is classic poisoning the well.


Continuing to beat the drum of "but-but-but-before-1960" is frankly a waste of everyone's time as it's totally irrelevant to the discussion at hand. I will however point out that it's questionable to assert that firearm ownership has declined since the 1960s given that the number of firearms in circulation has increased massively. It's certainly the case that a reducing number of households own firearms- well, assuming self reporting on the issue is actually accurate.


Still waiting on your evidence. 

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Isn't the problem with mass shootings before the 1960s, that the weapons available at the time weren't exactly efficient for the undertaking of a mass shooting?  Fully automatic guns and rifles first became commercially available around that time, right?  Handguns and rifles are by themselves not useful tools for mass shootings.

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3 hours ago, Svip said:

Isn't the problem with mass shootings before the 1960s, that the weapons available at the time weren't exactly efficient for the undertaking of a mass shooting?  Fully automatic guns and rifles first became commercially available around that time, right?  Handguns and rifles are by themselves not useful tools for mass shootings.

Interesting point. Civilian proliferation of semi-automatic firearms is a pretty new phenomenon. Even the police departments still used revolvers up to the eighties and nineties. 

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From now on, I'm only handling one point at a time. I trust you have no issue with that? We can move to another point after the current point is dealt with via an agreement, an admission of error, or an agreement of disagreement.


"You weren't objecting to the FBI definition when you were arguing that mass shootings require multiple fatalities."


Please paste any and all text in which I argued that a mass shooting requires multiple fatalities. The only argument I made at any point in this thread was that I considered it silly to call the killing of one, two, or three people a mass killing/murder, based on the English definition of the adjective 'mass' as representing or involving a 'large number of people'. You argued that two or three people could very well be considered a large number.


Show me where I claimed that a mass shooting requires any fatalities at all. I can't move on to the next point until you do.




I'm afraid you are completely mistaken here. Automatic weapons have been used in virtually no shootings or homicides at all in the U.S. As far as mass shootings, they have involved standard semi-automatic handguns and rifles such as have existed for many decades prior to the 1960s. Please verify this, but I believe the Las Vegas incident was the first automatic weapon used in a mass shooting in the U.S. Charles Whitman started out with a bolt-action rifle--not even a semiautomatic.


But attempting to explain why human beings in the U.S. deciding to murder innocent people for no practical reason, but simply as an end in and of itself, became a phenomenon in the 1960s on the basis of firearms is illegitimate. There are most definitely other ways of murdering multiple people quickly beside firearms. The presence of a gun does not exude a magical aura which infects nearby human beings.


Firearms are used like any tool--because they get the job done. For example, a person can injure and kill many people by ramming a crowd with a vehicle. There are any number of opportunities for this on any given day in any given place. And if firearms became scarce, you would expect that to become more common. Because firearms didn't cause a person to want to kill as many people as possible. The leftist way at that point would be, instead of an honest look at why people are doing these things, to restrict access to vehicles. In fact, this is exactly the argument used for "self-driving" vehicles. No matter the fact that the majority of accidents are caused by a small minority of people who never should have received licenses, or should have had them revoked after the first gross error. Vehicle accident culpability is not even remotely evenly distributed among drivers. The issue with drivers' licenses proves that politicians don't give a damn about getting to the core of what causes injuries and death.


Let's not lose weight when our back pain gets too severe to deal with. Let's have surgery. And lots of drugs (Joy? No, better skip that...).

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On 8/15/2018 at 12:38 AM, Dryspace said:


Please paste any and all text in which I argued that a mass shooting requires multiple fatalities. 

The entire crux of your previous comments was that current mass shooting incidents were incomparable with historic (IE pre '66) ones because the more recent ones involved numerous fatalities and the previous ones often didn't. 


What exactly is your definition of mass shooting then? 

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On 8/14/2018 at 3:15 AM, Svip said:

Isn't the problem with mass shootings before the 1960s, that the weapons available at the time weren't exactly efficient for the undertaking of a mass shooting?  Fully automatic guns and rifles first became commercially available around that time, right?  Handguns and rifles are by themselves not useful tools for mass shootings.

No, I would say you've got a bit of a misconception going on.


Fully automatic and semi-automatic firearms have been, or rather were available in the U.S. in the beginning of the 20th century. The 1934 Machine Gun Tax act was in response to mafia gangsters shooting people in the streets with Thompson Machine guns. That specific piece of legislation made it illegal to own a machine gun without also having a tax stamp, but the government would not issue such a stamp unless you registered the weapon, and so of course gangsters didn't want to go register their weapons and they fell out of popularity.  Then they simply increased the cost of the tax until nobody but the most affluent and wealthy gangsters could afford them, so the involvement of machine guns in U.S. shootings became unheard of except for a few bank-robbery type incidents, sieges, etc. (North Hollywood Shoot-out, and Waco respectively).  There was further legislation in the form of the 1934 National Firearms Act which was then modified in 1986, but it basically relied on the same law as the machine gun tax act, and is actually mostly in effect to this day.


Semi-automatic weapons have also been available for long since the 1960s, but they took a long time to gain popularity.  Modern police departments were also very resistant to implement semi-automatic weapons as sivis pointed out, and didn't actually adopt modern 9mm side-arms until well after the NATO conventions changed our military to the same type of round.  The change from .38 caliber revolvers to 9mm semi-automatic pistols was seen as para-militarization; of course that all became more of an acceptable and expected thing after 9/11.  In any event, civilians were more apt to select something practical, and it took a while for semi-automatic firearms to come in the form that weren't elaborately expensive to purchase and maintain, or that weren't full combat size and impractical for civilian carry.   Long story short, it wasn't that they weren't out there or available, sensibilities of what was practical and necessary just hadn't changed at that point, so the market hadn't adjusted.  People didn't justify the need for double-stacked magazines and 9mm semi-automatic pistols until well after they were available to the civilian arena for example; if you ask "self-defense" experts now they will act like y're taking a knife to a gun fight if you want to carry something with a low magazine capacity, but yet people survived with revolvers as side arms for years.


I don't really agree with the notion that handguns and other non-rapid-fire capable weapons aren't efficiently lethal to facilitate mass murder.  The Cumbria incident comes to mind.  Charles Whitman also started out this whole 1960s epoch of mass shootings with bolt-action rifles.  Meanwhile, it may seem like bolt-action rifles are primitive and only useful for deer hunting, but keep in mind that they were a pivotal technological advancement in the first world war and were partly responsible for casualty numbers that we hadn't before seen in warfare.  They don't really require a tremendous amount of training to shoot accurately, are supremely lethal, and can be fired with a level of repetition that pales in comparison to modern semi-automatic firing rates, but that can certainly get the job done.


The most brazen example of this had to be Oswald killing JFK with a mail-ordered, bolt-action rifle.  He fired three shots in a matter of seconds, and killed a person who should have been the most protected individual in the world at that particular moment.  Now of course there's all sorts of conspiracy theories surrounding the incident, but what isn't anything short of fact is that the U.S. didn't even require background checks preventing people from ordering such weapons in the mail until well after the assassination of a standing president.  Mass killings and shootings are one thing, but when the leader of your country is snuffed out by a janky catalog rifle most firearms enthusiasts wouldn't look twice at, then it should probably teach you a lesson about foresight with your firearms legislation.  I certainly don't think that we were taken off guard by a sudden revolution in firearms lethality.


Even after that we didn't require waiting periods on handguns until someone killed RFK, and the mentally ill could get ahold of guns until the Brady bill. that particular "gun control" measure didn't take place all the way until 1996, about ten years after someone tried to kill Reagan and paralyzed Jim Brady. The story behind that of course was stranger than fiction; some nut case wanting to impress Jodie Foster after he watched a DeNiro movie.  Maybe we should have had more discussion about media influencing deranged killers and making firearms super accessible to them at that point in time, but again, we have a bad track record of addressing these things proactively. We always wait until something has already happened.


Actually that's debatable, because if you consider the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, and you consider the specific types of weapons being used in mass shooting incidents since then and since Bush let it expire in 2004, it is pretty easy to make the argument that the AWB did in fact prevent a lot of shootings using assault weapons that are now common place.  However, I think some other basic things happened therein as well that made platforms like the AR-15 and AK-47 much more popular as a civilian choice than they were before.  Once again, most of these things come down to gun culture.  One can't really conclude that if people were as inclined to commit mass murder while the AWB was in place that they didn't because they didn't have access to assault weapons.  In fact things like the North Hollywood shootout and Waco seemed to indicate that if a criminal or criminals had the motive and the resources that they could obtain automatic weapons despite the regulations, so I think it stands to reason that assault weapons are only now seeing a surge in popularity because of the trends in which types of guns are being purchased more.  People bought them, so that's what they're going to use. 


I personally think it's just basically coincidence that the AWB was lifted and manufacturers began marketing them more aggressively at the same time that mass shooting incidents became more common place in the U.S.  I mean, we saw shootings becoming more common in the 1990s, but it wasn't until the popularity of assault weapons increased that we saw those assault weapons being used more frequently, despite their availability before hand. I think the copy-cat style nature of people also influenced it, as one event after the other took place where the details of the weapons used were vigorously publicized.  To the point where any person that was unstable, impulsive and thought, "What should I buy to kill a lot of people very quickly?" need not even ask the question.  Through movies, the news, and other media, it basically became a common sense fact that an AR-15 would do exactly what a person trying to orchestrate a mass killing wanted it to do.  You couple that with the surge in sales of these types of weapons as firearm manufacturers want to increase sales, and it's just a no-brainer that they're going to be the type more often used.


Still I think the underlying issue here is that more people are asking the question "What should I buy to kill a lot of people very quickly?"  The rampage-shooting endemic seems to be less a result of high ownership-rates of assault weapons, but the high ownership-rates of assault weapons seems to be caused by the same thing resulting in the rampage-shooting endemic.

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15 hours ago, sivispacem said:

The entire crux of your previous comments was that current mass shooting incidents were incomparable with historic (IE pre '66) ones because the more recent ones involved numerous fatalities and the previous ones often didn't.

Well, you're doing it again. How can you claim that that is the entire crux of my previous comments? Especially since I've never made any such comparison involving fatalities. Such a comparison would require that such incidents actually occurred with regularity throughout history.


What I have said is that the United States did not have a mass shooting problem until recently--that incidents of people planning in cold blood to murder as many people as possible, or to murder indiscriminately, were almost nonexistent prior to the 1960s. Pretending that a shoot-out between mobsters and police or a student shooting a teacher in revenge for whipping his sister have anything to do with today's mass shootings won't change the facts.

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6 hours ago, Dryspace said:


Well, you're doing it again. How can you claim that that is the entire crux of my previous comments? Especially since I've never made any such comparison involving fatalities. Such a comparison would require that such incidents actually occurred with regularity throughout history.


What I have said is that the United States did not have a mass shooting problem until recently--that incidents of people planning in cold blood to murder as many people as possible, or to murder indiscriminately, were almost nonexistent prior to the 1960s. Pretending that a shoot-out between mobsters and police or a student shooting a teacher in revenge for whipping his sister have anything to do with today's mass shootings won't change the facts.

All you've done is shift the goalposts on what you consider to be comparable to the "majority of modern day school shootings".  Well that and make racist implications that crime rate correlates to percentage of ethnic minorities.  When sivis pointed out when you said that (both items), point blank and verbatim, you just accused him of putting words in your mouth.  Frankly I'm not sure how you expect anyone to take you seriously now.

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At no point did I ever assert that the reason mass shootings didn't used to happen is because they didn't technically qualify as mass shootings according to fatality or injury count. It doesn't matter to me which definitions are used--the mass shooting, or school shooting, did not become a phenomenon until approximately the 1960s. That is the assertion I made from the outset. The only way one can dispute that is by claiming, as sivispacem actually did, that things like personal feuds, fights, crimes of passion, and war-time Indian attacks are reasonably similar to the school shootings of today. Or that an incident involving no firearms, a political feud, and a police-mobster shootout are examples of "random mass shootings in public or in schools". The only incidents I found that are even close are targeted personal attacks provoked by an immediately preceding offense. I would have to look over them again, but probably all of those would be considered "crimes of passion"--spontaneous attacks committed in anger, and not planned in cold blood over time.


I'm not sure what you think racism is, but I made no implications regarding ethnic minorities, nor did I offer any opinions. I posted a link to a fact in response to sivispacem's assertion that the United States and Europe have broadly the same societal make-up. Neither a fact, nor the posting of a fact, can be racist. Perhaps you are using a definition of 'racism' I am as yet unfamiliar with.

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2 hours ago, Dryspace said:

mass shooting, or school shooting

You've literally just did it again. Now you're moving the goalposts further by going from "my specific definition of mass shootings" to "school shootings".

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@Saggy, I appreciate the long post, but you really didn't have to.  You convinced me pretty much in the first paragraph.  In fact, your reference to Mafia-style killings in the 1930s made me wonder whether the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre would count as a mass shooting.  After all, 7 people were killed, although there was at least 4 perpetrators.  (But mass shootings are not limited to lone shooters, as far as I know.)

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I'm listening to you, but I don't understand what you mean by saying that I am moving the goalposts further. Further from what? What is the original goalpost that you are asserting that I have not adhered to?

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