What do you think about Apple & the NRA?

I’ve been a number of times to North Carolina, where everyone is armed. Given that despite this, there is still a degree of violent gang activity in the cities there, and the the increasing trends towards bringing up kids in ways that will result in mental illness and broken families, I don’t believe the real issues are physical objects.

Guns are only the most immediate problem. My neighbor gave his son a gun for a birthday present when he was 12. Now, of course, the kid isn’t legally the owner, but the kid still has been told it is his gun. I say kid, but this was years ago, so he’s probably a university student by now. But you get my point.

It’s waaaaay too easy to get access to guns in America. They are everywhere. Which allows those with mental issues (which we also need to address, and we don’t, especially as mental healthcare is so often not covered by insurance, assuming a given person has access to insurance in the first place) to get ahold of them and make spur of the moment decisions.

The first step has to be reduction of the physical objects, just to slow down the killing. The second step is comprehensive healthcare coverage which includes mental healthcare. The third is placing more trained school counselors, actual psychologists, special educators, and therapists inside of public schools… But the guns have to be first.

What you’re suggesting is ass backwards. To fix a problem, you address the actual problem. As numerous people have pointed out, decades ago it was normal for kids to take guns to school, where there were even shooting clubs, and school mass shootings didn’t happen. Taking the means away from violence doesn’t stop the cause of the violence.

If the same logic you apply were made towards any other, far more major cause of death, it would be seen as insane.

I live in a country (Japan) which has neither guns nor serious violence issues. It has a highly structured society such that even known violent criminal groups shun violence, for the most part. As well, I have friends who live in violent cities in the US who are armed. They are alive today as a direct result of that.

The social structure has to be in place first, and not only that, has to have been in place for decades to the the point people can feel safe without serious means to protect themselves. This is the reality.

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Currawong, I live here too.

And Japan never allowed the general population access to guns, or toleration for the guns, not to mention we can go all the way back to the edicts banning swords and muskets during the Bakufu days, to the Meiji proscriptions, and finally the Occupation government and the revised 1947 constitution which is the current one we operate under.

Yes, of course, more must be done in regards to social structures in the United States. You won’t see me disagree, there’s a reason I’m nearly finished with my Japanese naturalisation. But that absolutely doesn’t change the fact that those kinds of STRUCTURAL changes to political frameworks and social relationships take time. A lot of time. Years or decades or scores. In the mean time, it’s time to do what Australia did during the Howard Government, and time to start reducing the overall population of guns and access to those guns.

I am unsure how you can use Japan as an example for promoting keeping so many unqualified and dangerous Americans armed during the long process of making these structural changes. That’s insane.

People keep using Australia as if we’re some shining example of how to stop mass killings, we had 2 minor and then only 1 major mass shooting in Australia in 50 years and yes none since Howard changed the rules but it’s not reasonable to assume from such a small amount of data points that those changes would have a similar effect in the US or that there is any possible way in hell they’d pass such changes.

New Zealand has gun laws that are very similar to those that Australia had before Howard made them stricter and they don’t have mass shootings either? Should we advocate that the US adopt New Zealand style laws? After all… zero mass shootings? Nah the US wouldn’t adopt those either, too much to fast.

Yes the US needs gun control, yes they need monitoring, registration and restriction of who holds gun licenses, yes they need bans on bump stop modifications, yes they need bans on large magazines for semi-auto weapons but even if all of those changes were brought in they’d still be less strict than New Zealand’s current gun laws and Australia’s previous gun laws and not even close to being as strict as Australia’s current gun laws.

Using Australia as a model for the US is unrealistic, they need to walk before the run when it comes to gun regulation and start with achievable changes.

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It’s better than doing nothing, which is what we’ve been doing for decades now. Congress as it currently exists is unlikely to do anything. Because of… well, the NRA, and because of the type of mystical sacred power that American culture gives guns. We literally sacrifice children every other day on the firearm’s altar. Yes, I said literally. As in not a metaphor. As in real children are dying because Americans love guns more than they love children.

All you’re doing is highlighting how completely insane my countrymen are in their slobbering, cultish obsession with guns. The only way we get a change is when people have had enough of the killing to start taking to the streets. Which perhaps is what we are finally seeing, starting with the children themselves.

Which is what I think most people are genuinely trying to do. Except it’s actually difficult to even agree on the problem. The NRA thinks the problem is not enough guns and would probably try to tell you with a straight face that the only thing that will stop a bad toddler with a gun is a good toddler with a gun. Others see it a little differently.

I believe that there’s simply no such thing as a “good guy with a gun” in many contexts. Schools being one of them.

Absolutely correct and of course the problem there is complex and multi faceted. While everyone’s working that stuff out though, taking guns out of homes, as one example, directly and immediately translates into less suicides by gun and less domestic violence by gun. It doesn’t address the issue of why, but it’s very effective at reducing harm.

I just had a quick look at this page on Wikipedia and counted 11 mass shootings in the 9 years before Port Arthur and not including it. Are you using a different definition of mass shooting perhaps?

The vast majority of people are not dangerous. The focus has been on a very minute fraction who are, so as to control the majority.

Don’t forget to be extremely grateful that we get to live in a country where we don’t have violent struggle against those in power. Even in most “civilised” countries you do not even have freedom of speech.

California’s 2 houses of parliament have just passed laws that raise the age to buy a gun to 21, add a 3 day waiting period to gun purchases, and also allows teachers to carry weapons (after receiving training).

It still needs approval from the state’s Governer.

One politician objecting to the moves cited an example - A 20yo single mother will no longer be able to buy a gun to protect herself and her baby. It darn well sounds as though stepping foot on American soil should only be performed if your life insurance is up to date, and you are wearing a bullet-proof vest.

However - whilst crime stats show America faces a lot of criminal activity, per capita, they are actually much safer than nearly 2 dozen other countries including the UK, NZ, Canada, Germany…

(It’s the first link I found - so it’s probably written by monkeys)

Nitpick, but as I am a civics teacher, we don’t have parliaments. We have state legislatures.

Also, if I was Gerry Brown, I wouldn’t agree to teachers carrying guns. Teachers don’t want them. I sure as heck wouldn’t.

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Uhm. Have you been to any of the article 9 demos? Or any of the anti-nuke demos? Or the labor demos?

I mean, sure, we don’t have violent struggle, but we don’t really need them. Abe tried to pass his work-white-collar-employees-to-death labor reform, and the unions (mine included) went to the streets. And now suddenly it is being reconsidered, hmm… Gee.

I did some political consulting late last year for the newly formed Constitutional Democratic Party, trust me, the Japanese are more organised and more willing to make change and protest than many think. But they are more than willing to keep voting in the LDP as long as it avoids expansion of these particular issues (militarism, nuclear power/weapons, and even further deregulation of labor law).

Absolutely. But the lack of gun control makes it so easy for tragic outcomes.

Joe bloggs is teetering on the brink, gets the gun out, and loses it completely, going in to town and shooting 15 people. Here in Oz, Joe bloggs might be teetering on the brink, but if he’s going to kill anyone he has to get up close and personal. And he’s not going to kill 15 people with a knife or baseball bat or machete, before the police are taking him down. I do believe, though, that it makes a difference if you have to watch the other person as you stab or otherwise maim him. I think most of these shooters might hesitate if they were to get personal. Guns keep them at a distance so they dont have to care what they are doing or who they are doing it to. Gun control is a good thing.

I was using the double figures definition, where below that it’s a called multiple shooting.

That was the way it was measured when I was at school (yes I know they use 4 now, but really… is 4 a ‘mass’ ?)

Why is Joe Bloggs teetering on the brink? How has he got that way? Why has nobody noticed and offered to help him?

I think you know as well as I do that there is no quick or easy answer to that. And if you cant see that guns should not be easily accessible to anyone, including Joe Bloggs, then I give up. I come from the point of view of someone who was a community mental health nurse and I feel like I do know something of how people think. I had a client who owned a gun, and had a seriously paranoid personality disorder. He, and his ex-wife, were lucky that his sister realised something was wrong and alerted police. The gun was removed, and he came into my care after hospitalisation. Guns simply should not be available so easily, and I thank heavens that they arent, in Australia. I know you’ll ask how he got his: gun club.

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A school in the Netherlands was attacked by a man with two large knives this week. The students were able to scare him off by ganging up and hitting him with their backpacks. Nobody was injured. The Netherlands has strong gun control laws that prevented this loon from being able to take a gun to that school instead.

Yes, the questions of why these people are doing this need to be asked.

But for heavens sake take away the AR-15s while we’re getting to the bottom of it. It might just prevent the unnecessary deaths of some of our kids in the meantime.


I don’t think you’d find many people in Australia arguing that AR-15s are necessary.

But there are lot of farmers who’d like to still be able to use a low capacity 5 shot semi-auto or pump action shot gun on their farms for vermin control and can’t.

And yet we allow thousands of duck shooters to take pot shots with under and over shot guns killing numerous protected birds as collateral damage.

There’s something wrong with that mix…

Farmers have managed for years without. There is no argument for semi auto that I could accept. I also think duck shooters should be shot. Its all wrong.

For years farmers have seen increasing numbers of feral animal attacks on stock, if you’d seen multiple sheep screaming in pain with their intestines hanging in a line for 20 metres behind them after packs of wild dog attack you might have a different view. A bolt action gun allows 1 shot which is useless against dog packs.

Managing? No… watching suffering without being able to do anything about it, not quite the same thing.

So you answer to gun control is shooting people with guns?

That seems… to run counter to your original argument.