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Date Posted: 03:29:38 03/27/18 Tue
Author: Mike
Subject: Completely agree with you there...
In reply to: Comicality 's message, "Well, see...what you're saying, Tj, defeats your own argument" on 01:41:41 03/27/18 Tue

If it's a cultural thing to blame for America's high gun crime & mass-shootings rates, as some have suggested, then what is it that's different, culturally, between the US and every other developed nation that doesn't have a gun problem?

By and large we have the same culture. Especially in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Britain and the US, where we share the same language. And surely we all care for our kids and want them to be able to go to school and be safe.

What we don't have, is the same laws on gun ownership.

Here in the UK we also have bullied teens. Violent teens, depressed teens. but we don't have mass attacks. Unless you count terror attacks - but they're rare, in the whole of Europe less people have been killed in terror attacks in the last twenty years than those who have been killed in the US just this last year in mass shootings (I'm not including the 10,000 + a year who are shot and killed in typical homicides), and Europe's population is twice the size of the US.

I do partially agree, in a way, it is a cultural thing, in the respect that guns are made to be seen as fashionable. We see it even among toddlers, giving them toy guns to play 'cops and robbers' with. When they're shooting at each other, do they actually give it any thought to what they're doing, even if it's in pretend mode. Maybe in some way it desensitises a population to guns and what it means to use one. As well as children't toys, it's also seen in video games, movies and sung about in songs. The gun is almost "revered" in the US.

But "culture" isn't an excuse not to act. Segregation also used to be "cultural". Slavery was once legal and practised virtually everywhere. And women used to be treated little better than property. Societies evolve and improve and try to limit danger where they can. Culture's not an excuse.

Personally, I try to stay out of it for the most part because I'm not an American, I don't really have to worry about the odds of being shot. But it still saddens me a great deal when I see school children, like those in Sandy Hook, and those in Parkland, shot and killed for no rational reason. And I see that a powerful gun lobby has America's congress at gunpoint (pun intended) by financing their politicians. Nothing helpful gets done about it.

And it's not just about bullied teens either. School mass shootings are just one type among many. There was a church shooting and the Las Vegas concert shooting last year. of the 350 mass shootings last year, I don't think a single one was at a school. I could be wrong, but if there was any school shootings last year, they paled in number compared to those not in schools. So to pin this on bullied teens is missing the big picture.

So yeah, by all means tackling bullying, mental illness and lonely teens, they're worthwhile causes, but also look at reforming the laws around guns too.

Back to my question because I sort of trailed off there a bit. What's different culturally between the US and the rest of the west that would explain this better than very poor gun regulation? Did you know that it's more difficult in some states to purchase a puppy than a gun? Shouldn't it be at least as difficult to purchase a gun (or at least an assault rifle) as it it to get a driver's license, or a puppy?

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