Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Cultures and violence

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  • James W, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Attachment

    Everyone's violent crime rate is going down, especially in the OECD, but America is still way more violent than anyone else:

    http://www.kieranhealy.org/blog/archives/2012/07/20/america-is-a-violent-country/

    Since Jul 2008 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Also the country with a deadly Drug War, which kills tens of thousands of people a year.

    If I lived there I'd probably break the law and get a gun.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Konrad Kurta,

    I have to laugh when I hear the, 'guns don't kill people, people kill people', line. No, gun regulation won't solve the underlying issues that cause some maladjusted and/or mentally ill adolescents to go on a rampage. However, there's a good chance that strict gun regulation would prevent the easy access to automatic weapons enjoyed by your average American mass-murderer. Adam Lanza couldn't have slaughtered two dozen children with a potato peeler.

    South Korea • Since Dec 2012 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The Supreme Court usually applies particular heed to the hidden, zeroth amendment:
    "..except for black people..."

    (to be inserted between each provision of the constitution).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4463 posts Report Reply

  • Konrad Kurta, in reply to James W,

    Interestingly, the authors of 'Freakonomics' provide a pretty strong argument for abortion as the driving factor behind the drop in violent crime in the US.

    South Korea • Since Dec 2012 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Konrad Kurta,

    Interestingly, the authors of ‘Freakonomics’ provide a pretty strong argument for abortion as the driving factor behind the drop in violent crime in the US.

    And all the more so because it happened by accident rather than engineering. There's also the associated economic boom and the boost in police numbers.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4352 posts Report Reply

  • Ana Simkiss, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Congress et al could enact a gun control law that excluded semi automatic weapons from 2nd amendment protection.

    If you are suggesting that any legislature in the USA can simply define certain types of weapons out of the constitutional protection of the second amendment, then I agree with Graeme. That is plain wrong.

    An illustration. Can a state define certain things as not being "speech" therefore not protected by the first amendment? well yes, but the Supreme Court may well disagree with the definition and strike the law down.

    Freemans Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 125 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Martin Lindberg,

    No, I can't think of anywhere relevant at all to compare the situation in America with.

    They're not actually aliens, you know. It's a society with a fairly strong rule of law, a federal system, and a colonial history, like many other countries. The human beings inhabiting it can largely be controlled by the same mechanisms that work elsewhere. Their institutions are not unique on the planet. They move slowly, but they still have the power, with sufficient motivation, to change fundamental things.

    What I don't know is whether they have the will. But that's a notoriously difficult thing to make statements about that span any length of time. A spate of these incidents might flip the public debate.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8589 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Testosterone.

    You know how I feel about essentialism, Bart.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Ana Simkiss,

    sure smells like Scalia

    quite, where "well-regulated" means not all all.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16755 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Konrad Kurta,

    abortion as the driving factor behind the drop in violent crime

    and the unrelated baby-boom blip that also fed NZ's similar drop since the 90s

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16755 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    If you are suggesting that any legislature in the USA can simply define certain types of weapons out of the constitutional protection of the second amendment, then I agree with Graeme. That is plain wrong.

    I don't know that simply can be said about anything do with the U.S. government, but arms one step above semi-automatic assault weapons (fully automatic machine guns) on up in destructiveness through heavy armour to nuclear and biological weapons have steadily greater regulation. So for classes of weapons it is in-arguable that restriction is historically possible. Semi-automatic assault weapons are one step down from where regulation presently kicks in (though historically there are periods where they were) so this is why much of the debate focuses on them.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 899 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Of course historically, the Supreme Court has tended to feel that the 2nd ammendment applies to militias, not individuals. It is the recent court that has taken a different direction.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 899 posts Report Reply

  • SteveH, in reply to Ana Simkiss,

    If you are suggesting that any legislature in the USA can simply define certain types of weapons out of the constitutional protection of the second amendment, then I agree with Graeme. That is plain wrong.

    Why "plain wrong"? Are you arguing that the second amendment means people have a constitutionally protected right on own cruise missiles? There is nothing in there which states that the government must allow the people to keep and bear arms of all types. There is also nothing in there about how many weapons an individual has a right to own.

    Since Sep 2009 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    Dave Cormac said, "Without having much knowledge, it seems awfully difficult to pin a reason down for the seemingly frequent recurrence of school shootings. Is it the access to guns? Probably not, because in Israel it's easier to get a gun but their rate of civilian shootings seems low (yeah yeah I know). Are they particularly violent in the States? Possibly. Is it racist tensions? Is it education? Who knows. It could be a combination of all."

    Israel is top of the list for civilian shootings according to this article:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/06/the_risk_from_guns.html

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Only a select few Americans (vetted by the ATF) are allowed to buy a full-auto machine guns

    Though actually quite a few do (Google "OFASTS" for an example). The procedure is not too dissimilar to the process that target pistol shooters in NZ need to go through buy a pistol. However as many Americans consider this an affront to their "rights" (with both the owner and the gun having to be registered with Federal authorities) it is a relatively niche area compared to the huge numbers that buy Military-style semi-auto rifles.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg,

    An interesting take by Matthew Cheney: Warrior Dreams and Gun Control Fantasies where he looks at the rise in popularity of assault weapons starting in the eighties and quotes James William Gibson's Warrior Dreams:

    To argue ... that many of these murderers could have been stopped solely by increased gun control is to pretend that the social and political crises of post-Vietnam America never occurred and that the New War did not develop as the major way of overcoming those disasters. Paramilitary culture made military-style rifles desirable, and legislation cannot ban a culture. The gun-control debate was but the worst kind of fetishism, in which focusing on a part of the dreadful reality of the decade — combat weapons — became a substitute for confronting what America had become.

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    Hmm, the link didn't fully post. I'll try again:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2010/06/the_risk
    _from_guns.html

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    If I lived there I’d probably break the law and get a gun.

    The rate in Mexico is actually 15 guns per capita, same as Australia and less than New Zealand's 22.6. The violence is relatively concentrated. But if you lived in a Drug War place, yeah.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18963 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 192 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    My brothers and I, never had toy guns when we were growing up.

    Our parents reckoned that guns where serious tools for killing, not toys.

    Since Nov 2006 • 2751 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to Russell Brown,

    less than New Zealand’s 22.6

    wut?

    Stockholm • Since Jul 2009 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This NYT story is amazing: Newtown turns out to have been right in the middle of the gun-rights war.

    Also, Lanza and his mother were exactly the kind of people whose idea of a family good time was going out and shooting at shit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18963 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Danielle,

    You know how I feel about essentialism, Bart.

    Fair call. But the fundamental biological differences between those with and without high levels of testosterone are clear. If you want to modulate testosterone driven behaviour you must acknowledge it is real.

    That is not to say you can't modify that behaviour but approaching it from the perspective that boys and girls are the same in this regard is a quick path to failure.

    Flip side of it, ignoring the possibility of female violence is also unrealistic.

    Bearing all that in mind, making it illegal for men to own guns or be in the possession of guns would be and effective if completely impractical solution that of course does not address the core problem you identified.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3415 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    If you want to modulate testosterone driven behaviour you must acknowledge it is real.

    It's even got a name. The Animalistic Penis Brain (APB)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8589 posts Report Reply

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