Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Hate and guns

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  • izogi, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    there are thousands of towns with strong gun control regulations - they don't make the news because they are boring and moderate

    How does that work? Given the constitutional stuff, to what extent can a town or municipality in the USA get away with regulating guns?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    *shudder* As I've pointed out elsewhere today, more than once, this is shit my father didn't have access to when he was a solider fighting honest to God Nazis in a real war.

    And yet it's still nowhere near sufficient to 'overthrow a tyrannical government', as those who think they have a copyright on the 2nd Amendment would have us believe.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to izogi,

    I should think it's enforcement that would be the problem.

    California has tried to control guns https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_California

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Although the NRA provided material and strategic support to Australia's minuscule Shooters Party, nothing with that kind of scale and pervasity has ever existed there. Without a deeper understanding of the different situations in Australia and the US, downplaying the NRA's influence is empty hypothesising.

    As Katharine Moody & Tussock have mentioned earlier, the NRA has gone from being a social training club, to what could be more accurately described as an arm of the military-industrial complex.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Angela Hart,

    I should think it's enforcement that would be the problem.

    California has tried to control guns https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_laws_in_California

    When the Black Panthers wielded AK47s for self-defence outside the state court house, open-carry was outlawed in 1967 by, of all people, then-governor Ronald Reagan and the NRA.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    And most importantly of all, be wary of illiberal homophobes and misogynists who claim to be born-again LGBT and womens' rights activists against the 'filthy mud races'... because they're still illiberal bigots to the core. Laurie Penny says it better than I can.

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/feminism/2016/01/after-cologne-we-cant-let-bigots-steal-feminism

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to izogi,

    Is it reasonable to say that when suitably inadequate gun controls meet a suitably inadequate mental health system, something like the USA emerges? Or is there more to it?

    I think an adequate mental health system has to include a public understanding of what good mental health looks like. Good mental health is a community thing. It’s the resilience of the group structure to support individuals when they become unwell. My idea of group resilience in the twenty first century includes the group supporting able people to study and become health professionals who not only administer treatment to mentaly I’ll people – they research and educate the group on how to stay well.

    A lot our good medical science comes from the US. They are not all fucked up. But the idea people need guns to protect guns to protect themselves from people in there own group, who also have guns is definitely a problem. I have sympathy for the millions of Americans who are trying to evolve into a civilised nation.

    When I visited the US, I didn’t see any civilians with guns. I didn’t feel any less safe wandering around in the more derelict parts of San Francisco than I have in Whangarei. I felt safe in New York apart from at Grand central station. Not some because of the NYPD snipers up in the wings, but because I herd a story about someone pulling a gun which resulted in several people being injured by the plods firing of the police issue weapons. The actual offended was arrested unharmed.

    Yes I think it is much much much more than an under funded mental health system and the under regulated fire arms market. Alcohol is just one addition – misinterpreted historic religions babbling is another and crazy selfish economics.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to izogi,

    How does that work? Given the constitutional stuff, to what extent can a town or municipality in the USA get away with regulating guns?

    Same way any town regulates things like parking and traffic rules. 2nd amendment has failed to stop University campuses becoming gun-free as well. Supreme court has long established that 2nd amendment is nowhere near as strong as gun-nuts think it is. Essentially you are allowed to own a gun but towns/businesses/universities are also allowed to restrict guns within their domains as well.

    As weird as it sounds each town has “rights” to control activities like possession of weapons in public spaces that are equal to the “rights” of the individual to own a gun.

    Of course those “rights” can and do get tested in courts regularly which makes the lawyers rich. And of course the elected officials can change the rules as well.

    NB I am not a US constitutional lawyer but that my understanding

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4449 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart, in reply to steven crawford,

    misinterpreted historic religions babbling is another and crazy selfish economics

    root causes

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The picture of Omar Mateen is certainly getting more complex. A former police academy classmate, four Pulse regulars and a man who interacted with him on a dating app all say they believed him to be gay. Most accounts also have him as a dark, unhappy figure with few friends, who drank heavily on the occasions he went to Pulse.

    It’s tempting to think his confused and contradictory grab-bag of radical influences pushed him into an act of extreme self-loathing. Or did the fact of a Latin night featuring trans performers trigger some other hatred? I guess we’ll find out more in time.

    One thing this is not looking like is a man actually directed by ISIS, or a part of a conspiracy. This is quite unlike the Paris attacks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22724 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    One thing this is not looking like is a man actually directed by ISIS, or a part of a conspiracy. This is quite unlike the Paris attacks.

    A bit of Jared Loughner, Man Haron Manis, Clayton Weatherston, Andrew Cunanan... who else would Omar Mateen have taken after?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5414 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to steven crawford,

    Good mental health is a community thing.

    Except when communities are non existent.
    I would argue we have lost a large part of being a community, with the recent incursion of the money thing into our lives stepping into the void left by gods, post WWII
    And in NZ we have cheerleaders for the priority of the fiscal, running govt! Trying to turn every aspect of our lives into a profitable financial exercise, and lie about their goals as well.(they consider themselves expert at finessing their agenda)

    I can only speak in general terms about the US.There may be some joy in some of the people but its swimming in a sea of comfortable misery, if you can afford it. Otherwise your living off tips and handouts...begging, conning.
    My impression on my visits to the US even pre 9/11.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1868 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Russell Brown,

    One thing this is not looking like is a man actually directed by ISIS, or a part of a conspiracy.

    Yes, but......even if not actively directed, still involved enough to pop up on the FBI's radar as someone who needed to be interviewed twice. A toxic mix of self-hate and self-radicalisation, would be my guess.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s tempting to think his confused and contradictory grab-bag of radical influences pushed him into an act of extreme self-loathing. Or did the fact of a Latin night featuring trans performers trigger some other hatred? I guess we’ll find out more in time.

    It's also equally plausible that he was a deeply homophobic straight man who scoped out the scene of his crime for a disturbingly long time, using social media to stalk potential victims and hung around people he hated with an ultimately lethal passion.

    I don't know, in the end it may turn out nobody ever really knows what the fuck was going through Mateen's mind because this is real life not television where everything ties up in a neat bow at the end.

    But I'm seeing people who are glomming onto "a self-hating Muslim queer did it" with indecent haste (present company very much excluded) because it's a narrative that neatly side-steps hard and ugly questions about homophobia and gun culture.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    It’s also equally plausible that he was a deeply homophobic straight man who scoped out the scene of his crime for a disturbingly long time, using social media to stalk potential victims and hung around people he hated with an ultimately lethal passion.

    It’s a very long time. Lateen’s former police academy colleague says Mateen asked him out 10 years ago. And he was on multiple dating apps for years, it appears.

    Meanwhile, given the police correction as to what he actually said on arrest, it seems James Wesley Howell may simply have been the kind of gun-obsessed, threatening right-wing asshole who drives around with assault rifles and bomb ingredients, and happened to be gay or bi. But his ex’s reports about him yelling about wanting to “take everybody out” suggest it might have been a matter of time before he hurt someone. Christ – how many of these men are there in American, merrily buying arsenals?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22724 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Hooton, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    nobody ever really knows what the fuck was going through Mateen’s mind because this is real life not television where everything ties up in a neat bow at the end

    This is probably the most sensible comment I have read on this topic anywhere on the internet.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 194 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    This is probably the most sensible comment I have read on this topic anywhere on the internet

    RIght’o, so we might as well get back on our tractors and head on down to the pisser because psychological science is only for these politically correct wowsers that live in city’s, mate.

    And have you ever thought how I might see colours a bit different to your? And how it is really hard to know?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This witness account suggests some weird, inexplicable racial motives were tied up in the atrocity too:

    Orlando said he never looked Mr. Mateen in the eye, but recalled his calm voice. At one point, after noticing that some of the hostages in the bathroom were texting, the gunman ordered them to surrender their phones.

    He spoke again, according to Orlando, asking the hostages, “Are you guys black?”

    “He said, ‘I don’t have an issue with the blacks,’” Orlando said.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22724 posts Report Reply

  • John McCormick,

    Around 10-15 years ago there was a backlash against increasing use of Spanish in the US, and a number of states proposed English only laws. A TV report interviewed people about their feelings for the issue, and one woman explained her support by saying, "If the English language was good enough for Jesus Christ, it's good enough for me." She was completely serious.

    I always think of this when trying to understand some of the weirder aspects of America. A significant proportion of the population has a frame of reference so foreign to us that it's hard to believe we live in the same world. It's also hard to think of any evidence or logic that would persuade such a person to change their minds.

    Auckland • Since Sep 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Russell Brown,

    how many of these men are there in American, merrily buying arsenals?

    Some sociological thoughts/studies on why America stands out in this regard;

    https://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2015/12/31/mass-shootings-in-the-u-s-what-makes-so-many-american-men-dangerous/

    And for an interesting analysis of stats, there is this (as linked in the above);
    http://www.charlespetzold.com/blog/2015/07/De-Obfuscating-the-Statistics-of-Mass-Shootings.html

    My hunch is that the US, as an advanced democracy/economy within a single sovereign state, is too highly populated and the congestion/density of its major urban areas too high. As times goes on people/families become more and more transient - putting down inter-generational roots in a particular geographic area is no longer the norm. Family sizes are smaller - fewer siblings and cousins providing a feeling of belonging and support within the younger generation. The 'melting pot' that was once its strength is now a weakness. I think America is having a wide scale identity crisis - not handling the diversity of its population well at all. And its youth are the most negatively affected by this inter-generational disconnect.

    The concept of social capital possibly has a lot to contribute to the analysis of their problems. They might be better off as a number of independent countries, giving more opportunity for the development of unique/differentiated socio-political and cultural belonging/identity. Failing that, such a large, diverse democratic state likely needs an MMP-type electoral system - or some type of electoral reform that breaks down that two-party state apparatus.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    The EU has three times the population density of the USA (and has many densely populated urban areas).

    Closer to home, many New Zealanders* (including myself) live a very long way from the places we were born, and few of us are psychopathic killers.

    *(25%)

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    The 'melting pot' that was once its strength is now a weakness.

    Surely the 'melting pot' only ever really referred to white folks. In the era of economic expansion in which it served as a convenient label, Jim Crow laws still governed much of the South.

    They might be better off as a number of independent countries...

    Things probably looked that way to many in the 1860s, or in 1932, when Douglas MacArthur deployed tanks and a cavalry charge against the Bonus Army in Washington DC. It's a solution that might well have appealed to supporters of the status quo during the civil rights struggle of the 1960s.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4590 posts Report Reply

  • Gabor Toth,

    Just to note a couple of things about some of the nomenclature being used in this discussion. The AR15 which dominates in the US civilian rifle market and which has been used in several recent mass killings is not an assault rifle but a military-style semi-automatic. The M16 (the military version of the AR15) is an assault rifle because it is a “select fire” weapon (i.e. it can shoot single shots, full-auto or a three-round burst). However assault rifles are generally not available for purchase by civilians in the United States without a special license issued by the Federal Government which relatively few people have. Also the detachable bit that holds the ammunition is called a magazine, not a “clip” (a clip is different). The incorrect use of these terms by the media doesn’t make them correct.

    This is important when entering into any discussion with or about the gun lobby or pro-2a individuals as they will generally ignore any argument when basic terms are used incorrectly. The same applies to when discussing an issue with people from a military background; e.g. get the word “battalion” confused with the word “company” and they will often ignore everything else you say regardless of how sound and rational your point of view is.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2006 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Indeed. My mother, a nurse, was promoted to charge of an ER in San Antonio Texas in the early 50s. She implemented a system whereby people were assessed and treated based on the severity of their injury. It did not go down well at all with the hospital administration. She refused to amend her protocol. The administration got in touch with my dad's bosses in the Air Force - requested that they transfer him out of the state. His bosses didn't want to refuse the hospital administration but neither did they want to lose him as a cryptographer. So they offered him a transfer to a place they figured he and my mom would not accept - Alaska (as an enlisted serviceman they couldn't force him to transfer). They took it in a flash - they couldn't wait to get out of Texas.

    Point is, Mom was raised in Canada and Dad in Chicago. The American south, and Texas in particular, was on another planet. In many (but different) ways, it still is. Trying to unite all those widely divergent perspectives within one nation-state is fraught with difficulty. As I said in my first post, the societal problems as I see it, are almost intractable - too big and too complex to comprehend or legislate for. Hence central government becomes more and more authoritarian and less and less effective.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 797 posts Report Reply

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