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Thread: Mass shootings

  1. #1
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    Default Mass shootings

    Thought it was high time we had a general thread about this. Some points about the most recent spate:

    * Trump continues to prove there is no absolute zero of decency by offering the usual vapid thortsnprairs and, in the next tweet, reiterating the need for "immigration reform". God I knows it's been said before but I think the USA and the world is fast losing its ability to be shocked, if it hasn't already.
    * I was disappointed to see the usually excellent Neil D. Tyson saying, in so many words, "Car accidents account for more deaths than gun murders, so chill out". Seriously, what the fuck?
    * The right-wing conspiracy-theory industry has already gone into overdrive, claiming the El Paso shooter was a "left-wing extremist", with poorly faked "proof" supposedly showing his Twitter bio originally saying he supported the "Democrat [sic.] party" before the shooting, having been changed to Republican afterwards. (Never mind the mentality you need to assume the Democrats are "far left".) This is part of an established meme I've run across quite a lot on FB, Twitter and so on in the last couple of years among hard-right Americans, which is that they are absolutely convinced their country is in the grip of a wave of mass-murderous far-left terrorism. I suppose an analogy in the UK is Brexit ultras screaming "NAZI!!!" at anti-Brexit MPs, even those in the Tory party.
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    we have the same per-capita level of mental illness as the rest of the world, and play the same video games as anyone else. yet we have many times the number of deaths and injuries per-capita from gun violence.

    the difference between us and the rest of the world is the number of guns we have, and ease of getting them. and a gun lobby that spends enough to put our politicians in their pocket.

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    This is bizarre.


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    Everybody wants to be somebody

    Taxi Driver was very prescient about this phenomenon, particularly when it comes to far-right extremist shootings.

    Travis Bickle as the proto-incel.

    If it came out today he'd be a poster on 8Chan.
    Last edited by Corpsey; 07-08-2019 at 09:50 AM.
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    guess my point is "everybody wants to be somebody" is universal, right? it's human nature, people feel the same way in every country, yet the level of gun violence is magnitudes higher in the US versus anywhere else. human nature is consistent around the world, the availability of guns and power of the gun lobby isn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    guess my point is "everybody wants to be somebody" is universal, right? it's human nature, people feel the same way in every country, yet the level of gun violence is magnitudes higher in the US versus anywhere else. human nature is consistent around the world, the availability of guns and power of the gun lobby isn't.
    The idea that "if you ain't somebody, you're nobody" (i.e. a loser) is probably more widespread in the USA than many (and perhaps any) other countries though, isn't it? Goes back to the dude who shot John Lennon in order to be "famous".

    Obviously the phenomenon of mass public gun ownership is particular to the USA.
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    Also copycat phenomenon where the shooters refer to eachother. Media should ban publishing their names/photos, although of course that is impossible nowadays.

    It is the white disenfranchised/US version of MENA 'terrorists'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    guess my point is "everybody wants to be somebody" is universal, right? it's human nature, people feel the same way in every country, yet the level of gun violence is magnitudes higher in the US versus anywhere else. human nature is consistent around the world, the availability of guns and power of the gun lobby isn't.
    Yeah, guns are obviously the key difference. I'm sure there are young men in the UK who would love to do this sort of thing but simply lack the means. (Pro gun people always say "they'll get them anyway" but I don't think it's all that easy to get hold of guns here if you're not plugged into the criminal underworld.)

    Also SSRIs, gutting of mental health care, extremity of the media, etc.

    My uninformed impression is that the US has always been a violent place (to generalise lol). Perhaps because it's a "newer" society than the UK, e.g., which I'm sure would have been a LOT more violent a few hundred years ago. Every society is soaked in blood I suppose, if you look back far enough.
    Last edited by Corpsey; 07-08-2019 at 02:13 PM.
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    we're all uninformed (me included) on this to some degree. crime -- particularly violent crime -- is at all-time lows in the states and has been on the decline for decades even in major cities. New York is safer than it's ever been, yet some neighborhoods in Chicago are known as chi-raq. some news reports make England sound like knife crime island, but obviously that's an exaggeration. is street crime in Johannesburg not relevant here because it's more about simple robbery than racist ideology or perpetually aggrieved incels?

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    the US has this ingrained notion of "freedom" -- freedom of speech, right to own a gun, the wild frontier -- that can be easily pushed beyond intended norms to mutate into "I can do whatever I want/don't tread on me" unlawful rebellion. couple that nature with availability of guns and you get the toxic brew of today.
    Last edited by Leo; 07-08-2019 at 03:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chava View Post
    Also copycat phenomenon where the shooters refer to eachother. Media should ban publishing their names/photos, although of course that is impossible nowadays.

    It is the white disenfranchised/US version of MENA 'terrorists'.
    This happens with suicides, too. And a factor that often gets overlooked is the USA's high suicide rate and the connection to gun ownership. I dunno if Americans are inherently any more likely to feel suicidal than other people, but the quickness and finality of suicide by shooting is surely a big factor - whereas a pill-bosher's stomach can be pumped, and someone who's gone onto the roof of a tall building might be talked down or have second thoughts, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    This happens with suicides, too. And a factor that often gets overlooked is the USA's high suicide rate and the connection to gun ownership. I dunno if Americans are inherently any more likely to feel suicidal than other people, but the quickness and finality of suicide by shooting is surely a big factor - whereas a pill-bosher's stomach can be pumped, and someone who's gone onto the roof of a tall building might be talked down or have second thoughts, etc.
    Yes, suicides are not reported in the media and 'alternate media'/social media has lucikly not yet replaced it, although we did have a case with Instagram in my home country recently.

    The global suicide rate is way down, though, primarily thanks to pesticide ban/reduction in Asia which before counted for a lot.

    I think the mental health institutions are in a pretty bad shape in some places in the US, also community breakdown and mass layoff in some areas do people in. My guess is that the opiate crisis in the US are not overdoses, but suicides. It has been suspected among social workers for quite some time that the vast majority of heroine overdoses are largely suicides or homicides and not accidental.

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    The El Paso Shooting and the Gamification of Terror - https://www.bellingcat.com/news/amer...ion-of-terror/

    The El Paso shooter’s manifesto and 8chan post show his radicalization and turn towards white suprematism, the Christchurch shooter’s manifesto, and the video of his massacre, likely acting as major influences in his eventual attack. The most important takeaways from the El Paso shooting are twofold:

    1) 8chan’s /pol board continues to deliberately radicalize mass shooters.
    2) The act of massacring innocents has been gamified.
    Ever since the Christchurch shooting spree, 8chan users have commented regularly on Brenton Tarrant’s high bodycount, and made references to their desire to “beat his high score”... What we see here is evidence of the only real innovation 8chan has brought to global terrorism: the gamification of mass violence. We see this not just in the references to “high scores”, but in the very way the Christchurch shooting was carried out. Brenton Tarrant livestreamed his massacre from a helmet cam in a way that made the shooting look almost exactly like a First Person Shooter video game. This was a conscious choice, as was his decision to pick a sound-track for the spree that would entertain and inspire his viewers.

    The Poway Synagogue shooter attempted to copy Tarrant in both these tactics, posting a musical playlist along with his shooting. At this point it is unknown as to whether or not the El Paso shooter attempted to livestream his massacre, but posts like this on 8chan suggest that anons tried to claim the shooter as “ourguy” and tried to brigade live chats of news coverage of the event (the YouTube link was for live coverage of the shooting).

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    Quote Originally Posted by chava View Post
    The global suicide rate is way down, though, primarily thanks to pesticide ban/reduction in Asia which before counted for a lot.
    Interesting, I hadn't heard that. Do you mean pesticide pollution was making people kill themselves or that already suicidal people we deliberately poisoning themselves with the stuff?

    Quote Originally Posted by chava View Post
    I think the mental health institutions are in a pretty bad shape in some places in the US, also community breakdown and mass layoff in some areas do people in. My guess is that the opiate crisis in the US are not overdoses, but suicides. It has been suspected among social workers for quite some time that the vast majority of heroine overdoses are largely suicides or homicides and not accidental.
    I suspect many of these deaths fall somewhere between 'true' accidents and 'true' suicides. Meaning they're not necessarily a conscious decision to end one's life, more a case of "Everything is so shit, I'm just going to get as high as I can, and if I don't wake up, then so be it."

    (That said, the prevalence of fentanyl, which is insanely strong - something like 100 times as powerful as morphine, weight for weight - is certainly contributing to accidental deaths among long-term addicts who know how to handle other prescription painkillers and even street heroin.)

    Health organisations in the UK have started keeping statistics of what they call "deaths of despair", which include suicides, deaths from acute alcohol and/or drug overdose and deaths from diseases caused by chronic heavy drinking or drug use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    This is bizarre.

    This bloke sounds shady as hell:

    8chan: owner of extremist site lashes out as scrutiny intensifies - https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...nt-jim-watkins

    Watkins had learned computer skills in the US army, and while serving in the military made money with a side business – a pornography site and web hosting services catering to adult Japanese sites.
    He left the army in 1998 and his company, NT Technology, began hosting the popular Japanese message board that inspired 4chan, 2channel, two years later. Watkins eventually took control of that site in 2014. That same year, he offered his assistance to Brennan, who been struggling to keep 8chan functioning.

    Brennan moved to the Philippines to work with Watkins, who eventually took ownership of 8chan, too.

    Brennan stopped working for 8chan in 2016 and cut ties in 2018.

    Brennan has called for the site to be shut down in a number of interviews since the El Paso shooting, arguing that Watkins has failed to manage the site responsibly and even encouraged extremism with decisions such as running the tagline “Embrace infamy” on the site’s homepage. In the past, Brennan had cheered the site’s involvement in harassment campaigns.

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