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Old 26th May 2022, 02:11 PM   #1
Meadmaker
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What else could be done to lower the US murder rate?

We have another high profile mass shooting in the US news.

Predictably, there has been one topic that dominates coverage. I know that I think it's important. I'm among the people who responded predictably, and I'll respond predictably the next time this predictable thing happens again.


But.....what else could be done? Is there something else about the US that leads to high murder rates, and can we address that in addition to that other thing.


So, in this thread, I want to see if people have thoughts on murder in the USA, but for which guns, less or more, aren't the central solution.

Mental health awareness is often cited.

I think surveillance cameras have done a lot to lower crime rates, but I don't know that I would want more of them. Possibly in high crime areas. Surveillance of one kind or another is going to happen whether we like them or not. Sharing data on license plates and such near crime scenes is not going to go away.

I saw the guy behind this site on TV this week:

https://rachelschallenge.org/

It seems to be getting rave reviews.


Of course, turning to Jesus is something some people recommend, but I don't think that one is going to get a whole lot of traction here. I don't think all of us getting our chakras aligned or using healing energy crystals are going to get a favorable response here either.




I know I can't completely dictate the contents of a thread, and some mention of guns is probably unavoidable, but in this thread I want the topic of gun control to be off the table. This things discussed might be in addition to gun control, or instead of gun control, but gun control will, and ought to be, discussed elsewhere.

Any thoughts?
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Old 26th May 2022, 02:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
What else could be done to lower the US murder rate?

We have another high profile mass shooting in the US news.
My first thought is that mass shootings have a negligible effect on the murder rate. They are statistical outliers, and you could eliminate all of them and have very little effect on the murder rate.

I'm not being dismissive of mass shootings, I think they have a negative impact on society which is larger than a raw number comparison might suggest, so it's absolutely worth trying to figure out how we can reduce mass shootings as well as the overall murder rate. But mass shootings and typical murders are different problems, and likely need different solutions.

Quote:
Mental health awareness is often cited.
That a big item. We've de-institutionalized the mentally ill too much.
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Old 26th May 2022, 02:24 PM   #3
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High profile spree shootings have a contagion effect. Immediately after a high profile one, the chances of another one go up. What one would want to do about that is tricky, but slapping the killers face everywhere and giving his score soomes to come at a cost.
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Old 26th May 2022, 02:26 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
My first thought is that mass shootings have a negligible effect on the murder rate
The mass shooting is what catapulted the subject into the headlines again, but the actual murder rate is dominated by just plain old ordinary shootings. Some of them are "mass" because four people are injured. Four? Hah! This is the USA. Try harder!

But I want to talk about our incredibly high homicide rate in general, not specifically crazy people going around shooting people at random.

Quote:
That a big item. We've de-institutionalized the mentally ill too much.
If, somehow, we could achieve something with mental illness treatment and/or awareness, that would help, but an awful lot of people who murder in the US are perfectly sane. It would touch very little of the gang related shootings, for example, and those make up a huge chunk of the murders.
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Old 26th May 2022, 02:37 PM   #5
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With police shootings, I found it helpful to just read an ordered list of all the fatal shootings in a given year. Maybe something like that would be useful here? Statistics can often mask basic truths that you would immediately get from reading about what happened.
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Old 26th May 2022, 07:32 PM   #6
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I wouldn't worry. By the end of this century, global warming will have solved this problem.
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Old 26th May 2022, 07:59 PM   #7
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universal healthcare, with a focus on pre-screening of physical and mental problems.
UBI.

and, of course, Defund the Police for everything that isn't the job a cop should do.
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Old 26th May 2022, 08:11 PM   #8
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Full surveillance state with robotic enforcement and justice agents, recycle the surplus population into food for the rest, enclaves for the wealthy.

Last edited by Sideroxylon; 26th May 2022 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 26th May 2022, 08:14 PM   #9
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by Sideroxylon View Post
Full surveillance state with robotic enforcement and justice agents, recycle the surplus population into food for the rest, enclaves for the wealthy.
what would work ... as long as no one in those enclaves gets to own a lead pipe, dagger, wrench, rope, revolver and/or candlestick.
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Last edited by The Great Zaganza; 26th May 2022 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 26th May 2022, 08:17 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
and, of course, Defund the Police for everything that isn't the job a cop should do.

Defund the Police to lower the murder rate?
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Old 26th May 2022, 08:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Warp12 View Post
Defund the Police to lower the murder rate?
Yes. So they can focus on the murder rate.
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Old 26th May 2022, 08:38 PM   #12
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Yes. So they can focus on the murder rate.
exactly.
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Old 26th May 2022, 08:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Of course, turning to Jesus is something some people recommend, but I don't think that one is going to get a whole lot of traction here.
Even before I got to the part where you brought Jesus up, I was going to say the opposite. The less Jesusy we get, the better off we'll be. And we are already on that path, just not particularly quickly.

Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
universal healthcare, with a focus on pre-screening of physical and mental problems.
This might make it worse. Psychological predictions about what's going to make someone who hasn't killed become a killer later are so vague that they also apply to many times more people who don't end up killing. So the main thing this would do is harass a bunch of innocent people, particularly those who are already stressed out in some way... which is exactly what you'd do to them if you goal were to try to deliberately turn them into killers.
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Old 26th May 2022, 08:47 PM   #14
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Even before I got to the part where you brought Jesus up, I was going to say the opposite. The less Jesusy we get, the better off we'll be. And we are already on that path, just not particularly quickly.

This might make it worse. Psychological predictions about what's going to make someone who hasn't killed become a killer later are so vague that they also apply to many times more people who don't end up killing. So the main thing this would do is harass a bunch of innocent people, particularly those who are already stressed out in some way... which is exactly what you'd do to them if you goal were to try to deliberately turn them into killers.
no, it wouldn't.

It would normalize the fact that absolutely everyone struggles at some point in their lives, and that getting help is not a sign of weakness or personal failure, but the exact right response to a problem that should not be dealt with on your own.
Remember, suicide is also a form of murder.
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Old 26th May 2022, 08:49 PM   #15
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Literally anything would be good.
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Old 26th May 2022, 08:52 PM   #16
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I'm not seeing defunding the police as a way to lower murder rates.

I just don't know how that would work. If there were less police, how would that affect whether someone decides to murder?


Universal health care? Well, that might increase access to mental health care, which I don't think would hurt.

I don't think Delvo's objections are all that relevant. I don't think proponents of access to mental health services are planning on using them to screen patients and target them for involuntary preventive care or other measures, but if you catch somebody with an anxiety disorder and treat them before it progresses into paranoia, you might prevent some murders.

There's also the drug addiction factor. If you could reduce drug addiction, then gangs that push drugs wouldn't have as much of a market, and gang related killings migh be reduced.
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Old 26th May 2022, 08:55 PM   #17
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Ahh. Ninja'd by Great Zaganza. I think he's right. I don't know how far it would go, but I think it would help.

I wasn't thinking of suicide in the OP, but I think it definitely ought to be included, if we can reverse it.

Not to mention that some of these spree murders are basically a form of suicide by cop, while taking a bunch of innocent victims along for the ride.
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Old 26th May 2022, 10:03 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
It would normalize the fact that absolutely everyone struggles at some point in their lives, and that getting help is not a sign of weakness or personal failure
Having a school "counselor" and some teachers and your parents gang up on you for an "intervention" in which they scour through every little thing that was ever rumored to have happened in your life to try to convince you of how deeply it all must have warped you and accuse you of becoming a murderer sometime in the future is not "getting help". It's getting pushed.

Last edited by Delvo; 26th May 2022 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 26th May 2022, 10:32 PM   #19
The Great Zaganza
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Having a school "counselor" and some teachers and your parents gang up on you for an "intervention" in which they scour through every little thing that was ever rumored to have happened in your life to try to convince you of how deeply it all must have warped you and accuse you of becoming a murderer sometime in the future is not "getting help". It's getting pushed.
yes, mental health is often done terribly wrong.
Making it as normal (and as monitored) as dental care would help with that.
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Old 26th May 2022, 10:35 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
what would work ... as long as no one in those enclaves gets to own a lead pipe, dagger, wrench, rope, revolver and/or candlestick.
The enclaves are for people of high culture.
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Old 27th May 2022, 05:08 AM   #21
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Homicide rates in the US are declining, and have been for years.
What needs to be done is to stop imagining that infrequent tragedies are more common than they are, and to see them as that- infrequent tragedies.

https://www.macrotrends.net/countrie...-homicide-rate

Quote:
U.S. murder/homicide rate for 2018 was 4.96, a 6.77% decline from 2017.
U.S. murder/homicide rate for 2017 was 5.32, a 1.37% decline from 2016.
2015 and 2016 had increases, but the overall trend is downwards- graph in the linked source.
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Old 27th May 2022, 05:49 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Homicide rates in the US are declining, and have been for years.
What needs to be done is to stop imagining that infrequent tragedies are more common than they are, and to see them as that- infrequent tragedies.

https://www.macrotrends.net/countrie...-homicide-rate



2015 and 2016 had increases, but the overall trend is downwards- graph in the linked source.
Certainly. However, in my view, there are still too many homicides, and I would still like to see fewer.
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Old 27th May 2022, 06:02 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Homicide rates in the US are declining, and have been for years.
What needs to be done is to stop imagining that infrequent tragedies are more common than they are, and to see them as that- infrequent tragedies.

https://www.macrotrends.net/countrie...-homicide-rate



2015 and 2016 had increases, but the overall trend is downwards- graph in the linked source.

I think one needs to look at that over a longer timeline.

Last edited by shuttlt; 27th May 2022 at 06:03 AM.
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Old 27th May 2022, 06:21 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
With police shootings, I found it helpful to just read an ordered list of all the fatal shootings in a given year. Maybe something like that would be useful here? Statistics can often mask basic truths that you would immediately get from reading about what happened.
How would you get those accounts?
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Old 27th May 2022, 06:22 AM   #25
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As a suggestion I would say look to poverty, social mobility, and wealth disparity.
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Old 27th May 2022, 06:24 AM   #26
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To understand the severity of the homicides by guns in the United States, you would have to compare rates with other countries. Here is one such source: https://worldpopulationreview.com/co...ths-by-country

From the article:

"Gun violence in Latin America is exceptionally high, due in no small part to the prevalence of criminal gangs and a vibrant drug trafficking industry. The Inter-American Development Bank released a report highlighting several critical factors in Latin American cities that contribute to increased gun violence, including economic deprivation, residential instability, family disruption, absence from school, the population’s age structure, and alcohol consumption.

Gangs are much less of an issue in the United States, yet it is second only to Brazil on the list in total gun deaths. Many people understandably assume the high number of gun deaths in the U.S. is due to mass shootings, which receive frequent attention from the media. In truth, mass shootings account for only a small percentage of gun deaths in the United States. Rather, nearly two-thirds (63%) of gun deaths in the US in 2019 were suicides."
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Old 27th May 2022, 06:27 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Yak View Post
Homicide rates in the US are declining, and have been for years.
Are declining? I don't think they still are. They were declining for many years, but they do not continue to do so.

Quote:
2015 and 2016 had increases, but the overall trend is downwards- graph in the linked source.
2019 and especially 2020 saw increases as well. The "overall" trend doesn't really matter if the current trend is upwards.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/27/polit...020/index.html
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Old 27th May 2022, 06:29 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
As a suggestion I would say look to poverty, social mobility, and wealth disparity.
There you go.

As noted, “mass shootings” are pretty much a blip on the homicide rate. The majority of killings going on currently are due to drug/gang violence in urban areas.

The reason for this is all those knotty social problems that have vexed big cities… Forever.
Poverty, lack of opportunity, sub-standard education, ghettoization, lots of young, hopeless individuals for whom selling drugs has been how the “community” stays afloat.

And the gangs fight over turf, influence, and of course, revenge….A continual cycle of violence.

Here in St. Louis, we see this weekly. Add to this the extreme ease of which firearms may be obtained….
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Old 27th May 2022, 07:50 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I'm not seeing defunding the police as a way to lower murder rates.

I just don't know how that would work. If there were less police, how would that affect whether someone decides to murder?
It is a bit abstract.

A lot of murder ultimately stems from people being afraid/unwilling to ask the government to intervene, investigate, whatever, which at this point means "call the cops." They don't, because cops are in most cases not at all good at this because they have little training or motivation and all too often contempt for the people they are supposed to serve. For most marginalized people calling them causes more trouble than it solves.

This results in things spiraling out of control, people taking things into their own hands, joining for collective self-defense which often evolves into criminal enterprises, etc. Which causes a spiral when the cops go after these gangs in a way that re-enforces the perception that they are at best indifferent to the community so they even less want to call the cops and so on.

"Defund the police" doesn't necessarily mean reducing the number of people tasked with the general mission of public safety. Just that less of them are cops with little training and less interest in serving the public than in making arrests. It is about re-imagining the structure of law enforcement to move it more towards making communities safer and more pleasant.

Making law enforcement more community based. More crisis counselors who aren't going to shoot first and ask questions later because they better accept the risk of dealing with those in mental distress, etc. Stop using criminal justice as a profit center or otherwise incentivize making arrests for the sake of arrests. Either get rid of or sharply narrow controlled substance law and enforcement so that cops stop treating traffic stops as an opportunity to fish.


None of this is direct, but I submit that anyone with an open mind that spends some time knee deep in this system would find this rather obvious. When the public loses confidence in law enforcement, things go to hell in a hurry.
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Old 27th May 2022, 07:56 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
My first thought is that mass shootings have a negligible effect on the murder rate. They are statistical outliers, and you could eliminate all of them and have very little effect on the murder rate.

I'm not being dismissive of mass shootings, I think they have a negative impact on society which is larger than a raw number comparison might suggest, so it's absolutely worth trying to figure out how we can reduce mass shootings as well as the overall murder rate. But mass shootings and typical murders are different problems, and likely need different solutions.

That a big item. We've de-institutionalized the mentally ill too much.
That is true. There are on the order of 10k gun deaths in the US every year. Most, about 60% are suicides. Most of those are pistols. The remaining deaths, are murder and most of those are also pistols. If you want to make a dent in gun deaths, do something about the proliferation of pistols.

Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
High profile spree shootings have a contagion effect. Immediately after a high profile one, the chances of another one go up. What one would want to do about that is tricky, but slapping the killers face everywhere and giving his score soomes to come at a cost.
If you want to put a dent in spree killing, a news blackout in the weeks following one would help along with never mentioning the name of the killer or the number of victims. But again, that would really do much to reduce the number of murders in the US.

In this latest murder spree, red flag laws and a waiting period would probably have helped.

Last edited by ahhell; 27th May 2022 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 27th May 2022, 08:28 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
It is a bit abstract.

A lot of murder ultimately stems from people being afraid/unwilling to ask the government to intervene, investigate, whatever, which at this point means "call the cops." They don't, because cops are in most cases not at all good at this because they have little training or motivation and all too often contempt for the people they are supposed to serve. For most marginalized people calling them causes more trouble than it solves.

This results in things spiraling out of control, people taking things into their own hands, joining for collective self-defense which often evolves into criminal enterprises, etc. Which causes a spiral when the cops go after these gangs in a way that re-enforces the perception that they are at best indifferent to the community so they even less want to call the cops and so on.

"Defund the police" doesn't necessarily mean reducing the number of people tasked with the general mission of public safety. Just that less of them are cops with little training and less interest in serving the public than in making arrests. It is about re-imagining the structure of law enforcement to move it more towards making communities safer and more pleasant.

Making law enforcement more community based. More crisis counselors who aren't going to shoot first and ask questions later because they better accept the risk of dealing with those in mental distress, etc. Stop using criminal justice as a profit center or otherwise incentivize making arrests for the sake of arrests. Either get rid of or sharply narrow controlled substance law and enforcement so that cops stop treating traffic stops as an opportunity to fish.


None of this is direct, but I submit that anyone with an open mind that spends some time knee deep in this system would find this rather obvious. When the public loses confidence in law enforcement, things go to hell in a hurry.
Ok. I can see how that might work.

Certainly, a lot of those things have been suggested and are good ideas, although I haven't seen it specifically related to how it might lower murder rates before. However, I can see a possible connection. I'll think about this for a bit.
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Old 27th May 2022, 09:00 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
As a suggestion I would say look to poverty, social mobility, and wealth disparity.
This. If you want to address everyday homicides, violent crime, gang warfare and such, you need to give people life choices that don't come from the barrel of a gun.

It you want to address suicides & domestic gun violence, you need universal health care. Technically just better mental health services, but what we're starting from is so godawful that we don't even know what that looks like without a complete overhaul of the third-world disaster we call a medical system.

If you want to address mass shootings, you need gun control. Full stop. Whether that's prohibition, or licensing requirements, whatever, it needs to be such that an eighteen year old can't walk into a gun store and leave with hundreds of bullets and a gun capable of going through them all.
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Old 27th May 2022, 09:02 AM   #33
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At a certain point problems do just have so many causes that "Just make as many things better as you can" does sort of become the solution.

But you couldn't tailor make a solution to piss off the cynics and the nihilist and trolls more than that.
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Old 27th May 2022, 09:11 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
At a certain point problems do just have so many causes that "Just make as many things better as you can" does sort of become the solution.
That also happens when you lump together every problem that might arise from a gun and ask people to talk about them without mentioning the common and obvious solution of removing the gun from the equation.
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Old 27th May 2022, 09:12 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
You do love to push buttons, don't you?

Well, I'm not falling for the bait.

Gangs, drugs, poverty, bad shools. These are all things that seem to matter for the murder rate. I'll talk about those things.

It's only pushing a button if you make it your button. Why would you not look at the group with highest murder rate per capita first? What you learn there should carry over to other groups, right? People need to separate their emotions from this stuff; that is clearly part of why the discussion is avoided.

And why would people avoid discussing it? If positive change is the goal, here is where you make it. It makes zero sense to be reluctant to address it.
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Old 27th May 2022, 09:32 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Poverty. Give the poor more money.

Fair enough (whether I agree with the "give" part, or not). But there must be more to it?

The percentage of blacks living below poverty level in the US is 19%, vs only 8% for whites. Is that enough of a difference to alone make for a homicide rate 6x greater per capita? When we look murder stats, is poverty a #1 trait associated with people who commit homicides?

I don't know what the other factors might be? Education? Upbringing, culture?
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Old 27th May 2022, 09:44 AM   #37
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Raise the age at which you can buy a firearm to 21. Most of these school shootings are being done by 18 and 19 year-olds; real adults tend to go postal at work.
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Old 27th May 2022, 09:47 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by shuttlt View Post
I think one needs to look at that over a longer timeline.
http://www.internationalskeptics.com...0cc1c44cdb.jpg
Funny, those peaks correlate with prohibition, first of booze then drugs.

Ending the drug war wouldn't impact spree killing but it would alleviate a number of other societal issues, probably including murder rates.
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Old 27th May 2022, 09:49 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Raise the age at which you can buy a firearm to 21. Most of these school shootings are being done by 18 and 19 year-olds; real adults tend to go postal at work.

Yeah, but school shootings are not statistically significant as far as murder numbers go.
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Old 27th May 2022, 09:53 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
Funny, those peaks correlate with prohibition, first of booze then drugs.

Ending the drug war wouldn't impact spree killing but it would alleviate a number of other societal issues, probably including murder rates.
Wasn't the war on drugs in the 70s? That graph is climbing like a rocket from the mid 60s.
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