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What is America coming to??

I live very near Blacksburg, Virginia, where Virginia Tech is located. Most people probably remember the mass shooting at Tech in 2007 where 32 people were killed by a deranged student, who then killed himself. If that memory isn't bad enough, today at the annual "Steppin' Out" street festival in Blacksburg, a group calling itself the "Virginia Citizens Defense League" not only has a tent where they're giving out stickers saying "Guns save lives", they have the audacity to be raffling off a Glock handgun identical to the one used in the Virginia Tech massacre - all literally almost within sight of where the massacre took place.

I walked by their booth today, it it honestly took every ounce of self-restraint I possess not to go up and spit on them. What is America coming to that our precious "gun rights" trump basic human decency? These people can only be sociopaths to be so insensitive and tasteless.

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Comments

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    There are insensitive and tasteless mentally defective people on both sides of the argument...and I've seen them. It's not as simple as black and white. You ain't lived the gun issue until you've lived in a state like Colorado, and there are people almost foaming at the mouth both pro and con in regard to gun control.
    Invincible_summer
  • People want their guns so they can be George ZImmerman wannabes.

    :p
  • DavidDavid some guy The Hammer in Ontario, Canada, eh Veteran
    Guns are for those who live in fear and fear is handed out like medication.

    I'd hate to do the math.
    MaryAnneriverflow
  • ZaylZayl Veteran
    edited August 2013
    So much hate on guns. Yes, idiots grab onto them and go "Muh Freedoms!" when you eve suggest control. But guns have saved my life a few times. Once, in the hands of a police officer. The other time when some meth head from down the road broke into my house and I was forced to deafen him with the report of my handgun (in other words, I discharged it right next to his ear)

    Idiots outnumber us sensible gun owners. And unfortunately they are also the much, much more visible community when it comes to firearms. And, let me make it clear, those who commit crimes with a firearm often have the motivation to attain one by whatever means necessary. The black market, theft from a gun store or a private owner, or, sadly, through purchasing one legally (though they only do so if they plan to die or intend to get caught, as that firearm would be registered directly to them, etc.)

    Weapons are not dangerous in an of themselves. It is the people who get a hold of them who make them dangerous. I also say that if you live in a city or a large population centire, you have less of a reason to own a firearm. When I used to live way out in the country, we'd have a few meth labs and other crazies. With no police presence of any sort for over 30 miles at best. So when something went wrong, it was you, your assailant, and your gun. Sometimes you just plain can't afford to wait around for 15-20 minutes when someone may be trying to kill you or your family.

    All that being said, I hope my position is understood. Now, I can get on with the topic.

    @Mountains I wholeheartedly agree with you. They should have displayed much, much more tactfulness and refrained from even having the tent in the first place at such a festival. Out of respect for the dead, and respect for other's sensibilities.
  • I'm not arguing about the pluses or minuses of guns, but this is utterly tasteless. It makes me physically ill.

    PS: I'm a gun owner.
    Invincible_summer
  • vinlyn said:

    You ain't lived the gun issue until you've lived in a state like Colorado, and there are people almost foaming at the mouth both pro and con in regard to gun control.

    I live in Virginia. Same difference.
  • ZaylZayl Veteran
    No I hear you, this was utterly tasteless. I probably wouldn't have had the constraint that you displayed, and would have gone up and asked them if they were mocking the events of the years past.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Mountains said:

    vinlyn said:

    You ain't lived the gun issue until you've lived in a state like Colorado, and there are people almost foaming at the mouth both pro and con in regard to gun control.

    I live in Virginia. Same difference.
    No, it's not. I lived in Virginia for almost 30 years until about 5 years ago, and after retirement moved eventually to Colorado. Trust me...out here it's on a whole different plane.

  • It's like this totally deranged mindset. Certain people have such an overwhelming fear of "the government taking over" that they cling to their guns and refuse to listen to reason. I think they see it as a defense of social status. The "liberals" and groups such "socialists" or "the NWO" :rolleyes: won't be able to tell them what to do. Likewise, minorities won't be able to "take over". It's total paranoia.
    riverflow
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    It differs in every state. Gun attitudes in rural states varies vastly from urban areas. Gun attitudes in big hunting states, same thing (which are often also the more rural states). CO and VA are almost identical when you look at what % of people own guns. But the attitudes vary, especially I'm sure in different areas of CO where more highly educated people tend to live. States that have both large urban areas and large rural areas tend to be rather divided on most issues, and a lot of that is the lack of education and world experience in the rural areas.

    I agree, what happened with the booth in VA was extremely ill-thought out and tasteless. However, throwing around the term "sociopath" all over doesn't help much, it only lessens the behaviors of true sociopaths to compare them to ignorant "normal" people.
    vinlyn
  • The responsible, tactful gun owner should be the one you never see talking about, flaunting or otherwise advertising the fact they are a gun owner / carrier. It's there for one reason, to protect yourself of someone else from serious physical injury or death. The public "in your face" mentality with it is not helpful.
    MaryAnne
  • BarraBarra soto zennie wandering in a cloud in beautiful, bucolic Victoria BC, on the wacky left coast of Canada Veteran
    As a Canadian I find the entire notion of unrestricted gun ownership to be perplexing. I think the only reason that anyone should have a gun is if they are in the armed forces or police department or you need to hunt for food.
    riverflow
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran
    edited August 2013
    I would say it's called living in a free country. Generally, living in a free country means people have the freedom to express what other people call "indecent", without repercussions. Persecuting people for what they say or do, because it's offensive or prohibiting people from saying what they want to say, because it's offensive, is only something that totalitarian states do. "God hates fags" is quite offensive, but the only reason why you hear that sort of thing is because America still mostly honors freedom of speech. The fact that you hear these sorts of things mean that America is still a somewhat free and functional democracy. Now if these people were prohibited from expressing their views, then I would be asking "What is America coming to?" as that prohibition would mean there is no longer a right to free speech.
    ChazJeffrey
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    Are people in Canada really less free than we are because it's a bit more difficult to get certain types of guns there? Does being able to stockpile obscene #s off weapons really make someone more free? There are certainly some American's who believe that. How is restricted gun ownership less freedom? Am I less free because I have to maintain certain standards and have certain restrictions because I have a drivers license? Should I just be able to drive without having to pay the state for taking the class and learning to drive from a licensed trainer? Should I be able to drive if I reuse to carry insurance (law in my state requires it) or refuse to pay to renew my license?

    There are restrictions on a LOT of our privileges. The problem with guns is we see them as a right instead of a privilege as we see most other things. The people who are so hung up on the second amendment giving them the right to own guns to protect them from a tyrannical government are crazy. I'd love to see them stand with their arsenal of handguns against a drone they never see before it turns them into a crater. It's just silly to even suggest at this point that a person can arm themselves against the government. If the government shows up at your door with a tank your glock is going to look a little ridiculous.

    I don't begrudge anyone the right to protect themselves or hunt for food. Or even to enjoy target shooting for fun. But there is a balance to be struck that doesn't have to mean the crazy fear-based gun culture that we currently have.

    I don't support making guns illegal. I do support better restrictions and far, FAR better mental health care resources than we currently have. I support actual enforcement of the laws we already have. But I think guns need to be viewed more as a privilege than a right. A right to own a gun, sure. When you meet certain requirements the same way you have to meet them to have a drivers license, a foster parent's license, a daycare license, and even a fishing license.
    vinlynYaskanpersonriverflow
  • GuiGui Veteran
    We live in a very violent culture. Violence is displayed and promoted and it is everywhere. Until this changes, a lot of people will be violent in their minds. We can change this everyday in little ways.
    riverflow
  • Barra said:

    As a Canadian I find the entire notion of unrestricted gun ownership to be perplexing. I think the only reason that anyone should have a gun is if they are in the armed forces or police department or you need to hunt for food.

    Go live in Los Angeles for a week, and I bet you that you'll think differently. Even though L.A. has a rather large police force, they are not able to be everywhere. And to live or even work in a city that has a large gang, drunk, and just an overall aggressive population, you'll WANT to have a firearm that can SAVE your life. If you live in a safe area (like where I was born and raised), then I see no need for a weapon. But having worked in Los Angeles, I've been shown aggressive and unprovoked anger on myself and my partner, by multiple homeless people walking in Downtown Hollywood. My building I worked at has an extremely small parking lot which was 95% filled by our Armored Trucks, making most people have to park on the street which was a known gang area/neighborhood, and my co-workers vehicles have been broken into many times. I can give you much more reasons to why one would need a weapon, but I'll leave it at that. The world isn't a completely SAFE place. There are those who are more dangerous than you can imagine, and if someone is out on drugs that make them impervious to pain, or someone wants to rob you with a gun or knife, or that someone has a lot of anger in their heart that they just happened to randomly break and take it out on you, you WANT something to protect yourself.

    I'm not saying that people should be fearful, because most people go their entire life without ever seeing a fight, or being in one, or getting robbed, or anything of that sort. And I'm also not saying that if something was to happen, that your first instinct should be to react with deadly force if you have a gun. I think using a gun should be the last resort if you can reason with them, or you can't run away. But I think you should rethink your statement, because I'm sure you live in a very peaceful area and haven't been in any conflict before.
    mfranzdorf
  • robotrobot Veteran
    edited August 2013

    Barra said:

    As a Canadian I find the entire notion of unrestricted gun ownership to be perplexing. I think the only reason that anyone should have a gun is if they are in the armed forces or police department or you need to hunt for food.

    Go live in Los Angeles for a week, and I bet you that you'll think differently. Even though L.A. has a rather large police force, they are not able to be everywhere. And to live or even work in a city that has a large gang, drunk, and just an overall aggressive population, you'll WANT to have a firearm that can SAVE your life. If you live in a safe area (like where I was born and raised), then I see no need for a weapon. But having worked in Los Angeles, I've been shown aggressive and unprovoked anger on myself and my partner, by multiple homeless people walking in Downtown Hollywood. My building I worked at has an extremely small parking lot which was 95% filled by our Armored Trucks, making most people have to park on the street which was a known gang area/neighborhood, and my co-workers vehicles have been broken into many times. I can give you much more reasons to why one would need a weapon, but I'll leave it at that. The world isn't a completely SAFE place. There are those who are more dangerous than you can imagine, and if someone is out on drugs that make them impervious to pain, or someone wants to rob you with a gun or knife, or that someone has a lot of anger in their heart that they just happened to randomly break and take it out on you, you WANT something to protect yourself.

    I'm not saying that people should be fearful, because most people go their entire life without ever seeing a fight, or being in one, or getting robbed, or anything of that sort. And I'm also not saying that if something was to happen, that your first instinct should be to react with deadly force if you have a gun. I think using a gun should be the last resort if you can reason with them, or you can't run away. But I think you should rethink your statement, because I'm sure you live in a very peaceful area and haven't been in any conflict before.
    There are several large cities in Canada. They have their share of gun violence and gang and drug crime. I don't think any of them can compare to L.A. for danger from criminals for the average citizen.
    Vancouver is right up there in North America for addiction and homelessness and, I'm certain, the petty crime that goes along with it.
    The homeless are rarely a danger to anyone except themselves. The same for most addicts, other than the possibility of having one of them break into your car. Modern cars are well defended against break ins.
    The bottom line up here is that if you use a firearm on anyone you go to jail. If there is any suspicion that you may be carrying a gun, you can expect to see a swat team show up, and you better be lying face down on the ground when they do.
    I support that kind of police response.
    Really though as Buddhists, wouldn't it preferable to be to be shot in the back while running away from an assailant? Why all the talk about having to defend yourself with a gun?
  • @robot "Really though as Buddhists, wouldn't it preferable to be to be shot in the back while running away from an assailant?" I don't think all Buddhists would agree with this. There's a certain level of self preservation and the will to survive. If you have a weapon and someone has the intent to kill you and is presently showing it (by either trying to stab you or shoot you), I see nothing wrong with firing your weapon in self defense and either maiming that person in order to stop the attack, or ultimately killing them. I sure wouldn't want to run away and get shot in the back by someone, because what makes you think after killing you, that the assailant isn't going to go after anyone nearby? Maybe a family that is in the area?

    The thing is, if there are police near you and you can get a hold of them so that they can subdue the suspect and contain order, then that is definitely what you should do. I'm not sure how it is in Canada, but over here in the US, they decided that the best thing to do in order to cut the US Debt, is to cut spending for Law Enforcement, Firefighters, and for Schools. So with the cutbacks on Law Enforcement, you're lucky if you can get a police officer to respond in 5-10 minutes if you need them; and it'll be MUCH MUCH longer for areas where you're in a more desolate area. What happens if someone breaks into your house with a weapon? You going to try and hide in hopes that he won't find you and kill you and if you have a wife/husband/child, you think they're not going to attack them?

    "Why all the talk about having to defend yourself with a gun?" because not everyone knows martial arts and has the ability to defend against someone with a knife, or a club, or anything deadly. You don't ALWAYS need to fire a gun at someone in order to calm the situation down. Sometimes if need be, simply showing that you have a gun or pointing it at them, can be enough to stop someone in their tracks. Guns are pretty much the "todays" weapons.

    And like I said: I'm also not saying that if something was to happen, that your first instinct should be to react with deadly force if you have a gun. I think using a gun should be the last resort if you can reason with them, or you can't run away.
  • robotrobot Veteran

    @robot "Really though as Buddhists, wouldn't it preferable to be to be shot in the back while running away from an assailant?" I don't think all Buddhists would agree with this. There's a certain level of self preservation and the will to survive. If you have a weapon and someone has the intent to kill you and is presently showing it (by either trying to stab you or shoot you), I see nothing wrong with firing your weapon in self defense and either maiming that person in order to stop the attack, or ultimately killing them. I sure wouldn't want to run away and get shot in the back by someone, because what makes you think after killing you, that the assailant isn't going to go after anyone nearby? Maybe a family that is in the area?

    The thing is, if there are police near you and you can get a hold of them so that they can subdue the suspect and contain order, then that is definitely what you should do. I'm not sure how it is in Canada, but over here in the US, they decided that the best thing to do in order to cut the US Debt, is to cut spending for Law Enforcement, Firefighters, and for Schools. So with the cutbacks on Law Enforcement, you're lucky if you can get a police officer to respond in 5-10 minutes if you need them; and it'll be MUCH MUCH longer for areas where you're in a more desolate area. What happens if someone breaks into your house with a weapon? You going to try and hide in hopes that he won't find you and kill you and if you have a wife/husband/child, you think they're not going to attack them?

    "Why all the talk about having to defend yourself with a gun?" because not everyone knows martial arts and has the ability to defend against someone with a knife, or a club, or anything deadly. You don't ALWAYS need to fire a gun at someone in order to calm the situation down. Sometimes if need be, simply showing that you have a gun or pointing it at them, can be enough to stop someone in their tracks. Guns are pretty much the "todays" weapons.

    And like I said: I'm also not saying that if something was to happen, that your first instinct should be to react with deadly force if you have a gun. I think using a gun should be the last resort if you can reason with them, or you can't run away.


    Thanks for your response.
    You and I are living in different worlds. There is little police presence where I live and little need for it.
    I am happy with Canada's gun laws.
    riverflow
  • @robot well if that is so, I wish the whole world was like that lol Every state has good and bad areas :)
    mfranzdorf
  • JohnGJohnG Veteran
    It's becoming very self evident that the U.S. is no longer the land of sanity. I once heard that those in the east sought rebirth in America; but no longer.
  • robotrobot Veteran

    @robot well if that is so, I wish the whole world was like that lol Every state has good and bad areas :)

    I wish it were that way too. In fact many places are.
    I spent last winter in S.E. Asia. Not being a very experienced traveller, I was unsure of what expect in the way of security. As it turns out, I found that I was comfortable walking any time of day or night amongst those folks and never felt threatened. In Saigon, Phnom Penh, Bangkok, and many smaller cities and towns. I never saw a fight or even a heated arguement. Except once when a belligerent Russian got on the wrong side of some Thais.
    I plan to see some other areas of the world before I get too old. L.A is not on my bucket list. I was there in the seventies. Once was enough. I'm looking for easy living.
    When I was a teenager I made the choice to leave the city and settled in a very small town.
    That move combined with giving up alcohol and drugs has made for a life that's been almost free from violence or threat of violence.
    Not everyone can change their circumstances. I would recommend for any young person to make choices while they can to find a peaceful lifestyle away from danger.


    riverflowericcris10sen
  • Movies often show LA as the best place on earth.
    ericcris10sen
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    The funny thing is, like I said before, the majority of gun ownership is in rural states. Wyoming doesn't exactly have a high crime rate, yet has high gun ownership.

    As for running away and being shot in the back because I am Buddhist, no. Because I have a responsibility to my children who already lost a parent. Because right or wrong, yes, I would protect my children if that meant hurting someone else who was threatening them. I would give up my property before I killed someone else. But I would not sacrifice myself or my children for someone who threatened us. Neither would most people. Whether that is right or wrong, I'll take my chances. There isn't something necessarily honorable or noble about doing absolutely nothing to protect yourself just because you are a Buddhist. In my opinion, anyhow. Are you really doing the other person a favor in letting them kill you and take on that karma if you might be able to bring it to a standstill without killing either person?
    vinlynMaryAnneericcris10sen
  • That will depend on the people.
  • The responsible, tactful gun owner should be the one you never see talking about, flaunting or otherwise advertising the fact they are a gun owner / carrier. It's there for one reason, to protect yourself of someone else from serious physical injury or death. The public "in your face" mentality with it is not helpful.

    You Canucks haven't heard the slogan, "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns". Very clever marketing strategy, that. Think about it. Designed to strike fear in everyone's heart, so they rush out to buy a gun.

    riverflow
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Dakini said:

    You Canucks haven't heard the slogan, "If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns". Very clever marketing strategy, that. Think about it. Designed to strike fear in everyone's heart, so they rush out to buy a gun.

    Although I am in favor of more gun control, but not outlawing guns...there may be some truth to that advertising slogan.

  • seeker242 said:

    I would say it's called living in a free country.

    Funny that almost every other free nation on earth doesn't have unrestricted gun ownership, yet somehow they're still free...
    Toshriverflow
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    True, Mountains. Unfortunately that poorly written clause in the Bill Of Rights is the problem.

    And, America is America, Canada is Canada, Denmark is Denmark, Britain is Britain, etc. I don't want to be them, and they don't want to be us. Each country has its own attributes, some good, some bad.
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    edited August 2013
    The problem with gun restriction (even though I am for it) is that most often what it does is affect those who are already law abiding and has little to no effect on those who don't follow the laws as it is. Because guns have been so prolific throughout our entire history there are lots and lots of them around, and they won't cease to be available through illegal means just because we change the laws. Also, the gun lobby is one of the most powerful lobbies we have (next to food and pharmaceuticals) and simply changing gun laws isn't nearly as easy as it sounds. Not on a state level and certainly not on a federal level.

    Chicago has one of the stricter gun laws in the US. It hasn't helped their crime rate whatsoever. Because guns are will available illegally (it does make it harder for people to legally get guns in the city limits) and because neighboring cities and states have different laws. So even starting small doesn't have much of an effect. It's not an easy thing to tackle.

    The issues with guns in the US is a pretty complex issue. It's not as simple as "Make them illegal." Because that won't help the problem, anyhow, which is rooted deeply in our culture as a whole that expresses itself in numerous ways, including the guns we own, and the movies and video games people around the world watch and love and glorify. So, even in that way, we aren't the only ones to blame. If you want to help the US solve their gun problem, then stop watching the violent movies and playing the violent games, whether you live in New York City, Tokyo or London. It's a start that everyone can do and have an impact on. It's more helpful than just telling us to make them illegal, because that's pretty unlikely to happen.
    Dakini
  • robotrobot Veteran
    Mountains said:

    seeker242 said:

    I would say it's called living in a free country.

    Funny that almost every other free nation on earth doesn't have unrestricted gun ownership, yet somehow they're still free...

    Yes. Free to not be shot in a road rage incident.
    Free to not have to carry a gun to protect oneself from some other looney with a gun.
    Freedom from having our politicians kowtowing to the NRA.

    But I think seeker was talking about the freedom to express their views about the issue and to raffle off a gun legally, like those people in your neighbourhood did, without being spit on or arrested, regardless of how insensitive it seems to others.
    riverflow
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    I don't know about politicians anywhere else, but if ours aren't bought by the NRA they are bought by Monsanto-Cargill, or they are bought by EliLilly or GlaxoSmithKline. If it's not one problem it's another, all of them involving the lives and safety of others. Anyone who thinks their politicians aren't corrupt in some way are blind. They are all bought.

    While I don't agree with what happened in the OP, once you start limiting the freedom of speech in that way (likely if you censor the Westboro church) it's another one of those cans of worms that can't be closed again. Who is to say someone won't like what YOU have to say and won't then stop you from saying it? As much as we might strongly dislike what someone else says or does, we can't go down that road. It's our job to not give attention to people like that. Westboro would disappear if people ignored them instead of giving them so much media time and attention, which just like misbehaving children, is what they want. People make bad, insensitive decisions. But we don't have to buy into them.
  • robotrobot Veteran
    edited August 2013
    karasti said:

    I don't know about politicians anywhere else, but if ours aren't bought by the NRA they are bought by Monsanto-Cargill, or they are bought by EliLilly or GlaxoSmithKline. If it's not one problem it's another, all of them involving the lives and safety of others. Anyone who thinks their politicians aren't corrupt in some way are blind. They are all bought.

    While I don't agree with what happened in the OP, once you start limiting the freedom of speech in that way (likely if you censor the Westboro church) it's another one of those cans of worms that can't be closed again. Who is to say someone won't like what YOU have to say and won't then stop you from saying it? As much as we might strongly dislike what someone else says or does, we can't go down that road. It's our job to not give attention to people like that. Westboro would disappear if people ignored them instead of giving them so much media time and attention, which just like misbehaving children, is what they want. People make bad, insensitive decisions. But we don't have to buy into them.

    Of course our politicians are influenced by big corporations. Just not by the likes of the NRA. And this discussion is about gun ownership.
    Here is a quote from wiki:

    The NRA's political activity is based on the premise that firearm ownership is a civil right protected by the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights.[9] The group has a nearly century long record of influencing as well as lobbying for or against proposed firearm legislation on behalf of its members. Observers and lawmakers see the NRA as one of the top three most influential lobbying groups in Washington.[8][10] NRA membership surpassed 5 million in May 2013.[11]

    So it is fair to say that other populations are free from that kind of unbalanced influence regarding the issue of gun ownership.
    riverflow
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    Yes, I know all the details because I live here. It's not easy to make assumptions about an entire country and their culture and the reasons for it all by reason things on wikipedia. I was just making that point that yes, our politicians are influenced by the NRA, but all politicians are influenced by other lobbyists, not necessary any better or worse than the NRA. It might be better off for you to look at the horrid influences Monsanto is having on your own food supply rather than worry about the guns in the US. I guarantee they are in your back yard, ruining family farms and destroying fields and natural species.
    I'm just irritable today. Even though you are entitled to your opinion, it seems silly to me to think you know what really goes on behind the scenes in a culture and country you are not part of enough to think you know how to solve the problem. I might read about challenges other countries have, but I don't pretend to know how to fix them, because I don't know the people and the culture and the history.
  • robotrobot Veteran
    edited August 2013
    Who said anything about fixing the problem. I was agreeing with Mountains. Thats all. And, as I said this thread is not about food, but guns.
    I grew up in D.C. By the way.
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    edited August 2013
    I think what scares me the most is how guns have become toys. When kids start out playing first-person shooters that allow you to play with REAL guns and have links to said guns off of their websites so you could then purchase them to use irl... Well, I guess we just shouldn't be surprised.
    riverflow
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    So, at what ages did you grow up in D.C.?
  • robotrobot Veteran
    vinlyn said:

    So, at what ages did you grow up in D.C.?

    We moved there in '62 when I was 7 and moved back to Canada when I was 12. My father was bureau chief for the Toronto Telegram at that time. He covered all the major stories of the time, and as you recall, there were many. I remember being in the news room during the March on Washington. And watching the funeral procession for JFK from the roadside.
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    What surprises me about the games is how many parents not only don't know what games their kids are playing (despite the fact the parents are actually buying the games for the kids) but they don't care when they do know. Our neighbor boy is 9 and has the entire Call of Duty game collection. He has most of the GTA collection. His parents think it is just fine. Then I see 2 types of parents. The kind that are gamers themselves and think it's just fine if kids play these games, and the kind that are technologically unaware and have no idea that the games the kids play are different than atari game so the past. They don't know what their kids do in their rooms with their computers and game systems, they don't know what instagram is and why they should wonder what their kids do on it and so forth. The kids have little to no guidance where any of these matters are concerned.

    It's just a far deeper societal and cultural thing than simply law making. It's what is engrained in the minds of people for many generations. And the only way to change it, is to change ourselves and the people closest to us.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    robot said:

    vinlyn said:

    So, at what ages did you grow up in D.C.?

    We moved there in '62 when I was 7 and moved back to Canada when I was 12. My father was bureau chief for the Toronto Telegram at that time. He covered all the major stories of the time, and as you recall, there were many. I remember being in the news room during the March on Washington. And watching the funeral procession for JFK from the roadside.
    Okay, so you had a taste of American life as a pre-teen back in the 1960s, and that may give you some insights into life in America. But, having dealt with teenagers my whole professional life as a teacher and administrator, including about 60 mostly expatriate pre-teens/teens who were not Americans each year in our ESL program, I can't say that the insights they gained at that age were very profound. And, it's been half a century since you lived here.

    I lived in Thailand for 2 years (2009-2010) and spent another 12 months there between 1986-2008...as an adult, and while that gave me many insights as to Thai culture and history, it's not the same as the insights of a Thai national. Most expatriates in Thailand will tell you that they really never understand the Thai mind.

    I'm not saying that your insights are necessarily wrong or not valid, but I'd put them in perspective, just as I put my perspectives on Thailand in perspective. Even today, just 3 years after leaving, when people ask me about conditions there I precede my comments with, "Well, things are changing drastically in Thailand, but when I was there in the past..."

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    karasti said:

    What surprises me about the games is how many parents not only don't know what games their kids are playing (despite the fact the parents are actually buying the games for the kids) but they don't care when they do know. Our neighbor boy is 9 and has the entire Call of Duty game collection. He has most of the GTA collection. His parents think it is just fine. Then I see 2 types of parents. The kind that are gamers themselves and think it's just fine if kids play these games, and the kind that are technologically unaware and have no idea that the games the kids play are different than atari game so the past. They don't know what their kids do in their rooms with their computers and game systems, they don't know what instagram is and why they should wonder what their kids do on it and so forth. The kids have little to no guidance where any of these matters are concerned.

    It's just a far deeper societal and cultural thing than simply law making. It's what is engrained in the minds of people for many generations. And the only way to change it, is to change ourselves and the people closest to us.

    I'm not totally convinced that games have that much influence. I knew plenty of teens who were obsessed with games, and in their early adulthood they now seem pretty normal. I was obsessed with Roy Rogers when I was a kid in the 1950s, but I never owned a real hand gun in my adult life.

    I would look far more at rap music, which I find highly disturbing. And then I see news reports about how young people actually do imitate that lifestyle when they go out partying. Just a couple of days ago there was an argument over some mundane issue in a restaurant (I think it was in Joliet, Illinois), and one young guy stormed out of the restaurant, came back in a few minutes later and shot the guy he argued with to death. Sounded very thuggish to me.

    Not saying games are not an issue...just that I remain unconvinced.

    riverflow
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran
    I think they can influence *certain kids* quite a lot, and other kids not really at all. But I don't think most parents bother to consider that at all, considering the # of teens and even younger kids who have committed crimes and lent their ideas to video games. Perhaps they were just lying to lay blame elsewhere, who knows. I think what can have an impact on kids just varies on the medium and the kid. I know a guy who joined the Army as a sniper because of his enjoyment of sniper related video games. I wonder if he's finding that it's not quite the same. And as kids get older, I think the impact for many of them is less. But when kids as young as 7, 8, 9 who are still really grasping the reality of death and what bullets do to a body, I think they can be influenced wrongly about how it compares with real life. My middle son, when he was around 7, his uncle let him play some war games on his playstation. Not long after that he spent time shooting guns with my dad (after he told my dad about the games he played) where he was astonished at the damage a single bullet from a gun can do to a melon. You could see him making the connections between shooting people and shooting melons and what it really does to a human body versus what you see happen in a video game where you just respawn. It was a lesson he'll never forget. I think too many kids can't make that connection.

    I think music is much the same, movies, and even sports/other entertainment people. It just depends on the kid. I have one kid who is pretty much emotionally detached from all of that stuff and another who is greatly affected but doesn't really know it, and another who is vocally opposed to any bad words being said around him. A kid like him is more likely to be negatively influenced (I think) by constant exposure to games and music and movies than, say, my 16 year old who just has no emotional attachment to any of those things. Sadly, I also think that the kids who are attracted to those things can be the most affected by them because they are looking for an outlet for emotions they aren't being taught to understand and cope with. It's more the lack of that than anything that affects kids, I think, and then they focus their efforts in the wrong places with the wrong intentions because they are misguided (or not guided at all).
    zombiegirlriverflow
  • seeker242 said:

    I would say it's called living in a free country.

    Is it freedom to live in such a perpetual state of fear that you cling to ammunition, deluding yourself it keeps you from harm?
    Sound more like dysfunctional to me.

    riverflow
  • robotrobot Veteran
    vinlyn said:

    robot said:

    vinlyn said:

    So, at what ages did you grow up in D.C.?

    We moved there in '62 when I was 7 and moved back to Canada when I was 12. My father was bureau chief for the Toronto Telegram at that time. He covered all the major stories of the time, and as you recall, there were many. I remember being in the news room during the March on Washington. And watching the funeral procession for JFK from the roadside.
    Okay, so you had a taste of American life as a pre-teen back in the 1960s, and that may give you some insights into life in America. But, having dealt with teenagers my whole professional life as a teacher and administrator, including about 60 mostly expatriate pre-teens/teens who were not Americans each year in our ESL program, I can't say that the insights they gained at that age were very profound. And, it's been half a century since you lived here.

    I lived in Thailand for 2 years (2009-2010) and spent another 12 months there between 1986-2008...as an adult, and while that gave me many insights as to Thai culture and history, it's not the same as the insights of a Thai national. Most expatriates in Thailand will tell you that they really never understand the Thai mind.

    I'm not saying that your insights are necessarily wrong or not valid, but I'd put them in perspective, just as I put my perspectives on Thailand in perspective. Even today, just 3 years after leaving, when people ask me about conditions there I precede my comments with, "Well, things are changing drastically in Thailand, but when I was there in the past..."

    Actually, I have not expressed any "insights" into the state of affairs in the USA. In fact I'm pretty sure that so far, I have done nothing more than state the obvious.
    Here is an insight for you. Many Americans seem so focused on there own perceived greatness that they fail to see how they are viewed by the rest of the world. Hence the surprise and indignation over the Snowden situation.
    Do you really think that people can't see what is going on in the US without living there? We all have access to the same information. In fact, I dare say that a well informed Canadian could tell many Americans more about their own country than they know themselves. And vice versa.
    Canadians are amongst your closest friends. Try not to be so defensive.
    riverflowFlorian
  • zombiegirlzombiegirl beating the drum of the lifeless in a dry wasteland Veteran
    edited August 2013
    karasti said:

    Sadly, I also think that the kids who are attracted to those things can be the most affected by them because they are looking for an outlet for emotions they aren't being taught to understand and cope with. It's more the lack of that than anything that affects kids, I think, and then they focus their efforts in the wrong places with the wrong intentions because they are misguided (or not guided at all).

    From my experiences with little cousins (I have a lot!) and my fiance's younger siblings, I really think that playing FPS style games has just become the norm for kids. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a kid that doesn't do so out of their own volition (as in, not because of having strict parents). With online gameplay, it's become an actual social thing.

    And from my own experience, logging a bunch of hours on certain games DOES affect you, at least temporarily. When Grand Theft Auto made the jump from 2D to 3D and became infinitely more real, there was a huge backlash... but I'm not lying... playing that game long enough will give you these odd passing thoughts when you're out and about irl. I shit you not, last week I was hanging out with a friend, walking down the street when a nice Mustang rolled up and she said, "Man... I've been playing too much GTA. I totally just had a thought that I should steal that car..." Lol. I'm not saying that playing GTA will turn you into a thief, but... it certainly does give you some weird passing thoughts. Likewise, I can't tell you how many zombies I've "seen" behind bushes after playing too much Resident Evil. If you spend 10 hours straight playing a video game, in a way, it does become a reality to you, at least while you're actively playing. But there's always a short adjustment period after playing where the high and adrenaline is wearing off, but you're still a little twitchy, noticing every movement because in the game, that sort of reflex is literally life or death. As games become more and more realistic, I can't help but wonder if the lines will become blurred more and more. Take a look at what some people theorize could be a new use for Google Glass and tell me this isn't as equally awesome as it is terrifying.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    karasti said:

    I think they can influence *certain kids* quite a lot, and other kids not really at all. But I don't think most parents bother to consider that at all, considering the # of teens and even younger kids who have committed crimes and lent their ideas to video games. Perhaps they were just lying to lay blame elsewhere, who knows. I think what can have an impact on kids just varies on the medium and the kid. I know a guy who joined the Army as a sniper because of his enjoyment of sniper related video games. I wonder if he's finding that it's not quite the same. And as kids get older, I think the impact for many of them is less. But when kids as young as 7, 8, 9 who are still really grasping the reality of death and what bullets do to a body, I think they can be influenced wrongly about how it compares with real life. My middle son, when he was around 7, his uncle let him play some war games on his playstation. Not long after that he spent time shooting guns with my dad (after he told my dad about the games he played) where he was astonished at the damage a single bullet from a gun can do to a melon. You could see him making the connections between shooting people and shooting melons and what it really does to a human body versus what you see happen in a video game where you just respawn. It was a lesson he'll never forget. I think too many kids can't make that connection.

    I think music is much the same, movies, and even sports/other entertainment people. It just depends on the kid. I have one kid who is pretty much emotionally detached from all of that stuff and another who is greatly affected but doesn't really know it, and another who is vocally opposed to any bad words being said around him. A kid like him is more likely to be negatively influenced (I think) by constant exposure to games and music and movies than, say, my 16 year old who just has no emotional attachment to any of those things. Sadly, I also think that the kids who are attracted to those things can be the most affected by them because they are looking for an outlet for emotions they aren't being taught to understand and cope with. It's more the lack of that than anything that affects kids, I think, and then they focus their efforts in the wrong places with the wrong intentions because they are misguided (or not guided at all).

    You make some good points.

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    robot said:



    Actually, I have not expressed any "insights" into the state of affairs in the USA. In fact I'm pretty sure that so far, I have done nothing more than state the obvious.
    Here is an insight for you. Many Americans seem so focused on there own perceived greatness that they fail to see how they are viewed by the rest of the world. Hence the surprise and indignation over the Snowden situation.
    Do you really think that people can't see what is going on in the US without living there? We all have access to the same information. In fact, I dare say that a well informed Canadian could tell many Americans more about their own country than they know themselves. And vice versa.
    Canadians are amongst your closest friends. Try not to be so defensive.

    And I don't necessarily agree on what you see as "the obvious". In fact, as often as not, when I hear people say, "Well, it's obvious", I've found whatever they're talking about is not so obvious.

    When you talk about "their own perceived greatness", are you talking about individuals or American society?

    Yes, I really don't think that people -- in general -- have a real perspective about what is happening in the US if they don't live here. People around the world are quite ignorant about life in other countries. I've mentioned before the number of times I had Thais (and, in some cases, well-educated Thais) say things to me like, "Is it true streets in America paved in gold?" Or, "Do you have AIDS? Doesn't every person in America have AIDS?" Or, "Does every American own many guns?" Watching American movies or the news (even if it's the BBC) gives a distorted view of life in other countries because it's always the sensational occurrences that are in the news. And that's natural. No one wants to read bland news stories about senior citizens volunteering one day a week at the local soup kitchen for the homeless. That's not news. The nut shooting up the theater in Aurora, Colorado...that was news...but also not representative of American life.

    I've traveled quite a bit in Canada over the years. Few things about Canadian life stuck in my mind...other than all the problems with Quebec and a few other things here and there.

    Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean they're being defensive.

  • robotrobot Veteran
    vinlyn said:

    robot said:



    Actually, I have not expressed any "insights" into the state of affairs in the USA. In fact I'm pretty sure that so far, I have done nothing more than state the obvious.
    Here is an insight for you. Many Americans seem so focused on there own perceived greatness that they fail to see how they are viewed by the rest of the world. Hence the surprise and indignation over the Snowden situation.
    Do you really think that people can't see what is going on in the US without living there? We all have access to the same information. In fact, I dare say that a well informed Canadian could tell many Americans more about their own country than they know themselves. And vice versa.
    Canadians are amongst your closest friends. Try not to be so defensive.

    And I don't necessarily agree on what you see as "the obvious". In fact, as often as not, when I hear people say, "Well, it's obvious", I've found whatever they're talking about is not so obvious.

    When you talk about "their own perceived greatness", are you talking about individuals or American society?

    Yes, I really don't think that people -- in general -- have a real perspective about what is happening in the US if they don't live here. People around the world are quite ignorant about life in other countries. I've mentioned before the number of times I had Thais (and, in some cases, well-educated Thais) say things to me like, "Is it true streets in America paved in gold?" Or, "Do you have AIDS? Doesn't every person in America have AIDS?" Or, "Does every American own many guns?" Watching American movies or the news (even if it's the BBC) gives a distorted view of life in other countries because it's always the sensational occurrences that are in the news. And that's natural. No one wants to read bland news stories about senior citizens volunteering one day a week at the local soup kitchen for the homeless. That's not news. The nut shooting up the theater in Aurora, Colorado...that was news...but also not representative of American life.

    I've traveled quite a bit in Canada over the years. Few things about Canadian life stuck in my mind...other than all the problems with Quebec and a few other things here and there.

    Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean they're being defensive.

    It is obvious that there is something wrong with an organization of five or seven million having the power to overrule the wishes of the majority of Americans. Which is apparently what is happening when recent polling shows that most Americans favour increased restrictions on some types of weapons and increased background checks.
    It's also obvious that when handguns are illegal then only the criminals have them and they are
    hesitant to bring them out unless they are serious about using them since they know what reaction to expect. So a more gun free society is more free from guns.
    Also I doubt that someone living in New York City has any better idea of what life is like in Juneau, Alaska than I do. In fact I would say that the lifestyle of many Alaskans is far more similar to mine than it is to yours.
    It is the similarities in our lifestyles that make the differences so obvious.
    Life in Thailand is completely different from here or the US. That's why we love it.
    riverflow
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    edited August 2013
    robot said:



    It is obvious that there is something wrong with an organization of five or seven million having the power to overrule the wishes of the majority of Americans. Which is apparently what is happening when recent polling shows that most Americans favour increased restrictions on some types of weapons and increased background checks.
    It's also obvious that when handguns are illegal then only the criminals have them and they are
    hesitant to bring them out unless they are serious about using them since they know what reaction to expect. So a more gun free society is more free from guns.
    Also I doubt that someone living in New York City has any better idea of what life is like in Juneau, Alaska than I do. In fact I would say that the lifestyle of many Alaskans is far more similar to mine than it is to yours.
    It is the similarities in our lifestyles that make the differences so obvious.
    Life in Thailand is completely different from here or the US. That's why we love it.

    When it comes to the politics of gun control, you have to divide that politics into the state sphere and the federal sphere. While the majority of Americans may favor gun control, when you get down to individual states, the situation may be very different.

    So the first question is -- where does the power to control guns rest? With the federal government or the state government? In the past, most gun legislation has come from the States or localities. I'm not so sure where the federal power is going to come from...other than in re interstate commerce...considering the wording in the Bill Of Rights to the Constitution. And state-by-state, the issue of gun control is very different than nationwide. In Colorado right now...over the gun issue...we are having 2 recall elections of state senators who voted for our new gun restrictions (which are actually very minor)...and my guess is that those state senators may very well lose. Several large counties (in terms of area) in northeast Colorado are actively looking into seceding from the state (which ultimately won't happen), in part over the gun issue. More likely there will eventually be a change in the makeup of the state legislature, where both houses are represented based on population. This is serious stuff.

    Recently there is more talk about a different type of gun control. And, perhaps it has some merit. Commit a crime using a gun, and just the gun aspect gets you 10 year mandatory prison sentence. So, if you committed armed robbery, you'd get the robbery sentence + the gun sentence. I haven't thought enough about it, but it is being suggested by some very pro-gun people.

    And by the way, keep in mind that on a state-by-state basis, Republicans control roughly the same number of states as Democrats.

    Oh, and in regard to who knows Alaska better...a Canadian or an American...don't be so defensive! (Just kidding).

    robot
  • robotrobot Veteran
    I was anchored in Alaska just last week. So there!

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