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Thread: Answers to Charleston

  1. #1

    Default Answers to Charleston

    A vigil was held here in Ottawa, Canada last night at the Canadian Human Rights Monument to honour the lives lost of nine African American victims shot dead at a Charleston church. These shots were heard around the world. Speakers expressed their sorrow and called for an end to racism and hate- the kind that motivated the alleged shooter Dylann Roof.

    Can it really be that simple? Can we really just demand that these heinous crimes stop happening? I have no doubt in the days and months to follow we will turn our attention to what caused this tragedy and what needs to be dome to prevent another one. While I am generally a positive person, I am feeling somewhat saddened that we have travelled down this road before, had the debates, and at the end of the day, there has been little change.

    From a political point of view, the South Carolina government has called for the removal of the Confederate flag, long considered a representation of the legacy of slavery. The President of the United States condemned the act and stated we are not yet cured of racism, in spite of recent advances. In spite of the murderer's stated agenda of wanting to start a race war, a morning anchor on Fox News claimed the massacre was an attack against Christians, rather than Blacks. Former Texas Governor and Presidential candidate Rick Perry actually called the shooting 'an accident.'

    No doubt we will also see another heated debate about gun control. As a Canadian, I have often felt that one of our primary cultural differences was our perspectives on gun ownership.

    Just hours after the Sandy Hook shootings where a killer shot down twenty innocent children, Obama stated that innocent children were murdered because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no problem getting a gun. He acknowledged that the U.S. must recognize the fact that this type of mass violence does not occur as frequently in other civilized countries. The powerful National Rifle Association disagreed.

    In Canada, handguns are difficult to purchase legally, and there are rigorous processes in place, all with substantial checks and balances. The process does not facilitate 'crimes of passion' unless the gun was purchased well in advance. I believe gun access, control and storage requirements help make the difference. Additionally 31 of 50 states have the death penalty as a deterrent to crime but their violent crime and murder rates are still through the roof.


    I've always been a firm believer in supporting initiatives that are focussed on the prevention of crime, rather than simply inflicting punishment after the act has been committed. If we want a world free of discrimination and racism, then we have to start by instilling these values in our youth, beginning in the classroom. Our school curriculums should ensure that human rights are taught, as well as teaching about the contributions made to our societies by different ethnic cultures. Racism and prejudices may never be eliminated but they can still be lessened. As education increases, myths and stereotypes are broken down, and acceptance increases.

    Also, in so many of these cases, in the aftermath of the horror, a profile emerges of the killer: a loner, isolated, previous drug charges. There may have been some form of underlying mental health issues, such as depression, combined with a precipitating factor. When all the information concerning Dylan Roof becomes public, I suspect it will be shown that he was a ticking time bomb waiting to go off and that all the symptoms were there. We need to learn to recognize these symptoms and ensure that people who could be a danger to themselves or others receive appropriate interventions and assistance.


    People can feel free to agree or disagree with me on what could prevent another massacre like Charleston from happening. The truth is, and we all know it, there are no simple answers. If we want answers, maybe, just maybe, we could start by looking to the people of Charleston themselves for how they chose to look at this tragedy:

    "I will never be able to hold her again, but I forgive you and have mercy on your soul"

    These words came from the daughter of one of the victims, and we can be inspired by this act of forgiveness and in awe of their strength and conviction. Forgiveness itself can be difficult and beautiful. But the people of Charleston have been using it to move forward, as a way to something else, something better. And this gives me hope.
    Last edited by Starrunner; 24-Jun-2015 at 22:04.

  2. #2

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    What bothers me most in any of these things is not access to guns, but instead is the mindset that people get into that allows them to do this. There will always be violence until we get one major thing taught to our children: the value of human life.

    There can be arguments for and against gun control, there can be arguments about what penalties we want to put into place to deter someone from committing the crime in the first place, but none of it will matter one bit until we acknowledge the lack of empathy for the victims that comes from the killers. How do we allow our children to be brought up in a society where human life holds so little value, where we can dehumanize others for being different in terms of race, religion, sexual identity, gender, etc?

    Politicians will make speeches, they will try to pass legislation, all of it is nothing more than a 'feel good' band-aid on a bigger problem.

  3. #3

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    Teaching kids the value of human life, whatever that actually means in terms of nuts and bolts, can be part of the solution. The problem is that the person who committed the shooting du jour was a 21 year old man. Fixing the problem by raising better kids will take 10-20 years to be realized. People are dying now.

  4. #4

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    I said to my choir on Sunday, that Dylan Roof is just one person and should not define us. But part of the tragedy is that though Dylan Roof was one person, his semi-automatic pistol turned him into many people, each pull of the trigger taking one more life and one more life, as if there were nine of him.

    Today, many of the big box stores and web stores such as Amazon and even Ebay, banned the sale of any merchandise that represented the confederacy. Kudos to them. Many in the south pretend that the confederate flag is a historical symbol, but I can't understand why someone would display something that they know hurts others. It's only place is inside a civil war museum. To me, it's a sad reminder of the senseless loss caused by war and the enslavement of those who were innocent.

    I've lived 67 years of life, and I have seen a lot of progress made in race relations, but we still have a long way to go. Until we stop seeing color, that road remains long, and the only way to shorten it, is to have friends whom we socialize with, of any race. We should see the person, and their name, not their ethnic background. I'm glad I have friends like that.

  5. #5

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    I am saddened to learn of another violent killer who made a plan and acted on it.



    Quote Originally Posted by Starrunner View Post
    People can feel free to agree or disagree with me on what could prevent another massacre like Charleston from happening. The truth is, and we all know it, there are no simple answers.
    Very true. No simple answers.



    Quote Originally Posted by Starrunner View Post
    A vigil was held here in Ottawa, Canada last night... Speakers expressed their sorrow and called for an end to racism and hate...Can it really be that simple?
    No, it really is not. No matter how much we ask, Arabs still want Jews wipe off the planet. Israel exists only by force. My last residence (white guy in crime-ridden Hispanic neighborhood) was mostly left alone under threat of gunfire (my Hispanic neighbor's threat).



    Quote Originally Posted by Starrunner View Post
    No doubt we will also see another heated debate about gun control...*Obama stated that innocent children were murdered because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no problem getting a gun... The powerful National Rifle Association disagreed.
    No, I doubt we will have much of a debate this time. The murderer used a standard piston such as is common. No mention of him using any "loopholes" to purchase it. Questioning access to this firearm in front of American gun owners and the NRA which lobbies for them is political suicide.



    Quote Originally Posted by Starrunner View Post
    In Canada, handguns are difficult to purchase legally, and there are rigorous processes in place, all with substantial checks and balances. The process does not facilitate 'crimes of passion' unless the fun was purchased well in advance. I believe gun access, control and storage requirements help make the difference. Additionally 31 of 50 states have the death penalty as a deterrent to crime but their violent crime and murder rates are still through the roof.
    That is an interesting perspective. However, American firearm owners have a different perspective on access, control, and storage. The following link shows concealed carry permit laws by state:
    http://www.handgunlaw.us/LicMaps/ccwmap.php
    On this page, I count 9 states that may issue and 41 states that shall issue concealed carry permits. Gun access and control: on the person 24/7 or as desired. Storage requirements: hidden. With the exception of only a few states, laws governing access, control, and storage are not plausible.

    At this time, firearm owners are asking for more rights under the law and millions of firearms are selling to both new and experienced owners alike. Cases are currently going through the courts questioning the validity of current restrictions in San Diego and Washington DC. The climate has change since the Sandy Hook shootings.



    Quote Originally Posted by Starrunner View Post
    I've always been a firm believer in supporting initiatives that are focussed on the prevention of crime, rather than simply inflicting punishment after the act has been committed. If we want a world free of discrimination and racism, then we have to start by instilling these values in our youth, beginning in the classroom.
    I agree that we need to start with the youth. However, in America, it is complicated. Our schools have not taught morality and ethics for decades now. Those are considered religious in nature and the government cannot cover religious topics in public schools. The parents are expected to cover those lessons when the student is not at school, practice, game, doing homework, or otherwise busy. Needless to say, values have not been taught for a while now.



    Quote Originally Posted by Starrunner View Post
    Also, in so many of these cases, in the aftermath of the horror, a profile emerges of the killer: a loner, isolated, previous drug charges... We need to learn to recognize these symptoms and ensure that people who could be a danger to themselves or others receive appropriate interventions and assistance.
    And do what? Lock up in a mental institution every isolated loner with possible depression issues because they are alone? In this instance, the person was a racist who planned to shoot up some place possibly over 6 months and those who heard of it said nothing! It appears that he considered going to the local college, but had an issue with the security there. The church was a softer target: firearms apparently are not allowed there. We can take possible threats seriously, warn others, and get help for people found with so much hate. We could also follow Israel's security plan and promise to have someone armed at every religious building, school, park, and movie theatre. Also works in Arizona, Texas, and Georgia.




    Quote Originally Posted by AnalogRTO View Post
    What bothers me most in any of these things is not access to guns, but instead is the mindset that people get into that allows them to do this. There will always be violence until we get one major thing taught to our children: the value of human life...

    Politicians will make speeches, they will try to pass legislation, all of it is nothing more than a 'feel good' band-aid on a bigger problem.
    An excellent summary! We need to teach that everyone has value to society and that diversity (differences) allows us to see a fuller picture and do more. We need everyone regardless of age, color, social group, or friends status.




    Quote Originally Posted by AEsahaettr View Post
    Teaching kids the value of human life, whatever that actually means in terms of nuts and bolts, can be part of the solution. The problem is that the person who committed the shooting du jour was a 21 year old man. Fixing the problem by raising better kids will take 10-20 years to be realized. People are dying now.
    In my opinion, probably more like 30-40 years for this to start having a noticeable effect. The first round of children will only partially get the message and loose part of that due to what their parent have to say on the matter. The full effect will be with the second generation. Unfortunately, as you noted, the current guy is 21. This plan will do little for 10 years. Once they are a teen, their mind is no longer moldable.

    So, what do we do to immediately prevent mass shootings now? I feel that recent changes to concealed carry laws which allow greater freedom are a step in the right direction. Extending this freedom to places where people are most likely to be attacked such as religious buildings and college campuses seems appropriate. The only thing we know for certain is mass shooters look for places where no one will shoot back. Why give them a list of safe killing spree locations?

    My prays go out to the grieving families of the victims and the members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. May your legacy continue unfazed.
    Last edited by Jeremiah; 24-Jun-2015 at 06:05. Reason: Remove asterisks that randomly appeared.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by AEsahaettr View Post
    Teaching kids the value of human life, whatever that actually means in terms of nuts and bolts, can be part of the solution. The problem is that the person who committed the shooting du jour was a 21 year old man. Fixing the problem by raising better kids will take 10-20 years to be realized. People are dying now.
    People are dying now, yes. The problem is that everyone wants an instant fix. Rather than looking for the root of the problem and fixing that, with the understanding it will take time and effort, people want a 'magic pill' sort of fix. Nobody wants to put the effort in, they want someone to wave their hands or politicians to make a law to make everything better.

    I've talked with my family doctor before when I went in with a nasty virus. I understood that all I could do was to go home and take proper care of myself to get better. He commented that very few people anymore think that way. With technology and modern conveniences, everyone figures that we should instantly be able to get what we want. Most people who go into the doctor with a nasty virus think that there must be some drug that the doctor can give them to make it all go away right now. You want to go out and party for a week straight and you then get sick because you haven't taken care of yourself? Well, now you have to suffer the consequences.

    It took quite a while for us to get to the state we are in. Do people really think we can instantly reverse that? Honestly, it will take just as long for us to get out of this mess as it took us to get into it, and it will take serious effort to do so, effort we have not been putting in to keep us away from this.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by AnalogRTO View Post
    It took quite a while for us to get to the state we are in. Do people really think we can instantly reverse that? Honestly, it will take just as long for us to get out of this mess as it took us to get into it, and it will take serious effort to do so, effort we have not been putting in to keep us away from this.
    I only take issue with your point because it's not mutually exclusive to have long-term and short-term plans. Yes, I want a quick fix because I'm fucking tired of this happening again and again. I also want a long-term solution. But I find it morally inexusable to accept that we can't do anything short term.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremiah View Post
    Extending this freedom to places where people are most likely to be attacked such as religious buildings and college campuses seems appropriate. The only thing we know for certain is mass shooters look for places where no one will shoot back. Why give them a list of safe killing spree locations?
    Do you have any evidence that whether a shooter is more likely to encounter a person carrying in one place versus another factors into his choice of where to shoot people?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremiah View Post
    So, what do we do to immediately prevent mass shootings now? I feel that recent changes to concealed carry laws which allow greater freedom are a step in the right direction. Extending this freedom to places where people are most likely to be attacked such as religious buildings and college campuses seems appropriate. The only thing we know for certain is mass shooters look for places where no one will shoot back. Why give them a list of safe killing spree locations?
    Shootings like these unfold rapidly and unexpectedly and the fault in your thinking is that something can be done to prevent rapidly unfolding events or to stop them instantly. I assure you, if I was in a classroom inside a church and at the other side of that church was a fully armed US Navy Seal, I could kill everyone in that room before the SEAL managed to stop me. I could rent a car right now and drive it through any of the many popular pedestrian venues in my city, racking up a good number of deaths and serious injuries in a matter of seconds. I could gather fuel and torch the exits to my apartment building, trapping many inside. Nothing could stop me from doing these things if I had any interest and nothing could stop anyone else either.

    You could maybe arm everyone in a church but there's a cost matter there, parishioners in certain economic demographics may have trouble affording that and they may object to arms in a church due to that whole 'swords into plowshares' in Isaiah 2:3–4 and all those OTHER pacifist things that Jesus said.

    Arm people in colleges? Have you ever BEEN to a college campus? There are MULTIPLE incidents per year of college and university students who accidently fall out the dorm windows to death or serious injury. Not to mention all of the other MORONIC things that college students do. A campus with armed students would be a campus with FREQUENT accidental discharges. I'm sure you'll say only 'Responsible individuals should be armed' but I imagine most of these victims of window death would have seemed like they fully understand the concept of 'Window + Gravity = Bad' but it happened ANYWAY.

    Total control over events in the world is impossible. But if you want to temper them, you don't need 'control', you need empathy. You need to say 'Fuck man, that's not okay' when someone is speaking out about killing others of different races. We as a society need to give up the POINTLESS stigma we have over mental illness instead of ignoring it while those who need it don't get help. The idea that one needs a gun 'Incase someone gives them a problem' needs to be given up, rather than two idiots who had 'problems' with each other shooting one of the other after they cross paths in a Wal-Mart parking lot because they had a fight last week over someone's dog parking all night and that thing would just not shut up.

    There is no such thing as control in this world and it is a delusion to think it's possible to have that control.

  9. #9

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    We are discussing preventative and mitigating measures. Not ones which make the issue completely non-existent. Those intent on doing evil will find a way.



    Quote Originally Posted by AshleyAshes View Post
    Shootings like these unfold rapidly and unexpectedly and the fault in your thinking is that something can be done to prevent rapidly unfolding events or to stop them instantly. I assure you, if I was in a classroom inside a church and at the other side of that church was a fully armed US Navy Seal, I could kill everyone in that room before the SEAL managed to stop me.
    Do I assume wrong? How big is the church? Will the armed church member be on the far side? Will it take that person longer to get to the shooter than the shooter needs to finish shooting? With the exception of one church, every church I have attended could be run across in under 30 seconds. My assumption and hope is the shooter targets the room with everyone to include those armed to defend the members.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...n-rights-supp/

    Currently, South Carolina law allows concealed carry in churches only with permission from the pastor. Since that church pastor was a state lawmaker against guns, I doubt he gave anyone permission. It seems reasonable to allow concealed carry. Georgia already did it.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/new-law-...-schools-bars/



    Quote Originally Posted by AshleyAshes View Post
    You could maybe arm everyone in a church but there's a cost matter there, parishioners in certain economic demographics may have trouble affording that and they may object to arms in a church due to that whole 'swords into plowshares' in Isaiah 2:3–4 and all those OTHER pacifist things that Jesus said.
    It is a priority matter. Those that believe firearms are necessary will have them. Reading that passage in Isaiah, I got a different view. Swords will be made into plowshares because there will be peace and nations will no longer learn war. That is not today! How about this quote from Jesus: Luke 22:23 "...and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Another thought on firearms in churches is found in Kentucky:

    http://thinkprogress.org/justice/201...iscover-jesus/

    Raffle give-aways to encourage people to come see the church for themselves. A novel idea. Another church in Texas is doing concealed handgun courses.



    Quote Originally Posted by AshleyAshes View Post
    Arm people in colleges? Have you ever BEEN to a college campus?
    Actually, no. I am hoping to start attending this fall. Out of high school, I had funding issues with college and chose a different path. The forth week of that other path, I was handed an M-16 and expected to qualify. Don't worry, I was 18 and considered plenty old enough to be responsible with it. Later, I was considered responsible enough to carry one in a desert unsupervised. My expectations of maturity may not match yours... Anyways, here is a second opinion.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/03/us...mpus.html?_r=1

    Lawmakers expect those with a concealed carry permit to be responsible enough to also carry on college campuses.



    Quote Originally Posted by AshleyAshes View Post
    ...We as a society need to give up the POINTLESS stigma we have over mental illness instead of ignoring it while those who need it don't get help. The idea that one needs a gun 'Incase someone gives them a problem' needs to be given up, rather than two idiots...
    Not exactly. Society either ignores or attacks the outsiders. Those with a problem want to be "normal" and ignore the problem. Or, in this case, others ignored the problem and the murderer was given time to plan. One may need a gun for this very reason. Three times in my own life, I have been thankful one was present to prevent harm to loved ones. There are countless stories of lawful gun owners ending violent crimes by having this tool available. As you pointed out earlier, seconds count in violent situations. Usually, help is minutes away.



    Quote Originally Posted by AshleyAshes View Post
    There is no such thing as control in this world and it is a delusion to think it's possible to have that control.
    Yes. Absolutely. What is possible is to control our own actions and how we respond to others. Some just ask for more tools available to control their self-defense options. Which would you prefer when a criminal is threatening you: nothing or something? I'll choose something like a pistol in 40 or 45 thank you.



    Quote Originally Posted by AEsahaettr View Post
    Do you have any evidence that whether a shooter is more likely to encounter a person carrying in one place versus another factors into his choice of where to shoot people?
    http://crimepreventionresearchcenter...Bloomberg2.pdf
    Mass shooters look for soft targets. The Charleston killer originally wanted to shoot up the local college, but decided security there made it a poor choice. Cannot find any info on what "security" or why, just that he chose another target. "Facts" put out by Bloomberg's groups distort the facts and present the opposite statistics.
    Last edited by Jeremiah; 25-Jun-2015 at 12:29. Reason: Add response to AEsahaettr

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremiah View Post
    Raffle give-aways to encourage people to come see the church for themselves. A novel idea. Another church in Texas is doing concealed handgun courses.
    This, right here, the where he basically said 'We just need Church gun raffles for the poor who couldn't afford them!' is where this thread that started on a 'Gun Control Debate' vector switched to straight 'Crazy Town'. I'm not even going to point out how this is an irrational and stupid idea. It's SO stupid it's self-evident. To even argue against it is to give it validity that it doesn't deserve.

    Welcome to the thread that started out as concern for the victims of racism and sudden violence but is now about how American's churches need gun raffles.

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