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Subject: The Cultural of Violence in the US rss

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Andrew Bartosh

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Well, the video game thing is because we haven't had any gamers doing shootings lately. It still crops up in accusations occasionally, but we're a bit busy with racism and terrorism right now.

(Jokes aside, studies generally indicate that correlation between violent media and actual violence are, in general, weak at best.)

I have no doubt there is definitely a cultural element to it, though.
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You're regurgitating a lot of talking points that could have been made in 1981.
Who says "movies are more violent" now?
Who says video games are "way more violent" now?
Who is keeping track of every music lyric to see if it does or doesn't promote "graphic violence?"
These are all easy answers to far more complex questions.

I'm also not convinced the USA has "a culture of violence." If anything we have "a culture of fat lazy kids in their mom's basement texting and eating Cheetos." Violent crime has been dropping in America for decades now.
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Jon Badolato
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We do live in a violent society, but so do others in other nations. What it always seems to boil down to is sheer gun availability. If I remember a stat I read once ( can't remember the source ) we have about 5 percent of the world population but over 20 percent of the worlds gun deaths ( and yeah that might include suicides. I make no distinction because someone blowing their own head off is still a violent act, and usually affects family members and friends as well.) Thats a ridiculous disparity. And the major reason is just how ridiculously simple it is for anyone and everyone to obtain a gun. They're there. They're being used because they're easy, quick, and efficient. Things aren't going to change until gun sales are regulated and controlled far more than they are. To date no revolutions have been needed to oppose a repressive government, but every two years America is treated to a casualty level from guns equivalent to all those soldiers who died in Vietnam. That's ridiculous.
Besides gun regulation we really have to start funding mental health initiatives and treatment far more than we do now. When you couple mental health problems with the free and easy access to guns it's a recipe for disaster as we see far too often lately. Plain and simple, the presence of so many guns makes it far too easy to obtain and use one for ill purposes and low funding for mental health issues exacerbates the problem even more. Rather than being reactive, we need to be taking a more pro-active approach. My personal approach would not be popular with gun owners, but I don't care. They wouldn't be the first group who complained that their rights were being taken away who later figured out that the changes made were not nearly as bad as they thought.
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Brian M
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Various people do like to blame some of those things, but the same media exists in other modern countries that somehow escape the same problems.

Ditto with divorce and lack of religion.

As far as I know though, poverty and crime are correlated and have been throughout history, though that gets pretty complicated; part of it is that poor people are far more likely to be prosecuted for crimes that richer people might not be for. However, the shootings you are talking about, as far as I know, are not usually correlated with poverty.
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Ron
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jonb wrote:
We do live in a violent society, but so do others in other nations. What it always seems to boil down to is sheer gun availability. If I remember a stat I read once ( can't remember the source ) we have about 5 percent of the world population but over 20 percent of the worlds gun deaths ( and yeah that might include suicides. I make no distinction because someone blowing their own head off is still a violent act, and usually affects family members and friends as well.) Thats a ridiculous disparity. And the major reason is just how ridiculously simple it is for anyone and everyone to obtain a gun. They're there. They're being used because they're easy, quick, and efficient. Things aren't going to change until gun sales are regulated and controlled far more than they are. To date no revolutions have been needed to oppose a repressive government, but every two years America is treated to a casualty level from guns equivalent to all those soldiers who died in Vietnam. That's ridiculous.
Besides gun regulation we really have to start funding mental health initiatives and treatment far more than we do now. When you couple mental health problems with the free and easy access to guns it's a recipe for disaster as we see far too often lately. Plain and simple, the presence of so many guns makes it far too easy to obtain and use one for ill purposes and low funding for mental health issues exacerbates the problem even more. Rather than being reactive, we need to be taking a more pro-active approach. My personal approach would not be popular with gun owners, but I don't care. They wouldn't be the first group who complained that their rights were being taken away who later figured out that the changes made were not nearly as bad as they thought.


Or there's that TL;DR: version ...
Quote:
Guns are scary and because I don't like them, no one should be allowed to have any.





... Oh yeah, and maybe we should work on the actual issues. But really, f^%# gun owners.


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Ron
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galad2003 wrote:
So with all these shootings lately the Dems are quick to blame guns. But why no mention of the prevalence of violence in our society? Does our exposure to violence in the media have any effect on what is going on?

Movies are more violent, video games are way more violent. There has been a huge increase in the amount of FPS shooters on the market in the last decade or so. Video games used to be the providence of a few nerds, now they are far more main stream. Music lyrics have been steadily getting more graphic and talk about violence more than ever. Is any of this to blame? Or is it just because we have guns?

What about the decline of the traditional American family? more parents get divorced, children are growing up in broken homes which leads to more poverty. What about the decline of religion? Are people not being taught morality anymore? Is that a factor?

Discuss.

Fwiw, people were being burned, lynched, "disappeared", and worse for as long as we've been keeping track. Maybe humans are just f*^%ed up.
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Christopher Yaure
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Equating religion and morality is misguided.

My children's generation cares a great deal about equality and fairness, the environment and freedom, the great moral issues of our times. Participation in mainstream religions and acceptance of the archaic standards of many of those institutions are declining, but morality is not.

Also, murder rates and overall violent crime rates in the US are down. The most recent complete year of FBI crime data is 2014. In both 2013 and 2014 the rate of murders in the US was 4.5 per 100,000. This is the lowest rate since at least 1960. Total violent crime in 2014 was 375.7 per 100,000. This is the lowest rate since 1970.
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Jon Badolato
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linguistfromhell wrote:
jonb wrote:
We do live in a violent society, but so do others in other nations. What it always seems to boil down to is sheer gun availability. If I remember a stat I read once ( can't remember the source ) we have about 5 percent of the world population but over 20 percent of the worlds gun deaths ( and yeah that might include suicides. I make no distinction because someone blowing their own head off is still a violent act, and usually affects family members and friends as well.) Thats a ridiculous disparity. And the major reason is just how ridiculously simple it is for anyone and everyone to obtain a gun. They're there. They're being used because they're easy, quick, and efficient. Things aren't going to change until gun sales are regulated and controlled far more than they are. To date no revolutions have been needed to oppose a repressive government, but every two years America is treated to a casualty level from guns equivalent to all those soldiers who died in Vietnam. That's ridiculous.
Besides gun regulation we really have to start funding mental health initiatives and treatment far more than we do now. When you couple mental health problems with the free and easy access to guns it's a recipe for disaster as we see far too often lately. Plain and simple, the presence of so many guns makes it far too easy to obtain and use one for ill purposes and low funding for mental health issues exacerbates the problem even more. Rather than being reactive, we need to be taking a more pro-active approach. My personal approach would not be popular with gun owners, but I don't care. They wouldn't be the first group who complained that their rights were being taken away who later figured out that the changes made were not nearly as bad as they thought.


Or there's that TL;DR: version ...
Quote:
Guns are scary and because I don't like them, no one should be allowed to have any.





... Oh yeah, and maybe we should work on the actual issues. But really, f^%# gun owners.



Newsflash ! It is the issue.
 
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Chris Funk
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Personally, I think it has more to do with hate and distrust. We've been dividing each other for decades and this is none more evident than right now. We have cops that have taken their role from protector to enforcer. Not all, but a growing number.

We can't pay police what they deserve so we get poorer and poorer choices showing up as applicants. But we can't raise taxes because we have a growing amount of the population that says taxes are theft, taxes are bad, the government is bad, etc. Every tax increase for public services is met with resistance.

We don't trust the police anymore because actions are more visible now than they were 20 years ago. Everyone has a video camera on them at all times. Everyone has internet access all the time. When people feel the police aren't watching themselves, the people will watch them instead.

I can guarantee that this is not a new issue. There are many people today that remember when they were kids to have a fear of police due to what their parents went through, which are mainly African-American or Latino families. The fear has been there for years but now, it's getting attention as people capture it in real time. When you prove the boogeyman exists, everyone will be staying awake at night staring at their closet doors.

Another issue is when the problem is shown to us in black and white. Police taking actions that are not only plainly wrong, but evidence that they lied to try and justify those actions. A man flailing as he's being tasered is not reaching for his weapon, but yelling "Put your hands down!" a half a second before firing shots is not justification for shooting them.

And the good officers won't stand up. They won't speak out. I understand there's a brotherhood between officers but if my brother shot someone for now reason, I'm saying something to the authorities.

People don't trust the police anymore because they've mainly taken the stance that their brothers were right. Even when there's no two ways about it that they did something wrong, and pure evidence to that fact they can't say their brothers did the wrong thing. No apologies, no condolences, just a basic PR answer of "That may or may not have been the case."

Prosecutors, even having this evidence, don't want to prosecute officers because they work with them, too, and rely on their cooperation in trials to secure convictions. They're afraid other officers won't be there to help them if they send one of their brothers to jail.

Again, this breeds distrust and lends even more credence to the fear and make it more reality every day. And every small kid that sees their parents being killed by an officer for no reason as they sit in the back seat only creates a new generation of fear. Stronger than the last. We're about four generations into that cycle and you see how things are turning out. Paranoia and conspiracy theory all proven valid in vivid 1080P cell phone videos.

Police culture has to change. The Band of Brothers is causing harm as their brothers to more damage. And no one is going to be able to change it. No matter how many videos they film, no matter how many people are killed at traffic stops, no matter how many innocent, good officers lose their lives because the actions of their brothers put the rest of them in jeopardy.

It has to change from the inside and be visible before it will ever get better.

Or what we end up with is Judge Dredd. Eerily enough, we're about halfway there now...
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galad2003 wrote:
So with all these shootings lately the Dems are quick to blame guns. But why no mention of the prevalence of violence in our society? Does our exposure to violence in the media have any effect on what is going on?

Movies are more violent, video games are way more violent. There has been a huge increase in the amount of FPS shooters on the market in the last decade or so. Video games used to be the providence of a few nerds, now they are far more main stream. Music lyrics have been steadily getting more graphic and talk about violence more than ever. Is any of this to blame? Or is it just because we have guns?

What about the decline of the traditional American family? more parents get divorced, children are growing up in broken homes which leads to more poverty. What about the decline of religion? Are people not being taught morality anymore? Is that a factor?

Discuss.
Are films more violent?

Were westerns not (and a glorification of) violent?

As to religion, really you want to link morality to religion?

As to music, there yo may have a more valid point.

But as I have said before it is culture, and that must include the culture of "guns are a way to solve issues".
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galad2003 wrote:
So with all these shootings lately the Dems are quick to blame guns. But why no mention of the prevalence of violence in our society? Does our exposure to violence in the media have any effect on what is going on?

Movies are more violent, video games are way more violent. There has been a huge increase in the amount of FPS shooters on the market in the last decade or so. Video games used to be the providence of a few nerds, now they are far more main stream. Music lyrics have been steadily getting more graphic and talk about violence more than ever. Is any of this to blame? Or is it just because we have guns?

What about the decline of the traditional American family? more parents get divorced, children are growing up in broken homes which leads to more poverty. What about the decline of religion? Are people not being taught morality anymore? Is that a factor?

Discuss.


Though violence declines, it seems like mass violence is increasing. (I've heard some reports that THAT part isn't true either, but who knows?)

I think blaming mental illness is a bogeyman. I mean, as a filthy socialist, I want to blame rising inequality, but what else is it? The work force participation rate? The lack of meaning in people's lives that leads to the mass shooting desire?

Are our threats existential now?

I think saying "BAN GUNS" is a bit of a bogeyman too -- it might work, it might not, America can't necessarily generalize the other countries data, but neither does "this city banned guns!" mean much.

More succinctly -- What is it in this country that makes multiple people want to kill as many people as they can before they're killed by the police? Compare this to Israel -- daily knife attacks. But in America, we attack ourselves. Perhaps our fragmented national identity?

I firmly believe that body cameras on police will mitigate some of the distrust that leads to horrific disasters of police-related violence -- whether they are the perpetrators, or now the victims. Past that, I have very little idea what to do that would be effective.
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Ron
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On a phone, Terwox, so I'm not going to grab your post and snip it to the relevant question, but yes, generally speaking, mass shootings have been going down for a long time.

But with the 24-hour news cycle and the Internet, every single instance can become national news instantly and we're reacting to that.
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Tobias Strobe
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Eh, I actually partially agree with the OP. Culturally, we're in love with violence. Violence is often presented as heroic.

People who back down when confronted are considered pussies. Men who are gentle and loving are faggy wimps. Compassion is weakness. Even the Prince of Peace is once again seen as an adjudicator of brutal justice.

Things have changed in the last 30 years. We're much more comfortable with violence as a solution, we just want good guys to be more successful with their violence. I wansn't allowed to play with realistic gun toys when I was a kid. My Mormon neighbors weren't either. Some kids would probably make gun toys out of sticks or something. We made a pretend bed and breakfast. We fucking ARGUED about the menu. It turns out after all these years that I was right and he was wrong. You do want a separate weekday breakfast and weekend brunch menu.

I don't think there's as much cultural pressure against the "violence is fun" concept now like there was in the past. Kids movies are very violent and only become problematic if the movies deal with the aftermath of violence.

Some would call the cultural push toward aggressive, confrontation-seeking behaviors that more often than not are expected from males "toxic masculinity", but seeing how that term upsets some people here I'll settle for the term "anger chic".
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Ilthuain wrote:
I wansn't allowed to play with realistic gun toys when I was a kid. My Mormon neighbors weren't either.


When was that? Maybe I didn't get what you meant there. We certainly played with realistic gun toys in the 80s/90s. Kids today can't I think?
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I'm 53. Growing up, my dad owned a hunting rifle and a hunting shotgun, as did most guys in Western Pennsylvania, which was and still is a big hunting area (back then, the first day of deer season was basically an unofficial holiday). He also was a WW2 vet, as were plenty of other dads in the neighborhood. However, in the 60's and 70's while I was growing up, no one owned anything like these...



People owned rifles and shotguns, but they were always understood to be for hunting. What the hell happened in this country that now people feel the desire to arm themselves like they are one man armies? Where did this military weapon fetish come from? I mean, I served 12 years in the US Army Reserves, firing my share of weapons during that time, and I have no desire to own any of my own.

What changed in this country? In so many ways, the US is a better nation than it was when I was a kid, but in this regard, things are so, so much worse. I just don't get it.

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lfisher wrote:
Ilthuain wrote:
I wansn't allowed to play with realistic gun toys when I was a kid. My Mormon neighbors weren't either.


When was that? Maybe I didn't get what you meant there. We certainly played with realistic gun toys in the 80s/90s. Kids today can't I think?


The 70s and early 80s. It wasn't government restrictions, it was my family. Their definition of "realistic" extended to shape, so the brightly colored assault nerfers popular today wouldn't be acceptable either.

We also weren't allowed to watch bloody actionfests until we were teenagers. Nudity was always a-okay, though.
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Ron
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desertfox2004 wrote:
I'm 53. Growing up, my dad owned a hunting rifle and a hunting shotgun, as did most guys in Western Pennsylvania, which was and still is a big hunting area (back then, the first day of deer season was basically an unofficial holiday). He also was a WW2 vet, as were plenty of other dads in the neighborhood. However, in the 60's and 70's while I was growing up, no one owned anything like these...



People owned rifles and shotguns, but they were always understood to be for hunting. What the hell happened in this country that now people feel the desire to arm themselves like they are one man armies? Where did this military weapon fetish come from? I mean, I served 12 years in the US Army Reserves, firing my share of weapons during that time, and I have no desire to own any of my own.

What changed in this country? In so many ways, the US is a better nation than it was when I was a kid, but in this regard, things are so, so much worse. I just don't get it.

It happens in every industry - newer, better, faster, MORE! MORE! MORE!

Cars, computers, engines, all kinds of things. The AR model is popular because it's cheap, accurate, and it doesn't hurt any that a _lot_ of people that get out of the military that buy a rifle buy something they're used to.

Personally, I prefer other rifles to the AR, but I understand why they're popular the same way I understand Jeeps are popular or crotch rockets are popular. Shrug.
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galad2003 wrote:
So with all these shootings lately the Dems are quick to blame guns. But why no mention of the prevalence of violence in our society? Does our exposure to violence in the media have any effect on what is going on?

Movies are more violent, video games are way more violent. There has been a huge increase in the amount of FPS shooters on the market in the last decade or so. Video games used to be the providence of a few nerds, now they are far more main stream. Music lyrics have been steadily getting more graphic and talk about violence more than ever. Is any of this to blame? Or is it just because we have guns?

What about the decline of the traditional American family? more parents get divorced, children are growing up in broken homes which leads to more poverty. What about the decline of religion? Are people not being taught morality anymore? Is that a factor?

Discuss.


I live in Canada. We get the same movies, the same video games, the same music. Greater decline of religion, more gay marriages breaking down tradition values.
But we have nothing like the same levels of violence. So what's the difference?
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aiabx wrote:
galad2003 wrote:
So with all these shootings lately the Dems are quick to blame guns. But why no mention of the prevalence of violence in our society? Does our exposure to violence in the media have any effect on what is going on?

Movies are more violent, video games are way more violent. There has been a huge increase in the amount of FPS shooters on the market in the last decade or so. Video games used to be the providence of a few nerds, now they are far more main stream. Music lyrics have been steadily getting more graphic and talk about violence more than ever. Is any of this to blame? Or is it just because we have guns?

What about the decline of the traditional American family? more parents get divorced, children are growing up in broken homes which leads to more poverty. What about the decline of religion? Are people not being taught morality anymore? Is that a factor?

Discuss.


I live in Canada. We get the same movies, the same video games, the same music. Greater decline of religion, more gay marriages breaking down tradition values.
But we have nothing like the same levels of violence. So what's the difference?

There were 1,092 violent crimes committed per 100,000 Canadians in 2013, according to Statistics Canada. About half of those crimes were threats or assaults involving little or no physical harm. By comparison, the U.S. violent crime rate reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation was 387 per 100,000 people, a figure that excludes threats and simple assaults.

You were saying?

Oops. Edited the year.
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Crime is down, it's just the reporting and the glamorization of violence for ratings that is up.
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linguistfromhell wrote:
Crime is down, it's just the reporting and the glamorization of violence for ratings that is up.


Overall crime is down, yes. However, indiscriminate mass shootings are up. Most crimes are either robberies or crimes of passion between people who know one another, and sure, those have been trending down, but those are also in a lot of ways less scary forms of crime. One can more or less control their likelihood of being robbed by staying out of the bad parts of town. They can also choose to avoid known hot heads. However, today's mass shootings of strangers in public places is fucking scary because they can and do happen anywhere at anytime. I'm just afraid that the genie is out of the bottle, as there are as many as 5 million AR-15s in private hands in the US, and that doesn't count the many similar such weapons as well. I'm not anti-gun per se, but it's clearly too easy for defective people to get their hands on these weapons.
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24/7 news cycles and internet availability pumping confrontation, violence, and extreme points of view into people's brains year round has far more damage potential than a few hours of a movie or a videogame. Media pushes brinksmanship for ratings. Politicians push brinksmanship to catch the media and stay in the light. Extreme positions become normalized and for some, extreme actions follow.
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slatersteven wrote:

But as I have said before it is culture, and that must include the culture of "guns are a way to solve issues".


Strawman alert!

I know of literally nobody who thinks "guns are a way to solve issues". Perhaps it's different in Britain.



Ferret
 
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Ferretman wrote:
slatersteven wrote:

But as I have said before it is culture, and that must include the culture of "guns are a way to solve issues".


Strawman alert!

I know of literally nobody who thinks "guns are a way to solve issues". Perhaps it's different in Britain.



Ferret


I do know several in PA, and it's definately a theme in some cinema and on several websites. Just to throw one out there: The cattle rancher standoff where militia were rolling up and setting up sniper positions to stop the law from being enforced (and they succeeded in that case)

So while it isn't everyone, there are some and it is worth acknowledging it can't be a helpful influence.
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