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View Poll Results: If "military style" rifles were not available, I think there would be:
Just as many mass shootings 35 85.37%
Less mass shootings 6 14.63%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-16-2018, 08:11 PM  
NinerDoug NinerDoug is offline
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Is the style of weapon a major factor in mass shootings?

How do you account for what appears to be a fairly sharp rise in the number of mass shootings?

I realize that is an overly broad question, with no simple answer, and almost certainly many different causes, many of which we cannot know, which all come together to ultimately create the tragedy.

So I'd like to narrow the question a bit. Let's assume that mental health issues will always be a large, probably the largest, factor. It pretty much goes without saying. But just as obviously, there are many other factors as well. It's not like all or most or even any significant percentage of the mentally ill go out and do mass shootings.

One factor I believe, which appears to be a major factor with this most recent incident, is a deep interest, or obsession, with guns. But how does that come about? And why did mass shootings used to be a rarity, but now they seem to happen all the time?

"Military style" rifles seem to keep popping up in the equation with mass shootings. With crime in general, it is the hand gun that is most common tool of choice. If someone is going to rob a liquor store, you can bet it's going to be hand gun that is involved.

However, with mass shootings, over and over it seems to be some version of a rifle that is intended to look like an assault rifle.

Gun enthusiasts will tell you, correctly, that functionally these weapons are no different from a hunting rifle. Many or most hunting rifles are semi-automatic, no different than (legal) military style rifles.

But if you go back in time, when there were lots of hunting rifles in circulation, but before military style rifles became so popular and readily available, did we have mass shootings as frequently? I don't believe so. And if not, why not? We certainly had just as many mentally ill people, right?

Since this last shooting, I've been putting a lot of thought into this question, and I wonder, admittedly without doing any research, if it is the specific style of the weapon that attracts the lunatics. What do people typically use hunting rifles for? When you think of a hunting rifle, what do you think of associated with it? Hunting animals, of course.

When you think of a "military style" weapon, what do you think of? Hunting? Maybe, but the style of the weapon would be more likely to evoke images of combat. The weapon is clearly designed to look like something that is used in war. If you play a military type video game at the local arcade, you're going to be shooting something that looks like a combat weapon, not a hunting rifle.

If you're a mentally ill individual, what type of gun is going to pique your interest? A hunting rifle, or something that looks like it would be used in combat. And if you become obsessed with weapons like that, what sort of targets are you most likely to imagine? Animals, or people? People more likely, I think.

I just wonder, if weapons like that were not available, would these people doing mass shootings still do them, but just use hunting rifles instead? It's certainly possible. But it's also possible that the mentally ill individual is actually attracted by the military style weapon itself. The idea of taking his AR-15 with which he is so obsessed, and creating his own reality video game massacre, might be the thing that ultimately steers him in that that expression of his mental illness instead of some other, possibly destructive, possibly not destructive or not as destructive, expression.

Opinions?

Poll coming.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:21 PM   #2
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Probably the same.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:23 PM   #3
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I think there would be just as many shootings, but with fewer casualties.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donger View Post
I think there would be just as many shootings, but with fewer casualties.
Agreed
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donger View Post
I think there would be just as many shootings, but with fewer casualties.

Why? Are there not a number of semi autos that have same capacity as an AR type? Banning a weapon based on "It looks really military" seems like an odd approach.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HonestChieffan View Post
Why? Are there not a number of semi autos that have same capacity as an AR type? Banning a weapon based on "It looks really military" seems like an odd approach.
I actually meant semi-automatic rifles and the AR line in particular, I suppose. What other "non military looking" semi-automatic rifles are out there? I don't really know.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Donger View Post
I actually meant semi-automatic rifles and the AR line in particular, I suppose. What other "non military looking" semi-automatic rifles are out there? I don't really know.
Quite a few.
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:59 PM   #8
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Ignorant liberal logic....

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Old 02-16-2018, 09:02 PM   #9
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So it's the "military style weapons" that bring out the mass murdering urge in psychopaths?
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:09 PM   #10
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We certainly had just as many mentally ill people, right?
Did we?

As the population increases the amount of crazy people follows. Our land mass is not growing and new frontiers are rare, as a result we're piling people on top of each other more than ever as population centers congregate around employment. As tensions climb, mental stability changes.

Society has definitely changed when it comes to child rearing in general and when combined with the number of single parent homes there are bound to be an increase in emotional issues. Are too many emotionally underdeveloped kids raising kids? What percentage of the kids being raised by kids have positive role models in their immediate family? How many of these kids have nothing better to do than sit around and detach through electronics? How does coping through electronics affect social interactions? Are social coping skills evolving or devolving in general?

Where do the majority of mentally ill people come from? Is that section of society reproducing at a higher rate than other segments?

There seems to be a never ending supply of new "diseases" that need labeled and treated. With each new "disease" there are multiple ways to prescribe drugs in order to "treat" the issue. Do we really know what this system is doing to our population?

Is the percentage of mentally ill people within our society growing or shrinking as a percentage?
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:09 PM   #11
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It is not a gun problem. It is a societal problem. It is a mental health problem. It is a lack of respect for human life problem.
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:09 PM   #12
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If people had a better grasp of when to use "less" and when to use "fewer", do you think that would lead to
  1. Less mass shootings
  2. Fewer mass shootings
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:11 PM   #13
NinerDoug NinerDoug is offline
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Originally Posted by Bowser View Post
So it's the "military style weapons" that bring out the mass murdering urge in psychopaths?
I'm wondering if it's a significant factor, if it has an attraction for the lunatic that a hunting rifle would not. If this guy in Florida did not have that type of weapon available, would he have been obsessed with hunting rifles instead.
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:13 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NinerDoug View Post
I'm wondering if it's a significant factor, if it has an attraction for the lunatic that a hunting rifle would not. If this guy in Florida did not have that type of weapon available, would he have been obsessed with hunting rifles instead.
Who knows, maybe shotguns since they do the most damage in up close and group situations?

The one thing that I am rather sure about is that he would have still had an obsession with killing innocent kids in high school, type of gun be damned.
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Old 02-16-2018, 09:15 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Chief Roundup View Post
It is not a gun problem. It is a societal problem. It is a mental health problem. It is a lack of respect for human life problem.
No one wants to admit or even address this simple truth. Guns have been a constant in this country since its bloody founding, yet these school shootings are a new phenomenon.

The question is why?
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