Tuesday, August 06, 2019

The culture of public mass shootings,

Image result for mass shootings

Most of this essay was already written as part of a chapter for a book  I'm writing:

I call it a culture of mass shooting because we have developed certain social norms around the shootings.Those norms include grieving but they also exclude doing anything about it.Doing something would entail gun control and we must not control guns, because they are the only way to feel powerful without redistribution of  wealth.The shootings at Columbine High School mark the beginning of a new culture which has emerged over the years since that event. Before that school shootings happened but were rare and hardly noticed by the general pubic. Since that time they have become so commonplace, spreading to universities, work place,shopping malls, ect that they seem to mark a whole shooting culture. Especially perplexing is the attitude that still treats gun ownership as though it is a God given right, and a divine mandate, (the new version of Gensis 1:28 in addition to “be fruitful and multiply” we should say “be violent and armed”). There have been more than 230 school shootings to date (April 19, 2019).[1]  There have been many more mass shootings in all. Since the Sandy Hook shooting, there have been more than 2,000 mass shootings in which four or more people, excluding the shooter, were shot but not necessarily killed. Nearly 2,300 people have been killed and almost 8,400 have been wounded.Since 2013, there has been only one full calendar week — the week of January 5, 2014 — without a mass shooting.[2]
As egregious as this state of affairs is, there are those who are trying to argue that it's really not so bad. Alan Reynolds argues:

It seems more transparent to simply examine annual estimates from the graph. Adding a preliminary estimate of 17 deaths from Parkland to the Mother Jones list brings the total number of deaths up to 816from 98 mass shootings between 1982 and early 2018 – or just 23 deaths per year.  That makes this sort of random mass shooting one of the rarest mortality risks imaginable. Falling or the flu are far more dangerous. Even when it comes to guns, 23 deaths a year pales next to the number of homicides by firearms in 2014 alone, which was 11,208 (69% of all homicides)  and the number of suicides by firearms, which was 21,386 (50% of all suicides).[3] 
Perhaps being shot at school is still very rare as far as the commonality of the experience is concerned, but that's hardly the point. The point is not immediate danger but that the incidence have greatly increased and no one is willing to do anything to stop it because it means limiting guns; we choose guns over children, not very civilized. Scientific research shows a correlation between weak gun laws and higher rates of shooting. Conversely, stronger gun laws mean fewer shootings. This is according to Michael Siegel and Molly Pahn, et al.[4]  multivariate regression model. There were 1222 observations for homicide analysis and 1300 observations for suicide analysis.

Universal background checks were associated with a 14.9% (95% CI, 5.2–23.6%) reduction in overall homicide rates, violent misdemeanor laws were associated with a 18.1% (95% CI, 8.1–27.1%) reduction in homicide, and “shall issue” laws were associated with a 9.0% (95% CI, 1.1–17.4%) increase in homicide. These laws were significantly associated only with firearm-related homicide rates, not non-firearm-related homicide rates. None of the other laws examined were consistently related to overall homicide or suicide rates.[5] 
Somehow America lacks the Political will to save the children. Moreover, Regardless of how rare getting shot in school may be the rate of incidence mushroomed in the Reagan Era.
Grant Duwe, director of research and evaluation at the Minnesota Department of Corrections, gathered data going back 100 years which he published in his book Mass Murder in 'the United States: a History.[6] He used FBI Homicde reports and his data was distilled by Heraldnet.com into a summary of mass shooting rates for each decade:

1900s : 0
1910s: 2
1920s: 2
1930s: 9
1940s: 8
1950s: 1
1960s: 6
1970s: 13
1980s: 32
1990s: 42
2000s: 28
2010s (three years): 14

Image result for mass shootings
There is some deep pathology in this country. People need to feel the power of gun ownership and they are prepared to allow children to die and disease to run rampant before they will give up any guns of any kind. This is why we lack a knowledge of basic solutions to gun problems because we are not permitted to seek solutions. We live in an unfree society because gun ownership is more important to Americans than children's lives, or is it that it's more important to the values of those with the money, those who own the means of production those who own congress?
American society is unfree, we are Prohibited by law from seeking solutions:

Passed in 1997 with the strong backing of the NRA, the so-called "Dickey Amendment" effectively bars the national Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from studying firearm violence -- an epidemic the American Medical Association has since dubbed "a public health crisis."The amendment, which was first tucked into an appropriations bill signed into law by President Bill Clinton, stipulates that "none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control." A similar provision was included in the Appropriations Act of 2012.
NRA" on The Hill -- the Dickey amendment does not explicitly ban CDC research on gun violence. But along with the gun control line came a $2.6 million budget cut -- the exact amount that the agency had spent on firearm research the year prior -- and a quiet wariness.
As one doctor put it, "Precisely what was or was not permitted under the clause was unclear ... but no federal employee was willing to risk his or her career or the agency's funding to find out.[7]

Studies prove Gun availability does not reduce crime and does not deter killing:

  • The claim that gun ownership stops crime is common in the U.S., and that belief drives laws that make it easy to own and keep firearms.
  • But about 30 careful studies show more guns are linked to more crimes: murders, rapes, and others. Far less research shows that guns help.
  • Interviews with people in heavily gun-owning towns show they are not as wedded to the crime defense idea as the gun lobby claims.
Guns took more than 36,000 U.S. lives in 2015, and this and other alarming statistics have led many to ask whether our nation would be better off with firearms in fewer hands. Yet gun advocates argue exactly the opposite: that murders, crimes and mass shootings happen because there aren't enough guns in enough places. Arming more people will make our country safer and more peaceful, they say, because criminals won't cause trouble if they know they are surrounded by gun-toting good guys.[8]

Studies were Largley by Arthr Kellermann and associates the 80s ad 90s. Most of this research—and there have been several dozen peer-reviewed studies—punctures the idea that guns stop violence. In a 2015 study using data from the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, researchers at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard University reported that firearm assaults were 6.8 times more common in the states with the most guns versus those with the least. Also in 2015 a combined analysis of 15 different studies found that people who had access to firearms at home were nearly twice as likely to be murdered as people who did not.[9]
Psychology of Gun Ownership offers insight into the value System That Chooses Death Over Children. The motivation to own a handgun for self-protection is not just about fear of crime, according to the model proposed by Wolfgang Stroebe and Pontus Leander (University of Groningen, The Netherlands), and Arie W. Kruglanski (University of Maryland), it is also about a more general sense of threat emanating from “the belief that the world is an unpredictable and dangerous place and that society is at the brink of collapse.” These dual layers of threat also predict beliefs that people have the right to shoot and kill in self-defense and that people should have broad 2nd Amendment rights.[10]
From a fairly unbiased source we can see racism is mixed up in the issue of gun ownership. A lot of whites want guns because they fear blacks having guns. After accounting for all explanatory variables, logistic regressions found that for each 1 point increase in symbolic racism there was a 50% increase in the odds of having a gun at home. After also accounting for having a gun in the home, there was still a 28% increase in support for permits to carry concealed handguns, for each one point increase in symbolic racism. The relationship between symbolic racism and opposition to banning handguns in the home (OR1.27 CI 1.03,1.58) was reduced to non-significant after accounting for having a gun in the home (OR1.17 CI.94,1.46), which likely represents self-interest in retaining property (guns).[11] The article points out that after the civil rights movement of the 60s began advocating that blacks arm themselves and white conservatives began clamoring for strict  gun laws, resulting in  the mulford act in California (1967). Conclusion: Symbolic racism was related to having a gun in the home and Opposition to  gun control policies in U,S. Whites,[12]

Studies have linked stricter gun laws to fewer gun deaths. But the US has the weakest gun laws in the developed world. “Compared with U.S. states with the strictest gun control legislation, gun deaths among children and teenagers are twice as common in states with the most lax gun laws, a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine has found.[13] In 2016 “researchers took a Broader view-the team reviewed 130 high-quality studies conducted in 10 countries over the past 60 years. And while they stopped short of saying they conclusively proved that gun restrictions equal fewer deaths, the research provides pretty powerful evidence to suggest that it's the case.”[14]
America grieves for the innocent victims of  the lattes shootings the rest of the world says "well they are at it again." America is unique in the world for having so many mass shootings in public and it is only surpassed in mystery by the inability of Americans to understand why. We have so many shootings because we have so many guns.
Americans make up about 4.4 percent of the global population but own 42 percent of the world’s guns. From 1966 to 2012, 31 percent of the gunmen in mass shootings worldwide were American, according to a 2015 study by Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama.Adjusted for population, only Yemen has a higher rate of mass shootings among countries with more than 10 million people — a distinction Mr. Lankford urged to avoid outliers. Yemen has the world’s second-highest rate of gun ownership after the United States. [15]
 A study by Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama finds that the availability of guns really does explain the reason for so many shootings.
Worldwide, Mr. Lankford found, a country’s rate of gun ownership correlated with the odds it would experience a mass shooting. This relationship held even when he excluded the United ownership correlated with the odds it would experience a mass shooting. This relationship held even when he excluded the United led for homicide rates, suggesting that mass shootings were better explained by a society’s access to guns than by its baseline level of violence.[16] 

[1] Kelly Zergers, “Bu the Numbers School Shootings Since Columbine,” NBC News, (Apr. 19,2019)

[2] German Lopez, “50 Years After Columbine, America Sees Roughly One Mas Shooting A Day,” Vox, (Apr. 20,2019) https://www.vox.com/2019/4/19/18412650/columbine-mass-shootings-gun-violence-map-charts-data (accessed June 5,2019)
The article explains:
The data in these maps and calendars is based on the Gun Violence Archive’s count, which defines mass shootings as events in which four or more people, excluding the shooter, were shot, but not necessarily killed, at the same general time and location. That definition differs from others, which may require that four or more people are killed, or which may exclude certain shootings, such as gang-related and domestic violence events.   
 [3] Alan Reynolds. “Are Mass Shootings Becoming more Frequent?” Cato At Lberty, The Cato Institute, (Feb 15,2018) https://www.cato.org/blog/are-mass-shootings-becoming-more-frequent (accessed June 5,2019)

[4] Michael Siegel, Molly Pahn, Ziming Xuan, Eric Fleegler, and David Hemenway, “The Impact of State Firearm Laws on Homicide and Sucidide deaths un the USA, 1991-2016: a Panel study.” Journal of General Internal Medicine (First Online: 28 March 2019) 1-8 Springer Link https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11606-019-04922-x (accessed June 5,2019).

[5]Michael Siegel et al, Springer Link, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11606-019-04922-x

[6]Grant Duwe

[7] Erin Dooley, "Here's Why The Federal Government Can't Study Gun Violence.ABC News, (Oct 6, 2017, 2:17)
(accessed 2/27/18)

[8] Melinda Wenner Moyer, "More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows.." Scientific
American (Oct 1, 2017) 
(accessed 2/27/18)

[9] Ibid.

[10] Society for Personality and Social Psychology, "U.S. Handgun Ownership Motivated by Two Main Factors," (June 8, 2017) http://www.spsp.org/news-center/press-releases/handgun-ownership-motivation
(accessed 2/27/18)

[11] Kelly O'Brian, et al. "Racism Gun Ownership and Gun Control, Biased Attitudes in U.S. Whites..."
PLOS one, open access peer reviewed journal NCBI--PMC, US National Library of Medicine /National Institutes of Health
(accessed 2/27/18)

[12] Ibid.

[13] Erin Digtale, “:Lax State Gim Laws Linked to mmore Child, Teen Gun Deaths,” Scope, Stanford University Health Care Qlliance, Stadford Scool of medicine. ()Nov 1,2018) https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2018/11/lax-state-gun-laws-linked-to-more-child-teen-gun-deaths.html (accessed Jume 13, 2019)
Digtale is Pediatric science wrier for the Medical school.

[14]Fiona McDoonald, “Review of More Than 130 Studies Provides Powerful Evidence That Gun Control Saves Lives.” Science Alert (19 Feb, 2018) https://www.sciencealert.com/scientific-evidence-that-stricter-gun-control-works-saves-lives (accessed June 13, 2019) 


[16] Ibid..

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