Newtown Shootings

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.

Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:03 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:HE MADE A CHOICE, HE KILLED TWENTY INNOCENT CHILDREN.

And he is currently facing the results of that choice.

Your anger is understandable, but what good does it do? Hate and rage won't bring anyone back.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby poto » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:30 pm

Mawkish1983 wrote:I sincerely hope this statement is not directed at me.


No, that was directed more at society in general.

I'm sorry that you can't let go of your hatred. I used to grapple with a lot of anger myself, but found it to be very destructive and detrimental to my practice. I try to let it go these days.

The choice the killer made was likely driven by severe and untreated mental illness. It was a terrible thing, I'm not attempting to deny that. I just think that the killer was also suffering, and because of that I try to find some compassion for him as well as the victims. As is often the case with violence such as this, everyone involved suffers.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:44 pm

Hi Mawkish,
Mawkish1983 wrote:I need to be off the internet for a while.

It's certainly not an ideal place to reflect on such a difficult issue. The sort of vigil that ancientbuddhism describes would be a much better, less contention-generating, space.

:candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: :candle: ...
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby sattva » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:42 pm

"Even as a mother protects with her life
Her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings;
Radiating kindness over the entire world,
Spreading upward to the skies,
And downward to the depths;
Outward and unbounded,
Freed from hatred and ill-will.
Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down,
Free from drowsiness,
One should sustain this recollection.
This is said to be the sublime abiding."
from the Metta Sutta
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby jonno » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:34 pm

Hi all. My first reaction was that of horror and deep sadness for the children and their families, also anger towards the perpetrator. However on reflection, for every action there is a cause however incomprehensible that may be. The killer must have felt that his actions were justified even though his thinking was twisted and insane. Although it is difficult for us to comprehend something in his mind must have driven him to carry out this heinous act. Perhaps we should be concentrating on trying to understand his mental state in order that we may be able to recognise this in others and perhaps be able to take action to Prevent this horror from occurring in the future . My thoughts and prayers go out to all concerned and I send them healing thoughts and prayers. Bless you all dear ones.
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Ben » Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:46 pm

I agree Jonno.
However, I think its well over time that Americans demanded real action.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:26 pm

Some more info is developing in this story . . .

Apparently the killer tried to purchase guns at a local gun dealer but was denied (he was only 20 years old). One must be at least 21 to legally purchase a pistol and pass a background check. He used his mother's guns. I agree that there needs to be stricter restrictions on who can purchase guns, but unfortunately it probably wouldn't have mattered in this case since he acquired the guns illegally.
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Ben » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:43 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:but unfortunately it probably wouldn't have mattered in this case since he acquired the guns illegally.


True.
But why is there so many guns in the US?
And why are they so easily obtainable (legally or illegally?)
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby poto » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:53 pm

Ben wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:but unfortunately it probably wouldn't have mattered in this case since he acquired the guns illegally.


True.
But why is there so many guns in the US?
And why are they so easily obtainable (legally or illegally?)
kind regards,

Ben


Because civilians rose up and used their guns to shoot the British. And my nation's founders thought it would be a good idea to keep the populace armed to guard against invasion. Historically it worked well to dissuade our enemies.

"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass." is a quote by Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Dec 15, 2012 10:57 pm

Ben wrote:But why is there so many guns in the US?


It seems to be ingrained into the American culture, from the early Wild West days of U.S. history, glamorizing quick-draw cowboys and Marshalls. Hunting is popular in most rural parts of the U.S. and in urban areas many like it for self-defense.

Ben wrote:And why are they so easily obtainable (legally or illegally?)


There are too many guns around. It is to the point where I think it could be impossible to round up all the guns even if a president and Congress wanted to do so. The leaders should put more restrictions on purchasing; for example, rifles, shotguns, and in some states even assault weapons can easily be purchased by anyone over 18. Pistols have more regulations, but in most cases only a one page application, age of 21 or higher, and a background check. In most states, a gun safety course is not even required! :o
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Ben » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:01 pm

poto wrote:
Ben wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:but unfortunately it probably wouldn't have mattered in this case since he acquired the guns illegally.


True.
But why is there so many guns in the US?
And why are they so easily obtainable (legally or illegally?)
kind regards,

Ben


Because civilians rose up and used their guns to shoot the British. And my nation's founders thought it would be a good idea to keep the populace armed to guard against invasion.

With great respect to your founding fathers, I believe the retention of the 'right to bear arms' clause in this day and age is an anachronism and its presence now is only harming you.

Historically it worked well to dissuade our enemies.

I'll take your word for it.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Ben » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:10 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:There are too many guns around.


Paul McGeough, who is a respected journalist in this country, wrote an opinion piece published today that there is an estimated 300 million weapons in circulation in the US and another four million entering the market each year. Unfortunately he doesn't cite where he got those figures from.

After the 1996 Port Arthur massacre where Martin Bryant killed 35 people in Tasmania, our federal govt organized a national compulsory gun buy back scheme. Apart from a number of professional groups and sporting clubs who were exempt from the buy back, the scheme netted millions of weapons which were destroyed. The sky didn't fall in. While we still have some gun-related crime - there's a lot less of it.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby poto » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:43 pm

Ben wrote:With great respect to your founding fathers, I believe the retention of the 'right to bear arms' clause in this day and age is an anachronism and its presence now is only harming you.


I would respectfully disagree. If you watch the very first video I posted in this thread, statistically violence has been on a declining trend for centuries. The presence of more guns hasn't made our society as a whole more violent. In fact, here in the US violent crime has been on a decline since the mid-90's. I largely attribute the uptick in the 70's and 80's to the war on drugs and especially crack cocaine use which has waned in recent years. Although, meth seems to be a growing concern these days.

Image

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States

So, how is it harming me exactly?
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Justsit » Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:12 am

Ben wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:There are too many guns around.


Paul McGeough, who is a respected journalist in this country, wrote an opinion piece published today that there is an estimated 300 million weapons in circulation in the US and another four million entering the market each year. Unfortunately he doesn't cite where he got those figures from.

After the 1996 Port Arthur massacre where Martin Bryant killed 35 people in Tasmania, our federal govt organized a national compulsory gun buy back scheme. Apart from a number of professional groups and sporting clubs who were exempt from the buy back, the scheme netted millions of weapons which were destroyed. The sky didn't fall in. While we still have some gun-related crime - there's a lot less of it.
kind regards,

Ben

The figure quoted today in the Washington Post is roughly 270 million privately owned guns (estimate - counting method varies by state). This amounts to 88 guns for every 100 people. This figure does not include illegal guns.

A compulsory buy back would never fly here in the US. Many Americans love guns :guns: - my brother owns 70 (don't ask me why, I don't have a clue). And as long as the Second Amendment (misinterpreted as it is) and the National Rifle Association are in existence, real gun control is off limits (politically, it's a death sentence) and the attitude is "I'll give you my gun when you pry (or take) it from my cold, dead hands" (NRA slogan - seriously). As long as the bad guys can get anything they want on the black market, from Saturday night specials and fully automatic weapons all the way to rocket launchers, scared citizens will demand the "right to protect" themselves.

The results of these attitudes are self-evident.
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby alan » Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:52 am

American culture fetishizes guns. Until we get past that, these things will continue to happen.
Just a point of fact.
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby robertk » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:27 am

I think it can happen in any country where there are guns: the shooter used a hunting rifle and they are very common in countruies like New zealand -which are extremely strict on handgun control. If it had happened in Arizona possibly one of the teachers would have had a pistol strapped on - and been able to shoot the guy early on-
Or not..Can anyone really stop tragic events.

If it isn't shooting incidents it might be a bus going off the freeway.
Or if they mandate that then an earthquake or hurricane kill even more.
In Japan a few years ago a guy killed 6 children at a school using a knife.

For the suggestion that spending resources on taking care of the mentally ill is needed to fix spree killers. How many people are estimated to have mental problems in the USA: even if the goverment committed extra billions do we trust the authorities to know who is likely to go a killing episode and should be locked up..
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Dan74 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:18 am

While having so many guns around is not a great idea, I don't think this is the determining factor. Canadians have even more guns. In Switzerland where I am now due to their compulsory military service, there are lots of guns around too. More important is the culture, I think.
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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby ancientbuddhism » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:09 am

I imagine that China has strict gun control laws, but then there is this:

China School Attack: Knife-Wielding Man Injures 22 Kids, 1 Adult Outside Primary School

Perhaps China will enact stricter laws on culinary utensils.
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Reductor » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:14 am

A quick link showing the number of firearms per capita. The US is still winner.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_ ... by_country

What we do have in Canada is a licensing system that requires both training and background checks of those that would wish to be licensed (and a 28 day waiting period). So, to actually be eligible to purchase a gun you have to jump through some hoops, and I think that dissuades many people making the effort.

Also, handguns are very regulated and must be registered (along with prohibited weapons, which can only be owned by a select few collectors). You need a permit just to transport one from your home to the shooting range. Yet, people are shot with those things often enough in some of our larger cities.

Additionally, the firearm licensing apparatus is country wide. So no popping over to the next province with less stringent laws on the books to buy something you can't get at home.

EDIT: thought I'd mention that there are strict laws concerning storage and access to all firearms. They must be rendered inoperable, have a trigger lock, and be stored in a room or container that is locked. If the firearm is stored near ammo, then that ammo must be locked in container that is not easily broken into.

Since I'm posting, I'd like to share this link: http://www.latimes.com/news/world/world ... 3015.story

Crazy mass-murderers, child murderers, and would-be killers abound in the world. They all seek to do the horrendous; guns are just very efficient. And for that reason they should be ardently regulated, although I do not agree with outright illegalization.
Michael

The thoughts I've expressed in the above post are carefully considered and offered in good faith.

And friendliness towards the world is happiness for him who is forbearing with living beings. -- Ud. 2:1
To his own ruin the fool gains knowledge, for it cleaves his head and destroys his innate goodness. -- Dhp 72

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Re: Newtown Shootings

Postby Mr Man » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:52 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:I imagine that China has strict gun control laws, but then there is this:

China School Attack: Knife-Wielding Man Injures 22 Kids, 1 Adult Outside Primary School

Perhaps China will enact stricter laws on culinary utensils.


Could this possibly be put forward as an example of how gun control saves lives?

Don't think any thing is going to change in the US though. Americans are just too in to their guns (and rights). Rationality goes out the window.
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