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Guptar 27th Aug 2015 03:13

A Sickness in US Society
Yet again, out morning news is dominated by a senseless killing in the USA by someone who has a grudge against the world. Schoolchildren, elderly, young & old. Today, 2 reporters who were just doing their jobs won't come home to their families. All because some jerk feels aggrieved, powerless, someone who wants to make their mark on the world and achieve notoriety by killing innocent people.

This is not to be taken as US bashing, but there is a sickness, a cancer in the US psyche that allows people to normalise behaviour that is unconscionable. People who feel unappreciated, ignored, cheated, slighted are taking to extreme violence to make their point. A guys gets dumped by his GF, takes his frustration out by killing 7 innocent people. There are many other stories like this......dozens & dozens. It seems life has become cheap. It seems the fabric of civilised society is being unstitched, one bullet case at a time.

The rest of the world looks on, in disbelief and pity, shares the sorrow of our American friends. The shining light of democracy, culture and civilisation, but becoming a land where just by doing the most mundane of lifes activities, going shopping, to the cinema, to school.....or to work can result in you being killed by someone who has a grudge on life.

This culture is being exported, kids talk of wasting someone because of a Facebook post, young men stating they cant go out without being tooled up. This unfortunately happing now in Australia.

I wish I knew the answer to this madness.

obgraham 27th Aug 2015 03:33

If someone spends all their waking time on Facebook, Twitter, etc., is it any wonder that they will sooner or later use this medium to exorcise their dark thoughts?

VH-UFO 27th Aug 2015 03:38

A Sickness in US Society
Nope, ask any of the "Yeehaws" on this site and there is absolutely no gun problem in the U.S.

They use the Constitution as an excuse for their obsession with guns, so they dont feel guilty about the innocent kids and adults killed every day.

Could they amend the constitution to abolish the right to bear arms? Of course they could, they did with slavery.

Will they?

Nope, NRA are too powerful and they love their guns. Its not about protection as they will tell you, its about their love for guns.

They are quite happy to see kids shot while hiding behind mummys skirt (the second amendment) so they dont feel guilty about shooting beer bottles off the fence.


BillHicksRules 27th Aug 2015 13:15


"I wish I knew the answer to this madness."

You really do not know the answer?


Hempy 27th Aug 2015 13:34

OP. Stop it. You'll be accused of being 'anti-American' rather than 'pro-humanitarian'.

I've been there. And have given up.

Let them go.

God is on their side. So they claim.

Yet a human life is worth a television. Go figure (as they'd say..)

Lonewolf_50 27th Aug 2015 14:03

Originally Posted by Guptar (Post 9096466)
I wish I knew the answer to this madness.

Your answer is easy: stay in Oz. That goes for the rest of you as well, VH-UFO's silliness standing out as a particularly useless bit of frothing at the mouth.

The dysfunction in our culture is a byproduct of a few things, one of which is the fundamental premise of freedom and personal sovereignty. That freedom is messy is well known, and it is inefficient, but it's what we'd rather. It leads to things like a court system that often lets people off (OJ Simpson trial as an example) but that imperfection is preferred to the alternative. "I think I can get away with that ..." is a common frame of reference.

Link that to a general societal moral decay: these feed each other synergistically. (Insert here something about a free society not being possible without a strong moral foundation, Madison or Monroe, founding father, and correct). When "it's all about me" and me is living a life of daily frustration when the promise has been success (see the musical Avenue Q for a nice illustration of the mixed signals people get sent as they grow up) you get expectations way out of whack with reality. What does that lead to? Anger. Psychology 101: broken promises and unmet expectations are a root cause of anger.

That meme about how special you are ... has been amplified recently by the overly connected age we live in. I'd suggest that it's foundation is rooted in the 50's and 60's at a cultural level. Oddly enough, that was a period of amazing economic abundance. As gen x showed up, during another burst of economic increase (the 80's and 90's) it happens again to a lesser extent.

Contrast that to when my parents grew up, when sacrifice was required.

Back to what the environment feeds people as they form: it was also the critical growth period coincides with over-stimulation in the visual channel -- television. That's been amplified by the rest of the visual overload of the electronic age.

Top it off with the sustained entertainment value of violence -- in sport, on TV, games, in movies, etc -- and add on copy cat behavior of self-absorbed, attention craving people ... no surprise, really. I am surprised that it doesn't happen more often.

Monkey see, monkey do. It's an old pattern of human behavior. A child psychologist we worked with when we were concerned about our son's learning skills (works out not a problem, late bloomer) has been doing neuro science for years. As he explained to me about 15 years ago ... the environment we live in imprints on our kids, and it's toxic. When I asked him if it was infecting me his reply was to ask me about how I grew up. I explained a bit and his comment was that my parents sort of inoculated me by how they limited and controlled what I was exposed to until I got to my teenage years.

Anyway, we are raising people in a toxic environment, socially, and have for 40 or 50 years. it's no surprise we have a lot of whack jobs: we are a petri dish for breeding them.

charliegolf 27th Aug 2015 14:35

Your answer is easy: stay in Oz.

Mr Chips 27th Aug 2015 14:40

Thank you Lonewolf for a sensible and well thought out response. There is a problem, there are too many killings(esp mass killings) in the US and we should have a debate about why that is.

The problem though is the killings,not the tool used to carry them out. It seems the focus is always more on the "how" (followed by page on page about the constitution) rather than the "why".

Although I live and work in London,and thus not the US I am exposed to human behaviour all day every day (I work directly with customers)

There seem to have been many changes in society since my childhood, and I think a lot of this contributes to the murder/assault/poor behaviour rate.

I see more demanding, more "me me me", less discipline, less caring about others or the world around.

WHY this leads to murder etc,or even IF it does- I don't know.....

Hempy 27th Aug 2015 14:41

charliegolf. No issues there. I'm tipping 99.9% of us intend to.

parabellum 27th Aug 2015 14:46

There was a time when they thought they had the gun problem solved in the UK, seems they forgot about knives, kitchen, for the use of. :{

bcgallacher 27th Aug 2015 14:48

Up to a point I can agree with Lonewolf,what I cannot accept is linking the possession of a gun with freedom.Much is made in the USA of so- called freedom when in fact there are many other developed countries where there is as much freedom as in the USA. As far as cultural influences are concerned there is really little difference in the western world - all of us especially the young are subject increasingly to a common culture through social media,television and the relative ease of travel. I have absolutely no doubt that if firearms were available in the UK to the same extent as in the U.S. We would have the same problems - I do not believe that we are morally superior to the population of any other developed country.Today the Chief Constable of Scotland resigned due to public pressure - one of the reasons for this was that he allowed firearms trained officers to carry weapons in the course of normal duties,this has never before been policy and the Scottish people found it unacceptable.We have the freedom to go about our daily lives without the fear of being shot intentionally or otherwise by an over zealous policeman and our police can go about their duties without the fear of being shot by armed criminals - we would not swap this freedom from fear for the freedom to carry a handgun.

lomapaseo 27th Aug 2015 15:04

You furiners are missing the point

We all express our hostility to others. We just do it in a different way with finality.

I know some of you would like to get up close (if you could) to a fellow JBer and choke the living ch**t out of them. Not being able to do that makes you even angrier and you get banned for using bad words

We don't have these hangups, we just get even in other ways.

MG23 27th Aug 2015 15:32

Originally Posted by bcgallacher (Post 9097037)
I have absolutely no doubt that if firearms were available in the UK to the same extent as in the U.S. We would have the same problems

A hundred years ago, anyone in Britain could buy a gun over the counter, and carry it in their pocket if they paid 50p for a no-questions-asked license to do so.

Armed crime rates were lower than today.

Gun bans began in the UK from fear of Communist revolution, not because criminals were using them.

Just sayin'.

As for this guy, he sounds like a typical SJW, except he decided to end their lives, rather than just destroy them. They're the ones you should be blaming.

probes 27th Aug 2015 15:46

and now let's ask: Would he have done it, if he weren't sure he'd get his 15 seconds of 'fame'? (more, actually, as there's an 'autoplay' in social media Virginia shooting: How thousands watched murder video by mistake - BBC News ).

tony draper 27th Aug 2015 16:09

Demonic possession perhaps? according to Hollywood the Devil seems to prefer tootling about in the USA though them filum bods tend to give him a English accent.

Octopussy2 27th Aug 2015 16:12

I fully agree that the "why" is ultimately the key, but removing the "how" has been shown to have significant short-term benefits in other places.

I believe that is undisputable (by any rational person). This has been proven to work in other places. It may be more difficult in the US, because of the number of guns in society, but there's no reason to believe that it wouldn't ultimately be successful, as it has been in other places.

The opposition to this course of action comes from those who, for whatever reason, prioritize their Second Amendment rights over reducing the death toll. Those reasons are numerous and complicated, of course, and possibly irrelevant - the fact is that, while the majority of Americans take that position, nothing will change.

dazdaz1 27th Aug 2015 16:17

Kudos to the president, I fear the anti gun lobby may be fighting (guns) on a wrong level. I believe the ammunition should be constrained, one could have hand guns, but one might find it harder to obtain ammo.

Keep the gun lobby happy, one and all can have a gun, no probs, it's the ammo that has to be regulated.

sitigeltfel 27th Aug 2015 16:18

He seems to have been ranting about, racism, discrimination and all the other excuses a certain section of society provides as reasons to get angry. You could probably sum it all up by seeing him as a Grade A+++ fruitbat.

Video: Vester Lee Flanagan: Inside the home of gunman Bryce Williams where he prepared for murder - Telegraph

ATNotts 27th Aug 2015 16:22

Originally Posted by lomapaseo (Post 9097053)
You furiners are missing the point

We all express our hostility to others. We just do it in a different way with finality.

I know some of you would like to get up close (if you could) to a fellow JBer and choke the living ch**t out of them. Not being able to do that makes you even angrier and you get banned for using bad words

We don't have these hangups, we just get even in other ways.

That is one very chilling response. I hope, and trust that your tongue is placed firmly in your cheek.

There is absolutely NEVER an excuse for shooting another person, unless in a professional capacity, in the military; or perhaps the Police, if and only if your life is threatened. No ifs, no buts, and no maybes.

Tankertrashnav 27th Aug 2015 16:32

So are we now to expect all the good white folks of Va to riot, burn cars and demand that black people stop shooting white people?

Nope, somehow didnt think so.

Mr Chips and Lomopaseo are correct, there is probably little difference between the levels of violence in our two countries. Like those experiments where they cram more and more rats into a cage, once you reach a certain level of saturation, violence will increase. The only difference over here is that most of us lack the means to inflict deadly force on our neighbours. Yes there are knives, and knife crime is a big problem, but mainly among youth in some cities, and I would think its much easier to pull a gun and shoot someone than to stick a knife in them. Our low homicide figures probably reflect this greater level of difficulty in carrying out the deed, rather than any lack of desire.

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