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Disturbing the Disturbed

The Crossroads of Mental Health and Hotel Policy
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So apparently the LV shooter had a 'Do Not Disturb' tag hanging on his hotel door for 3 straight days.

Outside of his video surveillance cameras, that one little tag was much of his protection. Any reasonable hotel staff, if they had discovered his weapons cache, would've alerted security.

That tag can hide a lot it seems. Maybe hotels need something different. Perhaps a timer that lasts a day or so, but has to be reset every so often by the front desk once the room is cleaned.

We need to check in on people, especially the ones we don't like, every so often. I suspect that Mr. Paddock's life was quite lonely outside of his convenient Filipino g/f whom I suspect he treated more like a daughter in order to keep a lifeline to his humanity.

RayfordSteele, Oct 05 2017

Ronan Point https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronan_Point
Rather loud and expensive. [8th of 7, Oct 06 2017]

The shooter's life http://www.npr.org/...-but-not-his-motive
Disturbingly normalish, besides his frequent trips to the gun store. [RayfordSteele, Oct 06 2017]

Murder rate map https://en.wikipedi...ional_homicide_rate
[doctorremulac3, Oct 07 2017]

IQ world map https://static.iq-r...g/iq_by_country.png
[doctorremulac3, Oct 07 2017]

Global gun ownership versus gun deaths http://bloggie-360....-to-work-in_16.html
Scroll down, under the cartoon. Is it lonely being so far out on the graph? [MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2017]

School Shootings in the US by decade https://en.wikipedi...n_the_United_States
No tweet can adequately describe how sad this is. [RayfordSteele, Oct 09 2017]

[link]






       //We need to check in on people, especially the ones we don't like, every so often.//   

       Well, no. I think this suggestion is a bit like saying "Mr. Paddock drove a Ford so we ought to check up on people who drive Fords".   

       How do you suggest we check up on you periodically? After all, until we check, we don't know if you're the sort of person we shouldn't like.   

       The problem is not that nobody was keeping an eye on an accountant in a hotel. The problem (if there is one) is that an accountant is able, easily, to obtain an arsenal of weapons that, collectively, could have no legitimate purpose.   

       As I've mentioned before, if America wants relaxed gun laws, that's its choice and it's fine. But you have to accept that with wide gun ownership will come problems, just as wide car ownership brings road accidents.   

       If only 1 person per year amongst 100,000,000 gun owners in the US goes on a killing spree, I think that's already remarkably good. Eight sigma prevention is simply not possible.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 05 2017
  

       Max, you're a smart guy, but I'm not sure what you're suggesting. Total ban on all guns? Not arguing but I'm seriously unclear on what your plan is. It might be good. You might be right.   

       I don't mind taking half measures, it doesn't have to be perfect. With the truck mass killing thing we're just going to have to have bollards placed around all high density pedestrian traffic areas. Hotels won't let people store their rifles in hotel rooms any more and that's fine. The after market rapid fire accessory this monster used will soon be outlawed, ok. But what would you do if you were Emperor of the United States. Total abolition of all firearms? Heavy licensing requirements?   

       I promise I'll me nice and respectful because you're not dumb. You too Ray, I'm open to suggestions.
doctorremulac3, Oct 05 2017
  

       I think you've entirely misinterpreted my last paragraph.   

       What I meant was that we as family members should check in on people that we don't frequently do as a way to reach out to them in order to just say hi and stop for a visit. Shut-ins. Annoying uncles. This guy was a lone wolf because he was a loner. Had he had more meaningful relationships in his life and more contact with the rest of the world, maybe he'd be a bit more stable.   

       I don't know that I'd go after the guns directly. I'd go after the things that drive gun worship.   

       I'd start with some basic real healthcare. I'd do whatever I could to combat the isolation that is crushing our society as a whole.
RayfordSteele, Oct 05 2017
  

       Chicken or egg ?   

       If he'd been more stable and sociable, he'd have had more and better personal relationships.   

       // I'm open to suggestions. //   

       That might be a big part of the problem.   

       Despite appearances, many halfbakers do actually participate in reasonable discussion.   

       This is also the premise behind democratic debate.   

       Politicians tend to propose rule-based solutions because in reality all the tools they have are rule-based.   

       If, however, the problem (doesn't have to be gun control) can't be effectively addressed by reasoned debate leading to a rule-based solution, what then ?
8th of 7, Oct 05 2017
  

       // If he'd been more stable and sociable, he'd have had more and better personal relationships. //   

       True that. Maybe we need a Ministry of Human Relationships and Technology (MiniHuRT). They could be like HR, but with even less personality...
RayfordSteele, Oct 05 2017
  

       //Max, you're a smart guy// That's exactly what I want people to believe. I will therefore start by denying it vehemently.   

       //unclear on what your plan is// I don't have a plan. Personally, I have my opinions, but restating them won't help. What I am saying is that if you have 100,000,000 people who own firearms, and if you are 99.999999% effective in preventing the misuse of firearms, you will have mass shootings. It's absolutely inevitable, whatever you do.   

       We in the UK are no saner or law-abiding than people in the US*. But in a population of 60 million people, there are fewer than 2 million legally-owned guns (mostly shotguns; a small proportion of rifles; no privately-owned legal handguns) and perhaps as many illegal weapons (mostly handguns). So, that's at most 4 million people with guns. 4 million is less than 100 million. If there were more than a few thousand "assault weapons" (whatever they are) in the UK, outside of the armed forces, I'd be surprised.   

       So no, there is no plan. It is simply not possible to have near-universal access to firearms and not have them misused. It's like saying everyone should have motorbikes but you don't want any road fatalities.   

       It's a choice, and whatever choice you make will have consequences.   

       [*This is clearly a mis-statement, but I am using it for rhetorical effect.]
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 05 2017
  

       The problem, Max, is that we come too close to setting the class curve on those statistics.
RayfordSteele, Oct 05 2017
  

       Ok, agreed, we should stop using terms like "assault weapons" which are just scary looking guns and concentrate on getting rid of mass shooting weapons perhaps? We can talk about what constitutes a "mass shooting" weapon but start with machine guns which are useless for anything other than killing a crowd of people. They're very inaccurate owing to the muzzle rise after the first couple of rounds. It's like aiming a bucking bronco.   

       Case in point, my son carried a SAW (squad automatic weapon) with the Marines in Iraq. The platoon has one of these and there's a reason for that. Being that machine guns are so in-accurate, this one machine gunner has the job of laying down what's called "suppressive fire" while those with more accurate weapons advance. Point is, machine guns are useless for self defense unless you're being set upon by a mob of people, something that I don't think ever happens.   

       If you can allow me to be safe in my home, car or person with an appropriate weapon, I don't mind reasonable regulation of these automatic weapons.   

       It's a start and we can go from there.
doctorremulac3, Oct 05 2017
  

       // machine guns are useless for self defense unless you're being set upon by a mob of people, something that I don't think ever happens. //   

       Not since the 1st of July 1916, on the Somme, no.
8th of 7, Oct 05 2017
  

       I dunno, [doc]. From this side of the pond it looks a lot like saying "No, you're not allowed matches, only a cigarette lighter".   

       You only want guns for self defence, because you are a sane stable person without evil intent. But you're assuming that neither you nor any one of the 99,999,999 other gun-owning Americans will go nuts at some point. Statistics say you're wrong.   

       If you have lots of guns, you will get a lot of shootings.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 05 2017
  

       //This guy was a lone wolf because he was a loner. Had he had more meaningful relationships in his life and more contact with the rest of the world, maybe he'd be a bit more stable.//   

       I don't buy it.
There's a few questions which if answered would clear things up a bit like; did he wear gloves?, was there a change of clothes?, did his escape strategy have any chance of enabling him to not be caught? or would it only prolong the mayhem a while longer.
Were the guns his own? If the answers to more than three of these questions is No, then he might not have been the guy premeditating at all.
  

       Dudes worth a couple mill don't usually spend their time planning a whole blaze-of-glory rampage. They've got better things to do, like gamble.
That's the one thing that I've read about this guy that pops out at me. Big-stakes gambling can lead to some pretty bad, untraceable shit via the Throw Momma From The Train scenario.
  

       Plays out like this;   

       "You got the ten mill you owe us? No, no, hey, no, you don't asshole. You know you don't. No more fronts, no more rides on the bus for you Jack. You pay now or we cut our losses."   

       "You... you're going to kill, me?"   

       "That's a given, and not just you, everyone you give a shit about. To send a message to any other asshole thinking of stiffing us."   

       "They didn't have anything to do with this! Leave them out of it you fucking bastards! Do anything you want to me but leave them out of this!"   

       "Well... there's only one way that's going to happen my friend. We got this thing you can do for us, and you have my word you'll be the only one you know going down for your shit. Does that sound good to you Jack?..."   

       //If you have lots of guns, you will get a lot of shootings.//   

       Unless you're in Switzerland or Israel.   

       I think we're giving dis-functional cultures a pass, and we have areas in America that are extremely dis-functional. I'm intimately aware of this having come from a high IQ family that just happened to be transitioning from abject poverty to the American dream with a several year stint in the most dangerous ghetto on Earth. I know why there's crime, I know why there's poverty, I know why there's violence because I was there. It's because these are easy paths to take. It's as simple as that. Two choices to get money if you live in the ghetto:   

       1- Develop a five year plan. Consider what you're good at, what your passions are, what are the possibilities of getting employment doing something you're passionate about?   

       2- Take the first step towards employment in that vocation, but get a job in the interim to pay the bills. You may have to enroll in college while working at Walmart.   

       3- Keep healthy and stick to a clean and drug free lifestyle. If you are sexually active, use protection so there's no pregnancy that will require you to be a young parent giving you little time to advance your life.   

       4- Stick with it, you're poor, so it will be rough, but everybody who is rich either was poor once themselves or had a poor relative who pulled themselves out of the gutter with grit, determination and guts.   

       Or...   

       1- Rob a liquor store and have money right now.   

       That's it. I've been there and it's really as simple as that. It's uncomfortable but it's the truth. In this environment, yes, like you say, no amount of laws is going to fix things. However, I don't have an issue with making them a bit harder to get.
doctorremulac3, Oct 05 2017
  

       ^ That's all true. A long struggle with an uncertain small pay-out and potential consequences, or a short term struggle with a large pay-out and potential consequences.   

       I think you will find that the determining factor is nature over nurture in these situations.   

       I was faced with it many times and chose working my ass off over screwing people over every time.
It's just not in my nature.
Perhaps this trait could be determined at a young age and factored into the gun ownership pre-screening.
  

       Some of us are lone-wolves against our will.   

       // Unless you're in Switzerland or Israel.//   

       In Switzerland, they have 1/5th as many guns per person as in the US, and only 0.15% of those are described as "automatic guns". There are 2 million guns, in total (at least legally), or 1/150th the absolute number in the US. Do they have less than 1/150th the number of mass (or individual) shootings there? I think not.   

       So, Switzerland is not a counterexample to my statement that the US problem is simply down to the sheer number of guns.   

       Israel - also far fewer guns (both per capita and in total) than the US.   

       Let's be clear: the US has twice as many guns per capita as any other country on the planet, and of course has many more people than most other countries.   

       So, again, I say that your shootings are attributable not to an inherently more violent population, but simply to the abundance of guns.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 05 2017
  

       The guns don't just migrate here like flocks of birds, Max. They are here because the people who collect them because 'Murica.'   

       [2fries] He had all of the signs of having an escape strategy which seemed to be less than completely thought through.   

       He had scoped out several other music venues occurring later on.   

       Suicide was plan B.   

       To be honest, I was going to respond to the rest of the unhinged conspiracy stuff about high rollers and money, but then I read the by-line, and thought better of it.   

       But yes, from all of the descriptions, he was mostly a loner. Slovenly, shallow relationships, distant family, dead psychopathic father, foreign girlfriend of convenience. Happy, engaged people don't do these sorts of things.
RayfordSteele, Oct 06 2017
  

       //unhinged conspiracy stuff //   

       That's a little harsh. I don't buy the particular narrative that [fries] proposed, but I think it's reasonable to suspect there's *some* context we're not seeing and, yes, it might have something to do with gambling, and/or with people known through the crazy dad.   

       A rational psychopath who wanted to kill a lot of people single- handed would prepare a lot of ammunition, but not that many guns (and didn't he have unused explosives, too?). Either there was some psychotic element to his condition (which is, of course, quite possible), or he had a plan quite different from what actually happened.
pertinax, Oct 06 2017
  

       Well, now that you mention it : have (m)any of the firearms found in the room been positively identified as his ? Not to go posting directions on how to be a more efficient nutter but the way he did it was hardly (or even remotely) optimum (imnsho). Are his fingerprints on all the weapons/ammunition ? Has the coroner determined how long he had been dead ? et cetera.
FlyingToaster, Oct 06 2017
  

       // rational psychopath //   

       You want to try that line again ?   

       // wanted to kill a lot of people single- handed //   

       ... then firearms aren't your first choice. Explosives could be a solution, in combination with an attack on transportation - a crowded ferry or train. Importantly, the amount of explosive needed can be relatively small - a hundred grams will distort a rail enough to induce a lethal derailment.   

       A combination of a sabotaged fire mitigation system (Alarms and sprinklers) and a modest amount of accellerant can be devastating in the right location.   

       Fortunately, very few spree killers apply analytical methods to their acts. Such an attack is far more typical of the politically motivated.
8th of 7, Oct 06 2017
  

       So I would think that any hotel's terms and conditions probably should include that a do not disturb sign does not eliminate the need to check the trashcan and the towels for more than 24 hours
theircompetitor, Oct 06 2017
  

       Yes, but what if the devious, scheming son-of-a-bitch decided to hide is arsenal in, say, a wardrobe?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2017
  

       Given what occasionally happens with meth labs, I keep expecting that someone figures out that simply blowing up gas stoves in a few strategic apartments in an appartment buildings in any major city (rife with AirBNB opportunities) can take a building down or severely damage it.
theircompetitor, Oct 06 2017
  

       It's been done. <link>   

       Fortunately, British Gas don't have a militant wing. Incompetent, yes; militant, no.
8th of 7, Oct 06 2017
  

       Rather than immortalize wossname nutter, I propose that the incident be called the "Billy Idol Massacre", after the rock star that had a wank on a hotel balcony onto a crowd of adoring fans.   

       (with apologies to William Broad)
FlyingToaster, Oct 06 2017
  

       //Let's be clear: the US has twice as many guns per capita as any other country on the planet//     This has no bearing on gun violence at all. Guns per capita refers to people owning multiple guns, not guns floating around on the street under control of nobody free to be picked up and used at random for violence.   

          If somebody owns ten guns, as lots of gun owners do, there is no more likelihood that they'll engage in violence than if they had one gun. In fact, I would guess that the average criminal has a single gun since it's easier to manage and there's really no benefit to having more than one.      

       The number that counts is number of criminals that use guns, not number of guns that are owned by criminals and non criminals.      

       "I'm not the kind of guy who robs banks, but now that I've got ten guns, gotta do something with them." Probably not something that anybody has ever said.      

       Cultures can be good or bad. Bad cultures do a lot of bad things, good cultures do a lot of good things. Good cultures have guns and don't commit crimes with them, bad cultures have guns and do commit crimes with them.      

       The socialist idea that everybody is the same, even so far as calling men and women comrade or the latest iteration of this dumb idea, eliminating gender specific pronouns, is part of the plan to have one homogenous mass of easily managed proletariat drones that fall into lockstep with their ruling class overlords and do what they're told without question.      

       But this is nonsense. Some people are good, some are bad, no matter what the social justice warriors tell you. Some people could be trusted to have a thermonuclear bomb in their garage and some shouldn't be trusted with a box cutter.      

       I'm ok with trying laws to make it more difficult for those bad people to get weapons, but I'm not buying this idea that you're a good person that suddenly sees easily available guns and decides to go rob a liquor store.
doctorremulac3, Oct 06 2017
  

       [doc], I agree with your specifics, but you're missing the point. Whether it's guns per capita, total guns, or number of gun owners, the US is way, way ahead of any other country. I'm also not saying that owning a gun will turn you into a mass shooter or a robber; but if someone happens to develop a mental illness, and if they also have easy access to unlimited firepower, that might be a problem. The accountant in Vegas would probably have passed (and presumably did pass) any and all legal requirements for owning guns.   

       If you have more guns, you will inevitably have more gun crime. It's not a linear relationship, but it's a simple one.   

       Saying that the numbers of guns has no bearing on the rate of gun crime is like saying "Yes, we have pools of gasoline all over the place, but that's not a factor in the number of fires we have."
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2017
  

       Here's the problem with that logic: (if I'm understanding you correctly) lots of supply or little supply, you go to the store to buy a sixpack of beer, it doesn't matter matter if you're going to a warehouse stocked to the rafters with all sorts of crazy craft brews or you only have a little corner market with one brand, the supply is the supply, the demand is the demand. The price may go down with greater supply but the demand is static.   

       That aside, if we're trying to keep drunk drivers from buying beer, and that's the real issue here, what steps can be taken? As you've pointed out, this latest monster would have passed any psych test that's reasonable. No record, stable in his work and home life, successful. We're now finding he'd lie in bed and scream, so there's that but that's probably not going to turn up on the screening questionnaire.   

       But here's my point, we were arguing earlier about who put a man on the Moon, the ancient Chinese, the Nazis or the Americans. We used to hear this a lot: "We can put a man on the Moon, why can't we ____?" (fill in the blank) Point is, we can succeed in solving problems, even daunting ones like this.   

       If we can put a man on the Moon, we can solve or at least mitigate this problem. One thing I do know is that people aren't really open to discussing anything but how stupid everybody else is. I propose we just agree that we're all stupid and start from scratch trying to solve the problem of leaving sane, honest people armed against insane or criminal people.   

       I've suggested the "well regulated militia" approach where you go through the same screening and training as a police officer but the general consensus was that I was at least a trillion times worse than Hitler for even suggesting such an idea.   

       So, back to the drawing board.   

       I'm going to the pumpkin patch now to pick out our Holloween pumpkin and ride around on the tractor pulled pumpkin patch train. Have a nice day everybody.
doctorremulac3, Oct 06 2017
  

       //If we can put a man on the Moon, we can solve or at least mitigate this problem//   

       I honestly think the problem is already mitigated extremely well. Think about it: 100,000,000 people with the means - if they choose - to kill; yet spree shootings are still rare enough to be mentioned on the news. Seriously, how much more mitigation can you expect?   

       To return to my analogy. You have pools of gasoline everywhere. You lock up everyone who has a penchant for arson, or who has a habit of discarding lighted cigarettes. You don't sell matches to people who are obviously insane or evil. Yet you still get a few fires. If you review the situation, what is the obvious next thing to try?   

       There may be no correlation between the US having the highest absolute number of guns, the highest per-capita gun ownership, and the highest absolute number of gun owners on the planet on the one hand; and a high rate of gun crime on the other. They may be entirely uncorrelated. Yet it is mainly Americans who insist that there isn't a correlation. The rest of the world is thinking "Well, have you tried taking away the pools of gasoline?"
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2017
  

       // we can solve or at least mitigate this problem//   

       ... but only if enough of "us" (no pun intended) perceive it as a problem worth solving.   

       "Human history is the story of scarce resources that have competing uses"   

       If everyone thinks something is a big, important problem, there's no debate. The resources will be allocated. The thing will be fixed.   

       Consider: A community is in danger of being wiped out by flooding. Flood defences will be expensive. A rise in property taxes is proposed - and accepted, because if there's a flood, everyone loses.   

       But if the issue is a new sports field for the school, and the roads also need repair, then the argument can go on and on.   

       The problem - whatever it my be - can be solved, but will only be solved when enough people see it as a problem requiring action.   

       // yet spree shootings are still rare enough to be mentioned on the news //   

       Every day, thousands die or are seriously injured in car accidents. Very few of these events gain public attention. There's little pressure for improved safety.   

       To the vast majority, this is an acceptable level of attrition.
8th of 7, Oct 06 2017
  

       //To the vast majority, this is an acceptable level of attrition//   

       That was my point. Gun crime in the US is incredibly low given the numbers of guns and gun owners; any given gun is much, much less likely to kill someone than any given car.   

       The people of America want guns, and that is fine. They are a relatively trivial cause of death, and for the most part Americans don't see it as a problem except briefly when there is the shooting equivalent of a multi-schoolbus pileup.   

       The only thing that is wrong-headed is thinking that there's a way to keep the current level and breadth of gun ownership and yet significantly reduce the number of gun fatalities.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2017
  

       //Well, now that you mention it : have (m)any of the firearms found in the room been positively identified as his ? Not to go posting directions on how to be a more efficient nutter but the way he did it was hardly (or even remotely) optimum (imnsho). Are his fingerprints on all the weapons/ammunition ? Has the coroner determined how long he had been dead ? et cetera.//   

       Yes, see link.
RayfordSteele, Oct 06 2017
  

       Max my friend, want a great model of gun legislation? Look to Mexico. And I'm not being sarcastic, I really like Mexican gun laws.   

       You're allowed to keep a registered firearm IN YOUR HOME ONLY for personal protection. To carry outside the home a special license is needed.   

       Private citizens are generally restricted to semi- automatic handguns or revolvers of a caliber no greater than .380 (for home defense),[28] rifles no greater than .22, and shotguns no greater than 12 gauge. No guns easily converted to fully automatic.   

       As for the number of firearms you can own: "If more than two weapons are registered for security and legitimate defense of the dwellers of a single home, those interested must justify the need."   

       These are good laws. I support these laws and I think you probably would to. So, how are they working out?   

       2,200 murders in June of this year alone, almost all by gun. Unfortunately, many of these murders had the addition of gruesome details that we won't go into, suffice to say the level of cruelty and inhumanity is absolutely stunning.   

       Would stricter gun laws help in this case? That's a simple yes or no question. The answer is of course not.   

       My point is, societies seem to be given a pass because everybody is the same in the eyes of the blue pill politically correct world, but they are not. Some societies have a lot of evil people who commit murder, some do not.   

       Finland has a low murder rate because their population has a low percentage of murderers. Mexico has a high murder rate because their population has a high percentage of murderers.   

       Finland guns per capita: 34.2.   

       Mexico guns per capita: 15.   

       You could litter the streets of Finland with tens of millions of guns dropped from a plane, the "puddles of gasoline" you refer to, and the murder rate would ramain unchanged. As for drugs being the only thing causing good people to become murders, you can get all the drugs in Finland that you want. The drug trade does just fine, they're just not killing each other over it.   

       I know this is an uncomfortable truth but if we're trying to solve a problem we might want to take the rose colored glasses off and deal with reality when assessing the situation.   

       I have a favorite expression that I lead my life by. It can be applied to so many areas and this is one of them. "Reality on reality's terms." You don't go into something with a pre-conceived notion of what would be nice. You can make judgements later, but when assessing a situation, you need to be prepared to accept anything that a logical assesment throws at you.   

       In this case, some societies, just like some people, are dysfunctional. And some societies, just like some people, are utterly and totally insane.
doctorremulac3, Oct 07 2017
  

       //Finland guns per capita: 34.2.//   

       I think your figures have got messed up somewhere;   

       "According to the Finnish government, the country has 1.6 million registered weapons and 650,000 people with firearm permits. That means about 12 percent of the population owns a weapon of some kind. More than half the permits are for hunting, which is usually done with rifles and shotguns."   

       which is a LOT less than 34.2 guns per person.   

       And according to the same source, the gun-related death rate in Mexico is about 2/3rds that of the US (per capita).   

       The only countries with higher gun-death rates than the US are: Uruguay, Panama, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, Guatemala, Swaziland, El Salvador, Venzuela and Honduras.   

       [doc], I agree completely with your points, which are that   

       (a) there are good people and bad people
(b) tighter regulation doesn't completely solve gun crime
  

       But, for crying out loud, [doc], the US has THE MOST guns in the world (by a factor of TWO, ahead of Serbia; threefold more than Finland; 15-fold more than the UK) and THE HIGHEST rate of gun deaths of any "civilised" country (coincidentally, threefold more than FInland; 30-fold more than the UK).   

       Do you, seriously and truthfully, in your heart of hearts believe that those two things are unconnected?   

       If you plot a graph of gun deaths against gun ownership, by country, you get a trendline with some outliers. The US sits on that trendline, top right corner.   

       "No no no, you can't take away our gasoline pools, they're not a problem. We just need to ensure more responsible match ownership."
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2017
  

       //I think your figures have got messed up somewhere//   

       Impossible, I got them from the internet.   

       But OK, so let's take the pools of gasoline away from Mexico. Problem solved?   

       Correlation and causation. Gotta be critical of the concept. Will you at least agree that there are some places with a lot of murders and few guns and some with few murders and lots of guns? That's not debatable.   

       I love the 100 member society model that's often used to study economies. We have two villages with 100 people.   

       Each has 5 murderers.   

       One has 100 guns available. They're in the store, in people's houses, just say they're very easy to get.   

       One has 1,000 guns available. They're just everywhere. Littering the streets. The "puddles of gasoline" everywhere you look. Keep in mind, the same number of murders in each village.   

       So paint for me a scenario where, over a period of years village A has one number of murders and village B has another number.   

       If you could, paint for me a scenario where somebody in village B dies where the murder would not have occured in village A. Remember, village B has a ten to one gun ratio. They're all over the place.   

       You're the detective for both villages, tell me why the victim died in village B where he would not have died in village A. We can expand the numbers to countries with millions of people later, right now it's just one case history of why a single person died in village B where he would not have in village A.
doctorremulac3, Oct 07 2017
  

       [Doc], [doc], [doc].   

       Mexico sits above the trendline (crudely speaking, they are less responsible gun owners than in the US), but reduce the number of guns in Mexico and you will reduce the number of gun deaths in Mexico.   

       You can wiggle around the trendline, and you can sit above or below it. You're a smart guy. I'm sure you get this. I'm sure you also get the idea that the surest way to reduce gun deaths significantly is to stop wiggling and slide down the trendline toward the unnattainable 0/0 origin.   

       If you don't like the gasoline analogy, try the smoking analogy. To a first approximation, the lung cancer death rate by country correlates with the smoking rate. Countries sit above or below the trendline depending on things like whether their cigarettes are filtered, how good their genetics are, etc. But if you want to reduce deaths from lung cancer, what's the most effective way to do it? I just know you can figure that one out.   

       Anyway, I'm out of new ideas on this one. Let's reconvene here for next month's mass shooting.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2017
  

       //but reduce the number of guns in Mexico and you will reduce the number of gun deaths in Mexico.//   

       So I'm a hitman for the cartel and my boss tells me to go kill somebody. I've had my arsenal of 20 firearms reduced to 10 by some magical process.   

       The order comes in and I tell him "I can't boss, I've got half the guns so I can only do half the hits this month."?   

       I think I'd be "retired" from my occupation in short order.   

       But yea, I sense debate fatigue. I'm fine with just putting this off till the next horrific event at which time we can do it all over again.
doctorremulac3, Oct 07 2017
  

       [doc], you're deliberately missing the point for argument's sake, which I admire.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2017
  

       No, you're saying there's correlation and causation between number of guns owned and murders committed citing correlation and causation between cigaratted smoked and lung cancer rates.   

       I can tell you why the latter is accurate. Cigarattes cause damage to the lungs. The more you smoke, the more damage. I was asking you for a direct correlation scenario using the two villages model.   

       This would be a small scale example of how more guns would cause more murders, just a little made up scenario where I could say "Oh, well that makes sense." It might read like "Joe would never kill anybody when he only owned one gun, but once he got 7, he went out and murdered somebody." Once we establish how this more guns leads to more murders link works on a small scale we can scale up.   

       Let me ask you this, do you believe there's a link between criminality and IQ? See the links. In the mean time, I'm going to the gym to work out my natural animal aggression in a way that's both beneficial to me and not detrimental to society.
doctorremulac3, Oct 07 2017
  

       [doc], it's fine. I'm not going to convince you, and that's OK. Even if I did convince you it would make no difference, so let's just agree that you're right.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2017
  

       No, I'm not right or wrong, I'm just missing the mechanism with which the cause you're citing results in a particular effect. If it happens all the time, we can look at one instance where it happens painting a theoretical one time scenario and go from there.   

       I understand though that the cause I'm suggesting, low IQ populations resulting in more murder overall, not just by guns, can be uncomfortable to discuss. I'm certainly willing to let it go at that. That's what I'm referring to as a "you might not like the answer but don't let that effect your trying to figure things out" situation.   

       But like I said, on that note let's drop it. I don't particularly like the answer I came up with either.
doctorremulac3, Oct 07 2017
  

       According to one of your graphs, the one my Mother Jones, Wyoming has the highest death rate by guns and the highest gun ownership rate. Open and shut right?   

       However, Wyoming 11th from the bottom of the 50 states in terms of homicides. How can this be?   

       I know, do you?   

       You've also just sent me a bunch of charts completely backing my contention that IQ and advancement of civilization is what is at work here. One of your charts even points out that Switzerland every adult male has to have a combat rifle and 50 rounds of ammunition.   

       So when does the murder rate go up in Switzerland, when they have to own two rifles? Three?   

       And why won't you explain the mechanism by which a single firearm replaced by two firearms increases the murder rate? It's the number of guns right? So just use the little village model and you win? Easy no?   

       There's a reason you're getting exasperated, you're avoiding the opportunity to use a provable model to make your point and resorting to charts that are, shall we say, "distorting" the truth by including suicides in a chart included in a discussion of gun homicides.   

       You can win this with one or two sentences, why won't you take the shot? No charts, no graphs just a single, solitary scenario where one person gets killed because there were ten guns someplace instead of one.   

       So I'll do it for you. More gun OWNERS can make a difference, but not more guns.   

       Ok, I'm doing both sides here now.
doctorremulac3, Oct 07 2017
  

       Damn. Why can't I quit while I'm ahead?   

       //I'm just missing the mechanism //   

       OK, let me give you a few examples, each with "US" and "UK" variants.   

       1) An apparently ordinary guy decides to go on a killing spree. (a) UK: he tries to buy an automatic weapon but, not knowing his way around the criminal underworld, he is unable to do so without getting caught and arrested. (b) US: he buys 40 weapons including automatics, legally; the only opportunity to stop him is when he starts shooting.   

       2) A guy goes out to rob a late-night shop. (a) UK: he doesn't carry a gun (even if he can get one) because being caught with a gun is, in itself, a prison offence. He uses a knife, or simply a threat, knowing that the shop owner has no gun. (b) US: of course he carries a gun - he's allowed to do so, and he might just need it if the shop owner has a gun; things get tense during the robbery, and someone gets shot.   

       3) A guy sees someone breaking into his shed at 1am. (a) UK: nobody has a gun; the man calls the police; they arrive and arrest a drunk. (b) US: the homeowner is armed and, since killing a trespasser is acceptable and he has fear for his life (since the intruder might well have a gun), he does so.   

       I could make up a million other scenarios, but the point is that it's the underlying culture. It really, truly is. Unless you yourself are a criminal and/or a member of a gang, in the UK you are very unlikely to _see_ a handgun as long as you live, much less an automatic weapon. It's a very nice way to live.   

       I guess it's difficult to explain _cultural_ differences clearly - you clearly experience your own culture, and I mine. If you have guns widely available, they infiltrate the culture of everyday life.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2017
  

       But we'll never talk about Switzerland where everybody has a gun and there's practically zero murders by these guns. Why is that? I say it's because some cultures can have their act together and be trusted with potentially dangerous items that can be subject to misuse, that's all. You say that's not a factor I guess since you keep avoiding commenting on it.   

       What you're trying to say is if guns are outlawed, there'll be less gun crime. Yes. When we had prohibition the use of alchohol went down by some accounts as well. But you're saying it's the number of guns. If you can buy one or ten guns what difference does that make? You're doing the switcheroo talking about places where guns are outlawed and correlating it with low gun numbers. It's the fact that their against the law, not that there aren't a lot of them. Of course, if they're against the law, there won't be a lot of them will there?   

       Hey, maybe you're right, maybe we just need to outlaw guns, but showing charts that say Wyoming has the most gun violence isn't going to make your case very will. They're including suicides. Wyoming is very safe from gun violence.
doctorremulac3, Oct 07 2017
  

       Yes, of course some cultures - like maybe the Swiss - are inherently less violent than others - like maybe the Americans. So yes, of course, some cultures deal better with guns than others. What's your point?   

       It is also worth pointing out that 25% of people in Switzerland own a gun, as compared to 30% in the US (legally declared, in each case). Not a huge difference, but you're wrong to say that "everybody" in Switzerland owns a gun.   

       Also, if you look at the graph in my link, you'll see that both Switzerland and the US more or less fall on the line - gun deaths in both cases are proportional to gun numbers.   

       So, you were saying about Switzerland?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2017
  

       Self inflicted gun deaths or gun murders? I see they were very careful to say "Gun deaths", an old trick used in these debates.   

       We're only talking about murder by firearm. Can we agree that these are two separate things?   

       But I also see that you've tapped out on describing the mechanism whereby guns are available to anybody and the number of those guns causes more murders. Anybody can get a gun easily but there are more guns vs anybody can get a gun easily, but there are fewer guns.   

       You won't touch it and it would be so easy to explain. Like I said, no charts, no graphs, just a sentence or two and victory is yours.   

       TAKE THE SHOT MAX! TAKE THE SHOT!   

       Ok, I need to go buy groceries. Don't you need to tell the servants to go buy groceries Max? Let's get something else done today besides curing all the world of its problems. I'll concede that outlawing guns will reduce gun crime. Good enough?
doctorremulac3, Oct 07 2017
  

       [doc], you're getting worked up, let's keep it friendly.   

       OK, I take your point. The Las Vegas guy took 40 guns but only used one - only needed to use one.   

       Yes, you're right, being shot with one gun is as bad as being shot with five.   

       Yes, you're right, the graph doesn't distinguish homicide from suicide. And suicide is fine by me - if a jilted teenager can't blow her own brains out the instant she feels like it, what rights does she have? Maybe the graph would be inverted if it only considered bad homicides and we took out all those great suicides.   

       I don't have a problem with America having a gun culture. I personally would love to own a gun (truthfully - I just don't want everyone around me to have one too), and I think it's great that everyone there is allowed to.   

       I was just trying to explain the cultural differences regarding guns, between the US and the UK. I know the UK, but I don't know the US as well so it's entirely possible that I'm wrong about it. It may be that there would be more homicides in the US, overall, if there weren't as many guns.   

       It's just that, to most non-Americans, it looks funny when Americans wring their hands and say "why do we have so many gun deaths? what could possibly be a factor here?"
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2017
  

       Back to "culture" ...   

       A person is fired from their job in a fast food establishment.   

       In the UK, and many other places, the ex-employee is most likely to drink alcohol and bad-mouth their former employer, possibly going as far as posting some choice moist morsels of cat excrement through the letterbox.   

       In the USA, it is not unknown for ex-employees to return to their former place of work and open fire on all and sundry with a firearm.   

       Now, the non-USian could achieve the same result with a car loaded with barrels of gasoline. They might kill even more people.   

       But such incidents are incredibly rare.   

       Means and opportunity are freely available in both cases.   

       What is the motive?   

       Why do some individuals have an inhibition to the use of force(violence) when others do not ?   

       Please note that the above question is NOT rhetorical.To our annoyance and dismay, we are unable to propose a glib and facile answer.
8th of 7, Oct 07 2017
  

       The main reason is that petrol is over £1 per litre at the moment.   

       For secondary reasons, consider the fact that disgruntled employees in the US do not often use gasoline-laden cars, because guns are easier and (for the user) safer and cheaper.   

       As I mentioned - and which seems to be the only point of agreement - it may well be that Americans are inherently more violent than other nations. However, having ready access to a device which can kill someone, without personal risk or effort, by moving one finger 1/4 of an inch, is perhaps a significant contributory factor. It would, indeed, suggest that Americans are the last people who should be allowed to own guns.   

       p.s. I do hope you find another job soon, [8th].
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2017
  

       //[doc], you're getting worked up, let's keep it friendly.//   

       My apologies Max, sometimes without the subtle inflections of actually speaking, the tone of a written discussion might not come off as it was intended. I meant no disrespect, I was just kidding with you.   

       Let me be perfectly honest, here's what's really behind this argument. I enjoy arguing. Witnessed by the fact that I'm not even purporting to have an answer to this problem. Consider yourself complimented that I enjoy mentally sparring with you, even when we're not necessarily really at odds.   

       I'll let you in on something. My dear friend of 39 years, very smart guy, degree in physics from Stanford, brilliant computer programmer, amazing violinist who even did some stand up comedy died of brain cancer recently. He was as liberal as you can get, much, much, more so than you, and we would argue for hours while drinking beer and playing pool on a regular basis over the years. It was an aspect of my life that I really treasured and as much as I've ever loved any friend, I loved this person. Point is, I don't necessarily consider arguing to be something you do with somebody you don't respect or like. That moment when you see something differently from a well armed smart guy is something that I look forward to. Is it wrong? Probably. Is it a waste of time? I guess.   

       Point is, you've got a taste of what it was like to be my old dear friend. No wonder his brain exploded eh?   

       But these arguments don't come from a place of hatred or disrespect. I'll leave it at that.
doctorremulac3, Oct 07 2017
  

       <deeply>^.</deeply>
wjt, Oct 07 2017
  

       // I do hope you find another job soon //   

       S'OK, the KFC just down the road is hiring.
8th of 7, Oct 07 2017
  

       I'll take a crack at this: the difference between the 40 gun per shooter scenario and the one gun per shooter scenario is that the 40 gun guy is very clearly a gun junkie; his weapons possess him more than he possesses them. His hobby and passion is known. He very likely spends much more personal time thinking about guns and gun culture and dreaming about his next purchase than the one gun guy who keeps it stashed away somewhere and doesn't think about it very much. He's much more likely to be obsessed with them. That's enough to drive a cultural difference.   

       In Switzerland they don't transport their weapons without a very good reason, and I think they have conscripted service and so get some discipline concerning them.
RayfordSteele, Oct 07 2017
  

       //the 40 gun guy is clearly a gun junkie//   

       I find myself temporarily morbidly curious as to how many of the "23 guns" in the room had been fired, and how many shots for each. Did he try them all before settling on one or two ? in the 72 minutes before the cops busted in. Is there going to be a new ad campaign "9 out of 10 mass murderers prefer ...." ?   

       apologies.
FlyingToaster, Oct 07 2017
  

       I'll have a go.   

       Increasing checks with increasing lethality. If your proud to show off your cache then this won't be a problem. Semi and automatic weapons really have only one purpose and owners should be checked on a regular basis. The dark market is a problem, so a pro-rated penalties for military stuff would send a message that your more nuts than manly.   

       I understand this would be a workload nightmare for people in the field but each district should really know where the dangerous caches are. Psychological profiling should be the bread and butter of enforcement.   

       PS Never will there be 100%
wjt, Oct 07 2017
  

       I think the requirement to kill people in revenge or just because you feel angry is a bit primitive. It needs updating. At the moment, linked in is proving an excellent means to keep track of the people in life you’ve always wanted to kill (and don’t act all rational and strait-laced, pretending you don’t have a list of people you’ve always wanted to kill, we all do - I know I do). There needs to be something like linked in where instead of just keeping track on the people that should be dead, you could speed up the process somewhat - perhaps through paypal. At the moment, the strategy I adopt is simply outliving people - of the people on my list, most of them are now dead merely because they are now dead. I was younger than they were, and I’ve outlived them.
Ian Tindale, Oct 08 2017
  

       Likewise, [doc], and I'm sorry about your friend.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 08 2017
  

       Thank you Max. Life goes on.
doctorremulac3, Oct 08 2017
  

       I'm curious as to how simple things like the weather, school year, and climate play in to gun deaths per capita per country.   

       Norway and Sweden have short summers and coolish temperatures in their wilderness areas and not quite the same history of the American West. Is hanging onto a cold firearm something that people enjoy in cool climates?   

       In the 1960’s, there was one school shooting. In the 1980’s, there were 27. In the 1990’s, there were 58. In the past decade, there have been over 120.
RayfordSteele, Oct 08 2017
  

       Could you link to the source of those numbers, [RayfordSteele]? (I'm not doubting your word - I'm just curious about methodological details, like what definition was used for "school shooting").
pertinax, Oct 09 2017
  

       In films, over the post-war period up until now, it'd be an interesting statistic to discover how many films involved a gun being shot. I suspect there's a direct entanglement. Most films about conflict in the 50s and 60s would have been cowboy and indian films, other than war propaganda jingo output.
Ian Tindale, Oct 09 2017
  

       // a gun being shot //   

       "A gun being fired" would be more appropriate. "A gun being shot" implies the projectile(s) striking the gun itself.
8th of 7, Oct 09 2017
  

       Did we forget to take our pedantolytics this morning, [8th]?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 09 2017
  

       I'm re investigating my statistics. I cannot find the link now and the numbers seem sketchy.   

       Wikipedia does have a listing by decade as well.
RayfordSteele, Oct 09 2017
  

       //pedantolytics//   

       "For such carelessness, you ought to be fired."
or
"For such carelessness, you ought to be shot."
Same difference, right?
pertinax, Oct 09 2017
  

       //we all do - I know I do//   

       For some reason, I feel like sending a blank postcard, addressed to John Malkovich. There's a message about solipsism, but the recipient will assume they already know what it is.   

       What inhibits me is that the postal charge won't vanish in the same puff of self-reference. So instead I will say, "Try the 'living well' revenge; I find it's easier on the nerves."
pertinax, Oct 09 2017
  

       // Same difference, right? //   

       Sadly no.   

       Compare "The President has shot the head of the IRS" and "The President has fired the head of the IRS".   

       The second version is very unsatisfactory compared to the first.
8th of 7, Oct 09 2017
  

       I'm sure I've heard Alan Sugar telling one candidate "You're shot" rather than "You're fired".
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 09 2017
  

       "No son, I wanted you to shoot TO the head of your company!"
doctorremulac3, Oct 09 2017
  

       ^[+]
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 09 2017
  

       //Now, the non-USian could achieve the same result with a car loaded with barrels of gasoline. They might kill even more people.//   

       Depends what is currently trending. For some reason people don't like to set precedents good or bad, and even then such events don't tend to get repeated because "the guy was a nutter" and people don't like to be associated with mental diseases. I think this is why most mass-murders are described as 'mentally ill'.   

       I'd go more with the description of such individuals as outliers in a particular culture.   

       On top of precedents , cultures also have aspirations. I think the gun laws in europe reflect the aspiration that guns are only a hunting tool outside the military. There is just no cultural concept of teenagers "having a laugh with a load of guns and bottles" etc. It happens in the UK I'm sure, but the societal pressure is such that it's done in a 'hidden, never to be repeated' context.   

       And as such buying a bunch of guns and killing a load of people is just not a ready-to-hand 'go to' value in UK society. It's a non-value. Even playing Call of Duty is firmly in the fiction section of the mind, it's computer game only.   

       It *is* all just an ethical narrative and that narrative can be literally anything that a group of people want.   

       I seriously didn't think the US would ever bite on healthcare for all, but since Obama rushed it through can you see the narrative sticking "Yeah, it is stupid how one person with a random disease can bankrupt an extended family."   

       Personally I'd take the whole sharing thing to 80% tax to ensure a very low level of blood and violence in everyday society. Most people already have everything they could possibly ever want and if not, maybe they should start thinking about when is enough.
bigsleep, Oct 09 2017
  

       //There is just no cultural concept of teenagers "having a laugh with a load of guns and bottles" etc. It happens in the UK I'm sure, but the societal pressure is such that it's done a 'hidden, never to be repeated' context. //   

       I don't think it even happens in a "hidden" context for most kids in the UK. I didn't go to the worst schools or have the worst friends, but they weren't the best either. I'm pretty sure that none of my schoolmates would have had access to any form of gun except, possibly, a parent's shotgun. Handguns are supposedly common and cheap amongst gangs, but that is a very small proportion of UK society. And gun violence within gangs is almost entirely gang-on-gang. They don't show off their guns outside the gangs, because the penalties for _owning_ a handgun are probably more severe than the penalties for some shootings in the US.   

       Are there many nerve gas attacks in the US? Do you think there would be more if there were widespread availability of nerve gas, and only laws forbidding its use?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 09 2017
  

       // none of my schoolmates would have had access to any form of gun except, possibly, a parent's shotgun. //   

       We never previously suspected that you suffered such a deprived upbringing ... how you must have suffered.   

       // Are there many nerve gas attacks in the US? //   

       No, because of the substantial danger that such use will rebound on the user. Even cheap and cheerful CW agents like chlorine, phosgene and simple vesicants require careful handling and protective equipment to avoid becoming contaminated. Nerve agents are orders of magnitude more dangerous.   

       As a means for a suicide attack, they would be an effective tactic, but it's not a notably pleasant way to die.
8th of 7, Oct 09 2017
  

       How about a deal? Free healthcare AND an AR-15 with 1,000 rounds of ammo for everyone?   

       Compromise. That's what holds a civilization together.   

       You're welcome.
doctorremulac3, Oct 09 2017
  

       // Free healthcare //   

       We'd be prepared to pay a reasonable initial excess amount of any claim.   

       // AND an AR-15 with 1,000 rounds of ammo//   

       You can't fob us off with that cheap rubbish. Now, a 7.62 LMG, 20 mags, and a 10 x 40 side-mounted scope, and we'd be interested. Oh, and the cleaning kit ...   

       // That's what holds a civilization together. //   

       Really ? Well, when your species eventually gets a civilization, perhaps you can try that out. Let us know how that works for you , we're intrigued.
8th of 7, Oct 09 2017
  

       So says the member of a hegemonic space zombie set...
RayfordSteele, Oct 10 2017
  
      
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