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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:50 pm 
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Location: Es gibt keinen guten Weg etwas Schlechtes zu tun. (There is no good way to do a bad thing.) T. L.
Now, now - I own the "average American arsenal" of 7 firearms. Like most such people, the very number is misleading since several of them are family heirlooms and several cannot even be fired - or would be impractial to load.

My sole handgun is a black powder replica I don't even know how to load. When I do manage, it usually misfires.
The one from the 1700s is a German fowling piece with a jammed barrel - it hangs on a wall.
Two belong to a friend - I am keeping them for him - more antiques. (He lives in public housing and can't keep them there.)
I have two useable rifles and a shotgun. The Remington (probably the best) was my Dad's and his dad's, as was the shotgun.
The one solely mine is a European war vet - made in my birth year, 1940, and probably used to defend Russia from the Nazis. It is also useable but hard to load due to an oddity of design.

So first, as a matter of practicality, cut the gun ownership stats by at least half - probably two thirds. Most guns in American homes are mostly a danger to the one firing them. The police routinely use the higher number to scare voters into voting more money for policing - which they then use to buy cars and hand out traffic citations (which makes them $$$) NOT for gun abatement/control.

The real problem remains mental illness. Yet we routinely CUT medical help for those who need it!

Now, as a lover of mystery fiction, I know how to kill someone with a knitting needle, part of a jellyfish and many ordinary household items... none of which fire gunpowder. Yet no one really knows why people like this looney go so far off the rails as to do this. WHY? Because investigating it isn't as easy as scaring people into doubling your departmental budget.

In this case it begins to appear he had a dislike of police and was using the shooting to decoy them to his booby-trapped apartment so they would all die.

I might add that I have been socially friends with two documentably insane men, one of who is criminally insane. BOTH of them think this sort of behavior is WAY off the scale of "crazy". Neither of them owns a gun. (Why? The law? No, my criminal pal is an ex-thief - he'd just steal one...) :lol:

I keep hoping one of these horrific incidents will trigger a RATIONAL response, so we can find out what's at work in these minds. My belief is that we should change the sentences/punishment to life as an experimental subject for scientists investigating this form of madness. This would also act as a serious deterrent, as "crazy" people fear psychiatry more than anything...

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:14 am 
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That's a very good point, Moreach, there is definitely not enough support for mental illness, which is a obviously a huge contributing factor in these horrible incidents. Then again, people like this are able to hide their mental illness as long as they can pass as a productive member of society, i.e. hold down a job, go to school, etc. They often don't have close friends, they're usually "that quiet guy" that spends all his time alone, and it's hard to tell whether someone like that will become a threat. They certainly don't seek mental help on their own, and they come from either a broken home or one where family members refuse to acknowledge there may be something wrong with them. I think it's more a symptom of society and very hard to pin down what the triggers are until it's too late. But further tightening gun control isn't going to address any of the underlying issues that cause someone to want to harm innocent people in whatever way they can.


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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:03 am 
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Location: Es gibt keinen guten Weg etwas Schlechtes zu tun. (There is no good way to do a bad thing.) T. L.
^ Thanks for the rational response... :hug:

If we decided that every problem can be prevented by taking away something, rather than getting at the root cause, then the first thing to go is the automobile.

Last time I checked we were still averaging 40,000 deaths PER YEAR in the US from various auto "accidents" - including (by reason of not being legally "proven") those caused by someone deciding to suicide by driving their car into a bus, a train, or oncoming traffic. I believe it also includes "vehicular homicide" because I've never seen a separate statistic for that - abstracted from the larger number.

Everyone who drives has in their power, within their (possibly flawed) discretion, a lethal "weapon" much easier to get and use than a gun, and as powerful as a cannon. :shock:

Yet we seldom even discuss this death toll. Somehow it is "accepted" as the social cost of efficient and pleasurable transportation.

I am, BTW, very much pro car. But the "logic" of this blind spot just weirds me out. :doh:

Yours for better research and care for mental illness! :kiss:

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:10 am 
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M - you pretty much nailed it with this:

"The real problem remains mental illness. Yet we routinely CUT medical help for those who need it!"

I've been following this on the news - it wasn't just a dude with a gun, he had a whole freaken arsenal of crazy set to go off in his apartment.

My heart just breaks for all the families involved (yes, his too). Just a terrible terrible sickening thing to happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:38 am 
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I actually agree - the problem isn't the gun itself, it's the person who owns the gun. But until you can solve all mental health issues, social isolation, etc. that would cause somebody to do something like this, perhaps it would be a good idea to make sure people like that can't get guns?

I have to admit, I don't understand why people think it's so important that guns aren't legally restricted. Unless you shoot or hunt or something for pleasure - which is rather different, and allowed pretty much anywhere, including in the UK where we have some of the strictest gun laws in the world - what purpose does it serve the average law-abiding citizen to be able to buy a gun easily? I'm not trying to be rude, I just don't understand why people think it's so important.

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:25 am 
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Location: Es gibt keinen guten Weg etwas Schlechtes zu tun. (There is no good way to do a bad thing.) T. L.
^ It all goes back to the excesses of the upper classes in the Middle Ages.

Most Americans (even "gun nuts") have no idea of this and in absence of facts make up their own, often silly, ideas of "why".

Once upon a time - not at all far away from you in Europe and never long enough ago - it was legal - completely legal - to simply ride down the lower class people who got in your way. Not just on the way to battle, mind you - families in your way as you went to market - or church! :shock: They were required to bow and scuttle off to the side as best they could. Since they were on foot and their "Betters" were on horses - trampling was ALLOWED. It was not encouraged, but it was not PUNISHED.

Why? Because those were the people with the swords (and later, guns). Simple as that.
"Commoners" were not allowed to be armed - with the exception of bows, and under supervision.
In some places even the length of the sharp edges of agricultural tools were regulated. This is why so many "commoners weapons" look like farm implements - it was all they could have.
"He who has the gold makes the rules" - "it's GOOD to be the King". :twisted:

This was only ended about a century before the US Constitution was written. (The last English Civil War) So, as our Founders remembered their history pretty well, they decided that one way to make certain this never popped up in the new country was to make certain EVERYBODY had the same right to self-protection. In their time this was a gun.

This is why it's so high on the list of Amendments!

(And you KNOW the first people to give up their guns, or armed guards, are not going to be the rich...) :roll:

It does highlight some of our problems now that rapid-fire arms have been invented. OTOH a lot of us are not easily made to feel good about undoing something that has worked very well for most of our history until recently. Especially since so few now understand the principle involved.

It's not about "militia". It's not even about guns. It's about the right to "bear arms" - to protect yourself if hard times return man to a "feudal" state.
(Even the "Supremes" got it a little wrong last time!)

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:35 pm 
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syzygy wrote:
Unfortunately the reality is that gun control in America doesn't prevent gun violence. Here in California we have some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and yet gun crimes in major cities remain high. Why? Because too many guns are bought and sold illegally, a good deal of which come into this country illegally through Mexico. Unfortunately our laws only restrict those who want to own guns legally and responsibly - if you have a criminal record you can't buy a gun at all, so the people you have to worry about most are the ones obtaining guns illegally. I'd also like to point out that if someone wants to commit a random act of violence like this they are going to do it with whatever tools they have available, whether it's a gun or an explosive made out of ordinary household chemicals. The real problem is more the culture of violence than a lack of gun control.

u have a point,but that argument doesnt work in the case of people that just "flip" and go mad.The oslo shooter didnt have a criminal record,he was a law abiding citizen,the colorado shooter was a student in neurology.These guys seem like smart and reliable,then again,things like these happens from the people u dont expect.

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:45 pm 
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As time ticks on, more information arises: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2012 ... ified.html

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:52 pm 
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@Moreach: Wow, thank you--I really didn't know that about the history of the Second Amendment! Like most, I assumed it was only because the Founders didn't want the American people to be powerless if the government ever became as corrupt as the English government; so the people could effectively rise up and defend themselves (and also to give early American citizens the firepower they needed to expand American territory with the constant aid of an army--by going into Native American territory and killing them :um: ).

However, as someone who honestly feels that guns should be extremely difficult for citizens to obtain legally for any purpose other than hunting or some other legal recreational use, I still don't feel like this answers Cornflake's (and my) question of just why it's so important today for people to have access to guns.

Americans are not in danger of being trampled on by the 1% (physically, anyway). If the government decided to attack us, our weapons would be completely ineffective against the things that they could bring out (tanks, planes, etc.). And gun technology has improved but the laws about how to obtain one and which kinds you can buy have barely changed and are inconsistent from state to state, resulting in situations like for this shooting, where one person can buy military-grade semi-automatic guns that fire a round a second, thousands of rounds of military grade ammunition, military-grade gas canisters that he gassed the theater with, and full-body, military grade armor to go with it. Why should citizens have the right to purchase machines that our military uses, and that one can only use with the intention of taking a life? We're not in a war zone, and our fellow citizens and human beings aren't our enemies.

Banning guns or severely limiting access to them won't stop all bad people from committing murders, but I feel like it would certainly make it a heck of a lot harder for most people to do so (stabbing 60 people with a knife or gunning them down in seconds--which is quicker, easier, and more detached?).

At the very least, I just want an answer as to why the Second Amendment is relevant to today, and why it's important that we have access to these highly-developed killing machines (because I certainly don't see any non-recreational use a civilian could have for them).


By the way, I'd just like to take a moment to thank everyone for remaining civil on this discussion: as I mentioned, I brought up these very same posts on a discussion thread on Facebook with other Rammstein fans (who are all adults and much older than me, too), and within moments I was attacked verbally, the content of my posts were ignored, and the person who started the thread accused me of saying that I didn't think that deaths that didn't have anything to do with guns mattered. Obviously I would never say such a thing, and demanded an apology. He said "I'll only give it to you if you put a gun to my back and make me." :evil: Maybe I'm just being a bit too sensitive, but that really is one of the most disgusting things I've ever had happen to me, and it really hurts that someone that's three times my age would slander me like this and then add insult to injury.

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:24 pm 
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@TillHammer That's very true, you can't easily weed out people with no criminal record and no obvious mental health issues and keep them from owning guns. But I don't believe that banning everyone from owning guns is the solution. It's not like this guy just snapped one day and started shooting people, he obviously had planned this out for months and maybe years in advance. To me that indicates that even if he'd had no legal access to firearms he still would have found some way to carry out his twisted plans, whether by obtaining a gun illegally or using something like homemade explosives instead. Even a car, as Moreach pointed out, could be used as a deadly weapon by someone like this - maybe not in a theater, but if someone's going to plan that far in advance it would be easy to change the venue to suit the means available. This is why we have to analyze why some people are driven to do this kind of thing and how to identify them before it's too late.

@Yotami home/self defense is the main reason most Americans who aren't hunters or recreational shooters own guns. Because there are so many illegal guns on the streets, many law-abiding citizens feel it necessary to be at least as well-armed as the criminals. As a civilian and gun owner who lives in a pretty rough neighborhood I can tell you that sometimes our fellow citizens ARE our enemies, unfortunate as that may be. There are a lot of desperate people out there who will kill you for whatever's in your wallet, and they're not going to sit down and have a heart-to-heart about how we're all people and shouldn't do this to each other. Granted, if I ever shot someone who broke into my home I'd probably be the one to go to jail, but I bet anyone that breaks in to my house and finds me waiting for them with a shotgun will probably flee before I even get a chance to fire it whether they have a gun or not. So that's my mentality when it comes to gun ownership, and why I believe the Second Amendment is still relevant today.

And yeah, I've been on other forums where this discussion has turned nasty almost immediately, so I definitely appreciate the opportunity for civil discourse. I knew I was going to like it here! :hug: :hug:


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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:22 pm 
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^Yeah, I was just sent hate mail by someone who isn't even my Facebook friend and who has never met me calling me a jackass and an idiot and telling me, an Ivy League student, to go back to school because we disagreed on providing more funding to mental health (even though he claims to study psychology). He then told me that he was going to drink himself into oblivion because of my stupidity. Some people just have no class. :evil:

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:48 pm 
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^ I'm so sorry people are being so hateful and ignorant towards you for voicing your opinion. Saying something like that to a person you don't even know is completely uncalled for :( :hug:

It's truly disgusting that someone can take a tragedy like this and use it as their personal soapbox to spew hate at others. It cheapens the memory of those who lost their lives and serves absolutely no purpose :evil: But I'm afraid that's what our political culture has boiled down to at this point; everyone is so polarized by this false war of right vs. left that they can no longer have rational discussions about important issues without it degenerating into slinging personal insults at one another :sigh:


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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:57 pm 
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^ Seriously...with people of this type of mentality, you could provide them with all of the facts and rational discussion to prove your point completely - yet this effort would still be completely wasted. It's one thing to disagree with someone - and engage in a dialogue of facts posed and argued (in an academic sense) by each person. This situation is radically different. This type of person - the hater, the troll, the rabid fanatic (for whatever cause) - whatever you wish to call them - cannot see reason or engage in a rational discussion. All they know is "My way or the highway". And we're just wasting our breath on trying to converse with them.

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:21 pm 
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Location: Es gibt keinen guten Weg etwas Schlechtes zu tun. (There is no good way to do a bad thing.) T. L.
Well, I keep trying. I guess it's because of my score on that "personality test" thread. :roll:

One factor is that people simply don't like to tinker with what worked in the past. Quite often (Prohibition) the rules get changed without regard to "unintended consequences" (organized crime) much to everyone's eventual regret.

Another is that it probably won't work. My ex-thief friend was not a house-breaker - he was a bank robber. Armed. If a person of that sort decided he could make a living selling guns (many would) he'd break into some armory or military post and steal some to sell.

What amazes me is that we haven't returned to what the law used to be - restricting magazine size. Hunting weapons used to be restricted to 3-5 bullets per loading. (Depending on state.) This got "re-interpreted" somehow and now the "banana clip" (20 rounds or?) and others are legal. Everyone might as well have a machine gun.

(Still not allowed in hunting.)

A main factor is that a large number of people simply feel "safer" with a gun. They want themselves to have one and want nobody else to. More than one "anti gun activist" has been found owning one - but theirs "doesn't count" because their heart is in the right place... :angel:

Then there are the historians. Guns are in fact fascinating machines - right up there with clocks.

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 Post subject: Re: Colorado Shooting
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:20 am 
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syzygy wrote:
@TillHammer That's very true, you can't easily weed out people with no criminal record and no obvious mental health issues and keep them from owning guns. But I don't believe that banning everyone from owning guns is the solution. It's not like this guy just snapped one day and started shooting people, he obviously had planned this out for months and maybe years in advance. To me that indicates that even if he'd had no legal access to firearms he still would have found some way to carry out his twisted plans, whether by obtaining a gun illegally or using something like homemade explosives instead. Even a car, as Moreach pointed out, could be used as a deadly weapon by someone like this - maybe not in a theater, but if someone's going to plan that far in advance it would be easy to change the venue to suit the means available. This is why we have to analyze why some people are driven to do this kind of thing and how to identify them before it's too late.
i agree,but then again,why should the law make having the ability to take a life even easier?

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