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Sunday, 05 August 2012


Murder rates have been dropping for decades in the US.

What's the state? What are the other lines? What's the scale? People in other countries struggle with your geography (as well as your gun laws ;) )

It's how I felt when the Fort Hood massacre happen 45 minutes from where I lived a few years back. Horror stories like these are suppose to happen far away. Not next door.

It's the State of Wisconsin.

The smaller divisions are counties.


"Murder rates have been dropping for decades in the US."

Right you are. And it's still among the highest in the industrialized world.


As I observed elsewhere recently, "Since Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy's assassinations when I was a 10 year old boy, one million American civilians have died of gunshot wounds. You read that right, 1,000,000.
I support the Second Amendment. But do we have a gun control problem? Yeah, I think we do...."

Senseless. Utterly senseless. Violence against any group on the basis of their religion is abhorrent.

That the Sikhs are the targets of misdirected anti-Islamic violence is the product of the worst sort of ignorance.

Let's be clear. The Sikhs fought, as part of the commonwealth forces, with great distinction on the allied side in both world wars.

OUR side.

Do you think an apparent decrease in murder rate could just be a reflection of improving medical treatment?

The politicians will show up for the prayer vigil. Nobody does prayer vigils like American pols--we seem to do a lot of them.

The Colorado killer was obviously insane, but this was almost certainly hate and ignorance. I wrote a very long post but decided to erase it and spare you my politics. Very sad to see this. My thoughts and prayers go to all who were directly affected by these killings.

If you allow people free access to murdering tools then murders will occur.

The US has to change his gun laws. It's still the wild west over there ... if you have a problem, shoot first.

Too many firearms, too little control; a lax constitution, not properly defined.
Nearby Toronto Canada has a similar killing problem. Hand guns smuggled in or obtained by various means. None are licensed, ammunition purchased on-line. It is noted people kill people; be it with firearms, motor vehicles or other means. Un-natural death is becoming too
A sad statement on our love of firearms and ultimately by whatever means, our demise.

I often wonder where the term "shoot a picture,"

Think about the phrase and what it says, to us.

I thought that this event may have been close to you.

It's hard not to rush to judgment; in Australia the preliminary reports tend toward the conclusion that some Americans are confused between Sikhs and "Muslims" (what does a "Muslim" look like?) and responsible Australian media have broadcast American Sikhs saying that this has contributed to threatning incidents for some time, fortunately not as heinous as this one.

I should not offer opinions to citizens of another country, but those gun laws really must be heavily revised; weren't they designed for the 18th and 19th centuries and slow loading rifles and similar, not automatic assault guns?

Serious curtailment of gun ownership in Australia after the Tasmanian killings did put a lid on events like this.

My condolences to all.
We all read so much as to why but in the end, the answer is never revealed
I personally believe that if it were racially/religiously motivated, as reports indicate, then more education is required. Ignorance breeds fear and fear leads to irrational acts

Must be a horrible feeling: being in proximity to such a senseless act. My best wishes go out to all affected.

Not much more to say.

"Murder rates have been dropping for decades in the US."

With any luck, in a few centuries, the US murder rate may drop to near that of most other developed nations. That must give the NRA cold chills.

Murder rates have been dropping in the US largely because of improvements in emergency medicine techniques.

Is there a lesson from this shooting? We'll see. One suspicion might be that it is a consequence in part of ignorance. Sikhs are definitely not Muslims. But Sikhs in the Milwaukee area were attacked or had their property vandalized immediately after 9/11.

I hate it all. The shooters, the media who try to out do each other for the story, and the public who demands more and more info. I expect to live in a civilized country and as I get older, I see we still have a long way to go.

Anytime something like this happens it's too close to home.

Guns don't kill PEOPLE DO so stop selling to them! :-{

Duet ...

Group, ring and field meant nothing but is quite an interesting maths subject. One of the duelist setup by his political enemy has spent a whole night (before dying next day to duel with the best duelist in France) so that his idea of how to solve x to power n equation using group concept (invented by him and out of the blue in fact) is still a major story. Like Abel, it is dear to my heart even though it is only a mathematician story..


If politicians lack the will to change the things that are wrong it means that the resulting consequences of that inaction are therefore politically acceptable. It's a bit like for most Western economies total employment would lead to rampaging inflation as wages go up so therefore it is acceptable to have around 2-3% unemployment.

"...we can only pray that this senseless fad will pass quickly."

Nothing fails like prayer. What might succeed, however, is a Supreme Court majority with sufficient English comprehension to understand the meaning of "well regulated militia."

Elections have consequences.

Chance, legislation, pathological or psychological factors, are generally well short as explanatory factors of such crimes. We have to make a great effort to reach such events remotely.

A seminal book: Carnage and Culture - Victor Davis Hanson - Anchor (August 27, 2002)


www.clausewitz.com / readings / Bassford / Hanson / BassfordOnHanson.htm

Now showing on Netflix is 'God Bless America' - a satire that shows just how a little it takes for a person overwhelmed with sensationalism and propaganda to become isolated and mind numbed enough to tip over the edge, switch off their morality and commit such acts.

Given the historically engrained mindset and pro-gun loby, America has no easy way out.

As horrible as this and the Aurora shootings are, and as much as I wish we could enact some level of gun control here in the U.S., I do acknowledge the argument that getting guns under control will not stop mass killings such as these. People determined to kill large numbers have many methods available. There is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed, and no, I do not have a suggestion as to how. I will say that I think that anyone who undertakes to kill multiple victims is by definition mentally ill, and how to deal with that is key to reducing the number of these tragedies.

As a side note, I'd request to Mike that in future when posting items that are so clearly away from the topic at hand, it might be sensible to remove the sponsorship footers from the posts. In these cases we probably don't need to be reminded of the fine folks at B&H and Amazon. I know this isn't intentional, but I'd suggest its worth thinking about.


Isn't the real issue here

Isn't human tragedy the real issue here? Geographic proximity really brings it home, but it is saddening no matter where or why?
"The bomb in the baby carraige, wired to explode".

The reactions to this latest front-page-worthy shooting, the recent one in the movie theater, and most others, are really due to two factors: (1) the innocence of the victims, and (2) the number of victims.

In the Sikh temple case, the number of victims, six, was much higher than for most, if not all, of the other murders in the US that day. And, the people who were killed were clearly innocents in a safe location, as opposed, say, to gang members (maybe not so innocent) or proprietors of inner-city liquor stores (innocent, I suppose, but definitely not in a safe location).

It's a mistake to even think about public policy based on what makes news, as opposed to what's actually happening.

Take July, 2012, for example. I can recall only one mass murder, the one in Colorado with 12 deaths. If that was a typical month in the US, there were over a thousand murders total in July, maybe more.

It seems to me that a headline saying "Twleve Killed" is less newsworthy than one saying "Over a Thousand Killed". Yet, the latter headline probably didn't appear in any major US newspaper. The explanation is simple: It isn't news.

If we are to expend any brain energy on the murder problem, it makes more sense to use it on the 1000 rather than the 12.

This has been done. I saw several items after the theater shooting comparing murders, and specifically gun murders, in the US vs. other countries. That, to me, is a subject worth looking into. The subject of mass murders, on the other hand, seems to suck up all the discussion energy that would be better spent on real problems.

We appear to be in the grip of another such murderous fashion in my own once enlightened country; we can only pray that this senseless fad will pass quickly.

With, according to the FBI minimum estimate, 200 million handguns around? Not a prayer.

What Mark said; it's always too close to home when things like this happen.

That said, having lived through most of Northern Ireland's most recent outbreak of Troubles and more recently living within 45 minutes of Virginia Tech, there are definitely varying degrees of "too close to home".

This sort of random violence is not so random. I learned this firsthand when our dear friend Grace was shot and killed in the Oakland Oikos University shootings, April 2nd of this year.

Kiss the ones you love.

Message to the FBI..why don't you folks put more effort into identifying maniacs.And less into have agents provocateurs inspire/setup/finance Islamic fundamentalist plots that they can then "nip in the bud."(Sceptics should look into this-it HAS been happening) Identifying maniacs probably be more of a challenge, I admit, but probably better protection for the public.

I can say that the Sikh community is most welcoming to visitors.

"The doors of the hostels are open to all."

"it might be sensible to remove the sponsorship footers from the posts. In these cases we probably don't need to be reminded of the fine folks at B&H and Amazon."

That's boilerplate, put in place because of FTC guidelines that profit-making links not be disguised. You can read more about it at the link in the footers, where it says "More...."


This madness has got to end or it will end civilization.

This madness has got to end or it will end civilization.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. That is the difference between a dog and a man. - Mark Twain

Isn't it saddening that, in the wealthiest country in the world, there are so many people with nothing left to loose. The only way to stop terrorism is to stop making terrorists and the tool for that isn't the army abroad or the courts at home but politics.

Personally, I agree with all the people who have said that "anywhere" is too close to home. Mike, your audience is global. Why make a special case out of this senseless act? Just how far away would it need to be to make it not "too close to home"?

Too many are saying that this incident was tragic because the shooter was confused between Sikhs and Muslims. That should not be the issue. This would not be any less tragic if it had been Muslims who were shot.

As I've said before, a society that lives by the gun, dies by the gun. Unfortunately the concept of violence is so entrenched in our psyche that we refer to a point obtained by a spike in volleyball as a "kill". Man is inherently evil. Just think, we have to teach our children to be good, but they have no problem finding ways on their own to be bad. Being evil is not a "fad".

I have eaten at many Sikh gurdwara's in India--a favorite stop. I live in Austin, Texas and for me this is too close to home. A related link - the Smithsonian Magazine did a piece on the Golden Temple in Amritsar and how they feed over 100,000 people per day.


Edward Taylor makes a very telling point. I know this is a photo blog, and I'm sure Mike doesn't want this discussion to be hi-jacked, but unfortunately as soon as you broach a subject like this, the problems, contradictions, prejudices and injustices of our world are inescapable. And I mean the whole world.

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