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Monday, 22 October 2012


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It's is sad to see. Many blame everything from Guns to Movies and video games. It's deeper that that. Guns have been around for hundreds of years and openly carried. Violence on TV has been around for over a generation.

I think it this national seems of gloom and hopeless. No jobs, people at all time records levels of assistance just to get by. I think we all sense it at some gut level. Even my photography is more somber and reflective.

US gun laws are completely incomprehensible to anyone not native to that country.

In the USA, where owning a gun is legal and easy, in 2011 there were over 9000 shooting deaths. In the UK, where owning a gun is not legal except in very tightly-controlled circumstances, there were 51. So with 6 times the population, over there you have 180 times the number of gun deaths.

More guns = more shootings; it really is that simple in spite of what the gun lobby might say.

CDC statistics from 2009 ...

Homicide deaths: 16,799
Firearm homicides: 11,493
Number of suicides: 36,909
Firearm suicides: 18,735

Number of emergency department visits for assault: 1.8 million
In 2006 there were 119.2 million visits to hospital emergency departments.

Total US deaths in 2009 from all causes: 2,437,163

Here's a post from Loren Coleman, a guy who makes it his business to deconstruct these kinds of events: http://copycateffect.blogspot.ca/2012/10/azana-shooting.html

The yahoo hunters should be educated, and I struggle to not use a word stronger than that. You do NOT chase or scare a killer back into the building.

Of course it's an infectious disease--at least for men.

Our society leaves many men lonely and angry. Common media trivializes the value of a life not belonging to the "strong and handsome". And to seal the deal fame becomes an end in itself.

Offer a twisted mind an inexpensive gun-- with respect to the above mass murder/suicide becomes a "meaningful" way.

More disheartening to me are the senseless gun incidents, such as the story on CNN today, concerning the nine year old girl in a costume at a Halloween party critically injured by a shotgun blast from a party goer when she was mistaken for a skunk.

>Apparently thinking very little of his two children from start to finish<

Hell, how do you know that?

It does happen here, but thankfully rather less often than it seems to in the states. In the UK it always seems to be individuals (men) with an interest in and access to guns. Same there huh? In cases like this I always feel sorry for the random victims and their families and appalled at the level of self-absorbed shown by the perpetrators. How often are the victims more physically vulnerable than the killers?

It seems that humans are given to waves of mass and/or contagious hysteria/irrationality that is totally beyond my comprehension. Maybe that why I'm a landscape photographer. I share your hope that this current contagion passes soon.

I am not sure why a shooting like this is special and even national news when it goes on all the time all over the nation. Because it is Wisconsin? Slow news day? Little over a year ago the same sort of beauty salon slaughter happened five miles from my house and yesterday a family including a baby and its children were slaughtered a few miles away in the other direction. Just local news here.

A daily local carnage clock subtended by a description of the most spectacular event of the day as a permanent part of a national newspaper like the NY Times might have some meaning.

I wouldn't call it a fad. The number of mass shootings in the US has averaged around 20 _annually_ since around 1980 (see http://boston.com/community/blogs/crime_punishment/2012/08/no_increase_in_mass_shootings.html and many other such links).

It is become part of the culture, and seemingly we are back in the nineteenth century wild west.

"Hell, how do you know that?"

It seems self-evident to me. To kill both their parents violently on the same day? What kind of legacy does that leave them? They'll deal with it the rest of their lives. If he had had their welfare uppermost in mind, you don't think it would have suggested other, more reasonable alternatives to him? Like getting help? Or just exercising adult self-control and refraining from the act?

In any event, I did say "apparently."


Average of 20 mass shootings per year. Thankfully there's all those guns around so people can protect themselves, otherwise the number could be much higher.

Whatever the solution to incidents like this is -IF there is one - the commonly expressed "ban the guns" approach hinted at above,has already been shown to be ineffective. We have the history of alcohol prohibition with its legacy of highly organized crime,which is still with us. We have the banning of addictive drugs, where the last numbers I saw indicate that 90% of illegal drugs are successfully smuggled into the U.S. We have the example of "ban the gun" cities such as Chicago and Washington D.C. where gun crime is rampant, not only killings but all the other ones where no one dies of wounds, criminals using guns get whatthey want without shooting, etc. These are what I call "armed criminals full employment and security laws". Any solution to the problem isn't simple, or likely to be 100% effective, and isn't going to be solved in this forum. So, lets get back to photography, shall we??

Another Brit, shaking his head sadly.

I would love to see gun ownership in the USA treated as seriously as the right to drive a car. I.e. it would require passing an exam in which one was required to demonstrate that one knew how to use, maintain and secure a weapon properly. And, given the nature of the item, be combined with a home visit to ensure that the weapon would be robustly stored. This exam should have to be retaken every 3 years at considerable expense to the examinee.

It is possible that UK gun laws may be too strict, it is certain that American gun laws are too lax.

You don't have to have a gun, a van will do. A man is under arrest in Cardiff in Wales. He is charged with murder, 13 counts of attempted murder, four counts of actual bodily harm and one of dangerous driving. Karina Menzies was killed as she pushed two of her children out of the way of the van.

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