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Why are we such a violent angry country?(26 posts)

Why are we such a violent angry country?gregario
Sep 4, 2003 6:18 AM
This news story just appeared on Yahoo:

I just watched "Bowling for Columbine." While I don't feel strongly about gun ownership either way, you have to wonder why there are so many gun deaths in the US as opposed to other countries that have a lot of guns.
Americans love to be PO'dMR_GRUMPY
Sep 4, 2003 6:48 AM
When someone cuts you off, you feel like crashing into them. When kids cut across your front lawn, you feel like running out there and kicking their a$$es. When someone disagrees with you, you feel like smacking them. When a bike is on "your" road, you feel like it's OK to give them a "brush-by"
Look out world, here we come.
unlike, say, French, or Israelis, or Pushtun tribesmen...mohair_chair
Sep 4, 2003 7:04 AM
Give me a break. Everyone gets pissed off regardless of nationality. Right now, all over the world, people are shooting at each other, often for seemingly trivial reasons. It's hardly a new phenomenom. It's been going on for thousands of years.
Yes, but we shot an Amish kid.Kristin
Sep 4, 2003 7:35 AM
We must be worse than everyone else.
he was asking for itmohair_chair
Sep 4, 2003 7:59 AM
how does that old saying go? oh yeah. It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. No one deserves to get shot for throwing fruit or vegetables, but when your idea of fun comes at the expense of others, you have to consider that it could backfire on you. Literally, in this case.

I read in the paper this morning that some punks were shooting other kids on a playground with a paintball gun, which sounds like a lot of fun and a good time for all, because those things just tickle when they hit, and everyone laughs until it hurts. Anyway, they ended up firing on one group of kids, and one of them fired back with a real gun. It didn't tickle. It's hard to feel sorry for those punks.
uh, yeah but....gregario
Sep 4, 2003 7:51 AM
why, for example, did we have over 11,000 gun deaths in the same year that Canada had something like 65? And there are millions of guns in Canada. That's from Bowling for Columbine. Please don't tell me it's our "culture." That's a specious argument.

Like I said, I don't feel strongly one way or the other about gun ownership and this is NOT a discussion about gun control, but something is wrong in this country. That's pretty obvious.
uh, yeah but....mohair_chair
Sep 4, 2003 8:03 AM
I hope you don't take Bowling for Columbine as gospel. It is riddled with factual errors and contrived situations. Do some research and you'll find it is more entertainment than documentary.

I don't know what the answer is. I do know that there are more gun deaths in Liberia than America, and they have a fraction of the population. Whatever is wrong in this country seems worse there.
There is a war going on in Liberia............nmMR_GRUMPY
Sep 4, 2003 8:15 AM
glad someoneMJ
Sep 4, 2003 8:22 AM
pointed out the obvious

MC has lost the plot
How about South Africa? (nm)TJeanloz
Sep 4, 2003 8:24 AM
let me tell you about SA.........african
Sep 4, 2003 10:21 AM
Huge unemployment, war was fought in neigbouring countries, Angola (for 20 years?) in Rhodesia and then further North there are still wars. South Africa like America was a country founded on violence. We fought the British twice, think of where camoflage comes from - concentration camps. The Zulu wars, the fights against the Xhosa. Then the different tribes that all fight and have fought for centuries. Then you have migrant workers from other countries who don't get on well with the local tribes. Back to unemployment, poverty and general political upheaval in the past 10 years, lets not even start with Apartheid - Sanctions (thanks America, I could not smoke Marlboro as a teenager ha ha ha thats the best). Then lets see there are cultural differences within the tribe like the role of woman, never mind witch doctors.

Oh crap I could go on and on....... but on a whole SA is more violent than America, hey but SA is third world mixed with 1st world. America is first world or should I go look at inner city slums and the appalatians.

America is a violent country, I almost got my head taken off with a baseball bat while I was riding a bike, I got lucky and it was a strike (he missed my head, how could he I have suck a big head).... anyway nothing ever violent happened to me in South Africa. My mother had been mugged in New York and South Africa.

So what is the point of it all, take care of your self and screw the rest?
why is there is a war going on in Liberia?mohair_chair
Sep 4, 2003 8:35 AM
Because it's a violent angry country?

Or is the USA the only country that qualifies for that title? Anyone remember what this thread was about?
America is not at war with itself.MR_GRUMPY
Sep 4, 2003 8:44 AM
Can you think of another country that is at peace, that has 10% of the gun deaths as the USA ?????
Estonia, Hungary, Slovenia, Finland, Brazil, Denmark, Austria...mohair_chair
Sep 4, 2003 8:55 AM
Switzerland, France, Mexico, Belgium, Portugal, then...The United States.

By the way, not all gun deaths are murders.
America has a problem.czardonic
Sep 4, 2003 10:26 AM
There are way too many gun deaths (suicide, homocide or accidental) for any peaceful (domestically), prosperous, educated nation to explain away as "no big deal" or even expected. The contrast with Canada speaks volumes.
Why are "gun deaths" an issue,TJeanloz
Sep 4, 2003 10:58 AM
One thing that has always bothered me about this question is why are "gun" deaths worse than other deaths?

It seems to me that we should be comparing murder rates across countries, suicide rates across countries, and accident rates across countries. The method by which one dies seems relatively insignificant compared to the result.
In general, I agree. . .czardonic
Sep 4, 2003 11:14 AM
. . .but I think that with fewer guns we'd have a lot more attempted murders and attempted suicides, and a lot fewer fatalities. I reckon that it is a lot harder to kill a person with a gun than without. (E.g. what are the chances that the motorist in the original post would have been able to hunt down and stab or beat his victim to death and then get away scott free?). In that respect, I think that guns are themselves significant because they increase the potential for lethality.

Plus, I suspect that the number of people who accidentally kill themselves or others cleaning or brandishing other types of weapons is tiny by comparison to guns.

But, in principle, a gun murder is not worse than a murder by any other means.
Only if it's a 'hate crime.' THEN it's worse. nmOldEdScott
Sep 4, 2003 11:17 AM
But that flies in the face of the "Canada" argument,TJeanloz
Sep 4, 2003 11:26 AM
The argument is that Canadians seem to have control over their firearms, why can't we? Which, I think is a hugely valid question. It is, no doubt, easier to kill someone with a gun than without, but even with access to firearms (as Canadians have), the murder rate does not necessarily need to be so high.

The accidental deaths I don't really see as different from any other accidental death (car accident, for example).
I don't think so. America's problem is with violence. . .czardonic
Sep 4, 2003 11:33 AM
. . .and guns are pumping up the lethality of our violent culture. In the hands of responsible, peaceful people guns are not a problem.

We'd have a lot fewer accidental deaths if we weren't so fascinated with cars too. No?
That's my pointTJeanloz
Sep 4, 2003 11:37 AM
It's the cliched "Guns don't kill people, people kill people".

The question is whether guns are causal of American's propensity to kill each other, or are they simply the most convenient method?
I don't think it is either or.czardonic
Sep 4, 2003 11:46 AM
By "virtue" of their convenience, I believe that guns lead to more killing in America. They add a great deal of potential to the propensity.
I don't think it is either or.Jon Billheimer
Sep 4, 2003 12:11 PM
Even though some people don't want to hear the "culture" answer, broadly speaking the American tendency to violence is in the culture. The country was born out of revolution. That fact, along with American military prowess, has always been glorified and is a central part of the American myth. Furthermore, violence is portrayed and glorified in the media and entertainment media constantly. On tv it's mostly state sanctioned violence, but nonetheless it's there and it's all-pervasive. The current American president glorifies violence and American machismo: "bring "em on!" Add to all this the pressures of population density, poverty, and the stress levels associated with fast-paced urban living and, in my opinion, you have a potent prescription for violent behaviour. The availability and efficiency of guns simply facilitates the behaviour.
Oh no, do you think we're headed for civil war??Kristin
Sep 4, 2003 8:45 AM
OldEd and Doug shooting at each other from fox holes?
Sep 4, 2003 8:58 AM
All the liberals, minorities, and wrong-thinking women will end up in "camps" before that happens.
Partly b'c we ain't had our young asses kicked yet. Little humility, lot o hubris128
Sep 5, 2003 5:39 AM
The USA is still an adolescent.

But it is sort of an erroneous claim. I don't think violence is limited by boarders. Humans are violent in general, especially young races who haven't learned to wear sensible shoes. That's it, high heels lead to violence. When the women are uncomfortable, and the men are perpetually in heat, fists start flying. We have the greatest prison population in the civilized world.

Look at the Germans- Asses kicked and uber alles, sensible shoes.
North Am,. Indians- 10,000 years of getting along, moccosins, and an Iraquois constitution.
Texans- Ass kickers, high heeled, tight toed boots.

If we ever have our cities bombed into submission and blood on the streets from invading killers, then our national psyche will evolve to a more peacable state and the shoe industry will return to Maine instead of exported to India.

I have a massive headache. Shows doesn't it?