The Instigator
Richardsonalj
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Mikal
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Low Mental Health Is One Of The Main Reason For Shootings, Not Any Media

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Mikal
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/24/2015 Category: Health
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,422 times Debate No: 84268
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

Richardsonalj

Pro

Structure -
(1) Acceptance
(2) Beginning arguments + definitions + links for evidence on arguments points posted on this debate (optional)
(3) Main arguments + definitions (optional) + links for evidence on arguments points posted on this debate (optional)
(4) Ending arguments (important! No new definitions and new argument points are to be made in the last round, say something in a previous round or remain silent)

Reasoning for debate:
I am tired of hearing people claiming that media, or some other element, is why kids are shooting up schools, and people attacking malls or other public areas. (This does not include terrorists, because their main purpose is to instill fear in order to gain control) People rarely ever look to the mental health of our people, but will rather romanticize it. It's time to see what the monster's face truly is, don't you agree. (Don't agree if you want to debate, let me try to convince you, or you convince me it's media or something else entirely.)

I thank the person who accepts this debate with an open mind, and a crateful of integrity in the goal for finding a solution for a problem in the United States!

Note: It would be worth our time if we discussed how gun control would be an Independent Variable, and how it would change our Dependent Variable. Gun Control is the IV, while rate of Shootings would be DV. You can find what the Controlled Variables are on your own. (yay General Physics!)
Mikal

Con

I accept, under the resolution

Best I can understand, is that my adversary is arguing that Mental Health is the main cause of shootings and that media plays no cause in it at all.
Debate Round No. 1
Richardsonalj

Pro

Thank you Con for accepting the debate, let's make it fun.
Definitions:
Shooting: The action of a firearm being used in a public area; a shooting does not require harm/ violence, or kill, another.

Mental Health: Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. (http://www.who.int...) - World Health Organizations.

Mental Illnesses: Mental illnesses refer to disorders generally characterized by dysregulation of mood, thought, and/or behavior, as recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th edition, of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV). (http://www.cdc.gov...)

Crime of Passion: A crime committed under the influence under of extreme and immediate emotions, which usually leads to murder, attempted murder, and sexual assault. It is commonly between a couple or between family.

Butterfly Effect: (with reference to chaos theory) The phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.

Thesis:
Shootings are not caused by the media, but by the low mental healthcare in America, causing a butterfly effect that causes harm to people of America, and shootings over the nation.

All things are connected in some way, an action creates an effect, and the effect becomes the cause that creates a new effect, until the process is impossible to continue; violence in medias (video games, movies, books, et cetera) is not creating an effect that harms people, it's the mental health of the person. Most people are not going to kill 23 teens after reading the Hunger Games, a normal person isn't going to shoot up a school after watching a movie about a school shooting, and no one is going to start assaulting people on the street after playing a Saints Row game.

People hurt other people, but not because of media, it's because their mental health is extremely low, they cannot deal with stress or an issue that is doing more damage to them when it's not supposed to. People are driven by emotions, so when there is too stress, so they break. When this happens they become resentful, hateful, and violent, this is what drives them to harm others. Paul G. Mattiuzzi, PH.D explains it better than me. (http://everydaypsychology.com...)

1) Stress makes people emotionally unstable, to the point of being apathetic and resentful.
But how do we know this is the case? "On January 10, 2013, Taft Union High School, Taft, California, Sixteen-year-old Bryan Oliver walked into his science classroom with a 12-gauge Winchester shotgun that belonged to his brother, aimed at a 16-year-old classmate he said had bullied him, and fired a single shot that struck the boy in the chest." - (http://everytownresearch.org...)
The boy claimed that the student he had shot had bullied him. Normally when someone is bullied, they move to a different schools, tell their friends, make a complaint to the main office, or don't say anything. When someone brings a gun to school and shoots another student, we can already see that he needs help, and he's not getting it.

"A 16-year-old student used a handgun to fire two shots inside the school: once into the ceiling of a second-floor hallway, and the second into the ceiling of a common area. Brady Olson, 43, restrained the student until law enforcement arrived and arrested him. The student, who was not identified in the press, stated he had no intent to injure anyone else." - Huffington Post/ (http://everytownresearch.org...)
This is a cry for help. It may not see that way, but actions speak more than words. From his actions this is what I hear, "Help! I need Help! I don't care anymore, take me away, I'll do anything to get away!" it's up for interpretation, but there's always a second meaning with people's actions, even if it's unconscious.

2) People are not receiving the help they need in our medical system.
a. There are 4,000 documented homeless in Portland, Oregon, who many have untreated illnesses. Portland Housing Bureau wrote, "They are living on the streets, either temporarily or for the long term, for a variety of reasons. They may be homeless because of an untreated mental illness, a physical disability, domestic violence, the loss of a job, or a drug addiction. " - (https://www.portlandoregon.gov...)

"Our country is failing those in need of mental health services, according to a new report released by Mental Health America (MHA), the nation's leading community-based mental health advocacy organization." Writes Erin Wallace, of Mental Health America, and writes, "The numbers are alarming: Over 42 million adults suffer from a mental health problem, with over eight million reporting suicidal thoughts. Over eight million adults suffer from a mental illness and are uninsured, and one out of every three adults with a disability report inability to see a doctor due to costs. Additionally, over six million children suffer from an Emotional, Behavioral, or Developmental (EBD) problem, and more than eight percent of youth have attempted suicide. Young females are twice as likely to attempt suicide as compared to teenage males, and one out of every three families report that their child"s insurance was inadequate."

If our Healthcare is so low quality then a Butterfly Effect may happen, leading all the way to the why the shootings happened. I will end my argument here, and wait for the real debate to begin. Your turn Con, good luck taking my argument apart so I can do the same to you.
Mikal

Con

I'm not going to respond to arguments this round but strictly focus on the resolution and what I must do to win. The resolution is this

"Low Mental Health Is One Of The Main Reason For Shootings, Not Any Media"

The resolution roughly translates to this

" Mental health is one of the main reason for shootings, while media plays no roll in shootings at all"

By saying not any media my adversary is categorizing mental health as the only reason shootings occur. So to win this I must only show that Media can be an issue in shootings or at least act as a catalyst and invoke the mental health issues my adversary brings up. I'm not going to contest or debate against anything my adversary said. He is debating that mental health is an issue in shootings and I concur and agree. He is not debating the resolution. For him to win he must show that media has no impact at all in shootings, not just that mental health is a major issue. So during the next paragraph or so I'm going to show that media does affect and can be an issue with shootings and then pass it back over to him. All I must do is show that media can cause shootings to negate his "no media" resolution

1) Media can be a reason for shootings

This is a simple enough case to make and one that I wont spend a great deal of time on it. Researches have found from what should be common knowledge, that shootings are inspired by events [1]. Take the Charleston Church shooting for example, the killer decided to kill because he was racist. Also not just because he was racist, because of how much *damage* blacks were causing to society. This is obviously not a belief he has seen personally, but one that is burned into his brain at distorted facts presented by the media [2]. Believe it or not the mental health of killers is surprisingly rare, a great deal of shooters suffer from antisocial disorders but as far as being severely mentally ill, it actually does not happen that much [3]. Even in laboratory experiments and studies its found that video games can trigger violent responses in children[4] . Not even that recent studies have shown that when a famous celebrity dies, suicide rates can increase (primarily from people that liked them). That shows there is a *correlation* between the media and how people act that watch it, and also the results of them watching it. When you add some forms of mental illness into the equation, while it may to be prevalent, it is a justification for some mass shootings. You could see the Church shooter was raised racist, that racism grew as he saw news stories and other things on tv, then he finally had enough.

The correlation to suicide rates and celebrities death study is enough to win the debate alone, because it shows a positive correlation to media and how people interact when they see it. If someone is willing to commit suicide themselves because of media, it's not far fetched to think or assume that shooters use the same negative pattern to commit shootings.

Take another example, the chapel hill shooting. The shooter literally posted this

"on Facebook he posted comments and images that condemned all religions, religious belief, and religious violence, and his profile read "Atheists for Equality"] He was critical of Christian opponents of the Park51 project, stating: "Seems an overwhelming majority of Christians in this country feel that the Muslims are using the Ground Zero mosque plans to 'mark their conquest " [6]

Again which is a negative image the media gave religion and Muslims. While mental illness could be a primary cause which i don't buy due to multiple studies those suffering from it also use the media as a catalyst in order to invoke anger and hate. Many shooters as i've shown, and many more will watch the media, gain an intolerance for the negative stories, and then turn that into anger and killing. It's happened over and over again

While it may not be the main cause, it's without a doubt a factor in shootings. Thus negating the resolution.

[1] http://www.newsweek.com...
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] 3. McGee & DeBernardo (1999) The classroom avenger. The Forensic Examiner 8, 1-16.
[4] Anderson & Dill (2000) Video games and aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behavior in the laboratory and in life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 78, 772-790.
[5] Stack (2003) Media coverage as a risk factor in suicide. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 57, 238-240. -
[6] https://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Richardsonalj

Pro

"[1] - Not all shooters are killers, and not all killers are shooters.
"[2]. Believe it or not[,] the mental health of killers is surprisingly rare, a great deal of shooters suffer from antisocial disorders but as far as being severely mentally ill, it actually does not happen that much[.]" I agree with this, Crimes of Passions (Not completely linked with mental instability or mental illness) can play a role in it, but we are not talking about killers.

Remember, the definition of shootings is "The action of a firearm being used in a public area; a shooting does not require harm/ violence, or the death of another." This debate is about shootings, not about killers in general, making your argument invalid, which is not relevant in this debate . One of my examples were "A 16-year-old student used a handgun to fire two shots inside the school: once into the ceiling of a second-floor hallway, and the second into the ceiling of a common area. Brady Olson, 43, restrained the student until law enforcement arrived and arrested him. The student, who was not identified in the press, stated he had no intent to injure anyone else." This is a source from Every Town Research, an online website about violence and public shootings.

We are also talking about mental health, no just mental illnesses.

[2] - Mental Illness is Never an Excuse
"When you add some forms of mental illness into the equation, while it may to be prevalent, it is a justification for some mass shootings." Mental Illnesses should never be a justification for the murder of multiple people. I have no clue why you would say such a terrible thing. It's the same as if someone used drugs, people who are under the influence are still arrested for hit and runs, people with mental illnesses should still be held responsible for their own crimes.

The definition of justification is -
Justification: The act of showing something is reasonable or right.

We both know that mental illness is not a justification, it is an issue that needs to be carefully dealt with. Mental Illness should never be treated as a joke, or a minor thing.

[3] - Violent Games may influence aggression, but is not an actual influence in shootings,
Although you may be correct that violent media can increase aggression in a child, children don't kill other people because of violent video games or violent media. "...the American Psychological Association (APA) found there is insufficient research to support that link. It found that there is evidence showing the games increase aggression but not enough to demonstrate that playing the games lead to criminal behavior or delinquency.

"Scientists have investigated the use of violent video games for more than two decades but to date, there is very limited research addressing whether violent video games cause people to commit acts of criminal violence," said Mark Appelbaum, the task force chair. "However, the link between violence in video games and increased aggression in players is one of the most studied and best established in the field." - Michael Casey, CBS NEWS, (http://www.cbsnews.com...)

But what happens in if it does? I looked into it and found this, "I did not understand that if I"pull out a gun and shoot you, there"s a good chance you"re not getting back up," Ramsey said in a 2007 interview from Spring Creek Correctional Center, in Seward, Alaska. "You shoot a guy in "Doom" and he gets back up. You have got to shoot the things in "Doom" eight or nine times before it dies." - (http://www.foxnews.com...)

In the article there was no mention of mental health, but about how violence influences certain behaviours, but did not have any evidence supporting that claim, and was extremely biased, from its word choice, to the very title. But that is only one side of the story. "But the question remains: Why did Evan decide to take a shotgun to school? "My main objective of going into the high school was to check out," he says. "To commit suicide."

Up to that point, Evan had had a difficult life. When he was 7, his father went to prison. His mother became an alcoholic, and Evan and his brothers were shipped off to a series of foster homes. In one of those homes, he suffered sexual abuse and humiliation, according to court testimony.

Psychiatrist Dr. John Smith, who examined Evan a few months after the murders, found that Evan had attempted suicide at age 10. According to Dr. Smith, Evan was depressed from a young age. By the time Evan was using marijuana, getting poor grades and struggling to control an explosive temper." - (http://www.cbsnews.com...)

In this article it is claimed that one of the main reasons for the shootings was to kill himself. We can also see he was delusional, detached from reality, or simply did not want to die alone and chose to kill himself with others. We can plainly see that the video game was not the reason Evan Ramsey killed two people in his school. Blaming his actions on a game is pointless, and just so stupid. We don't know the whole story and we never will, but I hope he receives the treatment he deserves and then faces the crimes he committed.

[Incorrect Claim]
"By saying not any media[,] my adversary is categorizing mental health as the only reason shootings occur", this is incorrect. The title of the debate is "Low Mental Health Is One Of The Main Reason For Shootings, Not Any Media". What I claimed is that Low Mental Health is a main reason, because of the United State's Healthcare System, and that any form of Media is not a main reason in the United State's shootings. That was the intended claim, not a simple, or biased, one. To win, you need to prove that Media is a main reason for shootings in the United States. I should have specified, but I thought it was clear.

"I am tired of hearing people claiming that media, or some other element, is why kids are shooting up schools, and people attacking malls or other public areas. (This does not include terrorists, because their main purpose is to instill fear in order to gain control) People rarely ever look to the mental health of our people, but will rather romanticize it. It's time to see what the monster's face truly is, don't you agree." This is my reason for the debate that was stated in the first round. "I am tired of hearing people claim that media, or some other element, is why kids are shootings up schools, and people attacking malls or other public areas... People rarely ever look to the mental health of our people, but will rather romanticize it." What I tried to convey here is that Media is not a main reason for the shootings, but I now see how anyone could get confused.

This is all I'm willing to say at this moment, I await your rebuttal.
Mikal

Con

I'm just going to extend my arguments , since pro seems very confused. I will do a brief summary though

The resolution states this

"Low Mental Health Is One Of The Main Reason For Shootings, Not Any Media"

The debate is formed around the resolution and the resolution clearly states what we are debating. The first part is irrelevant because I was effectively dismantled it and will sum it here shortly. What I want to focus on is the second addition to the resolution which is "not any media".

The entire context of the first part is saying low mental is health is a main reason , then when he say's not any media. By basic definitions, he is saying that no media play any roll at all in shootings. I'm actually confused as to what he's stating so he left it up for me to interpret it, and the way it phrased is stating that media plays no roll in shootings at all.

I showed through studies that media can effect suicide rates. All I need do is show that media can effect how people act (and by killing themselves),we can draw a direct correlation to the fact that media can indeed affect people and have them shoot other people due to their upbringing. While mental health may be an issue, media is a tool that triggers the issue. So by definition it is a major problem in shootings so however he chooses to interpret the resolution it's negated

Also in the classroom avenger, it covers this pretty well. Most people who act on shootings are not suffering from a mental illness. They may have slight problems with antisocial personality disorder, but there is no inclination that these people are suffering from "low mental health". Most people who commit the shootings are just closed off in general, and again when they see things like media, it acts as a trigger and sets them off. The study was a pretty large sample size and covered a variety of shootings that have occurred, and they found pretty positive correlations to anti social issues vs actual mental problems

________________________________________________________________________________________

In short I am still lost to some extent as to what my adversary is trying to argue.

To begin with by talking to him and from the opening round, I thought he wanted to argue that media played no roll in shootings at all. At least from speaking / reading, and how the resolution was phrased. Which has been effectively negated because it obviously can play some role as shown via the suicide rate study. If it can trigger suicides as a reaction , it can trigger shootings

Then the goal posts kind of shifted to "media is not a major reason for shootings". Which is still effectively negated.

Let's just assume that mental health is a major issue, which one of my studies shows is wrong. Even if it is there can be *two major reasons* or *two main* reasons for shootings. People that suffer from mental health issues and even anti society issues, have to have a reason to kill.

This is often called "snapping" or reaching a "Breaking Point" [2].

So you have to ask yourself as well, what makes someone turn their rage, hate , and anger into a action. There has to be a definitive point where they decide to kill. If you walk in a see your wife cheating on you, you may be inclined to either punch or kill the person she is cheating with. This would be the "Breaking Point" so to say.

Cognitive control is often lost when you have a moment of anger. The anger spikes dopamine levels in the brain, and those high chemicals often cause reactionary moments such as killings. This is why most people kill. No one kills or does shootings just for the hell of it. There is a moment in time where that desire to kill is implanted, and the cognitive function is lost which is often in a reactionary way.

Even if what my adversary claims is true (which it's not, at least in the way he's categorizing it) media often has and will act as a catlayts and serve as this "breaking point". People watch it and see negative stories in the media which often turns into rage. Just take the shooter who shot up the abortion clinch for example. He was raised in a southern house, and saw less liberal news making negative stories about abortion. Over time as he witnesses this more and more, it builds up. That build up at some point will bust, and he will make a definitive choice to act. That is referred to as the break point.

So yes media can be a major problem with killings and shootings. It goes hand in hand with mental health issues

again I take issue with how my adversary defined mental health, but there are some mental problems that people suffer from that can be a cause in shootings as well. Just not in the way he defined it.

[1] http://www.cnn.com...
[2] http://www.scientificamerican.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Richardsonalj

Pro

Richardsonalj forfeited this round.
Mikal

Con

since my adversary FFed this will be an easy choice.

He established an entire case around mental health being a main reason for shootings. What he fails to establish in order to help him win is that there can only be one primary cause. The way the resolution is phrase leaves room to argue that there is more than one primary cause.

We he states "one of the main" reasons, automatically entailing there can be other primary causes for shootings as well. I've made a case for two things

1) that media can act as a catalyst for some mental issues and trigger shootings. My studies show this by correlating it to suicide rates

2) That media is a main factor and primary cause in most shootings because it triggers that breaking point

My adversary failed to contest this, and FFed last round and was not able to provide a proper response

vote me

sorry for the confusion about what the debate was about, it was worded poorly
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Richardsonalj 1 year ago
Richardsonalj
If you didn't like how I defined mental health and mental illness why didn't you give new definitions and stated why your definitions were correct? If you did, wouldn't it be easier to destroy my arguments if you had? I have no clue what you are trying to do at this point.
Posted by Richardsonalj 1 year ago
Richardsonalj
Sorry for the miscommunication, I'm really bad at trying to communicate stuff. To me it's clear, One's Mental Health is the reason for shootings, not any media.
Posted by drewmcmahon909 1 year ago
drewmcmahon909
The media is one of the main reasons for shootings eg. news. As for mental illness nobody has said what has caused the illness. Harassment, abuse and constant neglection are in fact the reasons for shooting for they are the cause of most mental illnesses that and head injuries.
Posted by Jonbonbon 1 year ago
Jonbonbon
I've literally never heard a single person say that the media is the cause of it.
Posted by Jonbonbon 1 year ago
Jonbonbon
*is
Posted by Jonbonbon 1 year ago
Jonbonbon
Are you saying the media I usually believed to be the direct cause of mass shootings? Because that's what the resolution suggests.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by famousdebater 1 year ago
famousdebater
RichardsonaljMikalTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by TheResistance 1 year ago
TheResistance
RichardsonaljMikalTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FF