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The cause of mass shootings

thett3
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12/11/2013 8:56:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
This is something I thought about on my drive home today, what are the causes of mass shootings?

Prior to the the 1970's, mass shootings in the US were significantly less common than they are today[1]. The decades prior to the 1970s with the highest number of shootings were the depressed 1930s with 9 and the 1940's when shell shocked soldiers were coming home with 8. Since the 1970's the number of incidences have increased and no decade (even the 2010's, with only 3 years of data) have been lower than the pre-1970 HIGH. The number peaked at 42 during the 1990's.

Some people would say that the reason for the increase is due to the proliferation of high powered assault weapons, but I'm not really sold on that. I won't argue that weapons like the AR-15 and AK-47 are less dangerous than what people had access to in the 1950's, but I would argue that their increased effectiveness doesn't explain the increase in shootings. In the 1950's and 1960s, anyone could mail order guns with no questions asked, including many military surplus semi automatics like the Gewehr 43 or the M1 Garand, that could do only marginally less damage against unarmed victims than an AR-15. For the Garand especially, WWII surplus rounds were plentiful and easy to come by in the "block clip" so reloading wouldn't be too much of a problem.There were also many other high powered weapons floating around brought back by GI's. So that doesn't seem to explain the rise.

Some really Pro gun people would argue that since guns used to be prolific in schools[2] this deterred shootings, but since people who go on shooting rampages usually don't seem to care abut death and often commit suicide I'm not too sold on this either.

Living standards doesn't seem to explain it either considering our living standards have been basically constantly on the rise for a long time.

So why are these events happening? I honestly have no clue. Where has society failed and allowed this to happen? Does anyone have any ideas?

1. http://www.heraldnet.com...
2. http://www.nationalreview.com...
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ironmaiden
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12/11/2013 10:50:18 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The people who commit these atrocities are obviously either depressed or loony...or both. Maybe it's their way of getting back at society, some kind of cruel way to get revenge.

I also think that it has to do with the infamy, and the fact that the media just explodes with news of these incidents. If you feel like making a name for yourself before you opt out, all you have to do is shoot up a school. Obviously these people are suicidal...they just want to go out with a bang. (No pun intended).
"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being that his is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question. 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"
lewis20
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12/11/2013 11:20:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2013 8:56:44 PM, thett3 wrote:
Some people would say that the reason for the increase is due to the proliferation of high powered assault weapons, but I'm not really sold on that. I won't argue that weapons like the AR-15 and AK-47 are less dangerous than what people had access to in the 1950's, but I would argue that their increased effectiveness doesn't explain the increase in shootings. In the 1950's and 1960s, anyone could mail order guns with no questions asked, including many military surplus semi automatics like the Gewehr 43 or the M1 Garand, that could do only marginally less damage against unarmed victims than an AR-15. For the Garand especially, WWII surplus rounds were plentiful and easy to come by in the "block clip" so reloading wouldn't be too much of a problem.There were also many other high powered weapons floating around brought back by GI's. So that doesn't seem to explain the rise.

You used to be able to buy Thompson sub machine guns and Browning Automatic Rifles at hardware stores.
Imagine how crazy the talking heads would go if these fully auto high capacity guns were legal and available today. Those were actual military grade weapons at the time.
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lewis20
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12/11/2013 11:22:29 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2013 8:56:44 PM, thett3 wrote:
Some really Pro gun people would argue that since guns used to be prolific in schools[2] this deterred shootings, but since people who go on shooting rampages usually don't seem to care abut death and often commit suicide I'm not too sold on this either.

Guns used to be prolific in schools?
Pro gun people don't think the threat of an armed teacher in and of itself will necessarily stop a suicidal loon from shooting up a school. The idea is to, if not deter, at least give them a fighting chance.
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

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ironmaiden
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12/11/2013 11:54:39 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2013 11:22:29 PM, lewis20 wrote:
At 12/11/2013 8:56:44 PM, thett3 wrote:
Some really Pro gun people would argue that since guns used to be prolific in schools[2] this deterred shootings, but since people who go on shooting rampages usually don't seem to care abut death and often commit suicide I'm not too sold on this either.

Guns used to be prolific in schools?
Pro gun people don't think the threat of an armed teacher in and of itself will necessarily stop a suicidal loon from shooting up a school. The idea is to, if not deter, at least give them a fighting chance.

I don't know if it would deter the shootings, because, after all, the shooter's going to opt out anyways. My thing, is like you said, it'll give them a fighting chance. I mean, what the hell are the kids supposed to? Lie there and hope they don't get shot?
"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being that his is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question. 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"
lewis20
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12/12/2013 12:06:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2013 11:54:39 PM, ironmaiden wrote:
At 12/11/2013 11:22:29 PM, lewis20 wrote:
At 12/11/2013 8:56:44 PM, thett3 wrote:
Some really Pro gun people would argue that since guns used to be prolific in schools[2] this deterred shootings, but since people who go on shooting rampages usually don't seem to care abut death and often commit suicide I'm not too sold on this either.

Guns used to be prolific in schools?
Pro gun people don't think the threat of an armed teacher in and of itself will necessarily stop a suicidal loon from shooting up a school. The idea is to, if not deter, at least give them a fighting chance.

I don't know if it would deter the shootings, because, after all, the shooter's going to opt out anyways. My thing, is like you said, it'll give them a fighting chance. I mean, what the hell are the kids supposed to? Lie there and hope they don't get shot?

Ya I had a buddy who changed his mind based on that point, that somehow having the teacher armed as well could make the situation any worse. As if the carnage could have possible been enhanced by faculty or staff being armed.
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

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Oromagi
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12/12/2013 2:20:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I won't pretend to understand the phenomenon any better than the next guy, but I think it's an interesting question. I do have some speculations on the question.

*The largest percentage of mass killings (4 or more dead) is now and always has been inter-family. My guess is this type of slaughter has always around and guns is just a more effective tool than knives or strangulation, etc. I don't really put these events in the same category as mass public shootings of strangers.

*The second largest percentage is gang violence. Likewise, this category of slaughter has been around since tribalism. Young men under certain conditions will almost automatically form into violent little hierarchies that will seek out other little hierarchies to combat as a demonstration of ability, courage, and loyalty. Again, these are a different category of violence and can usually be disrupted by membership in larger, more civil hierarchies.

*I think the decline in the 50's and 60's is significant mostly because that was the golden age of institutionalization. Certainly, a significant number of recent mass shootings were performed by people who would have been instant candidates for institutionalization in the 50's and 60's. Adam Lanza, James Holmes and Jared Loughner were men who were in palpable decline in the weeks before they murdered. People who encountered them knew they needed help, but that help is now a private matter of medication and therapy so people are disinclined to get involved. In the age of institutions, people at least knew that there was a place for men like these and these men weren't there, so they called the authorities. (Not an argument in favor of institutionalization, per se, but there were advantages in terms of isolating anti-social behavior).

*I think channeling is also a factor. People (mostly men) obsessed with murder knew of places to go where anti-social behavior could be indulged or even rewarded. Most of the time, there were wars or mercenary projects that attracted the murderous. I assume most of the time these people didn't last very long, armies either channeled them into high risk scenarios or quietly disposed of them. The American Frontier, for example, was populated with more than its fair share of hyper-violent men who quickly evaporated in that environment. In the 20th century, armies became less willing to absorb these personalities and there were fewer hyper-violent environments to which these personalities could simply go to self-destruct. The World Wars, Korea, Vietnam may have absorbed some these types, but US armies since Vietnam have become much more selective. Some violence clearly just pushed into the streets and became part of the general rise in violent crime in the 70's and 80's. As prison terms increased and law enforcement became more effective, the violent impulse was increasingly channelled into a "one time for all the marbles" strategy: kill everybody you can right now because you'll never get another chance.

*I think the violent impulse also has an obsessive-compulsive quality that gets triggered and reinforced by example. The Columbine Killers were obsessed with the Oklahoma City bombings. Lanza and Loughner were in turn obsessed with Columbine. Each event may serve as potential catalyst for another shooters' obsession. Political assassins and terrorists seem to follow the same re-amplification and I think all three types of acts are essentially expressions of the same impulse. Like law enforcement, increasingly effective anti-terrorism measures may channel the Oswalds and McVeighs away from political violence into necessarily more random expressions.

*Generalizations are difficult, but there does seem to be a pattern- restlessness followed by a period of depressive isolation. There usually seems to be some kind event: a perceived injustice that triggers the need for an undeniable compulsive response. To the extent that individuals are increasingly able to isolate themselves from society, more violent obsessions are able to fester unchecked. In other times and societies unmarried men spent much more time in communal housing: barracks, boardinghouses, dormitories. So, there were more opportunities to observe and challenge anti-social tendencies. Most of the men involved in mass shootings spent most or all of their time alone in the weeks and months before the shooting.

*Psychiatric medication also has to be considered. The widespread use of anti-depressives, anti-psychototics, neurologic medications, have increased in proportion to the number of mass shootings. Since Columbine, the overwhelming majority of shooters can be linked to psychiatric medication and some recent significant change in dosage or type of medication. Psychiatric drugs can be very effective in controlling impulses, but sudden changes in medication can lead to rapid escalations in anti-social behavior. Increased supervision and decreased isolation would again mitigate such rapid changes in behavior.
thett3
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12/12/2013 2:33:26 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/12/2013 2:20:18 AM, Oromagi wrote:
I won't pretend to understand the phenomenon any better than the next guy, but I think it's an interesting question. I do have some speculations on the question.

*The largest percentage of mass killings (4 or more dead) is now and always has been inter-family. My guess is this type of slaughter has always around and guns is just a more effective tool than knives or strangulation, etc. I don't really put these events in the same category as mass public shootings of strangers.

*The second largest percentage is gang violence. Likewise, this category of slaughter has been around since tribalism. Young men under certain conditions will almost automatically form into violent little hierarchies that will seek out other little hierarchies to combat as a demonstration of ability, courage, and loyalty. Again, these are a different category of violence and can usually be disrupted by membership in larger, more civil hierarchies.

*I think the decline in the 50's and 60's is significant mostly because that was the golden age of institutionalization. Certainly, a significant number of recent mass shootings were performed by people who would have been instant candidates for institutionalization in the 50's and 60's. Adam Lanza, James Holmes and Jared Loughner were men who were in palpable decline in the weeks before they murdered. People who encountered them knew they needed help, but that help is now a private matter of medication and therapy so people are disinclined to get involved. In the age of institutions, people at least knew that there was a place for men like these and these men weren't there, so they called the authorities. (Not an argument in favor of institutionalization, per se, but there were advantages in terms of isolating anti-social behavior).

*I think channeling is also a factor. People (mostly men) obsessed with murder knew of places to go where anti-social behavior could be indulged or even rewarded. Most of the time, there were wars or mercenary projects that attracted the murderous. I assume most of the time these people didn't last very long, armies either channeled them into high risk scenarios or quietly disposed of them. The American Frontier, for example, was populated with more than its fair share of hyper-violent men who quickly evaporated in that environment. In the 20th century, armies became less willing to absorb these personalities and there were fewer hyper-violent environments to which these personalities could simply go to self-destruct. The World Wars, Korea, Vietnam may have absorbed some these types, but US armies since Vietnam have become much more selective. Some violence clearly just pushed into the streets and became part of the general rise in violent crime in the 70's and 80's. As prison terms increased and law enforcement became more effective, the violent impulse was increasingly channelled into a "one time for all the marbles" strategy: kill everybody you can right now because you'll never get another chance.

*I think the violent impulse also has an obsessive-compulsive quality that gets triggered and reinforced by example. The Columbine Killers were obsessed with the Oklahoma City bombings. Lanza and Loughner were in turn obsessed with Columbine. Each event may serve as potential catalyst for another shooters' obsession. Political assassins and terrorists seem to follow the same re-amplification and I think all three types of acts are essentially expressions of the same impulse. Like law enforcement, increasingly effective anti-terrorism measures may channel the Oswalds and McVeighs away from political violence into necessarily more random expressions.

*Generalizations are difficult, but there does seem to be a pattern- restlessness followed by a period of depressive isolation. There usually seems to be some kind event: a perceived injustice that triggers the need for an undeniable compulsive response. To the extent that individuals are increasingly able to isolate themselves from society, more violent obsessions are able to fester unchecked. In other times and societies unmarried men spent much more time in communal housing: barracks, boardinghouses, dormitories. So, there were more opportunities to observe and challenge anti-social tendencies. Most of the men involved in mass shootings spent most or all of their time alone in the weeks and months before the shooting.

*Psychiatric medication also has to be considered. The widespread use of anti-depressives, anti-psychototics, neurologic medications, have increased in proportion to the number of mass shootings. Since Columbine, the overwhelming majority of shooters can be linked to psychiatric medication and some recent significant change in dosage or type of medication. Psychiatric drugs can be very effective in controlling impulses, but sudden changes in medication can lead to rapid escalations in anti-social behavior. Increased supervision and decreased isolation would again mitigate such rapid changes in behavior.

Thank you. This was exactly the sort of post I was looking for.
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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
thett3
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12/12/2013 2:35:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2013 11:22:29 PM, lewis20 wrote:
At 12/11/2013 8:56:44 PM, thett3 wrote:
Some really Pro gun people would argue that since guns used to be prolific in schools[2] this deterred shootings, but since people who go on shooting rampages usually don't seem to care abut death and often commit suicide I'm not too sold on this either.

Guns used to be prolific in schools?

Prolific may not have been the proper word, but they certainly weren't uncommon. My grandfather used to tell me that him and his buddies would bring their guns to school to go hunting together afterward, and the article I cited confirmed it.

Pro gun people don't think the threat of an armed teacher in and of itself will necessarily stop a suicidal loon from shooting up a school. The idea is to, if not deter, at least give them a fighting chance.

Well, I've seen some people make the deterrent argument, but I agree with you that it's preferable to have armed teachers.
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"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
imabench
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12/12/2013 3:35:22 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I think the fact that the US was in the cold war from the 50's to the 90's may have had something to do with it.....

Hear me out here. Back in the Cold War, there was widespread fear that at any moment the world could end in a nuclear holocaust and that anybody could have their life end at any given moment.... Then when the Soviet Union collapsed at the end of the 1980's that fear lifted, and these days most people dont see a threat that could cause millions of people to lose their lives at any moment.

When people feel more in control of their own ability to live (which today is more prevalent then during the Cold War since now there isnt a nation threatening to blow us to bits over one wrong move) then people become a little more reckless with what they do in life and what they do with it, which may play a part in the psychological effect of people who are more at risk for springing into these shooting sprees.
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AnDoctuir
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12/12/2013 4:50:33 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
It's all about control: wanting to feel in control, testing how much control one possesses, needing control. I've talked about my brother's tendency to kill bugs on here previously --it's by essentially the same dynamic that such atrocities occur. He feared that which was bigger than him, growing up as the youngest child, and, thusly, came to take a feeling of control over that fear in controlling that which was smaller than him, in being the monster he feared. It's important to remember that man is primarily feeling, barely rational at all. My brother, too, exacts extreme control when eating, just for the added feeling of control it lends him: he's extremely ordered in his doing so --meats, of course, being the main attraction. Now, how is any of this in any way sensible? That's the thing: it isn't. But it's human, and this sort of stuff is what's to be seen right across the board.

When I was a kid, about 14, I carved my name into my arm, as if to say "Even through the pain, I love this"--it was a defiance against whatever malicious god may be, however charged with punishments the scroll, and this is where you're getting really hairy, when it comes down to the purely metaphysical. I mean, there are some who would view the conceptions of Heaven and Hell as purely symbolic, to deal with this world rather than some other. There are some who see demons in others. And then Descartes, one of the most renowned philosophers there ever was, wasn't even sure anything but himself existed. He had to posit a benevolent god to allow him to believe so, and interesting that, isn't it? Why not just material? Why a benevolent god? Because this can all be very devilishly frightening, I think.

And then take such existences and add in murder all around, souls tortured to breaking point --is it so far-fetched that these mass-murderers aren't doing what they're doing as a result of some perversion, but are perhaps doing so in an attempt to find their place in the world, in combat of demons like you have no idea? I certainly think this is the case, that there is nothing but the soul and circumstance. Hey, it might just be down to evolution, though --genetics.
AngstChrist
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12/13/2013 8:41:17 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
The cause? Come now, you know the cause, you just don't want to admit it when talking with your co-workers around the water cooler or while sipping a pint at the pub while you watch 2 grown men pummel each other to a bloody pulp in a UFC cage match.

The cause is quite simple - we're experiencing a cultural decline even as our bank accounts allow us to have a relatively comfortable life. Economics has very little to do with the equation, unless you're talking about the run of the mill drive by or gang related shooting, which accounts for more than 90% of all gun related homicides (thanks, war on drugs!).

We celebrate the absolute worst in celebrity culture, we cheer on wars of choice (yes, even under Obama, who attempted to illegally invade Syria) and our "entertainment" is little more than watching people destroy each other verbally on "reality" television or on vicious bloodsports like UFC /MMA fighting.

The Roman Empire was in the midst of decline, even as they were living high off the hog and all classes, rich and poor alike, cheered on the human carnage at the Coliseum. We have become an uncaring, cold and dispassionate culture, replete with electronic distractions such as iPhones, social media and a plethora of violent video games that desensitize minds of all ages to the reality of violence and the taking of human life.

What does all of this mean? It means that we've lost our humanity on a national scale. You can try to blame firearms for this, but that's just silly. In the 1950s-1960s, society was in the midst or aftermath of major conflicts with an easy accessibility to military grade firearms, leftovers from previous wars and mass carnage on the scale we've seen was never so prolific. Sure, you had the Texas Belltower shooting and a few assassinations here and there, but these events were either political in nature (to be expected) or were brought on in the case of Charles Whitman, by an exacerbated and untreated brain tumor.

The difference between then and now isn't firearms, its the collective sociopathy of an entire culture in decline. People care less about their fellow man and as a result of this widespread desensitization, nothing shocks them. They mourn briefly the loss of life and then its back to the distractions that anesthetize themselves from any sort of suffering. Some turn to drugs and alcohol, most just turn to the big screen television and tune themselves out.

I'm not a fan of conservatism on a social level, or religion in any manner at all - but back in the day, people tended to have a "fear of god" in them, which provided a check and balance against their most base desires. Television and film were clean, risqu" subject matter was met with a lot of disdain, shock and condemnation. In a way, it was better for the moralists to be in control, because truly Avant Gard entertainment was an act of rebellion and the most rebellious acts were acts of art and beauty, not homicide.

So the cause of mass shootings, as it were, is the nation itself. A nation that celebrates carnage to the point where would-be killers know for a fact that they'll be discussed in endless news reports over and over again to achieve a sick sort of immortality. The more we feed into it, the more this will happen and the cheaper the value of human life becomes.

For that reason, I keep my .357 on my hip. I have a duty to make it back, to be a provider for my family and an example for my son. The collectivist model of mutual protection is a fallacy and a fantasy. Only YOU can be responsible for your own safety. Only YOU can be your own savior.
AngstChrist
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12/13/2013 10:50:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/13/2013 10:30:56 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
At 12/13/2013 8:41:17 AM, AngstChrist wrote:

Don't post anymore.

Kiss it.
Oromagi
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12/13/2013 8:01:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I agree that control is the likeliest motivation for mass shootings. When one feels he's lost control of his destiny, a shooting spree is certainly one easily conceived and undeniable method or restoring control, if only for a few minutes.

imabench's Cold War idea is interesting, but I'm not sold. People are more in control now and so more reckless? Certainly, the violent crime rate rose steadily throughout the Cold War and started to decrease the year after the fall of the wall. There's doesn't seem to be much connection between violent crime rates and mass shooting rates, but wouldn't general recklessness manifest in general violent crime stats? Still, I'd be willing to consider that the Cold War may have suppressed the mass shooter impulse in less obvious ways.

I found much to disagree with in AngstChrist's post.

Personally, I think my humanity improves on most prior generations of Americans, so maybe its just AngstChrist and his cage matches that are dragging down the national average.

AngstChrist's 90% statistic is not just wrong, it is nearly an inversion of the facts. The total number of gang homicides reported by respondents in the NYGS sample averaged more than 1,900 annually from 2007 to 2011. During the same time period, the FBI estimated, on average, more than 15,500 homicides across the United States (www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-1). These estimates suggest that gang-related homicides typically accounted for around 12 percent of all homicides annually.

Likewise, the way AngstChrist links gladiatorial contests with the decline of Rome is a reversal of fact. The popularity of gladiatorial contests precedes the Roman Republic in Minoan and Etruscan culture and the games reached their peak popularity from Julius Caesar right through the Pax Romana. The games were expensive and funded by taxes, so the games were most extravagant when Rome was rich. The games faded after Constantine and the christianization of Rome, but the Roman Empire in the East lasted for another 1100 years after the games were gone. There's not much argument that Rome was at its strongest when human life was held cheap. As Christianity humanized Rome, Rome lost strength. Look at Egypt, Greece, Mongols, Napoleon, Victorian England: desensitization to violence and inhumanity are strongly correlated to the rise of empires, not collapse.

(Which is not to say that there's no relationship between violent sport and violent culture. I live in Denver and grew up a mile away from today's school shooting at Arapahoe High School. The increase in violence in this city in the 24 hours since the Broncos lost to the Chargers is palpable: 4 hit and runs, 4 stabbings, a school shooting. I listened to the police scanners last night sirens blared throughout the night responding to endless domestic violence calls.)

But I don't buy AngstChrist's argument that we Americans are less humane or more sociopathic now than in our past. At what point were Americans more humane? When we were napalming Vietnamese villages? Nuking Japanese cities? Extinguishing whole tribes of Native peoples? Enslaving Africans and fighting civil wars over whether to preserve slavery? By any definition or perspective I can think of, Americans in general are more humane now than any point in our history.

While I reluctantly endorse AngstChrist's right to carry his .357 on his hip, the only fantasy indulged is AngstChrist's belief that the gun makes him safer. Statistically, people who carry guns are 450% more likely to be the victim of gun violence than people who don't. When he speaks of the example he sets for his son, he should be aware of a study that shows that for a third of all boys age 8-12 years the first thing they do when encountering a gun is to point it and pull the trigger- sometimes with awful consequences. The ability of a trained gun owner to prevent or deflect violence, on the other hand, is marginal at best. Look at the shooting today in Denver. There was an armed police officer in place at the entrance to the High School. As soon as he heard the first shot, he ran to supress the shooter to no effect. The boy had walked into the building carrying a shotgun and molotov cocktail, searched for the Librarian he was targeting, shot two kids and then took his own life before the specialist whose job it was to intervene in such cases could even arrive on the scene.
imabench
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12/13/2013 9:02:34 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/13/2013 8:01:12 PM, Oromagi wrote:
I agree that control is the likeliest motivation for mass shootings. When one feels he's lost control of his destiny, a shooting spree is certainly one easily conceived and undeniable method or restoring control, if only for a few minutes.

imabench's Cold War idea is interesting, but I'm not sold. People are more in control now and so more reckless?

Sure.... If youre in a car that has seatbelts, you feel more in control when you push that baby up to 90 mph..... But if the car doesnt have seatbelts then you get a little more uneasy going 90 mph then you would if your car did have seatbelts.

Certainly, the violent crime rate rose steadily throughout the Cold War and started to decrease the year after the fall of the wall.

Valid point...

There's doesn't seem to be much connection between violent crime rates and mass shooting rates, but wouldn't general recklessness manifest in general violent crime stats?

It should in theory, but evidently it didnt because either some other force is acting or the original theory is completely false.
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ironmaiden
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12/14/2013 12:28:15 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/13/2013 10:30:56 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
At 12/13/2013 8:41:17 AM, AngstChrist wrote:

Don't post anymore.

Why, because you know he's right and you're wrong?
"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being that his is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question. 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"
ironmaiden
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12/14/2013 12:46:45 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/13/2013 8:41:17 AM, AngstChrist wrote:
The cause? Come now, you know the cause, you just don't want to admit it when talking with your co-workers around the water cooler or while sipping a pint at the pub while you watch 2 grown men pummel each other to a bloody pulp in a UFC cage match.

The cause is quite simple - we're experiencing a cultural decline even as our bank accounts allow us to have a relatively comfortable life. Economics has very little to do with the equation, unless you're talking about the run of the mill drive by or gang related shooting, which accounts for more than 90% of all gun related homicides (thanks, war on drugs!).

Agreed.

We celebrate the absolute worst in celebrity culture, we cheer on wars of choice (yes, even under Obama, who attempted to illegally invade Syria) and our "entertainment" is little more than watching people destroy each other verbally on "reality" television or on vicious bloodsports like UFC /MMA fighting.

Also agreed. Although I am in martial arts, and find it quite interesting and entertaining to punch people in the face. Same goes for when I'm the one getting punched in the face. However, I don't find it interesting or entertaining to kill people.

The Roman Empire was in the midst of decline, even as they were living high off the hog and all classes, rich and poor alike, cheered on the human carnage at the Coliseum. We have become an uncaring, cold and dispassionate culture, replete with electronic distractions such as iPhones, social media and a plethora of violent video games that desensitize minds of all ages to the reality of violence and the taking of human life.

I notice this every day. While everyone around me is following each other on Facebook, taking "selfies," and wasting every bit of their lives on their phones, I am doing actual things like playing instruments, practicing karate, and many other actual things. The increase in technology is withering away society. People would rather socialize via computer than actually socialize.

What does all of this mean? It means that we've lost our humanity on a national scale. You can try to blame firearms for this, but that's just silly. In the 1950s-1960s, society was in the midst or aftermath of major conflicts with an easy accessibility to military grade firearms, leftovers from previous wars and mass carnage on the scale we've seen was never so prolific. Sure, you had the Texas Belltower shooting and a few assassinations here and there, but these events were either political in nature (to be expected) or were brought on in the case of Charles Whitman, by an exacerbated and untreated brain tumor.

Agreed. Less gun control in the 50's, also less massacres. More gun control nowadays, also more massacres.

The difference between then and now isn't firearms, its the collective sociopathy of an entire culture in decline. People care less about their fellow man and as a result of this widespread desensitization, nothing shocks them. They mourn briefly the loss of life and then its back to the distractions that anesthetize themselves from any sort of suffering. Some turn to drugs and alcohol, most just turn to the big screen television and tune themselves out.

I'm not a fan of conservatism on a social level, or religion in any manner at all - but back in the day, people tended to have a "fear of god" in them, which provided a check and balance against their most base desires. Television and film were clean, risqu" subject matter was met with a lot of disdain, shock and condemnation. In a way, it was better for the moralists to be in control, because truly Avant Gard entertainment was an act of rebellion and the most rebellious acts were acts of art and beauty, not homicide.

So the cause of mass shootings, as it were, is the nation itself. A nation that celebrates carnage to the point where would-be killers know for a fact that they'll be discussed in endless news reports over and over again to achieve a sick sort of immortality. The more we feed into it, the more this will happen and the cheaper the value of human life becomes.

This is similar to what I posted in my first comment. Some people commit massacres so they can get on TV and be the world's center of attention. The worst thing about that is, we let that happen.

For that reason, I keep my .357 on my hip. I have a duty to make it back, to be a provider for my family and an example for my son. The collectivist model of mutual protection is a fallacy and a fantasy. Only YOU can be responsible for your own safety. Only YOU can be your own savior.

Respect.
"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being that his is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question. 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"
LindaW
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12/14/2013 1:11:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I don't think it is because of any specific thing or things. It seems to be part of a mass psychosis that I see affecting everyone, with these particular incidents only one of many infecting our society. We as a species are losing our marbles.
Calhoun's rat experiments showed that when population density reached a critical level, significant psychosis developed, and they began to demonstrate anti-social and criminal behaviors. Some just became totally self-absorbed, spending much of their time self-grooming and avoiding contact with others, almost an autistic state. Behaviors became erratic, destructive, hostile, with random violent attacks a common thing. Young were abandoned, or even eaten. I believe we have reached that type of critical population density.
Not necessarily physical density...it's not Soylent Green out there, but technology allows us to interact with anyone, anytime. And it bombards us 24/7 with news, entertainment, anything we want. And everyone is expected to be available, always. We have reached that critical density in a social sense, we are just in each others faces via technology instead of physically. But it is still hyper-stimulation.
More importantly, and ominously I think, we are plum out of 'frontiers'...
No way these days for our restless youth to "go Viking"...strike out and put all that excess testosterone to good work discovering (and raping and pillaging) new territories. A society that experienced a population boom would soon find themselves with more folks than they could support. Social pressures increased till the point where those young, ambitious, and talented folk would strike out in groups to the next "new world". Our own Westward expansion was one of these. All throughout our history, there have always been frontiers, places people could GO that were unknown, exciting, full of possibilities. Usually it was the young aggressive males who went adventuring, the types most likely to take huge risks for power or profit. The ones most likely to become troublemakers...This took a lot of the pressure off the folks back home but later women would also come, and a new society would grow. Until it reached critical mass again, and the cycle repeated.
Even into the 20th century there was still exploring that could be done, but now it has been mapped, just about all of it. We have visited the deepest ocean trenches, and even left footprints on the moon. (But exploring those last two was never open to any but a handful, so they don't really count.)
And here we are, all dressed up with nowhere to go. No way for the society to let off a little steam, we are stuck with our restless, talented, frustrated, and ever angrier young. We are taking more and more opportunities away from them as well, making things worse. We don't seem to need them for much beyond fast food and retail, but they are tech-saavy and KNOW that things suck. Tempers are growing short everywhere, on everything, people are at each others throats and we are becoming warring 'tribes'. I can FEEL the tension and sense of unease that has become the new baseline. The unstable ones among us lose it, (a concept to file under "Duh!") and every latent psychopathy however deeply buried just comes boiling to the surface. Most of them kill themselves you know...it is those few whose illness will manifest in those violent explosions that get all the press. The ones we see...
Things will get worse. But even if we 'fixed' things, Calhoun also discovered that once the population 'went nuts', it was a permanent change. Even relocated to ideal conditions, the crazy rats stayed crazy till the day they died. Their young would be fine though, so it looks like something like that can be fixed in a generation or so. doesn't do much for US, but...)
So, I believe that our species is experiencing a Calhoun-like 'nervous breakdown' .
AnDoctuir
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12/14/2013 6:44:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/14/2013 12:28:15 AM, ironmaiden wrote:
At 12/13/2013 10:30:56 AM, AnDoctuir wrote:
At 12/13/2013 8:41:17 AM, AngstChrist wrote:

Don't post anymore.

Why, because you know he's right and you're wrong?

Uh, no.
themohawkninja
Posts: 816
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12/14/2013 8:20:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/11/2013 8:56:44 PM, thett3 wrote:
This is something I thought about on my drive home today, what are the causes of mass shootings?

Probably varies from person to person.

Prior to the the 1970's, mass shootings in the US were significantly less common than they are today[1]. The decades prior to the 1970s with the highest number of shootings were the depressed 1930s with 9 and the 1940's when shell shocked soldiers were coming home with 8. Since the 1970's the number of incidences have increased and no decade (even the 2010's, with only 3 years of data) have been lower than the pre-1970 HIGH. The number peaked at 42 during the 1990's.

Wasn't the '90's when crack was a huge problem?

Some people would say that the reason for the increase is due to the proliferation of high powered assault weapons, but I'm not really sold on that. I won't argue that weapons like the AR-15 and AK-47 are less dangerous than what people had access to in the 1950's, but I would argue that their increased effectiveness doesn't explain the increase in shootings. In the 1950's and 1960s, anyone could mail order guns with no questions asked, including many military surplus semi automatics like the Gewehr 43 or the M1 Garand, that could do only marginally less damage against unarmed victims than an AR-15. For the Garand especially, WWII surplus rounds were plentiful and easy to come by in the "block clip" so reloading wouldn't be too much of a problem.There were also many other high powered weapons floating around brought back by GI's. So that doesn't seem to explain the rise.

Yep, it's never all that correct to blame the guns.

Some really Pro gun people would argue that since guns used to be prolific in schools[2] this deterred shootings, but since people who go on shooting rampages usually don't seem to care abut death and often commit suicide I'm not too sold on this either.

I'm very pro gun, but I would disagree with this. Guns weren't looked at with such negative appeal as they are today. Back then, people viewed guns as the winner of wars. Today, guns are just viewed as the killers of innocent people.

Living standards doesn't seem to explain it either considering our living standards have been basically constantly on the rise for a long time.

True, true. If this was about gang shootings, I would bring up poverty, but I think most shooters are middle class.

So why are these events happening? I honestly have no clue. Where has society failed and allowed this to happen? Does anyone have any ideas?

Society hasn't "failed", people just seem to be more apt to kill people. Maybe it's just because there are MORE people in the world, so the chance of a mass shooting increases?

1. http://www.heraldnet.com...
2. http://www.nationalreview.com...
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown
thett3
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12/14/2013 8:23:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/14/2013 8:20:25 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 12/11/2013 8:56:44 PM, thett3 wrote:
This is something I thought about on my drive home today, what are the causes of mass shootings?

Probably varies from person to person.

Prior to the the 1970's, mass shootings in the US were significantly less common than they are today[1]. The decades prior to the 1970s with the highest number of shootings were the depressed 1930s with 9 and the 1940's when shell shocked soldiers were coming home with 8. Since the 1970's the number of incidences have increased and no decade (even the 2010's, with only 3 years of data) have been lower than the pre-1970 HIGH. The number peaked at 42 during the 1990's.

Wasn't the '90's when crack was a huge problem?

Yes, and that'a a variable I hadn't thought of. Not sure what effect, if any it has on the data.


Some people would say that the reason for the increase is due to the proliferation of high powered assault weapons, but I'm not really sold on that. I won't argue that weapons like the AR-15 and AK-47 are less dangerous than what people had access to in the 1950's, but I would argue that their increased effectiveness doesn't explain the increase in shootings. In the 1950's and 1960s, anyone could mail order guns with no questions asked, including many military surplus semi automatics like the Gewehr 43 or the M1 Garand, that could do only marginally less damage against unarmed victims than an AR-15. For the Garand especially, WWII surplus rounds were plentiful and easy to come by in the "block clip" so reloading wouldn't be too much of a problem.There were also many other high powered weapons floating around brought back by GI's. So that doesn't seem to explain the rise.

Yep, it's never all that correct to blame the guns.

Some really Pro gun people would argue that since guns used to be prolific in schools[2] this deterred shootings, but since people who go on shooting rampages usually don't seem to care abut death and often commit suicide I'm not too sold on this either.

I'm very pro gun, but I would disagree with this. Guns weren't looked at with such negative appeal as they are today. Back then, people viewed guns as the winner of wars. Today, guns are just viewed as the killers of innocent people.

Living standards doesn't seem to explain it either considering our living standards have been basically constantly on the rise for a long time.

True, true. If this was about gang shootings, I would bring up poverty, but I think most shooters are middle class.

So why are these events happening? I honestly have no clue. Where has society failed and allowed this to happen? Does anyone have any ideas?

Society hasn't "failed", people just seem to be more apt to kill people. Maybe it's just because there are MORE people in the world, so the chance of a mass shooting increases?

For sure. But it doesnt look like the number of mass shootings per capita has remained constant....there's definitely an increase.

1. http://www.heraldnet.com...
2. http://www.nationalreview.com...
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themohawkninja
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12/14/2013 8:37:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/14/2013 8:23:02 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 12/14/2013 8:20:25 PM, themohawkninja wrote:

Wasn't the '90's when crack was a huge problem?

Yes, and that'a a variable I hadn't thought of. Not sure what effect, if any it has on the data.

I don't know either, but the illegality of the drug in combination with its super-addictive nature could have resulted in at least a few of the shootings.


Society hasn't "failed", people just seem to be more apt to kill people. Maybe it's just because there are MORE people in the world, so the chance of a mass shooting increases?

For sure. But it doesnt look like the number of mass shootings per capita has remained constant....there's definitely an increase.

Hmm... maybe with the advent of the Internet (more specifically, the black market of the Internet like "The Silk Road"), guns have become far more accessible than ever before.

For example, I know where to buy drugs, guns, sex slaves (if I look hard enough), and other such illegal goods and services on the .onion domains of the Internet, but aside from marijuana, I have no idea where to get any of that sort of stuff in person. All of my knowledge of the .onion domains is literally from just browsing them for an hour or so.
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown
ironmaiden
Posts: 456
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12/15/2013 12:36:35 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/14/2013 8:37:10 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 12/14/2013 8:23:02 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 12/14/2013 8:20:25 PM, themohawkninja wrote:

Wasn't the '90's when crack was a huge problem?

Yes, and that'a a variable I hadn't thought of. Not sure what effect, if any it has on the data.

I don't know either, but the illegality of the drug in combination with its super-addictive nature could have resulted in at least a few of the shootings.


Society hasn't "failed", people just seem to be more apt to kill people. Maybe it's just because there are MORE people in the world, so the chance of a mass shooting increases?

For sure. But it doesnt look like the number of mass shootings per capita has remained constant....there's definitely an increase.

Hmm... maybe with the advent of the Internet (more specifically, the black market of the Internet like "The Silk Road"), guns have become far more accessible than ever before.

For example, I know where to buy drugs, guns, sex slaves (if I look hard enough), and other such illegal goods and services on the .onion domains of the Internet, but aside from marijuana, I have no idea where to get any of that sort of stuff in person. All of my knowledge of the .onion domains is literally from just browsing them for an hour or so.

Well I'm not into drugs, but if I was, I know right where to get them. Even the hard stuff, despite all the laws. Same with guns.

Has anyone heard of the guns people can make out of 3D printers? I looked into this a while ago, you can go print a fuckin machine gun nowadays. And they say laws work:)
"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being that his is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question. 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"
themohawkninja
Posts: 816
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12/15/2013 9:29:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/15/2013 12:36:35 AM, ironmaiden wrote:
At 12/14/2013 8:37:10 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 12/14/2013 8:23:02 PM, thett3 wrote:
At 12/14/2013 8:20:25 PM, themohawkninja wrote:

Wasn't the '90's when crack was a huge problem?

Yes, and that'a a variable I hadn't thought of. Not sure what effect, if any it has on the data.

I don't know either, but the illegality of the drug in combination with its super-addictive nature could have resulted in at least a few of the shootings.


Society hasn't "failed", people just seem to be more apt to kill people. Maybe it's just because there are MORE people in the world, so the chance of a mass shooting increases?

For sure. But it doesnt look like the number of mass shootings per capita has remained constant....there's definitely an increase.

Hmm... maybe with the advent of the Internet (more specifically, the black market of the Internet like "The Silk Road"), guns have become far more accessible than ever before.

For example, I know where to buy drugs, guns, sex slaves (if I look hard enough), and other such illegal goods and services on the .onion domains of the Internet, but aside from marijuana, I have no idea where to get any of that sort of stuff in person. All of my knowledge of the .onion domains is literally from just browsing them for an hour or so.

Well I'm not into drugs, but if I was, I know right where to get them. Even the hard stuff, despite all the laws. Same with guns.

Has anyone heard of the guns people can make out of 3D printers? I looked into this a while ago, you can go print a fuckin machine gun nowadays. And they say laws work:)

Those guns are about 100% hype. They can fire... one shot. The pressure caused from the round being fired cracks the barrel almost every time. You are much better off just buying a "real" metal gun.
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown
ironmaiden
Posts: 456
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12/15/2013 12:29:10 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/15/2013 9:29:06 AM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 12/15/2013 12:36:35 AM, ironmaiden wrote:
Has anyone heard of the guns people can make out of 3D printers? I looked into this a while ago, you can go print a fuckin machine gun nowadays. And they say laws work:)

Those guns are about 100% hype. They can fire... one shot. The pressure caused from the round being fired cracks the barrel almost every time. You are much better off just buying a "real" metal gun.

I know they aren't very reliable, that they'll break after a shot or two. But the simple fact is that you can print a gun. Plus, the progression of technology is so fast, I wouldn't be surprised if there would eventually be reliable guns made out of those printers.
"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being that his is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question. 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"
themohawkninja
Posts: 816
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12/15/2013 12:35:13 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/15/2013 12:29:10 PM, ironmaiden wrote:
At 12/15/2013 9:29:06 AM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 12/15/2013 12:36:35 AM, ironmaiden wrote:
Has anyone heard of the guns people can make out of 3D printers? I looked into this a while ago, you can go print a fuckin machine gun nowadays. And they say laws work:)

Those guns are about 100% hype. They can fire... one shot. The pressure caused from the round being fired cracks the barrel almost every time. You are much better off just buying a "real" metal gun.

I know they aren't very reliable, that they'll break after a shot or two. But the simple fact is that you can print a gun. Plus, the progression of technology is so fast, I wouldn't be surprised if there would eventually be reliable guns made out of those printers.

True, and chances are there will be legislation passed to force standard gun control measures (i.e. gun licenses and background checks) for anyone attempting to either (A) design their own 3D printable gun, or (B) download/purchase the schematics for one.
"Morals are simply a limit to man's potential."~Myself

Political correctness is like saying you can't have a steak, because a baby can't eat one ~Unknown
ironmaiden
Posts: 456
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12/15/2013 12:40:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 12/15/2013 12:35:13 PM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 12/15/2013 12:29:10 PM, ironmaiden wrote:
At 12/15/2013 9:29:06 AM, themohawkninja wrote:
At 12/15/2013 12:36:35 AM, ironmaiden wrote:
Has anyone heard of the guns people can make out of 3D printers? I looked into this a while ago, you can go print a fuckin machine gun nowadays. And they say laws work:)

Those guns are about 100% hype. They can fire... one shot. The pressure caused from the round being fired cracks the barrel almost every time. You are much better off just buying a "real" metal gun.

I know they aren't very reliable, that they'll break after a shot or two. But the simple fact is that you can print a gun. Plus, the progression of technology is so fast, I wouldn't be surprised if there would eventually be reliable guns made out of those printers.

True, and chances are there will be legislation passed to force standard gun control measures (i.e. gun licenses and background checks) for anyone attempting to either (A) design their own 3D printable gun, or (B) download/purchase the schematics for one.

I agree, they probably will pass some sort of legislation regulating that. Still, that would seem easy to bypass on a computer. Not everyone knows how to hack a computer--I certainly don't--but there are people who do. I don't think laws are going to stop everyone from acquiring 3D printed guns.
"I know what you're thinking. 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being that his is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question. 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"