School shootings in US

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May the victims find peace. And may we, as a species, find it in ourselves to ban guns. All of them, forever.

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Doubling-down on the issue from all sides – The Republicans are cooking-up Federal legislation to over-ride State’s rights and allow “open-carry” (of loaded guns) everywhere – samara: no beginning, no ending.

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What saddens me is that there is very little discussion of what it is, beyond just availability of assault weapons, that is causing such suffering and delusion on a wide scale that people are committing these acts so routinely, which almost never happened 30, 40, 50 years ago. Probably because we would have to face some very unpleasant things about the direction our society and culture is headed. In the small town I grew up in, we had a school shooting and it left scars across the town that are still there. They passed laws to control guns, but the source of that specific incident (mental illness and lack of ability to civilly commit someone) was left totally unaddressed.

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Tying in here, and to the Facebook threads:

And then they apologize, “fix it”, again… They’ll hire a couple of thousand workers to monitor such, and another couple of 10’s of thousands to wring-out more money-making angles.

Zero moral fiber. It’s simply all about profiting from whatever possible, be it undermining the Nation’s political system, cashing in on gun usage, etc., etc.

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Yes, whats with all those shooting games? Growing up I played with toy guns but now thinking was that a normal thing to do. People just go with whatever is around.

with metta

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This is an objection i have to the legal concept of corporations as people. A corporation imo cannot have whatever conscience is. At best, i see a corporation is a polite disciplined sociopath, no actual empathy.

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The gun culture and gun violence is one factor that makes me disdain this country that I live in. I think of Australia, a country that after a gun assault some years ago, controlled the sale and possession of guns and watched the gun violence rate plummet. There is no reason the US could not implement a same or similar strategy, but for the fact that we have an insane gun culture here, we have a NRA that funds the political campaigns of gutless and immoral politicians, and we have a legal system that, pandering to the NRA, decided that there is a Constitutional right vested in the public to buy and keep firearms.

The only problem with that 2nd Amendement right is that the argument is built on a fraud; one of our distinguished Supreme Court justices wrote some years ago a very compelling article on how the law and the public were defrauded by the courts, the NRA, and the gun manufacturers over this issue. The Constitution’s original language clearly was designed fo allow militias to operate in new American colonies where the British were still active. The language was never intended to create a gun culture in this country. But, as with most things in the US, money talks , and our spineless and ethics-impaired politicians will never bend to science, morality, common sense, or the will of the majority of Americans to have gun restrictions.

To tie this issue in the Dhamma, it may be that laws of kamma, of ethical cause-and-effect, may win out. Just this week I am seeing major corporations cutting economic ties with the NRA. More corporations may follow, largely due to the public’s reactions to gun crimes and the fact that many young people in this country (future consumers) will boycott companies that act unethically. I, like many people here, refuse to buy products or patronize companies that I believe to act unethically and if the youth demographic really gets onboard with this issue, you will see change. Change will come not from our government or its crappy asshat politicians, but through economic forces.

And it’s not just the fact that its as easy to buy a gun as it is to buy a scooter. There is the stigma of mental health issues in this country, and a lack of medical resources to deal with mental illness. There’s an ingrained laziness: the school shooter in Florida was flagged to law enforcement many times, and not one agency intervened. Maybe these cops were too busy hassling Dream Act kids, or chomping donuts at the donut shop to check out this disturbed, violent teen out.

Them there’s the influence of video games, many hyper violent which I believe impact the mental health of many disturbed youth that play these violent games incessantly, and perhaps become enamored with violence or immune to the real aspects of killing people. Or, see gun violence as a means of “expression” of their rage or disappointment with their lives.

The young people of this country that are now raising their voices against violence are voters and consumers, or will be soon. I feel they are our best hope, along with the rest of us joining in on what I hope is a wave of resistance. This country is a fundamentally good country, with a lot of good and ethical people, and I hope that a rising tide of economic outcry leads to some changes. The Dhamma of kamma, of ethics, of nonviolence, and a hope that with some cultivation of peace and mindfulness, insight will arise in the minds of people, and leaders of corporations, that a new path must be created in this country with respect to guns and violence. Let’s see, now that companies like Hertz, Enterprise Holdings (which includes Alamo, Enterprise and National), MetLife, Chubb, are severing ties with the NRA, who else will follow. Let’s see if Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and other high flyers take a stand on this issue.

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This appeats to be changing, as things do. No unchanging in it, let’s not suggest what isn’t.

"Seeing the change is really quite heartening. I hope it flourishes. The NRA is being dropped from support by many corporations and persons.

“To tie this issue in the Dhamma, it may be that laws of kamma, of ethical cause-and-effect, may win out. Just this week I am seeing…”

Ah yes, you watch it also. TY_/_

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By the same line of reasoning, a sanga doesn’t have a conscience either.

In US law corporations are “people” only as a legal fiction and the difference is recognized.
One radical left legal opinion is that we would design the system differently IF we had to start a new country. BUT

  • The idea that a organization – be it a labor union, sanga or church, corporation and other conceptual entities that represent and are made up of real people – respecting such organizations as if the organization itself has the rights of it’s individual members makes a good deal of sense.
  • Radically Changing the system now would cause a great amount of disruption for a relatively small improvement. Compassion and wisdom calls us to focus our efforts elsewhere such as changing corporate law.

So if your sanga or other organization loses it’s standing as a legal person what system of justice and rights do you replace it with? I say that the more one put’s that question to the test the more you realize why the current system came into being.


I recommend the thoughts of this economist for a well balanced understanding.

I don’t advocate considering people or corporations to be naturally altruistic … the poisons of greed, anger, and ignorance are also ever-present, and … their manifestation is not confined to particular economic sectors or social groups.

… people and companies, when facing choices, may and often do factor in considerations other than short-term financial self-interest. This is heresy to those who believe that corporations are in essence evil. You can read their reasons for believing this for yourself. I have the impression, however, that some of the resistance to what I write comes from the fact that recognizing a more open and dynamic reality would deprive a virtuous “us” of an easy enemy “them,” and make drawing battle lines less simple. On the other hand, the idea that people and institutions may act out of a knowledge of interdependence is heresy to the neoclassical mainstream [economists] …

Somewhat away from the OP but yesterday I watched two intelligent discussions of gun regulation in the US and Prof. Nelson’s phrase came to mind.

… recognizing a more open and dynamic reality would deprive a virtuous “us” of an easy enemy “them,” and make drawing battle lines less simple.

I played lots of violent games back in the day, an the last time I checked I didn’t kill anyone. I also find Dostoyevsky’s novels highly disturbing and pretty graphic at times. While Raskolnikov’s example didn’t make me kill people, I am positive that some people were inspired by it. Still, we wouldn’t really want to control who can or cannot read Dostoyevsky’s novel, wouldn’t we?

As for the gun culture in the US and gun lobby in Washington, we are exactly on the same page here. One of the problems with gun control in the US is that the country is already positively enundated with guns and it is going to take a lo-o-ong time to fish out most of the illegal ones. Until that, there will be a huge conservative uproar because of unarmed people being attacked by armed mobsters and whatnot. Problematic areas in Amerian cities will also hardly give away their guns, so the major source of gun violence will stay in place; not in the least, because increased arrest rates for gun possession in these areas will almost inevitably lead to accusations of racism and heightened social tension, which is not exactly what America is needing right now. So, gun control or gun ban is necessary, but it should be done extremely cautiously slowly, one step at a time.

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Just as some lawmakers approve bill to arm teachers,

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The OP linked to a short statement made by the father of one of the children murdered in Florida.

:ear: Can recount the main point of what this man said?
Did you listen to the video?

To check your understanding I’ve included a transcript and bolded the passages that I think were important to this father.

I ask because this father, Mr. Pollack, talked about “fixing it” several times. He asked for a particular response. He also specifically spoke of responses that he was not asking for. But as I read them not one response to the OP acknowledged Mr Pollack’s idea and request. My first response didn’t either.

Maybe some of you didn’t listen to the video. OK. I can understand that. But take this a caution about responding too quickly to charged issues. The EBT’s discourage intoxicating substances because they tend to cloud our judgement. Politics and social events can be quite intoxicating as well.

MR. POLLACK: We’re here because my daughter has no voice. She was murdered last week, and she was taken from us. Shot nine times on the third floor.

We, as a country, failed our children. This shouldn’t happen. We go to the airport — I can’t get on a plane with a bottle of water. But we leave it — some animal can walk into a school and shoot our children. It’s just not right, and we need to come together as a country and work on what’s important, and that’s protecting our children in the schools. That’s the only thing that matters right now. Everyone has to come together and not think about different laws. We need to come together, as a country — not different parties — and figure out how we protect the schools. It’s simple. It’s not difficult.

We protect airports. We protect concerts, stadiums, embassies, the Department of Education that I walked in today that has a security guard in the elevator. How do you think that makes me feel? In the elevator, they got a security guard.

I’m very angry that this happened, because it keeps happening. 9/11 happened once, and they fixed everything. How many schools, how many children have to get shot? It stops here with this administration and me. I’m not going to sleep until it’s fixed.

And, Mr. President, we’re going to fix it, because I’m going to fix it. I’m not going to rest. And look it, my boys need to live with this. I want to see everyone — you guys look at this. Me, I’m a man, but to see your children go through this, bury their sister.

So that’s why I’m keep saying this, because I want it to sink in, not forget about this. We can’t forget about it. All these school shootings, it doesn’t make sense. Fix it. It should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it. And I’m pissed, because my daughter I’m not going to see again. She’s not here. She’s not here. She’s in North Lauderdale, at — whatever it is — King David Cemetery. That’s where I go to see my kid now. And it stops if we all work together and come up with the right idea. And it’s school safety. It’s not about gun laws right now; that’s another fight, another battle. Let’s fix the schools, and then you guys can battle it out, whatever you want.

But we need our children safe. Monday, tomorrow, whatever day it is, your kids are going to go to school. You think everyone’s kids are safe? I didn’t think it was going to happen to me. If I knew that, I would have been at the school every day if I knew it was that dangerous.

It’s enough. Let’s get together and work with the President and fix the schools. That’s it. No other discussions. Security, whatever we have to do — get the right people, the consultants. These are our commodities. I’m never going to see my kid again. I want you all to know that. Never, ever will I see my kid. That’s how — I want it to sink in. It’s eternity. My beautiful daughter, I’m never going to see again.

And it’s simple. It’s not — we could fix — this is my son Huck, who has to deal with this too. You have something to say, son?


I think it’s pretty clear that Mr Pollack was asking for more school security – “No other discussions”. This man didn’t speak to us directly, nor did he write the OP but I suggest the discipline of considering how to respond as if he had.

Ilya, I agree that many people can watch violent video games and not be deeply affected, and certainly not be predisposed to actual violence. There seems to be a split of opinion among clinicians that have studied the question, and with my confirmation bias fully in hand, I tend to agree with the studies that suggest that there are some with psychological predisposition to violence that are affected by violent video games. The studies suggest that: “The research demonstrates a consistent relation between violent video game use and heightened aggressive behavior, aggressive cognitions, and aggressive affect and reduced prosocial behavior, empathy and sensitivity to aggression.” See https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/growing-friendships/201509/the-truth-about-violent-video-games-and-kids-part-1-3 , by way of example.

I’d submit that over 95 percent of the people that sit in their parents’ basement playing violent video games have no idea who Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский is. I feel there’s a huge difference between the psychology of reading or studying Dostoyevsky, and the psychology behind the use of violent video games, many of which are hyper-violent, hyper-misogynistic, and antisocial.

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I do not really understand what is the point you are trying to make. Can you explain yourself more clearly?

It was in large part a process. Understanding comes in the context of answering the question for yourself.
First, did you listen to the statement in the video linked to in the OP?

I assumed Mat just posted that video as a discussion-starter, and that it was not intended to circumscribe the whole scope of the discussion of the gun issue.

As for me, as a resident of the United States, I have no reason to expect the arguments and pro and con positions on the gun issue offered after this particular slaughter will differ from the positions offered after all of the previous slaughters. So I regard further debate as pointless, and am only interested in action.

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As a contribution to a dialog the one sentence that makes sense to me was:

I have no reason to expect the arguments and pro and con positions on the gun issue offered after this particular slaughter will differ from the positions offered after all of the previous slaughters.

Leaving me to wonder why you didn’t just write that one sentence.

Maybe it’s just me but were you intending to be in dialog with anything that was written before?

You are only interested in action you say. We don’t know what action that might be because you haven’t said. The man in the video asked for a certain action but you decline to say if you listened to the video.

As I see it that was a communication that seems designed to recognize almost nothing of what was said previously and to leave the reader wondering.
Maybe it’s just me. Your milage may vary. If I’m missing something or stumbling over my own feet as it were I invite you to let me know. I want to learn.

It is preferable to discuss the issue in the O.P., not the way the discussion has gone nor the character of the people who participated.

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@DKervick is correct in that I wanted to stimulate discussion here on this vital issue. I am interested in hearing opinions or reflection on how it might be ‘fixed’, or what is standing in the way of it being fixed- or what all the US activists are doing. Right speech ‘rules’ apply otherwise.

With metta

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