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  • #16
    >>I don't believe personally that violence in movies and video games has much to do with it. One of the main reasons we didn't have those problems back then is that guys like the ones in Sandy Hook and Aurora were locked up back then. Same reason you didn't have a lot of homeless people wandering around mumbling to themselves. But they got rights and we got shooters.


    • #17
      I think the big difference of the 60's was that we couldn't play cowboys and indians for hours on end seven days a week. That's what kids do today. I think it also hurts membership in scouting. We played in all kinds of weather in the 60's. You don't see them hardly out at all today.



      • #18
        In all liklihood, the incidence of mental illness has not changed much over time (Maybe today we have more people on medication, but we probably also have fewer people locked up). There have always been serial killers, mass murderers and sociopaths.

        I think one thing that HAS changed is the glorification of graphic violence in popular media. Does this incite more of the crazies to act out their impulses? Perhaps. It's hard to say.

        Another thing that has changed is the availability of firearms. Members of the hunting subculture have always have ready access to guns but, as Packsaddle notes, today almost anyone can legally purchase a firearm within a few hours of deciding to do so. Is this opportiunity protected by the Constitution? Perhaps. It's hard to say...


        • #19
          In the 60s, indifference to the life of the unborn was not a public option. Now, from the start of every pregnancy, a woman's right to terminate the life within for any cause is held inviolate.

          Fortunately indifference to life after the womb hasn't risen to a comparable rate ... Yet.


          • #20
            Qwaz, that behavior is not violent, occurring will the consent of all and in a peaceful context. Moreover, a majority of Americans do not see it as taking life. Your feelings on the issue are noted, but, respectfully, the issue does not really bear on the topic under discussion.


            • #21
              Along with my comments on loss of community I posted earlier, I'm going to add on the topic of increases in the deadliness and frequency of violence in society.

              Let's start with 1776 - 10 year period of warfare.... Not with massed armies, but neighbor against neighbor, Tory vs. Rebel. History books write about the battles, not the fighting and hundreds of refugees from America fleeing to Canada to seek protection from the rebels. (Sound like a familiar story today?)

              Jump to 1830/40's - Mexican authorities had a problem with too many guns on the streets. Texan "forces" from America were the majority of citizens in Texas and they were causing problems. (Illegal immigration on steroids!)

              Jump to 1860 - 4 year period of warfare.... Okay, they amassed armies, but in places like Kansas and Missouri, and other border states it was a far different story. I believe the first citizen soldiers of the war were shot by civilians in the public streets of Baltimore... It is interesting to note that when John Brown raided Harper's Ferry just prior to the war, he was trapped in the arsenal and his avenue of escape was cut off, not by federal forces, but by the citizen militia of Harper's Ferry before the Marines under Col. Lee even showed up. Oh, and of course there was Bloody Kansas. There's a neighborhood you wouldn't want to be in.

              Jump to the next generation of almost constant Indian warfare and expansion into the west.

              1920's??? Oh, yeah, that era had a gun problem, too. The Thompson sub-machine gun was in the news all the time. Everyone knows about Tommy Guns. Clyde's (of Bonnie and Clyde fame) favorite gun was a BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle, aka machine gun shooting 30-06 rounds)

              So when did we ever have a peaceful, non-violent society?

              Our media today hypes up the populace for it's political agendas. Sure we had a mass shooting in CT. But the largest loss of life in an attack on a school was back in the 1930's and the criminal used a bomb.

              For the most part everyone's history goes back to only as far as they can remember. Yet, I remember the race riots of 1960's. That was ugly. I remember also taking a trip to New Orleans for a vacation at that time and there were loaded guns in the house trailer we were pulling. That was the only time my dad left the house armed when we weren't going hunting. They were only hunting guns, but we both knew how to use them to defend the rest of the family. My dad didn't know or even care what the laws were concerning them, but he told me the license plate on the trailer stated "Motorhome", and he had a right to defend his home no matter where it was.

              Yes, one hears about gun violence every day in the news. But that doesn't mean it hasn't been happening all along. It just wasn't the 'crap du jour' in the media as it is right now.

              We are no more, no less violent today than we were yesterday and with all the thousands of laws trying to counter this tendency in the human race has been about as effective as putting lipstick on a pig.

              Our Founding Fathers were exactly right when they put the gun issue into our Bill of Rights. 237 years and maybe we haven't solved all the problems society has to offer, but it has at lease kept the playing field level.

              Stosh(This message has been edited by jblake47)


              • #22
                consent of all except the fetus and in a peaceful context except for the fetus.

                But, thanks for the language. Because isn't the playing of violent video games done with the consent of all and in a peaceful context?

                If practicing the dispensation of death in actuality is not to be associated with a violent society, then probably practicing it virtually cant be either.

                I like Stosh's acceptance that we're a brutal lot much better.


                • #23
                  qwaz, yes, I recognize you have your own perspective on this issue. My point was that a majority of Americans do not view this as taking life and certainly not as violence, any more than other medical procedures.

                  In contrast, I would submit that everyone would acknowledge a school shooting, a drive-by shooting, a domestic shooting to be violence.

                  Is hunting violence? Yes, and of the most ancient and sanctioned kind.

                  Is playing first-person-shooter video games violence? Probably not, but a strong argument can be made that it dulls sensitivity to violence.


                  • #24
                    I have to disagree with the basic premiss that society is much more violent today than when we were children. Violent crime is actually been going down. Here are the FBI statistics for homicide:

                    U.S. Homicide Rate (per 100,000), 19502007

                    Year Homicide rate
                    1950 4.6
                    1951 4.4
                    1952 4.6
                    1953 4.5
                    1954 4.2
                    1955 4.1
                    1956 4.1
                    1957 4.0
                    1958 4.8
                    1959 4.9
                    1960 5.1
                    1961 4.8
                    1962 4.6
                    1963 4.6
                    1964 4.9
                    1965 5.1
                    1966 5.6
                    1967 6.2
                    1968 6.9
                    1969 7.3
                    1970 7.9
                    1971 8.6
                    1972 9.0
                    1973 9.4
                    1974 9.8
                    1975 9.6
                    1976 8.8
                    1977 8.8
                    1978 9.0
                    1979 9.7
                    1980 10.2
                    1981 9.8
                    1982 9.1
                    1983 8.3
                    1984 7.9
                    1985 7.9
                    1986 8.6
                    1987 8.3
                    1988 8.4
                    1989 8.7
                    1990 9.4
                    1991 9.8
                    1992 9.3
                    1993 9.5
                    1994 9.0
                    1995 8.2
                    1996 7.4
                    1997 6.8
                    1998 6.3
                    1999 5.7
                    2000 5.5
                    2001 5.6
                    2002 5.6
                    2003 5.7
                    2004 5.5
                    2005 5.9
                    2006 6.1
                    2007 5.9
                    Source: Crime in the United States, 2008, FBI, Uniform Crime Reports.

                    As you can see, there is a steady increase in the rate till a peak in 1980. Then it drops and goes back up to a second peak in 1991. Its been dropping ever since. Its not in this table, but the 2011 rate was down to 4.7 homicides per 100,000 (I dont know if the 2012 rate is available yet). So why the peaks? What was happening around those dates?

                    Leaded gas went away in 1976. Lead has a known impact on neurological development in children, and can reduce impulse control in those with increased lead levels. There is a pretty strong correlation between the amount of lead in the environment and delinquency rates.

                    Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) and Eisenstadt v. Baird (1972) legalized contraception nation wide for both married and unmarried individuals. Roe vs Wade (1973) legalized abortion. These Supreme Court cases reduced the number of unwanted pregnancies, which according to some studies reduced crime rates.

                    The crack cocaine epidemic. Crack started showing up in 1984-85, which contributes to the second spike in 1991.

                    Other factors include fewer people in the prime crime ages (16-27?), better medical care (more people survive getting shot and stabbed than they used to) and others known and unknown.

                    The statistics on violent crime in general show similar peaks and falls. Basically, we are safer today than twenty years ago, and getting safer.


                    • #25
                      Thanks Rick.

                      Just saw something today that the NYC had a record low murder rate last year.

                      I think there's two additional factors. There are more than twice as many of us since 1950, so in terms of sheer numbers, we have more violent deaths. Media is much more efficient at disseminating news, so we're hearing about more of those deaths nationwide.

                      So, I think some folks had the expectation that an enlightened society would have fewer total violent deaths.


                      • #26
                        With our massive anti-bullying, everyone wins, self-esteem culture nowadays, many folks grow up not having a clue to handle conflict. A four year old may be teased and bang his head on the floor or bite, a 10 year old may throw something, a 12 year old may take a different path to school to avoid a bully or decide to fight back, etc.

                        Now, a person may grow up sheltered and the first real conflict they experience is with a school administrator that states he doesn't qualify for financial aid so his rememdy (he has not learned any other approach) is to shoot them.



                        • #27
                          what has changed: anonymous online sales of parts and ammo, realistic video games where you are actually trained to blast the opponent, lowering the age of adulthood to 18 (even the Romans - a very brutal society - knew better than that), ending the cheap, subsidized housing for the now homeless, lack of sufficient beginning job opportunities, a very permissive culture where if it feels good then you can do it, a lessening of patriotism in society at large unless "what's in it for me?", categorizing religion as an obsolete superstition, and (with mixed feelings) abortion


                          • #28
                            back in the olden days, there was less need to own a pistol. We kids all talked about making zip guns