At the forefront is always a chorus calling for banning all guns. Proposing such a solution is hopelessly naive, almost at the level of saying "just give all the poor people money" as a solution to fight poverty.
For one thing, you can't ban all weapons in the US because of the second amendment. You won't repeal the second amendment because there is no where near enough popular support for that (instead the current SCOTUS may very well only strengthen it in the near future).
And, of course, there is the budding field of 3D printed weaponry and even ammunition that is likely to ensure a future supply of armaments to those willing to break the law.
There's also the question of personal defense. IIRC, Americans defend themselves with guns between 60 thousand and two million times a year (depending on whose estimates you believe).
By what moral calculus do you deprive a population of protecting itself from that many robberies, rapes or even murders in the interest of preventing one specific kind of extremely rare mass murder?
So why expend energy arguing for a solution that is a legal non-starter, not likely to solve the problem and ignores a wide swath of extremely negative side-effects?
The only conclusion I can draw is that the basic agenda here is not one of preventing school shootings, but simply one of ratcheting up gun control laws -- an area in which these kinds of activists have been quite successful.
This is why I have to question either the integrity or the intelligence of anyone proposing this kind of solution. If you seriously care about the problem, you should be thinking outside of the boundaries of a particular solution, and clearly we're not getting anywhere with this line of reasoning.
There are a number of other potential solutions on the table. Maybe this would be a good time for us to elevate the broader discussion?
@mindhog At least one anti-gun person finally did the math:
Unfortunately, most anti-gun people are anti-gun out of pure fear, and refuse to think rationally about the subject. They're basically witch-burners.
@h4890 @mindhog I don't propose anything. But the author of the essay observes that, for example, a large fraction of shootings are carried out by young male punks in the drug scene. If we had a better education system, one that did not produce such punks, or at least not so many of them, we'd have a *lot* less shootings.
Ahh, nothing new. All problems canbe addressed by the imaginary "better education".
It is one of those things which is so undefined, and easy to say, but difficult to implement, that it is close to meaningless.
And yes, I am guilty of it myself.
I've been known to say, if only the people were educated greatly, taught critical thinking skills, ethics, statistics, perhaps then democracy would actually work instead of today, were we just have big herds being (...)
And then I ask myself... great... so how do you do it?
And since politicians obviously do not want their lives be more difficult by a more intelligent and highly educated public, there is 0 motivation for them to increase the quality of schools.
But yes, I do teach and provide teachers to schools as one business area in my company, and the harsher they are, generally, the better the students and the evaluation of the (...)
@h4890 @mindhog There's two separate questions. The first, what sort of education would address the problem, has already been answered--the old fashioned sort that teaches moral and intellectual competence. The second, can this be effected in our existing political system, has also been answered--no. Perhaps if homeschooling and similar alternatives to publicly controlled education become the norm, that answer might change. But that's a long way from happening--if it does.
Yes, I think this is not possible to fix within the limits of the current system. There needs to be a paradigm shift.
Those _can_ happen. UK managed to elect Thatcher, sweden managed to shake off some of the shackles of hard core socialism in the 90s.
But I do not know how those shifts happen. The only thing I can think is either outright collapse of the system, like in russia after the soviet union, but the more mellow type of shifts like those in the UK and (...)
Maybe there needs to be a controlled decline in quality of life that is big and drastic enough to be noticed, coupled with severe and public incompetence of the current government? But is that enough?
It's almost "foundationesque" in that it needs a key player and the exactly right point in time, to make that happen. Very difficult to orchestrate or predict.
Speaking of traditional education, the old (1800s) swedish system, was exported (...)
Swedens socialists dismantled the old system, in favour of a school or diversity where everyone passes, and sweden has been in freefall ever since.
It's fun how estonia has kind of preserved elements of a more traditional system and how it shows in international measurements.
But politicians absolutely refuse to copy the leader! ;)
@h4890 @billblake2018 So I'm going to circumvent the whole discussion of education. I don't think it's irrelevant, but the subject I was speaking of was specifically in reference to mass shootings at schools (apropos the recent incident at Uvalde, Texas).
More broadly, it's not at all clear that the presence of guns in a community has any correlation with the amount of violence in that community.
@h4890 @billblake2018 However, WRT mass school shootings specifically, the two other possible solutions that have been identified are 1) arming more people at schools (or more generally, other defensive mechanisms) and 2) reducing the media coverage of these kinds of events given that there's evidence that coverage breeds emulation.
When it comes to arming more people, are you thinking of armed teachers or armed guards in every classroom?
I would imagine that since many (if not most) school shooters are intent on suicide anyway, they would first of all take out the armed teacher, and then continue to massacre the class.
When it comes to media coverage, the media has gotten the blame for violence since time immemorial. If not media, the roleplaing games, or computer games, probably in the (...)
@billblake2018 @mindhog middle ages books where blamed etc. I also do not think it is feasible to block the media, and this will be the start of the loss of more freedom á la the "slippery slope" that I've heard about from people who do not want background checks for people who buy guns.
I think implementing airport level security with metal detectors and x ray machines would stop it, at a very high price, and as Bill pointed out in another thread, the violence would then only move to (...)
@billblake2018 @mindhog the parking lot, behind the house on the other side of the street, the play ground or somewhere else. But I think, if you are willing to invest, that the school building would be safer.
Another thought I'd throw in there is, if all guns where banned, do you think there would be more school bombings?
Building a pipe bomb, or several, with remote detonators is very simple. I wonder if the depressed children would do that in case they did not have guns?
@h4890 @billblake2018 AIUI, the very first incident of this kind of mass murder at a school was the Bath school disaster in 1927, and it was a bombing. That said, it's uncertain whether school mass shootings would turn into bombings in the absence of guns.
To your point about the slippery slope of free speech restrictions, I agree.
@h4890 @billblake2018 However, it's much easier for me to imagine a very targeted restriction against one constitutional right (which is also already limited) being more effective than the broad set of targeted restrictions against another constitutional right (one which, by plain text "shall not be infringed") that don't seem to have made much of a difference.
I hope so. But looking at sweden, the politicians have made use of the word negro illegal, for many years it was forbidden to discuss immigration in public, which led to disastrous results in 2015 and an enormous deterioration of the quality of life in sweden.
But I do hope that it is a less slippery slope. But the libertarian in me always shudders when anyone wants to limit anything because these limits tend to grow.
Oh, taxes, another one... they start as a (...)
Arguing against myself, sweden had marginal tax rates of 70% to 80% (102% for the richest) in the 70s, and believe it or not, but those came down to 55% and now latest to 50%. But it took almost 50 years. ;)
So yes, these things can be reversed but it takes a long time if it does happen at all.
The reality is that there is *no* response to school shootings that will have any effect in the near term. The guns aren't going away. The publicity isn't going away. Schools--and their concentration of kids--aren't going away. And the population of kids inclined to murder/suicide isn't going away. So it's just going to keep happening.
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