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Thread: Your thoughts about Steve's essay

  1. #261
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    Default Re: Your thoughts about Steve's essay

    Quote Originally Posted by Kati33 View Post
    ...should [I] consider buying "Stephen King Don't know ****" by Rick Carufel[?] Anyone here actually purchase and read that one yet?
    Yes, and I'm happy to report you'd be doing yourself a favor by skipping Carufel's (unintentionally) hilarious and happy efforts, in addition to saving yourself the time and the $1.00 you'd be squandering. (As for unintentionally hilarious and happy efforts, I suppose my posts have about the same quality and value, but at least they're free).

    Carufel's essay is probably best read as a speculative work, perhaps even as a short story fantasy written for the sorts of survivalists that are eagerly anticipating some sort of Zombie Apocalypse or the violent overthrow of the government or both.

    Beginning with a serious-minded quote from Benjamin Franklin, Carufel then lapses into a cheerfully meandering diatribe that blames big phrama for everything, including possibly the popularity of King. To sum up Carufel's essay, 'more guns is good, Stephen King is bad, and big phamras is really, really bad (in that they're to blame for all conspiracies, except for the ones possibly started by King).

    If you're looking for a laugh, I suppose, Carufel's essay may entertain... keyword may. It's more likely Carufel's rant will simply leave you feeling slightly depressed as this, seemingly, is what passes for American modernity.

  2. #262
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    Default Re: Your thoughts about Steve's essay

    Addendum: For those interested, Carufel is debating everyone who's given his essay low marks on Amazon.com.

    Some of the exchanges are... errrr... ummm... oooo, I dunno... interesting

    In some ways, it's like watching all those videos on YouTube that end with a satisfying car crash or something expensive being blown up. But then, after a while, it slowly dawns you that you've actually watched something that was truly horrible.

  3. #263
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    Default Re: Your thoughts about Steve's essay

    Quote Originally Posted by Amphiaraus View Post
    Yes, and I'm happy to report you'd be doing yourself a favor by skipping Carufel's (unintentionally) hilarious and happy efforts, in addition to saving yourself the time and the $1.00 you'd be squandering.
    Thanks! Good to know! I'll admit, I was skeptical based upon the title alone, but didn't want my love for King to overpower the opportunity to read an educated counterpoint. I have many other forms of entertainment that cost much less than $1 and have too many good books to read and re-read...

  4. #264
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    Default Re: Your thoughts about Steve's essay

    I guess I am in the middle. SK says it's lonely here and he is right. Seems if you're a centrist the extremes just want you to take their side or you're a waste of time. I pretty much agree with Steve on all points. I disagreed somewhat with his assertion that violence in the culture isn't more of a driver, but after reading his breakdown of why, I must say I have re-evaluated my emphasis on it. He makes some points regarding this that are almost irrefutable. So while I still think it maybe weighs more than he purports, that amount has reduced by a few pounds.

    One thing I will reiterate from the essay is his assertions that faced with the real picture of gun violence and the grisly aftermath of it, many staunch advocates may trim down their tone a bit. I am not anti-gun, but I used to work in the medical field in ERs and other areas where trauma was present and have seen firsthand what it looks like. It is sobering.

    What this actually reminds me of is a scene from the movie "Powder". In it, the Powder kid touches a dying deer and the gungho good ol' boy who shot it, simultaneously. He is able to make the man "become" the deer for a moment and feel death. after, the man wants nothing to do with guns or violence of any kind.

    I still say less guns = less gun violence. I still say the arrogant individualism of the typical American is the driving force. SK expressed this by calling us a "Kardashian culture". From his detail, we are speaking of the same thing. It is a factor in the psyche of these mass shooters, a huge factor in the "don't tread on me" crowd, and also drives the lack of heroic actions when these things happen (though some do try). Less me, me, me = more respect for others. I think that would lead to less bad things in general between humans.

  5. #265
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    Default Re: Your thoughts about Steve's essay

    I have mixed feelings about this essay. It has a lot of good material for thought, but I wholeheartedly disagree with two out of three conclusions.

    When I started reading the essay and Mr. King started talking about the atmosphere in high school, I though that he will get to the heart of the matter. He started to talk about the mental and psychological issues of the youth, about the kids neglected to the point that their only remaining way to bring attention to the their problems was to take a gun a kill innocent people. All over a sudden he makes about-face and takes the discussion in the direction of the drivel that I hear on TV and read in the newspapers every day. Take away the tool and the problem will lessen. Yes, but it's like treating flu with DayQuill - you'll feel a bit better but still be sick for seven days.

    Unfortunately, to get to the root of the problem you need to look at the society in the US and agree that what is around us is REALLY conducive to violence. Let me state my case.

    1. Kids are universally neglected. I agree with Mr. King that we live in the Kardashian society. We are fed with images of what we can have if we have money. Lots of money. We strive to earn a lot of money and live better. Pursuit of happiness, so to say. It is a contributing factor to the situation when in majority of the families both parents are working. And not only just working, but overworked. Overworked and stressed to the point that they come home to their families and have neither energy nor willpower left to dedicate the remainder of their waking hours to their kids. Or they just said: screw it, I suffered enough, I need me time. As a result, the school is bringing the kids up, not their parents. And Mr. King painted a pretty accurate image of a high school. What normal person can emerge from that situation - being bullied and neglected - without emotional scars?

    Before any one of you start saying it is not true, please answer me a question - why mass shootings were not commonplace in the 50's, 60's and 70's? There were plenty of guns then and the gun laws were way less strict than now.

    2. From the neglect stem the situations where kids have no outlet for their frustrations. Being outcasts, they have no friends at school and they have parents that wouldn't listen. My friend works in a pharmacy. Most prescribed drug is Xanax or equivalents, main demographic for its consumption - teenagers. And that's in one of the richest towns in the country. Parents at least can afford medical insurance and get the medication.

    3. Now add another factor - the image that I receive from the media is that the economic crimes end up punished more severely that the crimes against human life. Prison sentences for "ruining lives" of people by stealing their money. I agree, steal enough money from a person and you may irreparably ruin his or her life. Kill him or her and you made it a certainty. Why don't we hear every time on TV that a murderer was caught, prosecuted, imprisoned and the key thrown away? How many people are killed every day from gun violence? Why don't I hear about the criminals who committed those crimes being apprehended? Instead I hear about some white collar crime seventeen times before breakfast.

    4. Now to the main culprit. Why every time there is a shooting spree we go through the same rhetoric that Mr. King described so astutely in the beginning of his essay? Culture of violence, not enough government funded mental health professionals, not enough gun laws. Why do we ask for the government to do something for us? Why did allegedly mentally challenged kid had a chance to get his hands on an AR-15? His mother's AR-15. And she allegedly knew that he had mental problems. When will we accept responsibility for what we do?

    This society evolved into a state where no one wants to bear responsibility. We talk about rights all the time. Hell, Second Amendment gives as a RIGHT to bear arms. We talk about that. We talk about being entitled to something all the time. How many times we hear from the TV about responsibilities? About being responsible for your kids, for your behavior, for your weapons. Until we take responsibility for our actions, we will have school shootings. Frustrated neglected kid with easy access to a firearm is a disaster waiting to happen.

    I'm wondering why Mr. King chose to move on from the theme of neglected kids or even adults that he started in his essay to a quick and dirty more gun control discussion. So I agree with his first assertion: mandatory background checks and hard time for illegal firearms. I only agree with it because it couldn't hurt and mandatory background checks can help. Not sure if it will have any significant effect on the frequency of such tragedies though. After all, the shooting in Newtown was carried out with the gun purchased in one of the more restrictive states with mandatory background checks already in place. Hell, they nearly put in jail a legal owner of a firearm traveling through the state. BTW, Mr. King mentions that most of the shootings are carried out by legally owned firearms. What's the point of asking for hard time for illegal firearms possession?

  6. #266
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    Default Re: Your thoughts about Steve's essay

    Part 2:

    Second assertion about the size of the magazine size is pointless. Takes a fraction of a second to swap the mag in a handgun. I will not go into details here. Was discussed ad nauseam.

    Assault weapon ban is also pointless. Mr. King owns his handguns with clear conscience. How about thinking about the fact that a semi-auto handgun is way more deadly and way more convenient for the use in confined spaces. A shotgun will also do. Hell, the army uses shotguns for CQC.

    A simple answer to Mr. Kings question of why it "shakes out" like that is that people forgot what the responsibility is. To their kids, to people around them to the society as a whole. Politicians knowingly bring forth the laws that cannot be passed. NRA defends the rights. Not a single group talks about responsibility and how to instill it in this society.

    Taking away a tool - yes I call a gun a tool - will only mask the problem, not solve it. Frustrated and plain crazy people will move on to other tools - Molotov cocktails, pipe bombs, etc. How to solve it? Not sure. I'd start with hard time for improper storage of the firearms.

  7. #267
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    Default Re: Your thoughts about Steve's essay

    Quote Originally Posted by nazartp View Post
    Part 2:

    Second assertion about the size of the magazine size is pointless. Takes a fraction of a second to swap the mag in a handgun. I will not go into details here. Was discussed ad nauseam.

    Assault weapon ban is also pointless. Mr. King owns his handguns with clear conscience. How about thinking about the fact that a semi-auto handgun is way more deadly and way more convenient for the use in confined spaces. A shotgun will also do. Hell, the army uses shotguns for CQC.

    A simple answer to Mr. Kings question of why it "shakes out" like that is that people forgot what the responsibility is. To their kids, to people around them to the society as a whole. Politicians knowingly bring forth the laws that cannot be passed. NRA defends the rights. Not a single group talks about responsibility and how to instill it in this society.

    Taking away a tool - yes I call a gun a tool - will only mask the problem, not solve it. Frustrated and plain crazy people will move on to other tools - Molotov cocktails, pipe bombs, etc. How to solve it? Not sure. I'd start with hard time for improper storage of the firearms.
    I get what you're saying. And it may be that hey, we just have the killingest country in the free, rich world, and that's how it's going to be. Yay us! We may not be so hot with education, mortality, general health, but we lead the pack somewhere!

    I'm sorry to be sarcastic, but the longer this issue is discussed, the more disheartened I become. It's hard to believe that anything will ever change. Maybe everyone who's ever cared about a societal problem has felt that way at some point. I don't know. All I know is that there's a big part of me that just wants to throw up my hands and say "Fine, keep your guns. Whatever. Let's just keep on keeping on, regardless of statistics, regardless of facts. MOAR GUNS. BIGGER CLIPS. BADDER AMMO."

    I don't even think that the few crazies who are determined to go out with a bang are the biggest problem, although we should try to address those issues. The vast majority of gun deaths aren't even caused by mass shootings, although those have been escalating, unlike most crime. We have a lot of criminals shooting other criminals and non-criminals. (And I'm going to be honest: I think most people really don't care about that. And that's a sad thing. What gives us the right to decide offhand that a life that is not like ours is not worth saving?) We have a lot of husbands and boyfriends shooting their wives and girlfriends (and a bit of the reverse). We have a lot of people who, with their histories of depression, maybe shouldn't have a gun lying around, but they do, and then one deep episode of depression, and bam. No more depression.

    I think it's impossible to talk our way into the right level of responsibility, because this is 'Merica. We are not our brothers' keepers. No sir. We are the Wild West. We are fierce individualists. As long as I'm okay, then it's all okay. Until one day I lose my temper. Or my spouse does. Or a family member's depression roars back into life, and he happens to have a gun right there. And then all of a sudden it's not okay anymore.

    (This isn't all your fault or directed at you, by the way. You seem reasonable and make defensible points. I'm just responding to your "not sure" with my own.)

  8. #268
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    Default Re: Your thoughts about Steve's essay

    Quote Originally Posted by nazartp View Post
    Why do we ask for the government to do something for us? Why did allegedly mentally challenged kid had a chance to get his hands on an AR-15? His mother's AR-15. And she allegedly knew that he had mental problems. When will we accept responsibility for what we do?

    This society evolved into a state where no one wants to bear responsibility. We talk about rights all the time. Hell, Second Amendment gives as a RIGHT to bear arms. We talk about that. We talk about being entitled to something all the time. How many times we hear from the TV about responsibilities? About being responsible for your kids, for your behavior, for your weapons. Until we take responsibility for our actions, we will have school shootings. Frustrated neglected kid with easy access to a firearm is a disaster waiting to happen.
    I think you have hit on a key point here where the break-over towards one school of thought or the other occurs. The conservative side is all about personal responsibility and, as such, feels that is the ONLY answer to this issue. The left says in response to this is that it is illogical because the fact is, you will never get everyone to act responsibly.

    It's pretty obvious that had this kid's mom not allowed easy access to these guns that it would probably have been much harder or impossible to complete these acts. After all, who would know better if their child has mental issues?

    I agree that responsibility is key and is why me or my kids have not decided to shoot up a shopping mall. We aren't neglected and ignored and have the right balance to promote good mental health. But, if you have worked in health care, you know that mental issues are not the exclusive real estate of the ignored. It can and does strike all levels and types in our society. Sometimes, it is not so obvious until it's too late. Whether it be events like these or suicide.

    The other slight break from logic I would point out is the assertion that personal responsibility is the primary answer and therefore restricting this or that only hurts those that are responsible. I would agree that is a side effect. However, after this last election cycle, I am well familiar with the conservative assertion that liberal thinking is lala land; Utopia. Well, ask yourself this: isn't expecting everyone to "behave", as an answer to a problem occurring within the framework that ALREADY uses that as the answer essentially, just as fallacious and fantasyland? And, as a philosophical comparison, isn't that actually much more illogical, unrealistic and potentially harmful because it is taking a real, occurring situation and pretending it's not what it is, and the other is making assertions of trying different ways, but they haven't been taken into action yet?

    Even in your point you say yourself what is the point of tougher prison time if that doesn't address the criminals who don't care. The fact is you are already correct because crimes are still being committed of this nature and, obviously, to those who are going to do it, the thought of prison time doesn't cross their mind. So why say the answer is a little more of the same? Why assume that this new approach won't work? It is, for lack of a better word, silly to say you just know something won't work when it hasn't been tried. I am not saying you did that, just characterizing the typical conservative reaction to most "liberal" ideas (which seem to be anything that isn't conservative... that middle ground is lonely for sure).

    I also realize I am not explicitly suggesting solutions with my words. However, I fully agree with the theme I perceive from your analysis that talking about the real issues is more important right now than knee jerk new laws or adding armed guards to every corner in the US. Therefore, a detailed dilution of philosophies is absolutely necessary to fully understand the root reasoning of both sides. Obviously, debating these fine details is time consuming and will be abandoned by the get rich quick Kardashian types. But, IMO, this is exactly the crucial need to finally resolve the politics of this issue and determine solutions that will actually have some impact in the real world.

  9. #269
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    Default Re: Your thoughts about Steve's essay

    Quote Originally Posted by hossenpepper View Post
    Even in your point you say yourself what is the point of tougher prison time if that doesn't address the criminals who don't care. The fact is you are already correct because crimes are still being committed of this nature and, obviously, to those who are going to do it, the thought of prison time doesn't cross their mind. So why say the answer is a little more of the same? Why assume that this new approach won't work? It is, for lack of a better word, silly to say you just know something won't work when it hasn't been tried. I am not saying you did that, just characterizing the typical conservative reaction to most "liberal" ideas (which seem to be anything that isn't conservative... that middle ground is lonely for sure).

    I also realize I am not explicitly suggesting solutions with my words. However, I fully agree with the theme I perceive from your analysis that talking about the real issues is more important right now than knee jerk new laws or adding armed guards to every corner in the US. Therefore, a detailed dilution of philosophies is absolutely necessary to fully understand the root reasoning of both sides. Obviously, debating these fine details is time consuming and will be abandoned by the get rich quick Kardashian types. But, IMO, this is exactly the crucial need to finally resolve the politics of this issue and determine solutions that will actually have some impact in the real world.
    I guess some of my points came across not exactly as I intended. I'm not saying that nothing needs to be done. I'm also not saying that mental issues only belong to the lonely. I just believe that the cornerstone of the issue lies in the lack of responsibility. It needs to be nurtured by parents, by state, by society. The message should be clear - you are responsible for your actions. You killed someone intentionally - your life is forfeit. You left a loaded gun lying around and someone get killed - you are directly responsible. You ran over someone with a car and you are at fault - you are going to jail for a long time. Notice, I am not bringing up the economic crimes. I feel that this society now devalued the human life to the point that the threat of the punishment is almost remote. We talk more about taxes than about human lives. If this point of view is right wing, so be it. I don't care. I'm tired of knee jerk reactions on both sides and was unpleasantly surprised that the essay that started with promising touch on human psyche evolved into standard left-wing more gun control. More gun control will pacify some masses but will ultimately not achieve anything and just mask the issue.

  10. #270
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    Default Re: Your thoughts about Steve's essay

    Quote Originally Posted by nazartp View Post
    Frustrated neglected kid with easy access to a firearm is a disaster waiting to happen.
    And that sums up the situation with a big fat bang on the nail head.

    You have a very good point about gun owners taking more responsibility with their firearms.

    My grandfather was a Lt. Colonel in WWII, and during wartime was issued a sidearm along with bullets. Because of military orders, it had to remain with my grandfather at all times, so it was kept in my grandparents' house when it wasn't on his person while he was on duty. My mother has told me that she and my uncle were the world's snoopiest kids; they knew where everything was hidden in their homes. It wouldn't have mattered if either one was psychologically disturbed - they weren't and still aren't, for the record - because they never once came across my grandfather's gun.

    So why are the so-called "responsible" gun owners screwing up and allowing access to their firearms by their kids, disturbed or not? Why is it acceptable to not maintain a safe that is openable only with either a combination or dynamite? This is not the same scenario as introducing a kid to wine at home under adult supervision by watering down the alcohol; bullets aren't dilutable.

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