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It's a commonly held belief that gun violence is linked to mental illness, but it doesn't appear to be true:

http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2014/12/mental-illness-wrong-scap...




Well, I don't know what term to use. I am using "crazy" to refer to the fact that some abnormal thought process is behind someone picking up a gun, knife, sword, axe, brick or driving a car to kill even one person or to engage in mass killings, to drive a car through a crowd, blow-up a building or use a gun or guns to mow down people in a theater.

Normal people don't take a gun out of their safe, load it, throw a bunch of rounds in the back of their car, put on a bullet-proof vest and go shoot-up the neighborhood community center, church, school or mall. Those other people, the one's who would, those are the "crazies", not in a clinical sense but in that there's something seriously wrong with them that they would actually do the above.

The down-votes on my original statement show I didn't do a good job of presenting my case.

I do firmly believe we need to do something about access to guns. That does NOT mean taking guns away from law-abiding people. That means criminals or people who are living under circumstances that might compel them to commit crimes. The overwhelming majority of guns and gun owners do absolutely nothing to harm anyone. In fact, I'd be willing to bet most guns sit unused except for an occasional trip to the range or hunting.

Some of us who would like to engage in a truly sensible conversation about guns or drones or green lasers pointed at planes and, yes, AI and robots.

Yet if we come off the line making statements like "We have too many guns! The NRA is a terrorist organization!" we, in fact, have become the crazies. Because these statements are undeniably insane in the face of equally undeniable evidence.

These statements only serve to instantly stop the conversation. The come back goes from "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" to "More guns in Paris would have saved lives". Both of which are undeniably factual statements.

And, with that, the conversation stops. We can replace "AI", "knifes", "drones", "lasers" and more into these and similar statements. The end result is the same. Those advocating for some control become the crazies and the conversation goes nowhere.

Because you are telling a perfectly harmless, responsible gun owner who might have a few guns in a safe that he is the problem. You are calling him a criminal. You are calling him "the problem". And, in his context, well, you are certifiably insane for saying so.

The guy who believes he needs a gun to protect his home isn't going to take that gun and go shoot-up a theater, school, mall or community center. If we claim he is we are the crazies, not him. The fact that a number of us disagree with the need for such protection (I personally can't see the need) is irrelevant. Calling him a criminal is simply insane.

I know people like that. I know people with over 20 guns in a safe. And I know they have not been out of that safe but for an occasional cleaning in ten or twenty years. And when those people hear the anti-gun, anti-NRA language spewing out they conclude "they" are insane. They are absolutely 100% correct in reaching that conclusion. Because he is not dangerous and his guns require a dangerous person in order to be loaded, carried to a destination and used to inflict harm.

He is right and everyone else is crazy and the conversation stops.

The right approach is to recognize that he isn't the problem. He is part of the solution. Because these types of gun owners --responsible and law abiding-- also happen to be the kind of people who abhor the use of guns to commit crimes. This is a powerful intersection of ideology gun control advocates have not woken up to.

You acknowledge them as what they are, harmless law-abiding people, and ask them for help in figuring out how to reduce the incidence of guns being used to kill innocent people. Then you'll engage him, the community he represents and, yes, the NRA, in finding a solution. Becoming the crazy person who calls all of them dangerous criminals despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary gets you nowhere. The conversation stops instantly, and rightly so.

Let's not do the same with AI and technology in general. Let's not come off the line with statements that make us the crazies.

Military use of AI and drones is very different subject, just like military use of guns is a different subject.


> "More guns in Paris would have saved lives". Both of which are undeniably factual statements.

No, that's definitely not undeniably factual.

And your continued repeated use of "crazies" is fucking repugnant.


Chill dude. Don't blow a gasket.


> "Normal people don't take a gun out of their safe, load it, throw a bunch of rounds in the back of their car, put on a bullet-proof vest and go shoot-up the neighborhood community center, church, school or mall."

You've missed the point of the article I shared with you. The point was normal people under extraordinary circumstances can be pushed to breaking point and take it out on others. Normal people do not always behave normally.


No, I read the article and stand by my conviction that the people you are referring to are not normal. Lot's of folks experience extraordinary circumstances during their lives, few, very very few, resort to violence as a result.

Not everyone is "wired" to deal with life's challenges the same way. I had a friend who committed suicide after losing his business in 2009. Sad. On the other hand, I've been bankrupt --as in lost it all, not a dime to my name-- and suicidal thoughts never entered my mind. In fact, I hussled and worked hard for very little until I could start a small business.

That article has an agenda, follow the money trail and you might discover what it is.


Sure, not everyone deals with stress in the same way, but an 'us vs. them' mentality isn't helpful. We're all capable of bad things, just like we're all capable of good things.

As for the article's agenda, perhaps it had one, but it appears to be an agenda backed up with facts, for example:

“Fewer than 5 percent of the 120,000 gun-related killings in the United States between 2001 and 2010 were perpetrated by people diagnosed with mental illness,”


People with a mental illness are very much more likely to be the victims, not perpetrators, of violent crime.

When we look at violent crime we see almost all perpetrators do not have a diagnosed illness, and also they do not have a diagnosable illness.

You are falling for the conjunction fallacy. You see "violent", and insist "violent and mentally ill" even though violent is more probable.


I think you are reading what you want into my statement, not what I am saying. You are taking "crazy" to mean what you want it to mean.

You are an intelligent person. You HAVE to know that I do not mean someone with autism or a developmental disorder. That would be sick and repugnant. But that's not what I mean. And you know it.

What I mean is someone with such a mental illness or sickness or reality distortion that they can justify picking up a gun and killing twenty children. A person has to be sick in the head to do something like that. Sick in the heart too. Use whatever terms you care to pull out of the dictionary but we all know what we are talking about.

Someone has to be "crazy" (define it as you wish) to behave in such ways.




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