For the last 20 years or so the violent crime rate in the US has been going down. At the same time the rate of gun ownership has been going up.
20,000 of those 33,000 were suicide as well.
Phil - your attitude that old ideas are out of date and we now know better is alarming. Let me recommend that you read Rudyard Kipling's poem "The Gods of the Copybook Headings".
I meant two thirds of firearms deaths were suicide.
etcmoore: a big part of the remainder is inner city gang violence.
Difficulty score 19. No green.
Done, had to start over once.
Always happy to listen to any reasoned and thought through argument, great debating is what our nations are meant to be about. Those with the best arguments that resonates with the people the most get the vote and in theory the ability to change things for the better. Yet to hear any arguments for keeping guns that convince me and I suspect the majority or Americans. How many innocent lives must be lost before finally the penny drops.
We accept loss of civil liberties for the greater good e.g. motorcycle helmets, car insurance, etc. We might not all agree but there comes a time when you have to accept the greater good.
Let's define liberty carefully: Are laws mandating helmets or seatbelts causing a loss of liberty? I think not. Are laws regulating firearms causing a loss of liberty? I think not. Free speech, freedom of association, prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure - THOSE affect liberty. I concur that most gun-related deaths in the US are suicides - but I think we should take steps to prevent those deaths, as well. More than 90% of female murder victims know the person who shot them.
Phil - I agree that in a perfect world, "those with the best arguments that resonates with the people the most get the vote and in theory the ability to change things for the better". Sadly, the influence of $$ skews the effect. That's why so many civilized countries limit campaign financing. Sadly, the NRA - whose budget is largely funded by gun manufacturers - owns so many of our legislators. Pro-gun people don't want to hear that.
Let's also remember that our founding fathers - as smart as they were - also had some pretty strange ideas. Blacks were 3/5 of a person. Women weren't included at all. Only white, male, property owners had a say. I would submit that those ideas were products of their time that have (thankfully) evolved. Other ideas - like gun ownership - can similarly evolve. I would strongly doubt if George Mason or Ben Franklin would support the NRA definition of right to bear arms.
I think you're right Diane. My wife had a very interesting chat with a well educated caucasian American lady the other day. Since spending 6 months in Perth she felt she could comment on the differences. She said, you wouldn't believe how much of a hierarchy there is in US companies. There is a very defined pecking order, white man, black men, white women and finally black women. Its so sad, but its still the case. And if a woman gets pregnant she's still encouraged to leave her work. It's not perfect here in Aus, studies still show women dominated jobs are lower paid than male ones, but at least we're on the right track.
I can't help feeling that America plays lip service to equality and missed a real opportunity to change with Obama. He's a great orator and had great courage, yet stifled in so many ways by a system that wanted him and indeed engineered him to fail. Such a shame, such a wasted opportunity.
Shame the Perth ad company didn't win the Doritos Super Bowl ad competition. The winner was pretty funny, but the Aussi one made me roar with laughter.
Watched a great TED talk, now there's a brilliant example of what's great about the US. Ideas worth sharing - if we adopted that on a global level we would probably have a lot less terrorism.
This talk was on the legal struggle to finally get common sense to prevail and have patents on DNA overturned. Once again this one was highlighting women dying needlessly.
Diane, you wrote, "Are laws mandating helmets or seatbelts causing a loss of liberty? I think not. Are laws regulating firearms causing a loss of liberty? I think not. " My question is are they preventing deaths. According to the CDC they are not. With all the laws we have on seatbelts and DUI, over 33K deaths due to car accidents. If you are killed by a drunk or killed by a bullet, you are still dead. The reason we put up with drunk driving is two fold - we like our liquor and we like our cars, so we are willing to accept the deaths that go along with those freedoms.
In the UK, 40 years ago drink driving was illegal and disapproved of but not socially unacceptable. Today, not only do drink drivers face huge fines and driving bans, but they have trouble getting insurance and have to pay massive premiums for insurance of they can find it. It's also now socially unacceptable. Deaths have dropped from 1500 a year to 380 in 2014. If we took account of population size differences that would equate to 1520 deaths a year in the US. We really really like a drink here in the UK - to the detriment of our health - but drunk driving is no longer acceptable, especially amongst the young (who used to be the greatest offenders.)
KnightTime DUI is totally unacceptable anywhere. Alcohol is a legal killer of more people than anything else. Whilst I enjoy a drink it's health costs to everyone are staggering. Worse than tobacco. Us humans are a pretty stupid lot really, we kill ourselves with these things. Personally I think the issue is getting the balance with personal choice and public danger. A drunk person at home is most likely not going to kill someone. An idiot who drink drives is probably going to kill an innocent person. Its the same as passive smoking, we have to stop people killing others and it must override personal liberty when it causes serious harm to others.
DING. Kinda tough. The way I did it, I needed two Medium moves, both virtual loners. 20.
Just watched another great TED talk - Dambisa Moyo: Economic growth has stalled. Let's fix it
Gee, this used to be such a nice & relaxing site for me to go on. It used to make me feel smart that I could do the puzzles fast. Now, I have all this reading to do & all this thinking to think! Phil, ya suckered me good :)
I guess fast puzzles are a thing of the past also.
Although I've had a horrible virus for almost a week, first day catching up - non-stop for 14 hours now. Excuses, excuses...