Originally Posted by Seminole
Good points all around. Glad to see this hasn't turned into what seems to be the normal name calling pissing matches that go on here.
I think the culture of our country to ignore mental illnesses plays a large part in all of this (mass killings). We see homeless people and think of them as lazy or unmotivated, but a shockingly high percentage of the homeless population is mentally ill, and that illness has led to their homelessness. But when we see someone that's not what we think.
Another thing I haven't yet seen addressed in this thread so far is the influence of drugs and gangs on gun violence. I keep hearing people (friends on FB and other places) throwing out the 12,000 Americans making it seem like all we do is go around offing each other. How much of that number is related to drugs/gangs? Look at Mexico for instance. Nearly all the violence in that country is purely because of the drug trade. You have the occasional outlier such as the Aurora and Newtown cases, but I'm willing to bet the large portion of gun deaths are related to gangs and drugs.
One other thing to think of relating to that is the fact a portion of the people committing gang and gun violence have already been arrested and served time for crimes in the past and can't legally own a gun. Yet they still find ways to obtain them and commit their crimes.
I think this is the X factor for the US compared to the other countries listed (UK, AUS, etc). The US is the single largest drug market in the entire world and supports a multi-billion dollar industry. These people will do whatever it takes to protect their money and inventory. The UK, Australia and other countries also have drug problems, but not anywhere near the level we have in the US.
One more random food for thought that popped into my head. I know there are some flaws with the numbers because some people own multiple guns, but hear me out. Lets say we use 230,000,000 as the number of guns in the United States that are owned legally (I think MPower gave that number earlier). If we for arguments sake say that each of the 12,000 people killed by guns in the US were killed by a different weapon (so 12,000 weapons used), that means that only 0.004% of the guns in the US are used to commit a crime (assuming all 12,000 deaths are criminal and not accidental). So 99.996% of the gun owners in the US are lawful owners. Why should they be punished for the few who refuse to follow the laws?
According to published stats, it's actually 0.000047 homicides per gun in the states. There are about 45 other countries on the ranking list with a higher rate than the US. However, it's actually less than that because that likely only takes into account the legally purchased guns. I'm quite sure the estimated number of illegal firearms in this country are not included in that figure.
This is a telling interactive map... i can't imagine that it's much different in other major cities.
You can sort by time period, age, gender, race, cause of homicide, etc....