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Poll: What in you opinion is causing the rampant school shootings in the US?

Be advised that this is a public poll: other users can see the choice(s) you selected.

Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
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    American School Shootings

    So weird to find myself posting here again, so here I go.

    Unfortunately I do watch news globally. Most of the times it just makes me cry.

    The recent school shootings in the US obviously came up on social media, especially Facebook, but I don't think Facebook is a good platform for old fashioned debate. So I will ask my questions here.

    What in your opinion is really the reason for the school shootings in the US?

    Choose your answer in the poll and tell me why you chose it.

    I chose 3 of the answers because I believe there are quite few factors that causes the school shootings in America. For those of you on this forum that doesn't know me. I am not an American, but do follow some of your news.

    From my observations the following factors contribute to the situation:-

    1. Bullying in schools are a big problem. This causes anger that leads or contributes to these school shootings.
    2. I find it amazing that you can keep an arsenal at your home in America and that children have access to such fire arms. Therefore I chose weak gun laws.
    3. Weak family structures and low moral values also contributes in my opinion. Children learn to love and cherish and preserve, not at school, but at home. If these values are not taught or carried over to children by their parents, America is fighting a loosing battle.
    Last edited by Aspoestertjie; March 24th, 2018 at 12:30 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Re: American School Shootings

    None of the above.

    Bullying is not new, I was bullied constantly grade 8 and below. I never once thought to get a gun and shoot up my school. I just wanted teachers to perhaps punish the bullies. It is taken way more seriously now than when I was in school.

    Violent video games also don't cause people to go shoot folks. It may, however, give them ideas about it, depending on the game. If it enforces a social norm of using guns to express your rage, then it could lead very specific people to tend in that direction. But its not the violence itself per say. Fantasy does not genereally drive reality, usually the other way around.

    Weak gun control laws don't cause violence, they only fail to stop it. Its a stop gap measure. Mass shooters generally know they are going to die, so fear fo the law is not a concern. Access to the right tools is helpful for them so restricting such access could save some lives occasionally.

    Weak family structures could well be the cause of some of these killings. A good family is generally going to result in kids or adults that are not eager to go on a killing spree. If someone is genuinely mentally ill, this won't help. But for people who are simply very dissafected and aleinated, a loving family may well fix that.

    I'd vote: Cultural Norms and Alienation

    I think that mass shootings are a cultural expression. Its the American way of saying "I hate the world, it is awful, and I'm going to show you all my rage!!" In other cultures, people set themselves on fire, or hang themselves, or blow up a bomb, or become monks, etc.... We chose a violent and dramatic way to express utter alienation. You have to either find a way to change the expression or find a way to lessen the alienation. Both are really hard to do.
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  5. #3
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    Re: American School Shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by Aspoestertjie View Post
    So weird to find myself posting here again, so here I go.

    Unfortunately I do watch news globally. Most of the times it just makes me cry.

    The recent school shootings in the US obviously came up on social media, especially Facebook, but I don't think Facebook is a good platform for old fashioned debate. So I will ask my questions here.

    What in your opinion is really the reason for the school shootings in the US?

    Choose your answer in the poll and tell me why you chose it.

    I chose 3 of the answers because I believe there are quite few factors that causes the school shootings in America. For those of you on this forum that doesn't know me. I am not an American, but do follow some of your news.

    From my observations the following factors contribute to the situation:-

    1. Bullying in schools are a big problem. This causes anger that leads or contributes to these school shootings.
    2. I find it amazing that you can keep an arsenal at your home in America and that children have access to such fire arms. Therefore I chose weak gun laws.
    3. Weak family structures and low moral values also contributes in my opinion. Children learn to love and cherish and preserve, not at school, but at home. If these values are not taught or carried over to children by their parents, America is fighting a loosing battle.
    As Sig says, it could "be none of the above", but to really answer your question would be difficult, as each case will have it's own unique situation.

    I would say, it could involve all to one degree or another, and probably many more things. The human mind is hard for human's to grasp, with regards to the decision making processes. I think it's a violent world. Most movies, books, tv, etc (entertainment???) in America involve murder, kidnapping, or similar violence. Lot's of tough and fire power.
    Then throw in facebook, where you can "show the world", whatever your own thing is.
    Some kill because they hate.
    some because they want to see what it "feels like"
    some because they think they have been wronged
    some ??? etc...

    I think it would be very difficult indeed to try to pin it on one particular "thing" even if we were talking about an individual, let alone a group of mass killers.

  6. #4
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    Re: American School Shootings

    I should point out that crime in general has steadily decreased over the decades so the notion that these are more violent times than times in the past doesn't really hold. Nor has access to guns really changed dramatically. In the past, there was nothing in particular stopping someone from grabbing a gun and shooting up a place if they were so inclined.

    I'm not saying that I have an answer but most of what I'm seeing here just looks like spit-balling.
    Last edited by mican333; April 21st, 2018 at 08:58 AM.

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  8. #5
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    Re: American School Shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I should point out that crime in general has steadily decreased over the decades so the notion that these are more violent times than times in the past doesn't really hold. Nor has access to guns really changed dramatically. In the past, there was nothing in particular stopping someone from grabbing a gun and shooting up a place if they were so inclined.
    Though I don't disagree with this (I am glad to hear it is the case though, and find it encouraging for humanity, as I would expect it to go up as populations increase), I'm not seeing how it applies to the Op? You are correct that nothing in particular stopped it from happening in the past like this case 30 miles from where I lived at the time in 1996:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fronti...chool_shooting
    "On the day of the shooting, Loukaitis was dressed as a Wild West-style gunslinger and was wearing a black duster. He was armed with a .30–30 caliber hunting rifle and two handguns (.357 caliber revolver and .25 caliber semiautomatic pistol) that belonged to his father, and was carrying approximately 78 rounds of ammunition.
    Loukaitis walked from his house to his school, where he had entered his algebra classroom during fifth period. He opened fire at students, killing three, Arnold Fritz and Manuel Vela, Jr., both fourteen, and their algebra teacher, Leona Caries. Another student, 13-year-old Natalie Hintz, sustained critical gunshot wounds to the right arm and abdomen, and was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle."

    Another very sad story, but Aspoe is asking why it is happening at all, not how frequently?

  9. #6
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    Re: American School Shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Though I don't disagree with this (I am glad to hear it is the case though, and find it encouraging for humanity, as I would expect it to go up as populations increase), I'm not seeing how it applies to the Op?
    Considering it addresses a couple of the specific theoretical causes of the increase in school shootings, I'd say it would be hard to see how it doesn't apply to the OP.


    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Another very sad story, but Aspoe is asking why it is happening at all, not how frequently?
    And the relative frequency at different period of times is a great way to determine if a projected cause can or cannot reasonably be considered a factor.

    If X is a cause of Y, and Y increases but X does not, then it's hard to make the case that X causes Y.

    So if our gun laws were truly a significant cause of school shootings, then we would expect to see a loosening of our gun laws precede the increase in school shootings. But if school shootings happen more frequently without any changes in our guns laws, then I would say the gun laws are not a significant cause.

    Really, one needs to look at what's changed between then and now if one is going to say the increase is due to something in particular. And again, what causes an increase in school shootings is arguably what is a primary cause of school shootings in general.

    And really, my primary point is that I've seen no case that ANY of the three options listed in the OP is really a significant cause and one can guess that one or more of them is a significant factor but then that just seems to be a guess. You might as well pick one at random if all we have are guesses.

  10. #7
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    Re: American School Shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    I think it would be very difficult indeed to try to pin it on one particular "thing" even if we were talking about an individual, let alone a group of mass killers.
    Both you and Sigfried have a very good point indeed. One can easily say all of the listed poll options played a role in a particular case for instance.

    There are so many things that can contribute to such irrational behavior. It is very difficult to understand the human mind. What goes on in a person's brain contemplating such a horrible deed... We live in a violent world, a violent society. Maybe they think that violence is the only way to express your disappointment in life? Maybe their parents never taught them how to deal with loss, ridicule or bullying?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried
    I'd vote: Cultural Norms and Alienation
    Maybe if it was a "cultural norm" it will happen more frequently? Alienation - that is a good point. I believe everybody, especially teenagers like to feel "wanted". They want to feel needed and they desperately want to fit in. If they don't, they get belittled or bullied. So alienation is a symptom of bullying, don't you agree? Did I understand you correctly?

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    Really, one needs to look at what's changed between then and now if one is going to say the increase is due to something in particular. And again, what causes an increase in school shootings is arguably what is a primary cause of school shootings in general.
    So, what in your opinion should the poll look like? What do you believe is contributing to the increase of such horrible acts?
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  11. #8
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    Re: American School Shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by Aspoestertjie View Post
    Maybe if it was a "cultural norm" it will happen more frequently? Alienation - that is a good point. I believe everybody, especially teenagers like to feel "wanted". They want to feel needed and they desperately want to fit in. If they don't, they get belittled or bullied. So alienation is a symptom of bullying, don't you agree? Did I understand you correctly?
    I'd say bullying is a symptom of alienation. Bullies pick on people who don't fit in and who won't fight back. It's how they target. So the alienation comes before the bullying. Bullies target alienated people.

    Bullying is by no means a new thing. When I was a kid, I was bullied constantly. I was afraid to go out on the playground because pretty much daily I'd get punched by the bullies who targeted me as a kid. And in those days, when I complained to the teacher, the answer was almost always the same. "You should get your dad to teach you how to fight." Bullying and kids fighting was just considered normal childhood behavior. You could get in trouble for doing it, but it was heavily normalized. A fistfight was considered a pretty healthy way to settle a dispute between boys or men.

    So I don't think bullying can be pointed at as a unique cause of school shootings. It could well be a pressure that leads to anger, but that anger had different expresions in the past. Cultural norms are the memes and ideas by which we express ourselves. "going postal" is one of the modern expressions, starting in the 80s for how you express your outrage in american society. You get a gun and you shoot people till the cops come to stop you. It is the way ultimate anger is expressed.

    So what I am saying is that the feelings have always been there, but the modality by which we express them has changed.
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  12. #9
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    Re: American School Shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    You get a gun and you shoot people till the cops come to stop you. It is the way ultimate anger is expressed.
    And that is now a way for the loners and the bullied to have their emotional needs of belonging fulfilled. By emulating school shooters who went before them, they are able to both join a club and receive personal recognition. The scariest part is that it appears relatively normal kids are becoming susceptible as the number of shootings increase over time (not unlike with domestic Islamic terrorism) in what has been described as similar to a "slow motion riot", because the more people who take part in an activity, the easier it is to join the crowd: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...ds-of-violence
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  13. #10
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    Re: American School Shootings

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    And that is now a way for the loners and the bullied to have their emotional needs of belonging fulfilled. By emulating school shooters who went before them, they are able to both join a club and receive personal recognition. The scariest part is that it appears relatively normal kids are becoming susceptible as the number of shootings increase over time (not unlike with domestic Islamic terrorism) in what has been described as similar to a "slow motion riot", because the more people who take part in an activity, the easier it is to join the crowd: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...ds-of-violence
    Wow, I actually kind of agree with that (first time I agreed with Evensaul)?

    Maybe not every detail but if asked what changed between then and now that has most contributed to school shootings, I would say it's the fact that school shootings are a "thing". Without such things being part of our culture, I think it's less likely that those who might be inclined to do such a thing would consider actually doing it.

  14. #11
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    Re: American School Shootings

    Yep, it is essentially a fashion. The fashionable way to show you are utterly alienated from mainstream society.

    People have always had that feeling, but how it is expressed has changed from generation to generation and from culture to culture.

    I think it will continue until something really startling catches our attention or the fascination of the deeply disaffected.

    I'm normally pretty optimistic, but I'm not optimistic about being able to stop mass shootings. I think it is a very elusive problem to fix with any deliberate action. The best we can do is to shore up the edges here and there and hope to stem the tide a bit. Especially in a society like America due to its size and scope.

    Im all for trying to minimize bullying. I'm all for trying to keep youth engaged in positive activities. I'm all for trying to disuade violence as a fashion. I'm all for measures to try and stop folks who decide to go postal.
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