Wicked Problems: Gun Violence


Suicidal people actually do have significant reduction in freedom in many states to the point that your door can be broken down and you locked up and yes, in such places your cutlery rights are infringed.


If you’re serious about a Zonal mapping, I’d be happy to help. I do think the surface is a bit deeper than “gun control”. As likely the last engaged conservative, here are a couple articles “from the other side” that may or may not be of interest.

This possibly could be viewed as a Zone mapping…

Here’s an analysis of political/media strategy. The Outrage Industry has gone in 5 months from Covid Deniers to Race (SCOTUS) to LGBTQIA+ (FL) to Abortion ( Roe leak) to Guns. Once Row drops it will cycle back to Abortion and likely room for one more before Nov midterms. Post election appears the Left is signaling Voter Suppression, Systemic Racism, and would assume trying to blame Right and Trump for the Economy going into 2024 elections.

I’ve actually seen a few “I support the current thing” bumper stickers and shirts. Key here is that the Moral Outrage cycles are becoming well understood by all, and seen increasingly as political power play cycles.

Let me know if you want help.


The key is if you see it on both sides. If you see only one side’s power plays then you are just a variation of the same meme.
Do you see when you yourself are caught up in the cycles of Conservative outrage? I’ve pointed it out to you a few times.


Yes of course Ray. If something activates an emotional response or even captures my focus it’s something upon which I introspect.

The far left perspective seems to be exceedingly well covered in great depth here already.


I find it interesting that we could easily re-jigger those headlines a bit, and we end up totally reversing the polarity.

“More abortion laws will not stop America’s moral decay”

“Late Term Abortions: Horrific But Statistically Rare”

“Republicans pivoting from Critical Race Theory to Abortion”

Based on previous discussions, the exceedingly rare number of late-term abortions is nonetheless worth restricting women’s rights of bodily autonomy and privacy (both of which are protected by the Constitution) and in your mind, is worthy of top-down state regulation.

But when it comes to children being massacred in schools, the right to bear arms is seen as sacrosanct, “shall not be infringed” for any reason, and mass shootings like these merely the ugly byproduct of “freedom”. Solutions cannot be systemic (e.g. gun regulations, mental health systems, education systems, justice systems, economic systems, etc.) but instead can only be solved with more individualism.

I am old enough to remember lawn darts, and how after one single accident killed one single child, they were completely banned. Which is interesting — couldn’t a long dart with a pointy tip be considered “arms”?

It’s also worth noting that firearms have now surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death among children. Shouldn’t we try to do something about that, both individually and socially?

Here’s my crazy idea — when it comes to things like abortion and gun violence, let’s maybe leverage both systemic solutions, AND individual-based solutions!


Any death especially of a child is something we should do some deep introspection on individually and as well as a society, just as we should support each other in consolation and healing the traumas.

I’m not sure how you can draw much equivalence between wholesale destruction of fetuses to criminal acts of homicide and suicide.

The report title is abbreviated to Children, but the report itself includes children, adolescents and young adults up to the age of 24. Still horrific and traumatic, but a bit more resolution might better help us understand the underlying issues and what we might do to prevent these tragedies. And also how we each internalize and externalize. These are very emotional and culturally traumatic times.


image I thought this was hilarious. And I also thought the top words could be changed to “I’m against…” and it would be equally apt and funny.


So I have a moment and wanted to point something out regarding your and Ken’s discussion where I see a blind spot or bias.

The whole thing about “first person shooter” games and America’s love affair with Guns and fetishization of guns is making a point by choosing only one item in a very big holon. I hope I’m using holon here correctly, but the larger category is America’s love affair with violence first as the primary means of solving problems. Within this I would give fist fighting and guns equal status as far as a fetish. In pop culture the only man deemed more “manly” than the gunman is the gunman who keeps his gun holstered and instead uses his fists, only bringing the gun out when the cowardly villain starts to lose and pulls his gun. Westerns are full of these examples and formed what it means to be a “man” for at least 3 generations of boys.

First person shooter games are only a subset of first person games, including first person fantasy - where there are no guns at all. While the over 50 million copies sold category goes to FPS, the next category of 20 to 50 million sold is an even split between fantasy and FPS. Both (or indeed over 90% of game sales) are in the category of “solving problems by killing people”. Whether by sword, magic or gun when whole premise for playing these is you have endless saves and restarts and the only way to win (generally) is through violence and killing.

This is a much much broader concern, and as an immersive gamer with thousands of hours in at least 10 separate games - I have to say there is something to the fact that they do condition men, boys and other to solve problems through violence first second and third. What happens is that since they cannot do that in real life - but that is the only strategy they know and have practiced - what happens is the individual becomes passive aggressive. They do not learn how to solve problems and disagreements with women, feminists and liberals [sic], but they cannot kill them with gun, sword or magic - so it festers there in raging passive aggression and impedes all other aspects of thought. Then along comes a well spoken man with raging passive aggression like Jordan Peterson and he describes “what is wrong” eloquently. A lightbulb goes off and a they feel they learned “the truth” because someone described accurately and eloquently what they have been feeling all this time (deeply rooted passive aggression and an inability to solve disagreements with other people).


Oh hay … you’re right, it is hilarious.


Heads and Tails of the same coin. We should make our own tshirts - “I’m OUTRAGED by the current thing!”


And a few other comments:
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/12/podcasts/daily-newsletter-self-defense-gun-use.html Bottom line, we really don’t know how often firearms are used for self-defense.

And some data on the different methodologies for suicide. 5th on the list for females are firearms (females prefer self-poisoning and “bleeding out”; males prefer firearms (#1 choice for married men) and hanging (#1 choice for single men). https://www.verywellmind.com/gender-differences-in-suicide-methods-1067508

And some reports, including a video, of “shoot-outs” in broad daylight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LO56zcBA9xk

Maybe these kinds of things have always been happening, particularly with gangs, and the media is only now showing video of them. Regardless, it sort of reminds me of reports and movies during the days of Al Capone.

And here is something on another increasingly popular event, particularly in California, events organized/scheduled on social media: “intersection take-overs” :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VllL2xnJM4w

And here is reportage of an incident that happened just a few days ago that illustrates that shootings have more impact than just on the immediate victims. They create fear and anxiety in society: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carlieporterfield/2022/05/29/10-injured-in-stampede-at-new-yorks-barclays-center-amid-shooting-scare/?sh=6a8dd5c079f4

And this, from a Catholic bishop I believe: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/im-sick-of-hearing-it-catholic-bishop-slams-sacralizing-gun-ownership-while-children-die/ar-AAXPMg0?li=BBnb7Kz


I think these things have always been a thing.
What I also think is that the recent Presidency and also the recent COVID, then more recently Ukraine has “shaken the bottles” so explosions are coming out more frequently and more violently in normal people.

And that’s the thing - if 10% of the population freaks out and erupts into a massive fist fight, not so bad. Even knives and baseball bats - not so bad. You get a concussion or a broken bone or might not even need hospital. But if 10% of the “normal” population is armed with guns and freak out, it quickly becomes a mess.


Yes, I think it’s a lot of things, a four-quadrant affair. Just speaking to the intersection take-overs, I think individualism plays a role, in the sense that some individuals seem to think they are entitled to have some fun while they inconvenience and potentially and do injure others. I think the political system, while not sanctioning, allows some of this stuff to go on too long. California passed a law making consequences for the donut-ing and drifting in intersections stiffer, but the law doesn’t go into effect for 3 years, so law enforcement is somewhat limited in their response. Of course, some might say this is just young people doing what young people do, and there’s some truth to that, but what a U of A professor calls “civic grace” (the acknowledgment of the worth and dignity of others in our shared town square) seems to be eroding in almost every sphere of public life.

Guns are definitely more troublesome, given the greater potentiality for death and serious injury, but general mayhem on public streets or road rage and such don’t speak well to where we are either.

But we all know this. And that’s the good news.


It’s an interesting point, and you may have even heard me share my own “desensitization” story with Ken, and the extra impulse control that was required after an exceptionally long session playing Grand Theft Auto. These dissociative states usually evaporate fairly quickly, of course, but there’s always those few who become overly disaffected that we need to keep an eye out for.

At the same time, even more so than the film industry, video games are truly a global phenomenon. America has a higher demand for FPS games, but generally speaking, we are all playing the same games no matter where in the world we are. So there does not seem to be anything especially pernicious about gaming in America (again, other than a way to assess overall cultural demand) because we don’t seem to see games contributing to gun violence in other nations.

The other element here, of course, is that most FPS games are Red-altitude, in terms of gameplay and often in terms of content and theme as well. And, simply put, the Red stage is a very fun place to play, with the proper constraints. So the natural popularity of the genre makes a lot of sense to me, especially when I enact that popularity through the American idiom and gun-related symbolism as a whole.

But at every turn, we’ve tried to blame new entertainment technologies for the coarsening of our culture. We did it with radio, with tv, with music, with video games, and with the internet. And while the influence these technologies generate may be bidirectional (especially with the internet, since that fragments our entire informational ecology), it seems to me that art imitates life more than life imitates art. Though again, both are certainly true.

Which is why I take it to a global frame. Are these games causing violence and other deviant behaviors in other cultures? They don’t seem to be. So either it’s something uniquely affecting American culture in a way that it doesn’t affect other cultures, or it’s a commonly-blamed factor we can probably take off the table.

I do fully agree with your point that men need far more developmental support than they are receiving though, which may be adding to the extra influence that violent games have on them.


I think my point is that larger field is “How do various cultures resolve conflict”.
When I was in Korea I witnessed two huge families of like 20 each in the street yelling at each other and pushing with their bodies and shoulders (but never the hands). It was complete bedlam. I think it was a Doctor’s family against a patient’s family. But not one hand was laid on another person. Fast forward to a Korean bar in Hawaii and a native born Korean did this with a Korean American and there was lots of blood on the floor that night. There were trails of blood out the back door to the cars.
Not a single gun was fired or other weapon, but the Korean Americans just automatically thought (from their American culture) that if someone says certain things to you, then the expected response is violence.
Each culture in the world has various customs regarding what is appropriate for interpersonal conflict. In the United States the gun culture is a subset of “solve everything with violence”.
Then add to this the American desire to purchase a product for instant satisfactions of needs and you have a perfect marriage for gun culture. For a fistfight you need to be in shape or you’ll be gasping for breath before 30 seconds. You also have to toughen your fists and practice and so on. You also have to spar and in sparring you get some humbleness because you realize the reality that you are never going to be the best boxer in the gym. If you are, it’s time to go to a better gym, lol. That’s a lot of work for 90% of the population.
The reason FPS games do not cause violence in other countries is because they have other ways to deal with interpersonal conflict. Though it would be interesting to compare data between Russia and the USA. Both of those cultures seem to have a similar “violence first” approach to problem solving.


The US is king of graphics intensive FPS games but doesn’t have a monopoly by any stretch.

Don’t leave out our MMA cage fighting fixation. Again no monopoly but I suspect we excel.

Lots of pent up frustration and minimal focus on developing the skills and experience (agency) to do well in the job market. Instead we have seemingly a generation of victim/bullys learning the language of our Therapy Society.

Highly recommend a spin through Furedi’s discussion. Communist, Child Psychologist, Liberal.


Looks like Agency Culture vs Safety Culture is heating up.
What could go wrong, right? Lol


Arming teachers and calling it a solution is one of the most insane ideas I have ever heard. Yes, let’s take these already-overworked and underpaid public school teachers, strap them up, and tell them they are now the front line against future school shooters. No new sensible and publicly-supported gun regulations, no investments in mental health, just arm the teachers and tell them it’s their job now.

This isn’t “agency culture”, it’s “freedumb culture” giving “agency culture” a very bad name :wink:


More like: "Teachers are natural patsies let’s make them responsible for being RAMBO in addition to all the other hats they wear. Oh, and yeah of course we are not going to pay for teachers DELTA FORCE or SWAT training. As with all other expenses, teachers are responsible for paying for their own $10,000 paramilitary training.


I do believe youve got the concept!