Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Neanderthal Attitudes in Georgia Lead to Extremely High Gun Violence

The Augusta Chronicle reports

The FBI’s 2010 Uniform Crime Report showed that 56 percent of aggravated assaults in Richmond County ended in someone being shot. The national average is 18 percent; in Georgia, 25 percent.

The Richmond County percentage is actually down from previous years. In 2007 and 2008, more than 70 percent of aggravated assaults were shootings – four times the U.S. rate and nearly three times Georgia’s rate.

 Of course the entire article presumes that all these incidents are done by criminals.  That's just not the case.  When two lawful gun owners have an argument and one of them commits a crime, from that moment on he's lumped in with the career criminals and the rest of the low-lifes.

It's deceptive and it's hard to identify how many of the offenders were formerly lawful gun owners. Naturally the rest of the lawful gun owners like to pretend this doesn't happen, that all the problems are due to criminals.

William Reese, a professor of criminal justice and sociology at Augusta State Univer­sity, said the area’s high rate of gun violence could be attributed to two major factors: Augusta’s location and the culture of the South in general.

“Here in the South, there’s a tendency to settle interpersonal disputes with violence instead of discussion or calling the police to intervene,” he said. “Firearms also carry prestige around here. It’s a symbol of status and kids want that reputation, that mark of manhood.”

“The availability of the guns is really all you need to know,” Reese said. “When the culture dictates that you solve those things with violence, shootings become statistically predictable.”
What's your opinion? Do you agree that the availability of guns combined with the Neanderthal attitudes prevalent in Georgia explains this phenomenally high percentage of shootings?

Is it something else?

Please leave a comment.


  1. duh....i was shocked also to find republicans/nra members hate blacks,foreigners, homosexuals, women who get raped,etc
    tom webber

    1. Webber, you are one of the most bigoted people that I know of. I'm an NRA member, and I vote Libertarian often. I hate none of the people that you named. You should also know that Richmond County is 49.75% black, so one would imagine that at least some of those assaults are committed by someone who isn't white.

      Mikeb, I don't know what the political positions of the Neanderthals were, as they've been extinct for tens of thousands of years, but did you notice that the percentage is going down?

    2. Greg, if you're really as un-racist as you claim, do you think that applies to all or most of your fellow gun owners and NRA members?

    3. What I see is that control advocates of all stripes are the people who bring up the subject of race at every opportunity. I haven't done a survey of the groups that you named and have no intention of doing so. It's none of my business. What I do say is that rights apply to everyone, regardless of the categories that people on the left are so fond of.

  2. A majority of homicides are perpetrated by people with previous criminal records, against victims who have previous criminal records. Previously law-abiding, legal gun owners suddenly just "snapping" and shooting someone are not the cause of most of our homicides.

    1. No, not most, but way too many. And many of them could be prevented with minor interference to you.

    2. Really, how? Do we have "Minority Report" technology that allows us to see a crime before it happens?

    3. Minor interference? You are on record favoring a tribunal to decide whether a person can even own a gun. You want that tribunal to have absolute authority to allow or reject an owner's license with the applicant having no ability to appeal the decision. "Minor" is another one of those words that you fail to use in a typical manner.

    4. Mike, I'm still waiting to hear how instances of previously law-abiding, legal gun owners suddenly just "snapping" and shooting someone could be "prevented with minor interference."

    5. My idea of gun control laws would disallow firearms for many who now qualify. That alone would have a beneficial affect on the incidents of gun misuse. There's no need for a "minority report" type technology.

    6. Disallow on the basis of your suspicion and hatred, nothing else. No deals.

    7. Please explain further, as I don't see by what mechanism that could be true.

      1. Licensing of all gun owners
      2. Registration of all guns to a licensed gun owner
      3. Background check required on all transfers
      4. Three-day waiting period for first-time buyers

      Which of those would disqualify a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record or history of mental health issues from owning firearms?

    8. Guav, I didn't say that my proposals would result in a 100% improvement and that no unfit people will ever acquire guns again legally. But, the nut jobs and the dangerous characters who do would be fewer.

    9. Nobody is suggesting anything about a 100% success rate, so why pretend that's what I'm asking of you? You said your ssuggestions could prevent "many" of the instances of a law abiding citizen with clean criminal and mental health records from suddenly snapping and shooting someone. I'd be happy if you could demonstrate how your suggested laws would prevent even 1% of those instances. Stop avoiding the question.

      Be an adult about it and admit that you made a completely nonsensical claim that cannot be supported, and that the situations we're discussing simply cannot be prevented at all.

      After all, you're saying that the gun laws would be of only a minimal inconvenience to me, and would allow me--a citizen with no criminal record or mental health issues--to continue to purchase and own firearms unhindered, having only to jump through a few bureaucratic hoops. Which of those laws would prevent me from snapping and shooting someone? Which would prevent "many" (or ANY) of those situations?

      Put on your big boy pants and admit that none of them would. Or continue to dance around the question ... but that tactic certainly isn't going to convince anyone that your claim has any validity whatsoever.

    10. Sorry, I misunderstood your comment and thought you said something like "what would stop people from getting guns."

      I'm not dancing around anything or avoiding answering. Fuck you with that sarcastic bullshit.

      My four simple proposals would practically eliminate straw purchasing as well as private sales without background checks. Many guns slip into criminal hands through these two means. That would be an improvement, not 100%, but it would make it that much harder for dangerous people to get guns legally. Some of them would turn to out-and-out illegal sources, but not all of them.

      That's an assumption, obviously. But I believe it's a reasonable one. And I believe that answers your question.

    11. You're hilarious. First you claim you misunderstood my question and said you thought my question was something entirely different from what it actually was--which is really hard to believe since I plainly stated my question no less than FOUR times.

      Then, having acknowledged that you "misunderstood" my question, you proceed to answer the question I DIDN'T ask (the one you completely invented in your head, about straw purchases or something), and fail once again to answer my ACTUAL question.

      Oh, and you get all butthurt that I accused you of avoiding the question (I wasn't being sarcastic at all) even though you're STILL not answering the question I asked. If that's not avoidance I don't know what is.

      This isn't rocket science, I don't use a lot of large words, it's basic reading comprehension. Re-read the thread (or actually read it for the first time--who knows with you) and answer my question. If you ignore it a 5th time, I'll assume you concede the debate to me.

    12. Guav, you're a tough guy to satisfy and a sarcastic bastard to boot.

      "Which of those would disqualify a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record or history of mental health issues from owning firearms?"

      If this is the question we're talking about, the answer is none. No requirements would screen out people like that. I thought that was obvious.

    13. Mikeb, what about the people who have clean records--both criminal and mental--who commit murder? You have such faith in the government and in mental health people to find anyone who is dangerous, but a free society can't do that to the degree that you expect. There will always be people who fall through the cracks. The only way to guarantee that no one is killed with a gun is to remove all guns from our nation. That is impossible and undesirable.

      But I do have to wonder why you advocate raping anyone who persists in disagreeing with you. You do realize, don't you, that "fuck you" is a call for a violent sexual act? You non-violent types are some of the angriest and most violent people I know.

    14. Finally.

      I thought it was obvious as well, which is why I questioned you when you said "many of them could be prevented with minor interference to you."

      I'm exceptionally easy to satisfy—if you'd answered the question the first time I asked it, these last three days of comments wouldn't exist.

  3. Having grown up in the South (Arkansas and Louisiana), I can attest to the attitude in Georgia being similar. Guns are far more prevalent and easy to get hold of, and the libertarian attitude that you can solve your own disputes instead of involving authorities means that people more often take the law into their own hands. Add this to a generally more stoic and aggressive attitude toward those you disagree with down there (in my opinion, just consider the prevalence of spanking of children there compared to elsewhere, for instance) and you have a deadly combination.

    1. It's just such a shame when people are able to make their own choices. What a safer world we'd all have if the government controlled everything. North Korea must be your ideal society.

      By the way, you should look up the word "stoic." It doesn't mean what you think it means.

    2. stoic: "one who is indifferent and free from passion" (suggesting that they are not as willing to empathize with people, as in engaging in dialogue before taking out punishment).

    3. Baldr said,"the libertarian attitude that you can solve your own disputes instead of involving authorities means that people more often take the law into their own hands."

      You don't understand libertarianism I'm guessing. True libertarianism is based and founded on the non-aggression axiom & property rights.

      The law is aggression, force and coercion, not libertarianism.

      orlin sellers

    4. Oregonian, I'm the one who teaches classical literature here. Do you really want to get into a contest about ancient Roman philosophy with me? The Stoics accepted their fate with indifference. They freed themselves from the passions--note that passion and passive have the same root. That does not mean that they didn't care about their fellow human beings.

      Today, the term "stoic" means essentially the same thing--someone who doesn't get agitated easily. Someone who is not easily angered or upset.

      Here's a piece of free advice: The thesaurus is not your friend.

    5. Greg, one of these days I would like to meet you, shake your hand and maybe talk you into letting me take writing a class from you.

      I write off the cuff, my opinions, my feelings about things and sometimes I dont think that I am getting the context right to get my point across. I dont know what a thesaurus is or even how to use such a thing.

      I know I am an old and limited in education, but I am never opposed to growth.

    6. Let me know if you're ever in northwest Arkansas, and I'll do the same if I'm spending time in your region. If you comment on my blog (follow the link in my name), I'll see your e-mail address.

      You would be exactly the kind of person I enjoy having in my classes--someone who's lived enough life to know what matters, someone who's willing to learn. I get a lot of kids fresh out of high school who think that having the latest electronic gadget or the popular pair of shoes is what's important.

      Oh, and be glad that you don't bother with a thesaurus. It has lists of words that are similar to the word you're looking up. I get lots of essays in which the writer wanted a bigger word and found something that looked good. Of course, the word actually means something else--stoic, for example--but the writer didn't take the time to check. I insist on using the smallest word that makes the point. It's clearer writing, and anything else is just being flashy.

    7. Thanks Greg, I will let you know. And I just may take you up on the class!