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Old 08-20-2007, 08:39 PM   #1
JediKnight707
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Why are Americans so kill happy?

Why is that Americans love to kill each other? I'd been aware of the huge difference of homocides in countries and the US, but I watched Bowling for Columbine, and it really put things in perspective. Michael Moore pointed to the media, and that's the only thing that I can think of.

Is it the media? Is it the fact that Americans live in fear?

What do you think?

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Old 08-20-2007, 08:48 PM   #2
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uhhhh well meaby is because americans need more psicological help? you guys live in constant stress take it easy guys.



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Old 08-20-2007, 08:57 PM   #3
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Although I agree with Padawan...
It's not just ONE person, place, or thing that anyone can blame it on. Media, Teenage Culture, Corporate influence, a screwed over government, and the people themselves who chose to do it.
It's much too complicated to explain why us Yankees are so damn trigger-happy.
I blame it on western culture in it's entirety... we're exposed to it since birth and look how badly degenerated we are now!


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Old 08-20-2007, 08:59 PM   #4
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It's just the media, if you ask me.

I, personally, do not live in fear. I know that the Federal Government protects me from foreign incursions, and although the Pikeville police are very slow to respond due to the increasing sprawl of the town relative to the number of officers, I could easily defend my own home from anyone who chose to break in.

If anything, I'd cite the mostly free/partially regulated nature of our lives for causing the high death rate. Example: drugs that are legal in parts of Europe (specifically marijuana) are verboten here, so they are grown/refined and sold by unsavory (read:criminal) elements, instead of legitimate farmers, chemists, and businessmen(this also artificially inflates our crime rate relative to, say, the Netherlands). That being said, the criminals usually do not hesitate to kill if necessary (happens all the time here in Appalachia). Combined with the prevalence of currently-illegal drugs, this could result in a sizable chunk of the US's higher-than-usual murder rate.

Just my thoughts.





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Old 08-20-2007, 09:07 PM   #5
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"kill happy" in what context? As compared to other North American countries? G8 nations? GDP?

According to these numbers the U.S. has the 6th highest murder rate in the world (12,658 or ~1,000 per month). India is number one with 37,170 - more than 3 times as many. But if you look at murder per capita, the U.S. is 24th and India is 26th. So as you can see, context is important.
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:13 PM   #6
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I watched Bowling for Columbine, and it really put things in perspective. Michael Moore pointed to the media, and that's the only thing that I can think of.
That movie, to me, mocks one of the most tragic events in the country's recent history. It wasn't because of the media, though I'm sure it played a role. That case, and many like it, have many variables. The media, the culture, the way parents are now, and more. We can't pretend that all of our children are perfect, which is a major part also: Parenting. Parents are to young and have no control over what their kids do, watch, and listen to. You can watch Moore, but I suggest you do you are researching on the subject instead of taking in from him and only him. There are great many books from people who were there ( unlike Moore). I've read a few, and they are actually quite good.

Also, why do you think when something like this happens it's so heavily reported on? Because it doesn't happen often. Look at the following link and pick out the US incidents. You'll find there are only about 4 or 5 major ones since the 1990's:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...elated_attacks


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Old 08-20-2007, 10:23 PM   #7
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I don’t know if Americans are any more kill happy than the rest of the world. Like Achilles pointed out we are not even in the top five when it come to the murder rate (but we always strive to be #1 in everything so who knows we may get there one day soon).

I believe it seems more prevalent here due to the freedom of the media and our liberal gun laws make it easier to actually murder someone. It may also have something to do with Hollywood and the media’s portrayal of murders on the screen and in the press. There is a long history in this country of making romantic folk heroes out of the gun slinger and the outlaw.

Personally I believe the problem is very complex, but for argument sake I will limit myself to the two largest issues as I see them. First the value of human life is not what it should be. I would love to say that human life has been cheapened by video games depicting death or by the movies, but that would be untrue. Mankind has yet to realize the true value of human life in our brief existence on the planet. History has shown that most of truly spectacular technological advancement has been better ways to kill each other. We have spent years researching the cure for cancer and HIV to no avail, but when we wanted to create a bomb that could level an entire city we put the full financial and scientific weight of the U.S. government behind it and got it done.

The second issue I see is self-esteem until we truly value our own self we can not value anyone else or their life. Sure murder is done for greed or jealousy, but anyone with true self-esteem will think twice about their own future before ending someone else’s life.

Just my thoughts for what they are worth.
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:37 PM   #8
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Eh, some people are just plain messed up, due to bad infulences in life, being raised badly, and whatever. Me, i'm content with how my mind is, and my thoughts are too solid for me to ever degenerate to such degenerative acts. Soem people just seem to really need to see a phyciatrist, get a job, and go be a productive citizen. Note Rap music or some sort of advertising: it is media, but highly suggestive of the infulences in life that a person's parents usually try to keep from their children to raise them right. but then, some kid is listening to rap music or sees a really gross horror movie, and they decide drugs and stuff are cool, and begin domming themselves to a bad life because their minds are often easily manipulated and influenced. My mind is solid as a rock agaisnt that stuff- but i'm not saying i'm scared or paranoid of it, i know what it is, and i know to avoid it, but i am still aware of it. Note this also: a proven and true buisness line: 'Sex sells.' It's a sad truth. and i've seen 'suggestive' commercials for advertising hair products and such on kid's channels, whihc at their age is a bad infulence for them. everntually, with those kinds of infulences, a kid can grwo up to be a delusional murderer.


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Old 08-21-2007, 01:00 PM   #9
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American's are only "kill happy" if you believe everything the media tells you.

mathematicly, we have less kills than we should proporantely compared to Germany.

And if you're listening to Moore, you're really gonna have your facts crossed. The US seems more violent because everybody loves to throw American news all over everything. if Britian was in the limelight, we'd be asking why the British are so violent.


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Old 08-21-2007, 06:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
"kill happy" in what context? As compared to other North American countries? G8 nations? GDP?

According to these numbers the U.S. has the 6th highest murder rate in the world (12,658 or ~1,000 per month). India is number one with 37,170 - more than 3 times as many. But if you look at murder per capita, the U.S. is 24th and India is 26th. So as you can see, context is important.
I think using Murder per Capita would be a much more reasonable stat than just the number of murder per month/year/etc.

So yeah I won't say ranking 24th being "non-trigger-happy" but it is surely less kill-joy than many countries in the stats.

Oh, the numbers does not take into account things like Dictatorship killing off people and lunatics going on ethnic cleansing and civil war and things like that.
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoiuyWired
I think using Murder per Capita would be a much more reasonable stat than just the number of murder per month/year/etc.
I agree that this would probably be the most accurate measure.

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Originally Posted by PoiuyWired
So yeah I won't say ranking 24th being "non-trigger-happy" but it is surely less kill-joy than many countries in the stats.
We'll I'm certainly not proud of being in the top half of the list, but I do think it's important to cast the discussion in the correct light. Also keep in mind that about half of these crimes can be attributed to gang violence, so it's not like soccer moms are gunning each other down in suburbia.

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Oh, the numbers does not take into account things like Dictatorship killing off people and lunatics going on ethnic cleansing and civil war and things like that.
No it doesn't, but again, it makes me wonder why the emphasis in on the U.S. when Columbia has the highest murder rate per capita and has the high rate of kidnappings per capita (accounts for 2/3 of the world's kidnappings). Again, we're not saints, but I think there are bigger fish to fry if we want to have a dialog about violence.
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Old 08-21-2007, 07:57 PM   #12
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Part of the reason is how accessible guns are, but if Americans are kill happy what does that make people in the Middle East?
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:20 PM   #13
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The right to bare arms is one of our rights as americans, it does not matter how accessible guns are if the wrong people want them they will find them. Some people are just screwed up and believe that killing themselves or others will solve their problems.
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Old 08-21-2007, 08:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Part of the reason is how accessible guns are, but if Americans are kill happy what does that make people in the Middle East?
Most murders are carried out with weapons that are illegally obtained in the first place. I'll dig up a statistic later, if you want one.

I don't think Americans are kill-happy at all, and I really don't think violent television and video games encourage killing. To the contrary, I think it allows people to live out their subconscious desires vicariously, in a way that isn't as harmful as, say, Roman gladiatorial games or Spanish bullfighting.

When I said blame the media, I was referring to the news media, specifically newspaper and television news, who seem eager swoop down like hawks on any story that could be construed to put down rival forms of entertainment(internet, video games, etc.).

I've said it once, and I'll say it again: EVERYONE has an ax to grind, and everything anyone tells you should be taken with a grain of salt.





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Old 08-21-2007, 08:27 PM   #15
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I agree that video games, music, and T.V are not to blame. These things are merely an expressive outlet for our violent sides (don't act like you don't have a violent side).
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:37 PM   #16
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Agreed. It is much better for someone to chop up bodyparts in a videogame than going postal in the streets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
We'll I'm certainly not proud of being in the top half of the list, but I do think it's important to cast the discussion in the correct light. Also keep in mind that about half of these crimes can be attributed to gang violence, so it's not like soccer moms are gunning each other down in suburbia.
Any stats on the rankings of "non-gang-war-related murder per capita" and things like that?

Well, from what I see, gangstaz killing other gangstaz off is much less of a problem than, say, murder of other civilians. In a way, it is more like "occupational hazard" for being a gangsta than outright murder. Not to say its not a problem, but it does not reflect the stats on "murder" well, more like casualties of gang related crimes.
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:15 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoiuyWired
Any stats on the rankings of "non-gang-war-related murder per capita" and things like that?
I'm not aware of any reports that have such a break-out. You may find this report interesting though.

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Originally Posted by PoiuyWired
Well, from what I see, gangstaz killing other gangstaz off is much less of a problem than, say, murder of other civilians. In a way, it is more like "occupational hazard" for being a gangsta than outright murder. Not to say its not a problem, but it does not reflect the stats on "murder" well, more like casualties of gang related crimes.
Interesting. It would seem to me that gang-related murder should be just as abhorrent to us as non-gang-related murder.
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:34 PM   #18
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I suppose it depends on whether or not you weep over the hijackers that died on September 11 as much as the passengers on the planes they killed, to use a rather abhorrent example. Why isn't there much sympathy over the deaths of some people? Because, gangsters for example, they're indiscriminate. Gangsters that are involved in supplying drugs, they don't care about the lives that they destroy, the social consequences the drugs will have on society, or that the people who sell drugs includes terrorists, Al Qaeda. Therefore people refuse to sympathise with them. Now people can go on about their circumstances, what led them to lead this life, rage against the machine, fighting back against the power, whatever. Same thing, their actions mean that people don't want to understand, they see criminals using violence and terror against innocent people and to them that's unforgiveable. Understanding the root causes of it is all well and good, but again because of what they do people don't want to talk about it.
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:39 PM   #19
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I suppose it depends on whether or not you weep over the hijackers that died on September 11 as much as the passengers on the planes they killed, to use a rather abhorrent example.
As a note, I'm only answering this question in an hypotethical manner.

Well, aren't they human? Humans, by nature of being an intelligent race, should treat its life as a precious thing and protect it. You're basically saying some humans are better than other humans, and is more deserving than our respect and sympathy, which seems to knock in all face of the "sancity of life" argument. It could easily lead to a downspiral, if we consider that some humans are 'bad', and we don't care about them, well, surely, the other side can see that some humans are 'bad' as well.

You could always praise or honor the sinner and yet curse the sin he has done. Though, it is quite unlikely for someone to do so, judging from the fact that the sin defines the sinner.

On the other hand, I am not so wanting to go and mourn over a dead gangster's body. That could lead to much more terrible example: Should I cry over the Dead Roman who was busy enslaving Great Britian? Should I shed tears over the Persian army that was busy smashing Greece? Um...er...


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Old 08-22-2007, 08:51 PM   #20
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I'd say the reason Americans appear more trigger happy and/or bloodthirsty is in part due to pop culture and the media's "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality.


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Old 08-22-2007, 08:53 PM   #21
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I'm sure they are human. I'm not even sure if you would class the hijackers as evil. The act they committed surely, the people who put them up to it definetly. The bottom line, the act of mass murder and the desire for scores more, is out and out evil and the people responsible get no sympathy whatsoever.
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Old 08-23-2007, 03:43 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Achilles
"kill happy" in what context? As compared to other North American countries? G8 nations? GDP?

According to these numbers the U.S. has the 6th highest murder rate in the world (12,658 or ~1,000 per month). India is number one with 37,170 - more than 3 times as many. But if you look at murder per capita, the U.S. is 24th and India is 26th. So as you can see, context is important.
Look at the per capita list. Almost all the countries if not all that score higher than the US are also third world countries.
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Old 08-23-2007, 04:50 AM   #23
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Look at the per capita list. Almost all the countries if not all that score higher than the US are also third world countries.
Yes, however that only has significance within a certain context. The point of my message was to show the OP that his post contained none.
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:21 AM   #24
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Yes, however that only has significance within a certain context. The point of my message was to show the OP that his post contained none.
So then how do you explain that the United States has one third more murders per capita than the next European country? and four times as much as for example, the Netherlands?
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:27 AM   #25
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So then how do you explain that the United States has one third more murders per capita than the next European country?
erm...because there are more murders in the U.S.? Is this a trick question?

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and four times as much as for example, the Netherlands?
Because there are four times as many murders per capita? Seriously, where are you going with this?
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:37 AM   #26
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erm...because there are more murders in the U.S.? Is this a trick question?

Because there are four times as many murders per capita? Seriously, where are you going with this?
Look at the thread name and OP post. This thread is about why the murder rates in the US are so high. So, why are they?
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:49 AM   #27
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Any answer I could provide would be pure speculation on my part. Is there a particular reason that you're seeking my opinion?
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Old 08-23-2007, 02:50 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
I'm sure they are human. I'm not even sure if you would class the hijackers as evil. The act they committed surely, the people who put them up to it definetly. The bottom line, the act of mass murder and the desire for scores more, is out and out evil and the people responsible get no sympathy whatsoever.
Well, on the case of the hijackers, I don't think this would be a good example, since this is quite a special case. Their decision of performing a mission of extreme health hazard (in this case a suicidal terrorist attack) basically means that their death is just the expacted (even desired) result of their own decision, and not anything tragic. The closest thing to tragic on their parts would be their decision on taking ushc a mission, but then that would be a whole different discussion NOT IN THIS THREAD. So technically the death of the hijackers are "war casualty" (especially given that we declared"war" on terrorism) but other victims are tragically victims of a terrorist mass murder.

My point. By being a gangsta it is known that your job description would include violent interaction between different rival groups, of which fatal wounds would be a likely result. While I would call gang wars a real "war" but to those who choose to participate in such activities it does carry the same acknowlegement of "death happens" And while it is Legally still murder, it is in fact more along the lines of "conflict casualty"

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Old 08-23-2007, 05:06 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JediKnight707
Why is that Americans love to kill each other? I'd been aware of the huge difference of homocides in countries and the US, but I watched Bowling for Columbine, and it really put things in perspective. Michael Moore pointed to the media, and that's the only thing that I can think of.

Is it the media? Is it the fact that Americans live in fear?

What do you think?
First, the premise here is too sweeping. If Americans were as blood thirsty as your opening statement implies, the murder rate would be much higher than it is. Second, MM is a poor source of heavily slanted info. Why people seem to believe that America is an ultraviolent society, however, does reside in large part with the media (if it bleeds...) and just sensationalism in general.
I, for fact, do not live in fear and suspect that many here don't either. No doubt the area you live in, though, will impact how you view the situation. Some neighborhoods are more dangerous than others, but are generally the exception rather than the rule.

@Achilles--my guess is that he/she thinks you're either in denial or is pressing you for a clearer explanation of your position.


Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb bastard die for his country.---Patton

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Old 08-23-2007, 06:33 PM   #30
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Leaving aside terrorism, it should be expected that gangs are a rather criminal element. You only need to have a quick look at how they operate to see what a bad idea it would be to join one.
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:32 AM   #31
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Culture of fear.
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Old 09-18-2007, 05:25 PM   #32
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Rogue Warrior: WHile your contributions are welcome, it would do you justice if you could elaborate. What you have posted can be construed as spam since it doesn't help the conversation any.

As to the actual topic, anybody around the world is capable of killing. Not just Americans like to get gungho about things. Yeah part it can come from video games and the like but that is were responsibility comes in the knowing of right and wrong. All people are capable of killing and some of us enjoy the violent nature of things. Me I dig it when I see football guys pummel each other though I don't give a hoot about who goes to the Superbowl. I watch wrestling and war movies. Does that make me kill happy?
We can go into the moral issue of things. We all have a moral compass. It points us in the right direction according to our cultural norms but it doesn't make us go there.

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Old 09-19-2007, 05:23 AM   #33
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Pearl Harbour, classic example. America stayed out of the conflict until they were attacked, then took on a gung ho attitude where they saw fit to kill before they were killed.
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:01 AM   #34
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The perception of American Unilateral Gung Ho behavior has very much been helped along by several EU political leaders who used it to further their nations interests. It was very useful to Chirac in bolsering his position in France for many many years. Several German leaders also played up the US as a bunch of trigger happy yahoos in order to bolster failing support at home. Of course when situations like Bosnia break out and pretty much all of the EU begged the US to send troops we were all good friends again. The EU media culture as well as its political culture feed the idea of the US as kill crazy simply because it benefits them for business and political reasons to do so. The US media plays up bleeds it leads for cash reasons as well. Many media outlets have "special" ad rates contracted out so that during "Breaking Events" they can charge an extra fee for the ad space between the tearful widows and the solemn police Captains announcement etc etc etc.


If the way the US is depicted was correct we would be knee deep in corpses.
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:28 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Rogue Warrior
Pearl Harbour, classic example. America stayed out of the conflict until they were attacked, then took on a gung ho attitude where they saw fit to kill before they were killed.
So are you saying the proper way for the United States to react to the attack on Pearl Harbor was to do nothing? Passively allow the Imperial Japanese military run rough shot over the entire Pacific Rim? Have you actually read about what was going on in Manchuria, Korea and China at that time?

Yes, the United States also entered the war in Europe because of this attack. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t there a leader over there committing mass genocide against his own people and those of countries he invaded? Murdering these people for no other reason than their cultural and religious differences?

You are also mistaken about the United States staying out of the conflict before Pearl Harbor. The reason I did not say unprovoked attack at Pearl Harbor is because the United States and allies had already instituted strong economic sanction against Japan. The United States was also sending equipment to England and the Soviet Union. I do not consider either of these examples of being the act of a neutral nation.

I also don’t see how self preservation constitutes someone being “kill happy.” I guarantee that if someone punches me in the nose, they will get a reaction. I wish I could turn the other cheek, but I’m not that strong and I’m going to hit back. Perhaps that is just the American coming out in me.

I’m sorry to say I do not see where your “classic example” hold any merit to prove American’s are “kill happy”. Care to enlighten me?
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:37 AM   #36
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No, absolutely not, America had every right to defend themselves. I am saying that, to use a better word, they adopt something of a fearful manner and feel they are to eliminate threats before they are attacked.
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Old 09-20-2007, 05:04 PM   #37
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I am saying that, to use a better word, they adopt something of a fearful manner and feel they are to eliminate threats before they are attacked.
I’ll agree with you, in so far as Iraq is concern that America allowed its leaders to invade under the guise of a “preemptive strike". The Iraq War started 58 years after World War II ended, so I fail to see the correlation between the two. I still fail to see what WW II has to do with inspiring American citizens to be “kill happy” in such incidents as Columbine or Virginia Tech (The Topic).

Please explain because I cannot fathom how WWII inspired Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, Seung-Hui Cho or anyone else for that matter to murder innocent victims.

Last edited by mimartin; 09-20-2007 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 09-21-2007, 05:58 AM   #38
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Ah, the school shootings. This is a rather difficult topic to discuss because of all the variables, such as victimisation, the mental state of the perpetrators, ect. And that is without going into the whole Doom, Basketball Diaries thing, but look up Dave Grossman and Killology if you want to discuss that aspect of it. The best way I can surmise it is that they hated their lives, they wanted to end it and take as many people as they could with them. Why? Revenge would have a small role to play, such as their police arrest, Harris' rejection from the Marines, bullying. Infamy, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold craved attention. Draw attention to their problems.
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