My experience at a typical shooting range for target practice seems to attract many unsavory White guys which made me feel very uncomfortable in New Jersey and I soon stopped going. I don’t know if it is the case now, but the possession of a gun or guns does seem empower some to feel more aggressive.
What makes Canadians who do have many guns, much less violent than in this country. Gun deaths: 200 Canada, 9,484 in USA. I believe that having a secure healthcare system regardless of planted stories of some of the defects, generally it is extremely popular with Canadians, British, and French. Give the White poor the same type of subsidies and help given to others and perhaps more. It would be hard for Republicans to stop such legislation in the Senate.
The reason for so much violence in the United States compared to Canada with just as many guns according to Michael Moore’s film on Columbine is simply due to country with more equality. The New York Times editors seem to have hidden Kristof’s column on equality because it makes our current capitalistic hierarchical order less attractive where the top of the economic ladder takes a huge share of the economic pie made possible by all Americans. How much? The top 10 percent has an income equivalent to the bottom 90 percent of Americans!
I urge you to read Kristof’s column again and consider buying to book by two British co-authors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett in The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger who did an enormous amount of research examining how societies work. Their extensive data is shows conclusively that the ills in America are due chiefly due to economic inequality which also affects our financial markets too!
The rich spend only a small fraction of their income compared to what normal Americans can spend by borrowing money on their homes and credit cards. No longer can they take this route.
In this book, under the title, Does the Amount of Inequality Make a Difference?, “It has been known for some years that poor health and violence are more common in more unequal societies. However, in the course of our research we became aware that almost all problems which are more common at the bottom of the social ladder are more common in more unequal societies. It is not just ill-health and violence, but also, as we will show in later chapters, a host of other social problems. … The list includes level of trust, mental illness (including alcohol addiction), life expectancy and infant mortality, obesity, children’s educational performance, teenage births, homicides, imprisonment rates, and social mobility.”
Where is the USA in the index of child well being? One of the worst which includes the UK, New Zealand, and Israel. All the Scandinavians, Europeans, Australia, and Japan all do well in spite of the average national income. In the USA average income is meaningless when the Top 10 percent make as much as the bottom 90 percent. The USA and Norway have the highest average income, but Norway is at the top of better wellbeing of a child and the USA ranks towards the bottom regardless of average income. (page 24 op. Cit.)
Teenage pregnancies in the deep South means babies is the highest in the nation. Yes, the South is the most unequal. Why do poor Whites vote Republican?
My guess is that in our strongly Hierarchical Society poor Whites want to feel they are still better than poor Blacks. How can they be helped? Help them out by imposing a higher minimum wage on all jobs, say $10 per hour or higher. Also give them same educational support we gave everyone else and don’t give it to their government. All the fixes after Katrina went to businesses, destroying still good public housing and replacing them with condos or businesses so Blacks could not return, but still doing practically nothing for many poor Whites. I am not sure their claim of better charter schools with new teachers is really working. They should also get admission privileges at universities and other support given to the poor in the past. If Obama can pass such laws, he will win the next election.
Jim Kawakami, Jan 10, 2011, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com
Equality, a True Soul Food, Nicholas D. Kristof, NY Times, Jan 1, 2011,
John Steinbeck observed that “a sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.”
Damon Winter/The New York Times
Nicholas D. Kristof
Nicholas Kristof addresses reader feedback and posts short takes from his travels.
Readers shared their thoughts on this article.
That insight, now confirmed by epidemiological studies, is worth bearing in mind at a time of such polarizing inequality that the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans possess a greater collective net worth than the bottom 90 percent.
There’s growing evidence that the toll of our stunning inequality is not just economic but also is a melancholy of the soul. The upshot appears to be high rates of violent crime, high narcotics use, high teenage birthrates and even high rates of heart disease.
That’s the argument of an important book by two distinguished British epidemiologists, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. They argue that gross inequality tears at the human psyche, creating anxiety, distrust and an array of mental and physical ailments — and they cite mountains of data to support their argument.
“If you fail to avoid high inequality, you will need more prisons and more police,” they assert. “You will have to deal with higher rates of mental illness, drug abuse and every other kind of problem.” They explore these issues in their book, “The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger.”
The heart of their argument is that humans are social animals and that in highly unequal societies those at the bottom suffer from a range of pathologies. For example, a long-term study of British civil servants found that messengers, doormen and others with low status were much more likely to die of heart disease, suicide and some cancers and had substantially worse overall health.
There’s similar evidence from other primates. For example, macaque monkeys are also highly social animals, and scientists put them in cages and taught them how to push a lever so that they could get cocaine. Those at the bottom of the monkey hierarchy took much more cocaine than high-status monkeys. … http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/opinion/02kristof.html?scp=1&sq=Spirit%20Level&st=cse
Jared Loughner Killed for Political Reasons. He Was Not Crazy, but Planned the Killings. Why Not Label Many who Carry Guns to Political Events Potential Terrorists? Was Timothy McVeigh Crazy? His had a political motive to bomb the Federal Building and planned well.
Bill Quigley, AlterNet, Jan 9, 2011, http://www.alternet.org/story/149465/why_was_jared_loughner_allowed_to_buy_an_assault_weapon_and_why_isn%27t_he_being_called_a_terrorist Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer and professor at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. He is also a member of the legal collective of School of Americas Watch.
Question: How does a mentally unstable man who was kicked out of school and had run-ins with the law buy an assault weapon? The weapon reportedly used in the mass murders in Tucson was an assault weapon -- a Glock 19, semi-automatic pistol, with an extended magazine. (Used by police in Arizona to kill criminals when necessary. Jim)
When a white male is accused of mass murder, terrorism is not much talked of rather it becomes a terrible tragedy but not one where race or ethnicity or religion need be examined.
That weapon was illegal to sell in the US from 1994 to 2004 under the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. It is now legal to sell and own. (Thanks to our Sharia Supreme Court. Jim) The National Rifle Association reports there are tens of millions of assault weapons is private hands in the US. (About 20 percent own 80 percent of the guns! Jim)
The federal background check for people purchasing such weapons only prohibits selling such weapons to people who have been legally determined to be mentally defective or found insane or convicted of crimes. This man had not been found legally mentally defective or convicted so he was legally entitled to purchase an assault weapon. In Arizona he was legally entitled to carry the weapon in a concealed manner.
The US has well over 250 million guns in private hands according to the National Rifle Association. That is more, according to the BBC, than any country in the world. In one year, guns murdered 17 people in Finland, 35 in Australia, 39 in England and Wales, 60 in Spain, 194 in Germany, 200 in Canada, and 9,484 in the United States according to the Brady Campaign. (Gun ownership in Canada is very high. Why not more deaths? Perhaps it has to do with Canadian economic system not as brutal as the USA? Jim)
Does the US really need tens of millions of assault weapons and hundreds of millions of other guns? We already put more of our people in prison than any country in the world and we spend more on our military than all the rest of the world together. How fearful must we be?
Question: Why is there so little talk of terrorism?
Apparently when a mentally unstable white male is accused, terrorism is not the first thing that comes to mind. When Clay Duke, a white male, threatened Florida school board members with a gun and shot at them before shooting himself, in December 2010, he was mentally imbalanced. When Michael Enright, a white male, was arrested for slashing the throat of a Muslim NYC cab driver in August of 2010, his friends said he had a drinking problem When Byron Williams, a white male, was arrested after opening fire on police officers and admitted he was on his way to kill people at offices of a liberal foundation and a civil liberties organization, in July 2010, he was an unemployed right wing felon with a drinking problem. When Joe Stack, a white male, flew his private plane into a federal building in Austin, Texas, in February 2010, he was angry with the IRS.
Now, if the accused had been Muslim, does anyone doubt whether this would have been considered an act of terrorism? US Muslims could have expected increased surveillance and harassment at home and the places where they work and worship. They could have expected a Congressional inquiry into the radicalization of their people. Oh, Representative Peter King (R-NY) has already started that one!